The Inner West Council publicly exhibited a number of important strategic documents last year. Council is operating to a very tight deadline to produce a draft Local Environment Plan (LEP) this year. This means that their draft Housing Strategy, draft Employment and Retail Lands Strategy and draft Local Strategic Planning Statement were released in succession in the latter part of 2019. It is difficult for any community member to properly digest these documents and make a considered submission and we thank those who were able to make their voice heard by responding to Council. There will be more opportunities to contribute to Council’s strategic planning this year as we expect Council to publicly exhibit a draft LEP this year, which will set out Council’s future plans for our area’s zonings and building heights. It will be critical for the community to respond. We will publish dates of exhibition on our Facebook page and here on our website.
As a group we submitted submissions to many of their draft strategies which you can view in the links published below.
Local Strategic Planning Statement
As a key step in its planning for our area’s future, in September, Inner West Council released Our Place Inner West, its draft Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) which includes Marrickville.
Save Marrickville provided a written response and met with Council’s planning staff twice to discuss the draft plan. Some key areas covered were:
– In its retail centre hierarchy, Council has classified Marrickville’s retail area as a Town Centre, which is smaller scale than a Major Centre (Ashfield) but larger than a Local Centre (Dulwich Hill). In discussion with Council it appears the intention is that Marrickville Town Centre will have medium density development above shops and near the station, in the order of five storeys, rather than higher density.
– Marrickville is included as a Low Carbon, High Performance Precinct which are usually areas of greatest change and growth. These indicators usually give the green light to justify intense development. SM has therefore advocated strongly for Council to include a statement in that section of the LSPS, to make it clear that Marrickville is not an area of major growth and transformation.
– Council wants to retain industrial land in our area, and has not changed its position on this issue.
– We have argued for a tight definition of affordable housing in new developments, so that it is actually affordable (no more than 30% of income), for people on low incomes (lowest 40%), and managed by social housing agencies.
Council has revised the draft strategy taking into account the 117 survey responses and 65 separate submission from individuals/groups. The majority of respondents were from Dulwich Hill and Marrickville. The report on responses can be read here.
Council will determine whether to endorse the draft LSPS (with amendments recommended as a result of the public exhibition) for submission to the Greater Sydney Commission at the next Council meeting on 25 February 2020.
Housing Strategy and Employment and Retail Lands Strategy
Save Marrickville also provided a written response to Council regarding both the Housing Strategy and the Employment and Retails Lands Strategy which you are welcome to read. Some key areas covered were:
– We indicated our support for Council’s goal to protect industrial land.
– We requested detailed heritage studies to be conducted for all of Marrickville with the aim of providing invaluable information about the current state of heritage that may be used to create Heritage Conservation areas.
– We were pleased to note that the IWC will meet housing targets without the need to re-zone land.
– We expressed our concern that Marrickville will be asked to take more of the share of future density to meet increasing population and housing targets imposed by the NSW State Government.
– We support the Council to assertively work towards closing the significant supply gap of affordable housing in our local government area.
Council has released their response documents to community engagement which you can read here and here.
Council will determine whether to adopt the draft housing strategy (with amendments recommended as a result of the public exhibition) and seek endorsement from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for the strategies at the 25 February 2020 Council Meeting.
Council also released other strategy documents during 2019 such as the Integrated Transport Strategy and the Economic Development Strategic Plan which we were unable to comment on due to limited time and resources. Please get in touch if you would like to help out.