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Nightshifter

More Complaints and Articles!

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Secret Luna Park subdivision raises fresh tower fears By Tim Dick, Urban Affairs Reporter October 20, 2004 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format Subdivide and conquer ... the decision to split Luna Park into four sites has aroused suspicion. One of Sydney's most controversial sites, Luna Park, has been secretly subdivided into four lots without public notification, exhibition or consultation. Under delegated authority, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority in June approved the application to rearrange the site into four separate land titles, a move that has angered locals and the Mayor of North Sydney, Genia McCaffery. It splits the site into four chunks - the amusement park, the brasserie, the car park and the clifftop site, which is the subject of a long-running wrangle over a proposal for a 14-storey tower. The managing director of Luna Park, Peter Hearne, said the park had long been comprised of different land titles, and the subdivision was merely an appropriate consolidation that better reflected its uses. "It makes sense," Mr Hearne said. "I can't understand what the problem is. It makes sense to, in fact, represent what's actually happening here." But Gerard van Rijswijk, chairman of the group the Protectors of Sydney Foreshores, said pieces of Luna Park were being removed from public ownership with no mechanism to ensure the proceeds would be used to support the park. Advertisement Advertisement A 99-year lease on one of the sites, the car park, has been granted to a Multiplex-owned company different to the one that holds the 40-year lease on the amusement park, Metro Edgley. Mr Rijswijk also fears the new title could allow a higher tower within current planning constraints on the controversial clifftop site. That small piece of Milsons Point is the subject of a report to the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Craig Knowles, which is on public exhibition until next week and recommends against allowing the proposed tower. Cr McCaffery said because residents were not notified, Mr Knowles should declare the entire subdivision invalid. "I know there are concerns about [the authority] and its ability and willingness to properly consult with people," she said. "[it's] one of the requirements of a consent authority, and they have got to learn about consulting, and they are not good at it." The car park was built to provide parking for the amusement park, not for use as a commercial operation, she said. "Now we have it being subdivided off and operated as a totally separate [entity]." The authority's spokeswoman said that "the subdivision does not change the possible uses of the land and will not impact on the amenity of users of this or neighbouring land".

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