$6M windfall – at what cost ?


The Land & Environment Court has handed down its decision on the Meriton site in Albert Ave (the old Thomas St Carpark). The site was originally purchased by Meriton for $50M. It came with an approval for two primarily residential towers of  29 and 23 storeys. Meriton lodged a new Planning Proposal seeking approval for  47 and 37 storeys. The application went in front of the NSW Department of Planning who suggested heights in between might be appropriate. The Department referred the matter to the Planning Assessment Committee (PAC). The PAC found that the new Planning Proposal lacked merit and refused the application. Meriton then appealed to the court.

The Court has approved a modified application of  twin towers of 33 and 38 storeys on the Thomas Street car park site.


3 thoughts on “$6M windfall – at what cost ?

  1. I walked to Windeyer House 225 Macquarie Street to Land and Environment Court 5B at 1.50PM. This was a dry affair. Mr Tim.Moore for the Planning Minister Brad Hazzard took one hour to explain that the previous Government Part 3A rulings could be continued for $50M major regional projects like the Meriton twin towers of 33 and 38 storeys on the Thomas Street car park site.
    The Minister has discretionary powers and has the right to decide the outcome – and this was what hapened. Some very minor changes were made to either make Meriton negotiate with 2-4 Thomas Street to provide lift access for disabled clients of two medical practices preferably on an ongoing basis rather than the proffered once off inadequate lump sum.
    Councillor Saville for West Ward WCC attended. Meriton is to pay $6M as a Voluntary Payment Agreement being over and above the Modification 3 Meriton paid $50M for in 2009 29 and 23 storeys.
    These developers like $4NBN Harry Triguboff have the money and his style is to maximise site opportunity to make the rules to profit him!
    While this outcome is better than the 47:37 towers Councillors recommended to the PAC. The PAC heard from 16 speakers including myself and rejected this ambit claim by Meriton.
    Commissioner Ms. Pearson for Land Env Commission took 30 minutes to discuss Iglu 15 storey adjoining council compliant nearly completed student accomodation building capacity 400. No, they were not prepared to change the Meriton setback of 1.2m to be overshadowed and dwarfed on the South east side of Albert Avenue: a gridlocked thoroughfare from the PH. Matters such as overshadowing the Oval and the Croquet lawn, wind tunnel, loss of sunlight for 8 storey unit blocks opposite in Albert Ave were considered minor and disregarded. Traffic would become worse – the three level podium will have vehicles turn left to enter and exit by turning left. Education of children in these blocks was raised but not addressed. CHS and CPS are stretched unreasonably. More land is required and none is forthcoming. Great unworthy work by the Planning Minister and his staff.
    Philosophy: Deal with Council and you will be compliant. Deal with the State Government “We’re open for business! We love developers with big plans and we are not too fussed about balanced development under the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. With Proximity to Chatswood Station – the sky is the limit.”
    The green paper and white paper designed over a promise by Premier O’Farrell on handing back planning powers to councils and the people is just a disgraceful broken promise. Iglu’s owner engaged lawyer Mr. Lazarus but all his points were disgreed with and refuted. No resurrection scene in this farce. Meriton is to make minor changes and Mr.Moore will make the approval final on Tuesday 24 December.

    • It is clear that governments like the big developers and do not want to upset them. This is money power, changing all rules as contributions to the parties, whoevers in power, as it has now been demonstrated, are the preferred option, overshadowing any concerns of residents. Triguboff does not live here, he just makes his money and leaves the community to deal with the destruction he leaves behind.

  2. The report needs a “by-line”, as it includes first-person statements.
    It is also notable that CWWPA members take the time to attend court hearings and other meetings that otherwise would not receive close public scrutiny and first-hand reporting..

    Jim McCredie.

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