26 April 2017
MEETING AGENDA – PRECIS
The following report/s appear as late item/s with the Administrator’s approval as information required for the preparation of the report/s was not available at the time of distribution of the Business Paper.
Staff Reports Page
C0417 Item 14 Cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt 3
26 April 2017
Subject: Cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt
File Ref: 17/4718/40636.17
Prepared By: Lyn Gerathy - Manager Property and Commercial Services and John Stephens - Traffic Manager
Authorised By: Brooke Martin - Group Manager Properties, Major Building Projects and Facilities
Peter Gainsford - Deputy General Manager, Assets and Environment
The properties between 1C and 13 Marion Street Leichhardt were purchased by Leichhardt Council in the 1980s due to the serious shortage of council administration space, with a view to extending the Wetherill Street administration centre or building a replacement administration centre. Some of the buildings were demolished for public and staff parking. In 2006, a master plan was adopted by Council and two floors were added to the Wetherill Street administration building,. The two former cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street, Leichhardt previously used as office space, in the centre of the Marion Street site, are in disrepair with high cost estimates of required work. The cottages are not fit for modern offices or other interim uses and it is recommended that Council demolish the cottages to be replaced with parking.
1. Council prepares a car parking plan on the site of 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt which is to be reported to the Local Traffic Committee following a community engagement process.
2. Should the car parking plan be approved by the Local Traffic Committee then Council proceed with this work under the SEPP (Infrastructure) 2007
3. Council provide $300,000 funding in the draft 17/18 budget for the demolition of the former cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street, Leichhardt and replacement with parking area.
The properties between 1C and 13 Marion Street were purchased by Council in connection with administrative accommodation issues.
· A Mayoral Minute dated 24 July 1984 referred to Council’s “serious accommodation difficulties” and proposed the acquisition of 9 Marion Street, Leichhardt, then on the open market for sale, as “a temporary expedient for accommodation pending feasibility of the alternatives”. Council adopted this and went on to purchase the property.
· On 11 September 1984, Council resolved to continue negotiations and on 13 November 1984 Leichhardt Council resolved (292/84) to seek to acquire (by negotiation or if necessary consider compulsory acquisition) 1C, 3, 5, 7, and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt. The confidential reports are not available, but a letter from Council to the Valuer General states, “Because of Council’s accommodation difficulties, consideration is being given to the construction of another building in conjunction with the present Town Hall and Administration Centre and the owners of the above properties have been invited to offer their properties for sale to Council if they are interested in selling at the present time.”
· In 1986, a report by the Director of Planning to the 1 July 1986 MAP meeting about rezoning 1C-11 Marion Street states that the acquisition was “for the purpose of facilitating expansion of the Town Hall and Administrative Centre. …”
· 13 Marion Street was also acquired in 1988. A report dated 21 July 1993 about interim leasing stated, “the reason for the purchase was to facilitate expansion of the Administrative Centre in the event of a future civic complex being proposed …”
Some of the buildings were demolished for parking.
The two former cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street and the demountable installed temporarily in about 1991 were used as staff offices.
At various times, Council investigated options such as extension of the Wetherill Street administration centre or construction of a replacement administration building at Marion Street.
On 28 March 2006, Leichhardt Council resolved, “That:
1 Council adopt the Master Plan Report and Master Plan for the Leichhardt Civic Precinct prepared by Conybeare Morrison and dated January 2006.
2 Council proceed with the redevelopment of the Leichhardt Civic Precinct in accordance with the master plan, subject to adopting a funding plan.
4 Council notes that under any scenario for the redevelopment in stages, the extension of the Administration Centre building should be done first because of the serious and long-standing shortage of adequate office space for administration functions and the practical benefits of doing so.
A copy of the adopted Master Plan is attached to this report as Attachment 1. The Master Plan report included relevant information on view corridors, nearby heritage properties and other strategic planning matters. The Conservation Management Plan for Leichhardt Town Hall obtained at the same time supported the master plan, in particular the proposed eastern curtilage for the heritage town hall.
The first stage being the addition of two floors to the Administration building was completed. Officers were relocated into the expanded building from the demountable and the two former cottages which had been used as interim office space. The cottages are now being used for storage of furniture and other items.
In 2011, Leichhardt Council looked at the next stage of redevelopment including the possibility of a community centre on the Marion Street civic precinct site, and in this connection, the two former cottages were looked at. They are single storey in the centre of the Marion Street site and retaining them in the medium-long term would largely sterilize the site. The cottages were inspected by a building consultant and a copy of the building report is attached to this report as Attachment 2. The cost of making the cottages fit for any modern use is too high to make it worthwhile for either a short-medium term interim use or to achieve a community facility that is not purpose designed.
