FISH MARKETS and WENTWORTH PARK
A large community meeting held on May 3, 2017 in Glebe expressed deep concern about the development of the Bays Precinct, the lack of concrete information about what was about to be undertaken, and their anger that their voices were not being heard.
Community members agreed that it was necessary to genuinely consult the people of the area to find out what was important to them and then to develop a form of Community Master Plan which could be presented to the NSW Government, UrbanGrowth and their architects and planners.
The Glebe Grapevine agreed to develop a survey and this was done with some assistance from the office of the local MP Jamie Parker.
6,000 copies of the Grapevine containing the survey were letterboxed across the suburb. The survey was also sent out on line. Four drop off points along Glebe Point Road and two postal addresses were used for the survey collection in addition to on line responses.
We received back a response of 2% which is fairly standard for surveys. Survey responses were collated and the results used as the basis for this Community Master Plan. 84% of the replies came from Glebe residents, 3% from Ultimo, the remaining 13% came from other suburbs.
THE BAYS PRECINCT
The areas designated as immediate priority destinations by UrbanGrowth are the Bays Waterfront Promenade Stage 1 Pyrmont to Blackwattle Bay, the White Bay Power Station, the Bays Market District including the Sydney Fish Market and Wentworth Park.
These areas are where we have lived, worked and played for generations. Many people in our “Glebe Village” have lived here for many years and are descendants of earlier Glebe residents. At the same time, with increasing high rise apartment developments in different parts of our suburb, we have welcomed in many new residents.
This has put new pressures on schools, health services, roads, parking, public transport and other services. There is concern that this will increase with new residents and many more visitors as a result of the Bays Precinct developments.
The greater part of the area to be developed is public land and should remain so. Wentworth Park should remain public land under the control of Sydney City Council.
There is a passionate commitment to preserving Wentworth Park. Residents were strongly (60%) against any loss of green space and the loss of any trees. Concern was also expressed about the park becoming shaded on four sides by high rise developments.
Some community members favour expanding Wentworth Park so it crosses Bridge Road (with traffic sent underground) and reaches the foreshore, greening the Hanson cement site or an even wider area.
78% of respondents said they used the park regularly for walks, sports, training, exercising dogs and picnics.
22% reported that they did not use the park, citing age and fear of the homeless living under the viaduct. However, many of these people also stated that they value Wentworth Park because green space is important for a city and that Sydney does not have enough of it.
The second matter of greatest concern to the Glebe community is traffic.
With recent large residential developments in and around Glebe already congested roads have become even more crowded.
It is clear that any development of these areas of the Bays Precinct cannot progress without the development of an integrated traffic plan that deals with traffic congestion and plans future traffic flows.
The plan must include provision of bus and ferry links, improved access to and from the light rail, large parking facilities, and bicycle lanes.
A suggestion that a pedestrian bridge might link Wentworth Park to the foreshore received 72% support, providing that it did not involve the loss of any green space or trees.
The move of the Fish Market received some contradictory results. When asked about the move of the market 37% opted for UrbanGrowth’s model on the Hanson site. When asked about the Hanson site itself most opted for the walkway 49% while the Market gained 27% and low rise commercial 16%.
Some (23%) prefer that it be moved towards the old Glebe Island Bridge and others (23%) want it to go to the White Bay Power Station. One condition is a broad insistence that the foreshore walkway be retained with unimpeded access.
Provision of a ferry stop at the new Fish Market was raised as an important service by some respondents.
Concerns are expressed about increased pollution of the bay, distracting noise and smells for the school, public access to the foreshore, increased traffic and parking.
There is majority (54%) opposition to any high rise residential and/or commercial development on the foreshore.
However, 43% of residents indicated that they agree with high rise development (retail with residential above) on the old Fish Markets site.
There is strong support for any housing built in the area to include affordable and public housing.
93% of respondents wanted some public and affordable housing while only 7% wanted only private housing.
15% of respondents wanted different approaches which vary from all housing to be public housing through to no public housing at all.
HANSON CEMENT SITE
The survey indicated that the largest trend (65%) among the community for this site was for the area to converted to open space for a walkway or at the very least some opportunity for low rise commercial ventures. 27% did want the Fish Market there and a further 9% mentioned a ferry wharf, a town beach, and a bus depot
A constant theme was the call for public access to the foreshore and a walkway across the site, however it is developed.
A number of residents expressed the need for the development to include retention of the area’s historical and industrial features.
PUBLIC ACCESS – FORESHORE WALKWAY
Responses to several survey questions showed that there is strong support for unimpeded public access to the foreshore with a continuous walkway, including space for both pedestrians and cyclists. At present the walkway from Annandale finishes at the Hanson cement site. Residents wish it to continue unbroken to Woollooomooloo.
COMMUNITY MASTER PLAN
We hope that the rejuvenation of the Bays Precinct will create spaces that sit well with our Glebe Village lifestyle but also expand our horizons as more visitors arrive and more opportunities for employment and leisure are created.
We appreciate the vision of a new fresh food and fish market that can attract people from across Sydney and wider to shop, enjoy restaurants and entertainments and experience our beautiful harbour.
We hope that the Bays Precinct will indeed become a place that contributes to healthy, prosperous and resilient lifestyles.
We do not want our bay and its foreshores surrounded by high rise buildings created for profit rather than to meet the needs of the people of Sydney. We want low rise homes that are a mix of public housing, affordable housing and private housing, reflecting the current rich diversity in Glebe.
We welcome the appointment of 3XN as the architects firm to design the new Sydney Fish Market and hope that they will engage with us as the local community.
We also look forward to engaging with the urban designer to be appointed to develop a master plan for the Bays Market District.
We hope that these companies will acknowledge us as major stakeholders and take seriously into account the following priorities expressed by our community for the Bays Precinct development.
Priorities for the Bays Precinct development
- There must be no developments in the area without prior adoption of detailed plans for improved and expanded services including schools, public transport and roads/traffic.
- There must be no privatisation of public land.
- The Bays Market District and commercial/residential buildings must be designed and built without compromising Wentworth Park, with no loss of trees and no loss of green space.
- Using any part of Wentworth Park for these purposes cannot be offset by the provision of other green space (foreshore pocket parks, etc) and is not allowable.
- An integrated plan covering expanded public transport, traffic flows, cycle ways and provision of increased parking areas must be an essential element of the Bays Precinct developments and must be in place concurrently with other design and planning elements.
- The traffic plan must include dedicated public transport — bus, ferry and light rail — to the new Bays Market District.
- The Fish Markets do not necessarily have to move to the Hanson site. The new Fish Markets and Bays Market District should not be high rise buildings and should not intrude into the bay to too great an extent.
- The new Fish Markets and Bays Market District development should include a ferry stop.
- The development should acknowledge and retain industrial and historical features of the area. The coal loader should be replenished and conserved.
- The development of commercial and/or residential buildings on the shore line must be low rise. High rise is not to be allowed in this part of the Bays Precinct. (Limit to 5 storeys)
- Any residential development must include 20% affordable and 20% public housing.
- The development must not intrude too far into the bay and must not compromise Wentworth Park in any way.
- The development must include public access to a foreshore walkway and must also be greened to the maximum extent possible.
- Development of the Waterfront Promenade and the Bays Market District must include unimpeded public access to the foreshore including a continuous walkway from Annandale to Woolloomooloo.
- Serious attention must be given to providing full and free access to the foreshore and walkway for the disabled.