New South Wales
I have carefully perused the Eden Street Redevelopment application and wish to make the following comments.
It is obvious the proposed development will have a very significant impact on Arncliffe.
I am not opposed to the redevelopment of the 1.3-hectare Department of Housing land for new residential housing, community space and some retail. However, I do have a serious concern about some aspects of the proposed development.
The focus of my concerns with the proposal are as follows:
• The size of development for the location.
With the construction of a number of substantial high-density apartment and unit developments in recent years in Wolli Creek, east of the Princes Highway in Arncliffe, and west of the Princes Highway towards Banksia, I believe an additional building precinct of the size proposed for the Eden Street site is excessive.
I believe that the creation of over 700 apartments across 4 tower buildings of 19 to 23 storeys will crowd too many people into the area. This constitutes an over-development of the street.
I believe that the size of the development should be substantially reduced – with a significant decrease in the height of the buildings to lower the number of apartments, and hence the total residents housed on the site.
• Failure to take into account the significant traffic congestion that will result at Eden Street.
The proposed development will have a huge impact on local traffic. With the traffic modelling being based on data taken on days in the period of March to June this year there must be some question as to its accuracy for real-life road usage in a non-covid-restricted environment.
The development will result in a substantial amount of traffic – cars, motorbikes, bicycles, trucks and service vehicles – moving in and through Eden Street. This will make it a very busy and congested thoroughfare at all times.
With the precinct only having a single entry/exit point, vehicle congestion on Eden Street is inevitable with traffic from the north or south waiting for other vehicles to enter the parking area, and in the exit as leaving vehicles wait for street traffic to clear.
Vehicles can enter Eden Street from Forest Road only by turning left when travelling east. Similarly, only a left-hand turn is permissible when exiting from Eden Street onto Forest Road. Thus, it seems probable that the main entry and exit to Eden Street will be from Burrows Street.
It is inevitable that traffic congestion will occur at the intersection of Eden Street and Burrows Street, especially with vehicles wanting to turn right out of Eden Street to travel on the Princes Highway. The proximity of Eden Street to the traffic lights of the Burrows Street and Princes Highway intersection will result in a backlog of traffic across the Eden Street intersection.
The location of the Islamic Imaan Centre on the north-east side of Burrows Street at the intersection with Eden Street will contribute to traffic and parking problems at this critical intersection.
• Failure to take into account the significant traffic congestion that will result at other intersections.
The Eden Street entry/exit to Burrows Street won’t only create traffic problems at this intersection but also result in bottlenecks at many of the surrounding feeder intersections for local commuters, people wishing to access facilities and services in and around the town centre and for commuters driving through the area. Projected upgrades to these intersections may assist traffic flow but won’t eliminate the congestion.
• Failure to provide sufficient long-term on-site parking, and to consider the parking needs of existing residents in the neighbouring unit blocks.
At present Eden Street accommodates two lanes of traffic with parking on both sides of the road. As a resident of the street I can attest to the fact that, even following the departure of the greater number of residents from the existing social housing units over the past few years, there are still very few free parking spaces available on the street at any time.
There are two reasons for the lack of parking. Some commuters from around the area use the untimed parking in Eden Street when catching the train from Arncliffe Station, especially when the station parking zone is full. Secondly, residents of the houses and units have inadequate garage or off-street parking for their cars. This is a significant point because it highlights that, regardless of proximity to public transport or any concern about the environment, people demonstrably maintain a strong dependency on car ownership. Furthermore, with most residences in Eden Street being an apartment or unit with each housing more than one person and the likelihood of more than one vehicle attached to each, the high number of cars involved is obvious.
The proposed development reduces the available, and needed, street parking spaces for the existing population of Eden Street, and their visitors. The creation of a bike path on the western side of the street is a positive feature but obviously greatly exacerbates the loss of available street parking.
While the parking for motorcycles and bicycles specified in the development application should be satisfactory it is naïve to think that the basement car parking spaces will be sufficient to meet the actual residential parking requirements of the development.
The minimum parking requirements have been adopted for the development because the precinct is within 800 metres of Arncliffe Station. I anticipate these parking controls will result in a shortfall of a significant number of car spaces to accommodate that which will be required for the parking of vehicles belonging to the residents, their visitors, retail workers, childcare staff, shoppers and others who might come to enjoy the community space.
It should be noted that any failure to accommodate all the residents’ vehicles on-site will mean the additional cars will need to vie with existing Eden Street residents for the significantly reduced street parking spaces. With insufficient spaces available for existing residents of Eden Street, where will they (and their visitors) be able to park?
• Failure to understand the limits of Arncliffe Railway Station.
The development will place further pressure on the already increasing demand on the station to cater for rail commuters when the services to it are already becoming pressured during non-covid peak times. Trains travelling towards the city in the morning peak hour are often quite crowded at Arncliffe station. As the station receives only all-stops train services, and is the last station before the Wolli Creek interchange, a majority of the train is filled with passengers by the time it arrives at Arncliffe station.
• Final comments.
There are other parts of the development which are of a concern. Some of these are of a technical nature or require a level of knowledge or expertise beyond my experience. I hope others will have made submission to address these issues.
What must be highlighted is that it is the cumulative impact of the issues in consideration of all the other large high-density developments in and around Arncliffe that speaks so strongly against approving another. The Eden Street redevelopment application must not be considered in isolation.
There are many issues and negative consequences which substantiate the fact that the scope of the Redevelopment Application for 161-179 Princes Highway & 26-42 Eden Street, Arncliffe as proposed is far too large for the Eden Street location. I have made just a few comments here indicating a few of the ramifications arising from placing too many people on the site. Therefore, I recommend a reduction in the number of apartments.
I believe that the proposal, if approved, will create problems in and around Eden Street which, in turn, will have a detrimental impact on Arncliffe. I believe the proposal would not be supported by the wider community if individual opinion was canvassed. For this reason, I ask that the development be amended to a much more reasonable scale that would, rather than creating ongoing problems, contribute to maintaining Arncliffe as a great place to live.