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Residents stand united over Summer Hill flour mill development

29 Aug

27 Aug 10 by Alex WARD

The developer’s controversial vision for the Summer Hill flour mill site. Image: HASSELL

AUSTRALIANS were divided at the polling booths but Summer Hill and Lewisham residents stood united against massive developments.

A community referendum was held on Saturday at three polling booths in Summer Hill and Lewisham to vote on the development plans for the McGill St precinct and the Mungo Scott flour mills.

The site at present.

An overwhelming 94 per cent of 1500 concerned residents who took part were opposed to the scale and scope of the developments.

A spokeswoman for the Summer Hill Action Group said they were swamped by concerned residents.

“What’s alarming is that these two sites are being developed separately even though they’re right next to each other,” she said.

“The community aren’t aware of this and so there was lots of interest on Saturday.”

Together the developments include more than 760 units, multiple high-rise buildings and extra traffic generated on to already heavily commuted roads.

The spokeswoman predicted the community dissent toward the developments would grow to become a key state election issue for Inner West residents.

The Courier reported on the developer’s masterplan for the mill site in Tuesday’s edition.

Developer EG Funds Management presented the masterplan to Ashfield Council last week.

It includes three new streets, up to 300 dwellings, 2500sq m of retail space and 4000sq m of commercial space.



Lewisham Towers / Greenway links

29 Aug

I will update this page as more links become available- TF

Lewisham Towers

Excerpt from developer master plan.

The site, 2010.

Lewisham Part 3A development map
Map of the area for the proposed development at the corner of Old Canterbury Road and Longport Street Lewisham, NSW Australia. Site on Google earth-,151.144881&spn=0.006234,0.010729&z=16
Leichhardt Council Notice of Motion for Demian Constructions Part 3A application

Developer masterplan

Lewisham Towers opposition

“No Lewisham Towers” Community Oppostion website

Discussion on Marrickville Greens website

Discussion on Ashfield Greens website

Allied Mills (Mungo Scott Flour Mill)

Precedent for mill refurbishment 1 mile up line- Waratah Mills (Dulwich Hill).

In Sydney’s Dulwich Hill, Nettleton Tribe Architects converted a 1920s heritage-listed flourmill and silos into 84 apartments, known as Waratah Mill. Very successful.

Frontage to rail line.

Architect website-
Waratah Mills MLR station, Sydney-,_Sydney


The Allied Mills site, 2010


The Allied Mills site, 1910 (before construction of the goods line).

The same location, looking towards the Harbour (I love the wide open spaces!)

The same location, 2010. A portion of the old railway bridge truss has been preserved for posterity.


Ashfield Council LEP (Zoning) Map

Marrickville Council LEP (Zoning) Map

Greenway Extension

Greenway project-
High Line New York-

The Greenway today (on the Hawthorn Canal near Kegworth School). This shows fig trees planted 20 years ago by Greenway enthusiasts.

Sydney light rail extension project

Light Rail operator website

State Government Project Info (good links)

Sydney Council website with light rail documentation

History of Metropolitan Goods railway line, Sydney,_Sydney

Ecotransit website coverage


The Cooks River to Iron Cove Greenway project – the Greenway project envisions a green corridor for cyclists, walkers and light rail running along the old goods line and linking the Cooks River to Iron Cove.  The proposed development will build right up to the rail line and pose a significant obstacle for the continuity of the Greenway project.

Following quoted from Community Oppostion website-

Bypassing the local community – Part 3A

The developer has decided to bypass the local Council and community and apply straight to the state goverment’s Minister for Planning, Kristina Kenneally.  They are able to do this under the controversial Part 3A of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Part 3A was introduced by the NSW Labor government  in 2005.  It allows big developments to be declared ’state significant’ which then allows them to be assessed and approved by the Minister for Planning.  Locally elected councils and the community are bypassed in a process that lacks transparency.

Part 3A was widely seen as a reward to big developers who have made big donations to help fund the NSW Labor Party’s election campaigns.  Property developers donated $9.9 million to the NSW Labor Party between 2002-2007.

According to the Department of Planning’s own figures, under Part 3A 295 of 296 applications were approved (that’s 99.6% of applications).  That’s despite 14,000 public submissions being received against proposals.  Clearly, Part 3A serves developers well.

The community believes that this development should be assessed and decided by the locally elected council – Marrickville Council.  Local councillors know their community well and are directly responsible to the community.

The Lewisham site

Marrickville Council has now updated s Local Environment Plan (the master plan for the whole area).  During this work the old industrial sites along the goodsline in Lewisham have been identified as an area for possible re-zoning and urban renewal.  The Council has to produce a master plan for the entire area to ensure that it complements and contributes to the existing community.


