Saturday, February 19, 2011

Newtown Station Platform Demolition

Newtown residents were notified of the commencement of Phase 3 renovations with the note below this week, promising the demolition of the platform buildings and construction of the temporary shelters.

Sure enough, this afternoon (Feb 19th) the machinery was in and the 1924 platform building was being carted away
 Old platform roof gone

 Temporary platform buildings and shelter

Constructing new shelter

You can also see the supports for the new entrance (concrete pillars) going up in the background in the photo above.

Roofless Platform

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Hive Evolves Again

I was surprised to see yet another Development Application for the Newtown (though most people think of it as Erskineville) site known for a while as the Hive, formerly used as the Mardi Gras workshops. There's been a long history of Development Applications for the site, which has been empty for a significant period of time.

Hive Building
The Mayor has been tracking the evolution of the Hive (not to be confused with the relatively new Hive Bar) since May 2009, when the first revision of the DA occurred. At that stage, it seemed as if the long running saga had finally come to a conclusion, with most people satisfied with the compromise of a single story supermarket, although the Friends of Erskineville were still holding out for something else (what was not quite clear). Sometime during the course of last year, intended occupiers Woolworths, who had been hoping to open their 'gourmet' brand Thomas Dux, must have lost interest, as the most recent DA prior to this week (minor amendments around the internals) mentioned IGA as the tenants.

The new Application has somewhat surprisingly upped the ante, reversing the previous application by adding not one but two stories of residential apartments. Somewhat naively the Traffic Impact statement claims there will be no discernible traffic impact from the additional residencies, as they will all be sold without car spaces. While this is great in principal, I predict a future of the supermarket manager clamping resident's cars that are left in the supermarket's limited parking spaces, and car shuffling around the area's limited parking spaces.

Artists Impression
Despite the above, there's actually a lot to support in this application. It certainly looks smart enough in the photos above, and infill developments like these so close to two train lines are certainly preferable to acres of Mc Mansions in the Hills District. I can't help wondering if the hold-out protesters from the previous proposal are now regretting their opposition to the last-but-one application; as it would appear to have triggered a re-think.
As is often the case with these DAs, there's lot's of  information to be found in the Historical Impact Statement (pdf)  for those of you with an interest in our past. Below is a photo from the report looking down Erskineville Road.

So what do you think ? Is it too big ? Will the traffic ruin the Village ? Or is about time the abandoned sites along Erskineville Road were developed ?