The City of Sydney Council recently received a set of Development Applications (D/2011/1311-2&1298-9) from Mirvac for the first two precincts on the Harold Park site and subsequently invited comment from the community at large with a deadline of 28 September for submissions.  
To assist in forming its views, the Society's Harold Park Working Party, assembled from members living close to the site on all sides, met with Mirvac on Wednesday, 7 September, to hear about the Masterplan.  For its part, Mirvac invited residents to an Information Night and Exhibition from 5:00-8.00pm on Tuesday, 13 September at the Forest Lodge Primary School, Ross Street and this was well attended by community and Society members.
Broadly the proposals for precincts 1 and 2 appear to conform to what has already been approved, that is, there is little change from the plans previously agreed by Council.  There are some aspects of the current proposals the Society supports.  These include the quantity of Public Open Space and Affordable Housing, and the inclusion of terrace-style apartments at ground level with direct access to the street, so the apartment blocks are less alienating and the likelihood of street life is increased. We encourage members to look at the plans for themselves (on the City of Sydney website) and also at the scale model of the entire site on display at Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street (Monday-Friday, 8.00am-6.00 pm). 
These are some of the issues the Society considers as areas of concern but members will have their own concerns based on how much they expect to be affected. 
  1. The Society continues to believe there should be a maximum of six storeys over underground parking. Those buildings designed to be at the maximum permitted eight storeys are still considered too high as they will rise above the top of the cliff.
  2. The amount of parking, although it is at the maximum required by the City's parking code, is in the Society’s view, not enough for the number of people likely to occupy the site. One option open to Mirvac to exceed the City's parking requirements.
  3. The new intersection proposed as the major access route for the site, on the Crescent opposite Minogue Crescent, is not scheduled to be installed until after the completion of the first two precincts. Because of the problems of access, especially the need to improve access for Forest Lodge, this development should be brought forward to coincide with their construction.
  4. As soon as the site is prepared the City should proceed with the landscaping of the 3.8 ha of Open Space and the construction of the allotted affordable housing (which is closest to Ross Street).
  5. The City should complete and implement the proposed management plan for the Hill (between Harold Park and Jubilee Park Station) and the proposed Open Space on the Crescent, North of the site.
  6. The Society supports the proposal that Mirvac formally accept the offer of $10 m from the Lifetime Care and Support Authority toward the restoration of the Tramsheds and moves ahead with community consultations about this facility.
At the time of writing the Society was in the process of developing its submission to the Council covering these and other points.   The submission will be accessible on our website in early October.   We urge members to acquaint themselves with the issues and make submissions to the Council to ensure the views of the Glebe community are well represented. 
15 September 2011