The council’s new masterplan calls for an FSR of 1.7 to 1 on this site (Floor Space Ratio)

The current developer’s proposal is suggesting a FSR of 3.5 to 1!

The surrounding area generally consists of one or two storey residences.  Building sizes between three and six storeys are considered  appropriate for a residential redevelopment of the old industrial area of Lewisham.  

Marrickville Council produced and adopted a comprehensive Urban Strategy in 2007.  This strategy involved extensive community consultation.  Lewisham was identified as a ‘neighbourhood centre’.  Locating a major supermarket mall at Lewisham would make it an urban centre.  However, Lewisham does not have the infrastructure to be an urban centre and it will result in severe traffic congestion and loss of amenity for existing residents.

The Donations and the Consultant

Over the past decade there has been an unhealthy connection between big developers donating to the Labor and Liberal Parties and pro-developer laws and decisions being made.

The community is cynical and has lost confidence in our planning system.

A poll conducted by Galaxy Reserch for The Greens found an overwhelming 83% of NSW voters want a ban on donations from property developers to political parties and candidates.

A check on reveals that the Lewisham developer  ”Demian Constructions” has donated over $20,000 dollars through its sister company “Demian Developments”.

Former senior Labor Minister Carl Scully is a consultant for the developer.  He met with Marrickville Council staffon behalf of the developer prior to lodgement of the Part 3A application.  Carl Scully is not known for his architectural knowledge, so presumably he has been hired for his contacts and influence within the NSW Labor government.

For more information contact:  Councillor Max Phillips 0419 444 916 or

No Lewisham Towers- Lobby group rejects plan for Lewisham Council

16 Aug

Editor’s note-
these people may vote Green, but they are displaying the kind of selfishness that is destroying our planet. A large site such as this, close to the city and existing infrastructure, is ideal for high density housing. With Sydney’s population marching towards 5 million, putting people here makes much more sense than putting them on quarter acre lots 40km away in the south west growth corridor (although I do believe that the retail component needs consideration, as the proposed Woolies would kill the Summer Hill shops, as we saw Glebe Point Road killed by the Broadway Mall).

16.08.10, TF.

No Lewisham Towers

23 Jul 2010, Fiona Brady

WHAT would make more than 150 Lewisham and Summer Hill residents sacrifice their precious Friday evening to watch a presentation in a church hall?

The answer is Lewisham Towers – the proposal for more than 500 apartments and shops on the corner of Old Canterbury Rd and Longport St, Lewisham.

After last year’s outcry over the scale of the development, particularly the 14-storey towers, the developer has downsized his plans for the site. According to a website set up by the developer’s consultants, Urbis, the maximum building height has been reduced from 14 storeys to nine storeys, there is less overshadowing and much more public open space, including a large central park.

On Friday evening the residents’ lobby group, No Lewisham Towers, gave its views on the new plan at a public meeting, before Urbis held a community consultation session on Saturday.

Chairwoman of the No Lewisham Towers, resident action committee Tamara Winikoff, said the Planning Minister Tony Kelly should not be deciding on the development because the Labor Party has accepted donations from the developer.

“In order for the NSW Government to comply with its own procedures they should refer the Part 3A application to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission that they set up where they can deal with conflicts of interest,” she said. “Or it’s more than likely the development will be less than $100 million, so it should be referred back to Marrickville Council.”

Ashfield independent councillor Caroline Stott, who attended both meetings, still sees the Lewisham plan as a “massive overdevelopment” that will adversely affect her ward of Summer Hill.

“The floor-space ratio is 3.5 to 1, which is almost 20 per cent more than you can achieve in the Ashfield town centre,” she said. She is also worried about traffic gridlock when both this site and the adjoining Allied Mills site is redeveloped.


Martin Wylie, 23 Jul 10

Hong Kong boast densities in excess of 16,000 people per square kilometre. And apparently an additional nine storey tower in Lewisham is considered overcrowding.
What nonsense! If you yearn and love suburbia than perhaps Lewisham residents should consider vacating.

Russell, 23 Jul 10

Cr Caroline Stott is worried about “traffic gridlock”. But both the developments which appall her are on the light rail and have stations right nearby. Ashfield Council could, if it wanted to be proactive instead of obstructionist, take a leaf out of Canada Bay’s book, and insist on only one car space per unit. Or Clover Moore’s, and insist on none. But some politicians, particularly the ones who hang their reactionary views on the “anti development” bandwagon, are not interested in positive outcomes for our planet at all. What they really want is the development to go to the outskirts, out on greenfield sites on the fringes of the city.

Many of them want it nowhere at all. They’re the ones who have (finally) joined the Hansonites, and now want to curtail immigration. After they have closed the borders, the next “problem” causing their beloved “gridlock”, “congestion” and “over-development”” is our birth rate. Byjesus, I hope they never get around to fixing that…