The Redfern Society is a group of citizens who are concerned about recently submitted development applications.

Current applications which are contested by the Redfern Society include:

Hostel/Backpackers Accommodation in two heritage properties at 24 & 26 Pitt Street.
DA numbers D/2010/2180 and D/2010/2181

46 Apartments (one and two bedrooms) on just one block, on Pitt and William Streets.
DA number D/2010/2095

You can view these Development Applications at www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Below are The Redfern Society’s grievances with the proposed 52-54 Pitt St (adjoining William St), as featured in our December 2012 newsletter.

  1. The forecourt of the existing Heritage building does not need to have ‘something built there’. It is a heritage site, not a ‘gap’ in need of filling.
  2. This DA adds ninety-four new residents to the site, excluding visitors and service vehicles etc. By comparison, the neighbouring block which is 50% of the size is inhabited by a total of two people. There are currently no residents on the site with the building providing employment to the local community.
  3. The floor-space ratio (FSR) is currently at its maximum. This application nearly doubles the permissible 1:1 FSR under the current LEP. The developer proposes 1.93:1. This ratio measures site intensity and important infrastructure impacts such as traffic congestion and parking. These impacts are made even more significant by poor vehicle access to and from Pitt Street only. William Street at the rear is a narrow service lane.
  4. Because FSR is site-specific, any breach is an over-development. JBA independent consultants state “Council should reject the DA. The application breaches current and draft FSR controls. The developer claims the proposed FSR is acceptable on the basis that it fills a large hole… This is simply wrong. All other surrounding properties retain existing FSR of 1:1. There is an inconsistency between the applicant’s Architectural Plans and Landscape Plan… The findings of the court have been ignored in the design.
  5. Structural engineering consultant, Mr Natoli says “The houses in this area are built on a former swamp and do not have a stable enough substrate to confidently excavate.” No proper assessment has been made of the explosive impacts on the applicant’s proposed blast intensity excavation under the site on local amenity, and the condition of the community’s valuable heritage buildings.
  6. Jennifer Hill, heritage architect, states “The proposal is not consistent with the Heritage Conservation Area… and detracts from the significance of the contributory item on the site… any development on Pitt Street is undesirable and unjustifiable given non-compliance with FSR.”
  7. The Redfern Society and its associates suggest that the current car park should be retained and reinterpreted as a forecourt of the 1912 heritage warehouse, which is a positive contributory item to the Heritage Conservation Area, necessary to understanding the unique historical layers of the area. Rather than retain and protect its significance, the DA will delete it from the streetscape by blocking views to and from the building with units using aluminium cladding. We believe a landscaped forecourt/greenspace, along with full restoration of the existing building, would be a better and more attractive enhancement to the site, embracing and protecting the hundred-year-old warehouse.
  8. Council’s website (link below) claims “The City of Sydney pursues a sensitive and balanced approach to development that protects residential amenity and the environment, maintains and preserves heritage, and provides clarity for developers.” Council should uphold these aims and controls. There is no need to build anything on this DA site that compromises our heritage for the sake of lining the applicant’s wallet. Someone else’s profit should not be at the community’s expense.
  9. If allowed to continue, this application would create a dangerous precedent for both the local and wider communities with any consent only providing the impetus for even more amended DAs. There is no limit to the number of amendments which can  be lodged.

We have the right to live in our chosen environment and to maintain our amenity and property values. We have nothing to gain and everything to lose in conceding anything to the applicant; dealings with the application compromise the future of our community. The DA is unsustainable, unacceptable, not in the public interest, and should be refused.

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