142 Abercrombie Street Redfern NSW 2016

(PAN-21204) Change of use of a student accommodation building approved by state significant development consent SSD-4949-2011 for use as a hotel during periods of under-utilisation.

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website about 1 month ago. It was received by them 4 days earlier.

(Source: City of Sydney, reference D/2020/649)

5 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Peter Prineas commented

    In the Redfern area much student accommodation space has been approved under state significant development provisions. The provision of this accommodation is now far in excess of demand. One building in Eveleigh Street will accommodate 600 people when completed. It may be expected that most of the owners of this type of development will be seeking to change the use to hotel accommodation. The small space of the accommodation units and limited facilities will attract mostly low-income users. The owners, and the state government as the consent authority, must both be required to state what adverse social impacts are likely to result from this change of land use, what steps they will take to ameliorate such impacts, and in what proportion they will contribute to the costs involved.

  2. David Glover commented

    I have the same key concern I raised when this was applied for previously: managing the safe arrival and departure of guests and loading/unloading of their luggage.

    I have frequently seen taxis/Ubers etc loading or unloading suitcases while parked illegally on Abercrombie Street. This is extremely hazardous for vehicles turning off Cleveland Street into Abercrombie as well as pedestrians on the road.

    There is, simply, no provision for safe loading and unloading. This would ideally be off-street, but certainly needs to be somewhere other than Abercrombie Street.

    I note that Urbanest address the movement of students at semester beginnings and ends (management plan item 5.6 "Seasonal loading/unloading"). Yet there doesn't seem to be anything in the management plan about managing movements of tourists or other hotel residents.

    The building's consent explicitly limited it to student accommodation. While I understand the need to adapt to Covid-19, I'm concerned that "periods of underutilisation" could well become "all the time".

    If this is to be approved, I think it's critical they properly address this safety issue with appropriate management plans, possibly some more barriers, or ideally by building a proper, off-street, loading area.

  3. Harry Alexander commented

    This development received special consideration in its original DA. This consideration (no. of occupants, etc) was given only because the purpose of the building was student accommodation. Clause G8 clearly states that the development is restricted to Student Housing. Any change in this DA should only be temporary until restrictions on foreign students attending universities in Australia are lifted. Urbanest should not be allowed to use the current lack of student customers as a way to turn it into a Boarding House.
    The building is for Student Housing and must remain as Student Housing. If Urbanest's business model is not currently viable, that is Urbanest's problem. It is not for government to prop up private business.

  4. Kat Penko commented

    Darlington and Redfern - two suburbs established early during European occupation and which have contributed much to the evolution and societal advances of our city are fast losing what little heritage is intact. Over time, multi-storied, large foot print developments have cannibalised existing industrial warehouses and former civic buildings. Look around. So much is being, and has been lost. This Urbanest building with little architectural merit, along with another Urbanest on City Rd, a Scape further up Abercrombie Street, and Scape II, currently being built on Wilson, along with the ‘student’ behemoth at the top of Eveleigh Street will all be clamouring to turn their business models into alternative what-nots, as the reality of a changing world hits their profit margins. There will be little consideration for the existing community, the history of the area or its dwindling aesthetic heritage. Day in day out, residents fight inappropriate developments or hopelessly challenge DAs sneakily altered from their original proposals. Frankly, I’ve had enough.

  5. Sean Hickey commented

    in relation to Peter Prineas, David Glover, Harry Alexander and Kat Penko have stated, I totally support their stance. Profits before people and local people, Have lived here for over 20 yrs and the bastardisation of this area of Redfern is a sad reflection of governing bodies.

    I say to Urbanest "suck it up" as the locals have to. If not financially viable for just Student Accommodation I can arrange Counselling

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