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SAVE RHODES- Say NO to new high rises, NO to High and Medium Density Zones in Rhodes East

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STOP the proposal for high rises, high and medium density zoning in Rhodes East NSW.

We, the undersigned and current investors and/or residents of Rhodes:

- We oppose and reject the Revised Precinct Plan for Rhodes, which was released in December 2018.
- We say NO to More High Rise buildings & High and Medium Density Zones in Rhodes East
- We all oppose and reject any proposal for high and medium density Zoning in Rhodes East of the Train Line.
- We Say NO and oppose any new proposed R4, R3 and B4 Zoning in Rhodes.

Apparently the Government has lost touch with people and the day to day struggle & community needs

NSW Government with the new proposed development for Rhodes East is turning Rhodes into a un-liveable suburb. Notwithstanding that the current proposal is unfair and misleading for the current residents in Rhodes West.

The proposed large numbers of new residents who are going to occupy the new development is way too high and MUST be reduced and the number of dwellings in Rhodes East must be minimised and only low density zoning with NO buildings more than 4 storeys should be allowed which is consistent with the height of the existing buildings in Rhodes which are facing Parramatta River and wentworth Point.

1- Rhodes Revised Precinct Plan will be turning Rhodes to unliveable suburb and seems purely driven by the potential revenue for NSW Government, Council & Developers on the account of residents. Notwithstanding the current proposal is unfair and misleading for the current residents in Rhodes West.

Rhodes is currently home for 12,984 (as of 2017). In addition, currently there are four high rises under construction in Walker St, which adds to the population of Rhodes West 2,500 persons (1068 units x 2.34 person/unit) and makes the total population of Rhodes 15,484 spread over a land of only 1 km2 (the size of Rhodes).

In other words, Rhodes is already overpopulated and it is one of the highest population densities in Australia.

NSW government is proposing to allow the build an additional 3,600 new units; this will increase the population by approx. 8,424 people (3600 units x 2.34 persons/unit).

 

This proposal of Rhodes East will bring the total population of Rhodes to approx. 23,908 people / 1 km2 and turn the Suburb into unliveable Suburb and makes it one of the highest densest suburbs in the world!

 

2- The feasibility study, which this proposed plan relayed on, seems to be out-of-date.

As of 18 Nov 2018 approx. 4.9% residential existing units in Sydney are vacant and the developer of the new four buildings which are currently under construction is struggling to sell these units.

As of 18 Oct 2018, Rent prices in some pockets of Sydney have dropped by almost 10 per cent and 9.5% of sale value since July last year and will likely continue to surpass the largest downturn in record.

As of 18 Oct 2018, a record 43,980 of vacant units advertised for rental – an annual increase of 23.3 per cent – with more than one-fifth of that new stock.

Inundating Sydney in general and Rhodes in particular with more units is going to worsen the situation more, increase the units supply over demand, diminish the value of existing units and increase the harm the property and rental market.

Notwithstanding that unit buildings are continue to be built almost in all the surrounding suburbs to Rhodes (e.g. Ryde, Meadowbank, Wentworth Point, Sydney Olympic Park, Burwood, Five Dock) which will inundate the units market further. This suggests that the Government should save the market by putting hold on any new developments or approvals not the way around.

 

3- NSW Government continue to give the developers (and the Council) huge advantage over the current residents and investors of Rhodes West (us); NSW Government has postponed and/or made the announcement of Rhodes East proposed development after all the development in Rhodes West is complete, sold or already under construction hence it did not appear in any conveyancing searches.

This has allowed developers to sell the units in Rhodes West as units with permanent City View and charged us few hundreds of thousands more for the view. Notwithstanding that at that time the Department of planning has provided a verbal phone advise stating that it's highly unlikely we will lose the view as Rhodes East is a swamp land and unsuitable for development.

The vast majority of us have bought solely for the view despite sleepless nights due to cargo trains which are noisy and run at night.

This proposal for high and medium density (B3, R4 & R3) zoning is unfair, unreasonable and purely driven by potential revenue misleading by NSW Government, Council and the Developers for the residents and investors in Rhodes West as the proposed zoning is going to block the city view, which developers charges us for and we paid.

We have already suffered from reduction in our units’ value due to the market downturn in the apartments market (e.g data shows that the estimated value 2 Bedroom unit with a view was approx. $1.25-1.35m last year while after the announcement of this proposed plan the estimated value has dropped to $0.950-1.05m) however this proposed zoning means wiping off further a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars of the market value of our existing units which will leave us the current residents and investors with a mortgage larger than the value of our properties.

 

4- The proposed plan has no consideration for any Improvement to the existing infrastructure namely the entry to and exit from Rhodes (Ryde Bridge, Blaxland Road, Ryder Blvd, Llewellyn St, Concord Rd, and train station road crossing at Walker St) and any increase in the population will make moving around, in, or out of Rhodes impossible.

The current infrastructure cannot cope with the existing population and the residents continue to be frustrated.

Currently it takes on average 10-15 minutes to pass the traffic light at the intersection of Rider Blvd to Homebush Bay Dr, stop for 5-7 minutes waiting for pedestrians to cross Walker St when a train arrives (in addition to the safety risk of pedestrians).

We understand that NSW Government has generated to-date a minimum revenue of 272 million dollars (approx. conservative average. $50,000 x 5444 units) in the form of Stamp Duty and Land tax for the existing units in Rhodes West however hardly have seen any of this  revenue spent on the infrastructure of the suburb to meet the needs of 15,484 residents.

 

5- Despite Sydney trains allocating extra four trips at peak hours in their previous timetable, trains continue to be over-crowded to the extent that train doors do not shut properly due to the number of passengers and this is now without any population growth.

6- As is it is extremely hard to find a parking spot. In fact, occasionally residents experience double parking on the street and as such the Government proposal of zero car spots for resident who live within certain vicinity of the train station is impractical and will never work.

Remember not all people work within reasonable distance from their workplace and not everyone have the luxury of time spending 3-4 hours using public transport to get from and to work every day after working 12 hours shift.

7- The Council currently is incapable of servicing the suburb and meet their responsibilities towards the current residents (e.g. rubbish are kept on the side of the roads for weeks, parks are full of dogs poo, Asphalt of Walker St is full of holes and falling apart, dirty footpaths, unmaintained landscaping).

Currently we only see council presence and resources for Rangers who enforce parking infringements.  

8- City of Canada Bay consist of 12 suburbs however the Government seem to only concentrate all the development in two suburbs namely Concord & Rhodes instead of developing other suburbs further and distribute the population density among all.

 

·        We completely disagree with any commercial or residential high and medium density zoning East of the Train Line in Rhodes namely R4, R3 & B4.

NSW Government must reduce the number of dwellings; contain the population growth in Rhodes (East or West) within proportion. ONLY low-density zoning in Rhodes East (e.g. lower scale terrace/villa style dwellings) with no more than four storey buildings high from Ground Level must be permitted. This is consistent with the height of the existing buildings in Rhodes facing Parramatta River & Wentworth Point.

·        We are supportive of the infrastructure improvements proposed in this Revised Draft Precinct Plan. We are of the view that improving the current infrastructure is overdue and it is required urgently to meet the needs of the existing residents.

·        Consideration for an upgrade for Ryde Bridge should be part of any future planning.

·        Department of Planning NSW should consider either allowing the allocation of two car spots per unit or provide a multi-storey car park with reasonable fares for residents.

·        Extra open and cleaner spaces are needed.

Rhodes is Packed already so Stop this madness, SAVE RHODES, save our life style, save our life savings and do not ruin the suburb.



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