Council appointed property consultants Hill PDA and architects Scott Carver Pty Ltd to look at redevelopment of the civic precinct in stages, to provide open space, a community centre with dedicated youth area and art gallery area and other possible facilities such as offices for NGOs, artists in residence spaces, rehearsal space and other areas. There was no funding allocated for this work nor was this project identified in any of Council’s Section 94 Developer Contributions Plans.
A decision on the future of the Leichhardt Civic Precinct will be a matter for the new Council. In the meantime the demolition of the two cottages that are the end of their useful life and the creation of car parking is the next logical step in the future development of the site.
Costs of demolition of cottages and replacement with car parking are estimated at approximately $300,000 and will be funded in the 2017/2018 budget.
TRAFFIC ENGINEERING COMMENTS
In order to accommodate extra parking supply in the existing free carpark next to the Town Hall, it is proposed to demolish the two buildings at 9 and 11 Marion Street, whilst retaining the demountable building. These buildings are now vacant except for storage of furniture. They are not fit for use as offices or other uses.
Apart from the main carpark next to the Town Hall, there are two carparks immediately east of the building at 9 Marion Street. The first carpark next to the building operates as a Council staff carpark 7.30am-5pm Mon-Fri (with stacked parking) and then reverts to a 2P public carpark 5pm-8pm Mon-Fri. The next carpark adjacent to No.1A Marion Street (Associazione Napoletana) operates similarly to the main carpark i.e. 2P 8am-8pm Mon-Fri.
The current carpark capacity is made up of the following components (total of 86 spaces):
East of Town Hall
· 57 spaces (4 Disabled spaces; 2 Car Share spaces; 2 P15min spaces; 12 spaces closed to public & 37 Public spaces (Authorised Council Vehicles Excepted))
East of No.9 Marion Street
· 12 spaces closed to public for staff parking & 9 additional stacked spaces
East of the above car park (West of No.1A Marion Street)
· 17 public spaces 2 hour limit (Authorised Council Vehicles Excepted)
Parking studies in recent years identified that there was a shortfall of parking for the current mix of businesses and there was limited capacity to increase off-street parking. The Marion Street carpark operates with an efficient layout with plenty of access i.e. two lanes off Marion Street and single access at the rear. However, efficiency could be improved by an additional internal aisle (east-west) so vehicles wouldn't need to proceed back into Marion Street to access the other north-south aisle which could be incorporated into the proposed car parking layout.
Parking occupancy surveys also indicated high occupancy rates with good levels of parking turnover during the 2P midweek period and operating hours of 8am-8pm Mon-Fri.
There is shortly to be a relocation of staff members throughout the various Inner West administration buildings, including staff previously at Ashfield and Petersham moving to Leichhardt which is not on the train line. In addition to the benefit of additional parking supply for Council employee work and private vehicles, there would be an overall community benefit as identified in previous parking studies.
The current carpark provides free parking for the following land uses:
· Council Administration Centre
· Leichhardt Town Hall (LTH)
· External after school care provider in LTH
· Leichhardt Public School (for overflow parking demand before and after school drop
· Leichhardt child care centres (e.g. comer of Wetherill Street and Balmain Road) - parents and carers
· Leichhardt main street retail businesses - shoppers
· All Souls Anglican Church opposite Town Hall
· Anglicare retirement home nearby in Marion Street
The cottages are now being used only for storage of furniture and other items which could be stored elsewhere following the interim relocation plan of staff of the amalgamated Inner West Council. A draft car parking plan has been prepared which indicates a further 22 car parking spaces could be provided at an estimated cost of $300,000.
It is recommended that Council prepares a car parking plan incorporating parking on the site of 9 and 11 Marion Street Leichhardt into the other Marion Street car parks which is to be reported to the Local Traffic Committee following a community engagement process
TOWN PLANNING COMMENTS
Council, as a public authority, may demolish the existing public administration buildings at 9 & 11 Marion Street Leichhardt, as this demolition would constitute works not requiring consent under the SEPP (Infrastructure) 2007. Council may also create an open carpark without any further requirement, as these works would constitute Exempt development under the SEPP.
There was consultation about the master plan prior to its adoption. It is proposed that there will be community engagement on the car parking plan prior to consideration by the Local Traffic Committee.
The former cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street, Leichhardt are in disrepair and unsuitable for any modern use. They have reached the end of their useful life and their retention is not warranted. Demolition of the two former cottages at 9 and 11 Marion Street cottages is a logical next step in the redevelopment of the Marion Street site. The area should be replaced with car parking to support surrounding land uses.
Tyrrells Report and Photos
Leichhardt Town Hall car park 2017