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Issue #1534      8 February 2012

Community mobilises against Harold Park overdevelopment

Residents of Sydney’s inner west suburbs of Forest Lodge, Annandale and Glebe were out in force on Saturday February 4 to protest at the overdevelopment at Harold Park, formerly a trotting track.

Over 250 angry people turned up at the meeting convened by FLAG, a new residents group, and local Green State MP Jamie Parker. The meeting was also addressed by a representative of the Glebe Society.

The huge MIRVAC project is facing serious and determined opposition from residents who are concerned about the impact on traffic and local infrastructure from an estimated 1,200 new people.

Inadequate traffic management plans have got locals alarmed that an already congested road system will not cope with the increased load from 1,200 new residents, leading to potential gridlock and massive parking and safety problems.

With stunning arrogance the developer has started selling units off the plan even before it has approval for the project. With two bedroom units going for about $1.3 million, there is a large amount of money at stake.

The meeting heard that the size of the project is excessive for the site and will change the character of the area. The promised open space on the site has been cut down into a series of isolated small plots.

The site is bordered by a cliff and residents want to keep the height of the new buildings to the height of the cliff, about six storeys. With so much money at stake, the developer of course wants to go a lot higher.

Another issue is that little or no thought seems to have been given to the social impacts that such a large injection of people will have on the hospitals, schools and other infrastructure in the area.

The developer is using tricks of trade that residents condemn. Development applications have been submitted for only parts of the site. There are no plans available yet for other parts, including a proposed large commercial development. Residents are demanding to know what the plan for the total development is.

The residents went away with a “how to” for lobbying State and Sydney City Council representatives to get major improvements in the project during the development application stage.  

Next article – Should trade unions struggle? – For unity in struggle

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