State Government and Greater Sydney Commission override Council, local residents

Monday 4 December 2017

Another area of inner west industrial land is under threat of rezoning, as part of the State Government’s ‘gateway’ process which allows developers to bypass local councils.

Despite not having conducted any community consultation, the NSW Department of Planning is currently considering a Planning Proposal to rezone 469-483 Balmain Road from Light Industrial to Mixed Use.

The proposal is for 142 apartments in buildings up to six storeys in height.

“Last week, Council was given an ultimatum to agree, prior to any vote being taken by Councillors, to cooperate with the Government in facilitating the rezoning, or face being removed from the determination of the process altogether,” said Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne.

“This is another example of the State Government and the Greater Sydney Commission sending an ‘anything goes’ message to developers,” he added.

“They are more or less saying, ‘Don’t worry about Councils, don’t worry about local residents. We can override their wishes, their local environment plans, and green-light your development’,” Mayor Byrne said.

He was reacting to the news that that the Greater Sydney Commission is taking control of the industrial site on Balmain Road adjacent to Callan Park, so that it can be developed into apartments.

“And this is happening right across the inner west,” said Mayor Byrne. “Council has received over 20 different planning proposals. What that means is that developers have got the message that the government will give the green light to development.

“They no longer have to go through the process of dealing with Council – they can pretend to, and then they go to Lucy Turnbull’s Greater Sydney Commission, and the State Government’s Department of Planning, who will process their application, and ignore the views of the inner west.

“Meanwhile, Council has been waiting three years for our plans for sporting fields at Callan Park’s the waterfront to be approved, and our plan for a skatepark has been blocked.

“It’s clear that if you want build a community facility, like we do, the answer is No. If you want to build a residential development, you get your approval within weeks.

“People of the inner west have had enough of this State Government’s pro-development agenda,” Mayor Byrne said.

BALMAIN ROAD PLANNING PROPOSAL - A revised Planning Proposal was submitted on the 21 June, 2017 for:


• Floor Space Ratio increase to 2.54:1
• Residential gross floor area of 11,325sqm for 142 apartments
• Building heights up to 6 storeys across the site
• 6,000sqm of flexible employment industrial/office floor space including 400sqm for art studios and an 80sqm neighbourhood shop
• Retention of the IN2 - Light Industrial zoning
• An additional permitted use for residential accommodation
• 185 car parking spaces
• 5% affordable housing

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