Community engagement

The former Marrickville Council (merged into Inner West Council in May 2016) purchased the Marrickville Hospital site on the corner of Marrickville and Livingstone Roads in 1995 with the intent of building a library and civic centre. Over time these plans were delayed as Council concentrated on converting Tempe Lands into 10 hectares of parkland and began construction of the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and the Steel Park Waterplay Park. From 2011, the development of the new Marrickville Library and community spaces was revived and Marrickville's community of residents and ratepayers were invited to contribute.

Community input: 2011 to 2012

From 2011–2012 Council invited the community to help create a vision for the new library and community spaces, determine what should be included in the design, and choose the winner of a concept design competition. Over 4,000 people participated – the highest community response ever for a project at Marrickville.

Phase 1: New Marrickville Library Accommodation Schedule – March 2011

In 2011, the community told us what they wanted in the library. The top services and activities were local history, Wi-Fi connectivity, workshops/community education, community meeting places and internet access. The top building design features were environmentally friendly design, natural ventilation and light, accessibility, bike parking and a café.

Phase 2: Concept Design Competition – 2011/12

  • Three concept designs were displayed for community feedback, to choose a preferred design and further refine what should be included.  The feedback showed most support for the BVN concept design with 72% preferring the open space/forecourt, 53% preferring the external appearance, 50% preferring the environmental features and 52% preferring the heritage relationships.
  • Overall, the community viewed the following features as being important (in descending order); natural ventilation and light, comfortable seating, environmentally sustainable design, café, gallery and exhibition spaces, open plan spaces, meeting rooms and study areas, bicycle parking, outdoor learning areas, car parking,  auditorium, youth lounge, baby facilities.
  • The community viewed the following services as being important (in descending order); internet and Wi-Fi, workshops and community education, community meeting spaces, art exhibitions, local history, magazines and newspapers, public art, author talks, study rooms, CDs and DVDs, audio and e books, large print books.

Download the BVN concept design report (PDF 10.8MB) and concept design panels

Phase 3: Proposal for a Special Rate Variation to fund the new library – 2011/12

There were two components of this phase of engagement – residents were invited to give feedback through a ‘self-selecting’ survey which was included in Marrickville Matters, the annual rates notice letter, face to face at events, online feedback pages, direct feedback (email, phone calls, petitions etc); and additionally a statistically valid, random and representative telephone poll of 600 residents was undertaken by an independent market research company.

The results of the 'self-selecting' survey were that:

  • A minority (29%) thought that it was acceptable to increase rates
  • 11% thought that it might be acceptable to increase rates
  • A majority (60%) did not think it was acceptable to increase rates.

The results of the telephone poll were that:

  • A majority (63%) thought that it was acceptable to increase rates
  • A minority (30%) did not think it was acceptable to increase rates
  • 7% were unsure whether it might be acceptable to increase rates.

Download the full report for phase 3 from Council's meeting in December 2012

A special rate variation to fund the new library did not proceed

What happened next?

Following local government elections in September 2012, the new Council reaffirmed its commitment to the project in Dec 2012 and in Dec 2013 resolved to seek expressions of interest (EOIs) from developers to unlock the value of the former Marrickville Hospital site. This will help to fund the construction of the new library and community spaces.

Download the update from Council's meeting in December 2013 (PDF 123.5KB)

EOI community engagement on the whole of the former Marrickville Hospital site

Council asked ‘What should the development of the former Marrickville Hospital site deliver for the community?’

Concepts from four potential developers were exhibited for community feedback. The elected Council used this feedback, along with input from the evaluation panel to determine the tender specification.  In Sep 2014, Council resolved to deliver the library and community spaces as a separate civic precinct, 60 car spaces, 1200m2 of open space on the corner of Marrickville Road and Livingstone Road and 4% affordable housing from the proceeds of the development of the balance of the site. 

Council resolved on 19 May 2015 to proceed with the tender process, including permitting the demolition of three heritage houses on the site, but maintaining the significant heritage buildings including the former Marrickville Hospital and the former Nurses' Quarters.

The former Marrickville Hospital site building is to be maintained for imaginative re-use

The former Marrickville Hospital site building is to be maintained for imaginative re-use

Announcement of successful developer

At an Extraordinary Meeting of Council in October 2015, Councillors unanimously agreed that Mirvac will partner with Council in developing the old Hospital site. Mirvac was one of three developers to emerge from the two-stage tender after the Expression of Interest (EOI) process.

A scale model of the site showing how the new library, community spaces and open space will look was displayed at Marrickville Festival and Marrickville Library in 2015. The model also showed Mirvac's concept plan for the residential development on the remainder of the former hospital site.

Development Application

Mirvac lodged a development application for the site in 2016, which was followed by an exhibition period where the community could comment. The development application will be determined by the Central Sydney Planning Panel.

Mirvac will commence works on the site including demolition from early 2017 that were approved in previous development applications.

If you wish to be informed of any updates, please email prue.foreman@marrickville.nsw.gov.au to be added to the database.

Construction is expected to start mid-2017 subject to approval.

Read more here about the new Marrickville Library and community spaces and view a virtual tour of the site.

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