Marrickville Local Environmental Plan: do something now

If you live in Marrickville Council, you need to know about the Marrickville Local Environmental Plan (MLEP). Time is short, because after February 28th you won’t have a chance to rovide any more input. And I don’t think the MLEP looks good.

Wait, what is this all about?

Okay, the NSW state government has put the squeeze on a lot of Sydney councils: figure out how to increase your affordable housing, or we’ll force a plan on you to do so. Marrickville, and plenty of other councils, have used some consultants and come up with a plan  to do this. That’s what the MLEP is.

It is a lazy plan.

It’s essentially creating a number of high-rise zones around Marrickville, St Peters, Dulwich Hill, and elsewhere. They’re turning the low-density residential area across the street from my house into high-density, and putting up buildings of four and five stories. They’re creating developments all over that look like failed UK council housing estates. They’re not making good use of areas with wide streets, or near train tracks. They’re doing the lazy thing, and just building up: shabby, low-quality high-rise apartment blocks.

If you live anywhere in the Marrickville Council area you need to know:

  • The council initially set the consultation period from Nov 4th to Feb 4th (when people are on holiday). They were pressured into extending it to Feb 28th.
  • They set three public meetings, all during workdays (when working people couldn’t attend).
  • When they were pressured into setting an evening meeting they did so: from 5 to 8pm…on Valentine’s Day.

You need to read the draft MLEP, see if there are things you disagree with, and then write an email to all the councillors about what you think about it. You need to do so before Feb 28th.

Here’s the letter I wrote, about the changes happening to my street. Look at the plan, I bet there’s something affecting you.

Dear Councillors,

I am writing, as a Marrickville resident, to express my serious concerns over some of the elements of the MLEP and DCP 2010 as posted on the council website.

My concerns are around some of the locations that the MLEP is indicating will be High Density Residential. I understand fully the council’s desire (and requirement) to increase housing capacity. New residents are moving to the area as businesses, amenities and aesthetic developments grow: these are the reasons my wife and I moved to Marrickville last year. I’m also aware that the NSW government is pressing councils to come up with plans to increase housing density; not to do so would invite an enforced plan that few people would likely be happy with. I am definitely not anti-development, and want to see Marrickville adjust to accomodate increasing growth.

It is a grave mistake to do this at the expense of existing Low Density Residential areas, however. The planned High Density Residential area on the east side of XXXXXX St (I live on the Low Density west side) is very distressing. XXXXXX St is already very narrow and very busy. Parking on side streets is not easy, especially during the day.

I am convinced that if the east side of XXXXXX St is allowed to become High Density Residential it will block all morning light to our side of the street; will create a “canyon”-like oppressive feel; will dramatically worsen traffic, pedestrian and parking problems; and will be catastrophically noisy. It will no longer be the kind of place I want to hang out in on a Saturday morning.

Other planned High Density areas appear to be on large lots adjacent to wider roads or to rail lines. The XXXXXX St area is the only one with significant exposure to the Local Centre zone. I do not understand why other areas cannot better serve as High Density. There is plenty of room along rail corridors; new-build multi-unit dwellings can be made very soundproof, and apartment dwellers are higher-frequency users of trains in any case.

My wife and I are excited about a growing Marrickville where we can enjoy cafes and do our shopping and attend street festivals. If our low-density housing neighbourhood is ruined within a year of our arrival we’ll have to give serious thought to our future here.

Designating a High Density Residential area along XXXXXX St is a big mistake.

I came to be aware of the facts of the MLEP after my neighbours and friends brought them to my attention; I believe many people share my concerns.

Thank you.

Tim Dickinson


1 Response to “Marrickville Local Environmental Plan: do something now”

  1. 1 Miss B
    February 22, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Tim – you should send this entire blog comment to SMH or your local paper, or print copies and letter box drop to get some action.

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