Development Applications

I’m not really sure when I started looking closely at “Development Applications” but it must have been sometime between 2005 and 2010. I was the Program Director at ABC Radio Sydney (then named 702 ABC Sydney), and I knew local council activities were a good source of news stories.

Previously, I’d worked at the ABC in Wagga and at the ABC in Renmark and I would regularly read local government papers. At Renmark we have about five local councils, and at Wagga we had about twenty local councils, so it kept me fairly busy. In the midst of each local council paper there was always at least “one good story”.

As I walked along Crown Street today, I noticed there was a development  sign outside the old Post Office Building, most recently an ANZ Bank. It’s been empty for a while now, since the branch closed a few months ago, and, as a local resident, I’ve been keen to know what might replace the wonderful old building.

After reading the development application on the City of Sydney website, I’m none the wiser. All I can determine is that over the next four months, they’re doing $87,000 worth of development works, removing some interior walls and so on. I can only assume they’re preparing it for a possible new tenant.

There’s a lot going on in my part of Surry Hills right now with the redevelopment of the Surry Hills Shopping Village.

“That’s where the old Greek men used to hang out and solve the world’s problems… I wonder where they meet now”, a friend wrote, in response to the photograph I sent to him and some others.
Both the Medical Centre and Noodle Star (as well as the computer store) have all moved to Crown Street
“Just one woman?”, I was asked on Twitter, about the new shop opening on Crown Street. The vibe I’m getting is this might be a “good old fashioned frock shop”.

Though I’ve joined the Facebook group, and some friends have become passionately involved, I haven’t really engaged yet with the planned traffic changes on Cleveland Street.

This arrived in the mail a few days ago.

At the heart of the matter is a plan to reduce the traffic speed to 40km/h on Cleveland Street, and remove the capacity for people to turn off the road.

Cleveland Street is a very busy thoroughfare, and so this isn’t just an issue for people in Surry Hills. Though traffic can sometimes travel at a “glacial pace” (when there’s cricket or footy happening at one of the nearby stadiums), 40km/h does seem a little slow, in my opinion.

And the argument people have put to me is that many of the quieter streets of our neighbourhood will become busier, as people try to find shortcuts or speedier ways of travelling through the neighbourhood.

With empty shops downstairs, and an ageing set of apartments upstairs, surely it can’t be too long before we see a “Development Application” sign appear on this building on Crown Street?

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