Stop development of Boarding House at 11-13 Greenknowe Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales 2011
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This building was the former Country Women's Association (CWA) building which is being developed into a boarding house.
The presence of a boarding house with 52 rooms for 57 lodgers in this location will greatly impact the attractiveness, safety, cleanliness and present a drain on the existing public resources of the Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point area. This development is profit based and does not provide any benefits to the existing residents of the area.
Development application with Sydney City Council (Development Proposal - Ref No D/2016/1667):
The Plan of Management states that smoking will not be permitted on the premises. This will result in lodgers loitering in front of the building, on Greenknowe Ave or in the back alley of Baroda Lane to smoke, or even more concerning, smoking in their rooms which is a serious fire hazard. At the moment we don't have people loitering on Greenknowe Ave and by not providing a smoking area on the premises this will force lodgers onto the street and change the feeling of the street for all residents and making it feel unsafe. A plan for lodgers who smoke must be addressed in a revised application and include a plan for butt collection and disposal.
The Country Women's Association used the building as club accomodation and offices and not as a profit making business i.e. it was never at full occupancy. By allowing the building to be used as a for profit business the owners will ensure the boarding house remain at full occupancy therefore increasing its impact on the local community, residents and neighbourhood resources. It will increase traffic in the street and increase noise of people coming and going.
There has not been specific information provided on the target market for the new development i.e. the intended lodgers. The previous use of the building by the Country Women's Association was as a resource for its members, with the vast majority of guests being women. ABS Census data from 2011 show of the people who stay in boarding houses 74.8% are male. (Source ABS Census data 2011 http://www.homelessnessaustralia.org.au/index.php/about-homelessness/homeless-statistics
Changing the demographic makeup of the space greatly increases the safety and security issues for the local residents. Greenknowe Ave also doesn't have any CCTV cameras in the street and the opening of a male dominated boarding house in the street would need resources put in by the City to ensure the safety of residents.
Homelessness is a sad and confronting issue that needs to be addressed with compassion and long term solutions. Kings Cross has long been a homeless hot spot for the city but has dramatic increases in the last few years. According to City records homelessness has more than doubled in the last 3 years. With the Wayside Chapel located just 2 streets away homeless people have been attracted to the area for support and services and with the Kings Cross injecting room also in the neighbourhood drug users also frequent the area. Local residents accept the diverse make up of the area but allowing a boarding house in Greenknowe Ave will only increase the transient population of the area and lead to more anti social behaviour and safety and security issues for existing residents.
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