WHAT cannot be ignored … the overdevelopment of high-rise Precincts in Herring Road, Waterloo Road, Epping Road, Lane Cove Road & everywhere in between and beyond … as locals say where will all the cars go?
WILL the neighbouring Fujitsu commercial building on Talavera Road be put at risk like those in Mascot?
Macquarie Park was a Business and IT Park providing jobs for locals
… but jobs are being lost for more residential development and ever more shops for foreign buyers … the LNP Policies remain … despite crumbling towers across Sydney …
NOTE Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale’s response to Liberal Clr Lane (highlighted)
NORTHERN DISTRICT TIMES
State Government approves first stage of controversial Meriton towers development
Ryde Council took a strong stand against it, but a state planning panel has brushed aside local concerns to approve the first stage of a $67m high-rise Meriton development at Macquarie Park.
The State Government has given approval today to the $67 million first stage of Meriton’s controversial four-tower development at Macquarie Park.
Despite fierce opposition from local residents, a 27-storey building at 112 Talavera Rd was given the nod in a 3-2 vote by the Sydney North Planning Panel.
The two dissenters were Ryde Labor councillors Bernard Purcell and Edwina Clifton.
They took a stand against the development application by the property giant after council unanimously voted to oppose the plan last December.
The 27-storey ‘Destination’ building will accommodate 212 residential apartments, retail, a childcare centre and multistorey car park with 251 spaces.
Cr Purcell said the panel’s local representatives were “ridden roughshod over” at today’s hearing.
“This decision is outrageous and goes against the strong opposition of local residents,” he said.
“Council received about 400 submissions opposing this development, yet this wasn’t taken into account.
“The 27-storey tower is within the planning guidelines — but that’s our beef: the guidelines are completely wrong to allow this inappropriate development.
“There are major concerns about how traffic will cope with all the extra residents in the area.”
Stage 2 is set to include three 42-storey towers, down from 63 storeys after amendments late last year.
Cr Purcell hit out at Mr Dominello and Liberal councillor Jordan Lane for not attending the hearing today to speak against the Meriton DA, after both were strongly opposed to it ahead of the State Election in March.
“They got the political mileage back then and were nowhere to be seen today,” Cr Purcell said.
Mr Dominello said his opposition to the development had been “clear” since 2017.
“I have rallied thousands of locals to sign petitions and write submissions in opposition to the 63-storey proposal,” the Customer Service Minister said.
“Council voted to support the 27-storey proposal in November 2017 as it is in line with their LEP (Local Environment Plan).
“Meriton is currently suing the State Government in relation to its 63-storey proposal because the government put a freeze on this type of development.
“Council has received $2.5 million from the State Government to conduct a review of their planning laws. I will absolutely support council if they put forward a reduction in the housing targets and density following a review of council’s planning laws.
“Council must expedite the review of its planning laws.”
‘VERY GOOD RESULT’
Meriton managing director Harry Triguboff says the first-stage approval is a “very good result” for the property giant, but it was soured by Cr Purcell and Cr Clifton’s “backflip”.
“These two councillors voted to support our 63-story proposal in December 2017 before the political games started, then they voted to keep the current rules in December last year, but now they say they don’t want those either. If you’re confused, then so am I,” Mr Triguboff said.
“Their vote went against the advice of council’s planning experts who acknowledged that the community opposition to the DA didn’t necessarily relate to this development and any relevant issues had been satisfactorily addressed.
*“In fact, not a single community representative attended to speak against the proposal at today’s meeting.”
CAAN: Community representatives have been ignored since 2011 as have community submissions.
He said the DA was “fully compliant” and “addressed all technical and community issues as confirmed by the planning experts”.
“It is in the best location next to trains, jobs, universities, hospitals, schools and open space so it should have been approved,” Mr Triguboff said.
“It is time that the councillors stop the games and listen to the planning experts.”
Meriton says it will contribute $78 million in community benefits as part of the 112 Talavera Rd development.
‘PLANNING LAW FLAWS’
Liberal councillor Jordan Lane joined Mr Dominello in blaming Ryde Council’s planning rules for allowing the Meriton development to be approved.
“Stage 1 of ‘Laxale Towers’ represents everything that is wrong with our broken planning laws,” Cr Lane said.
“That such an eyesore is legal under council’s LEP shows just how out of step the rules are with community expectations.
“I’ve been fighting for these laws to be changed since my election to council (in 2017), and opposed three separate times by the Labor/Greens alliance.”
*Ryde Labor Mayor Jerome Laxale said Cr Lane was either “deliberately misleading the community or has no idea about the history of planning law in Macquarie Park”.
*“Current planning law, which enabled this development, was forcibly changed by the Liberal State Government in 2014 through the Herring Road Priority Precinct,” Cr Laxale said.
“Council and the community opposed massive rezonings and increases in height, yet Victor Dominello and the Liberal State Government changed our local laws anyway.
“The last time council had control of planning in Macquarie Park, this site on Talavera Road had a maximum height of approximately 10 storeys. The Liberals changed it to 27 which is what they again approved today.
“Plus, if the State Government was so concerned about overdevelopment in Ryde, why didn’t they refuse the application today? They say one thing, and do another.”
As the political argy-bargy plays out, presales of apartments at the ‘Destination’ development have “exceeded all our expectations”, Meriton’s head of sales, James Sialepis, says.
“Savvy investors, local downsizers and first-time buyers have picked up on the site’s unique location right next to the recently opened Sydney Metro, Macquarie Shopping Centre, Macquarie University and hospital,” Mr Sialepis said today.
“Destination will complement one of Australia’s most significant economic centres which currently accommodates over 58,000 jobs and this is growing rapidly.”
He said that Stage 1 of the Talavera Rd development was scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2021.
“At a time when the construction of residential accommodation across NSW is slowing, Meriton has a proven track record of completion ahead of schedule,” Mr Sialepis said.