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Welcome To Fox and Chickens


Liability | Governance | Health and Safety | Planning |The Problem | The Solution


Planning is handled by local and state government. They use a range of legislation, regulations and guidelines to decide on how areas should be developed. State government uses State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) and other legislation to assist local government in putting different proposals into categories that determine how they are treated by public authorities such as the NSW Planning Department or the NSW Police.


Most people will be familiar with the categories of "residential", "commercial" and "industrial" but there are also subcategories that sit underneath them. For instance, residential development can be low, medium or high density. Commercial can be x, x or x. The industrial category also has several sub-categories including light, medium and heavy. Some of the developments covered by these categories can occupy the same areas without posing significant problems for anyone. Others have much more complex and difficult relationships, and these are managed by 'zoning' regulations.

Zoning regulations set out which categories of development can sit next to each other and which cannot, but they also lay out what activities can take place within a zone. All of the residential categories are covered under a 'residential' zoning ( ) which means that the activities that take place in these developments are so similar that they can occupy the same street[?]. All of the commercial categories are covered by a 'commercial' zoning ( ) which means that they could also be developed in the same street. Industrial categories are a bit different - some industrial categories can't be combined with others, and none can be combined with residential unless they can prove that they present no credible risk to residents. These developments must show that their operations are not going to affect the surrounding residences and that they have all the right equipment, staff and practices to control any unforseen problems.

Question: how do perimeter residences get treated in the usual processes?

Would you buy or rent property next to a fibreglass, paint, wood construction or welding factory?
Not on your nelly! But what if you were prevented from understanding that this is what you were doing? Zoning is one way that local government communicates about the nature of development in their municipality. Zoning tells residents and businesses what kind of activities are appropriate and which are not. These zones are published by local governments in their local environment plans (also in development control plans and regional environment plans? - confirm) so that anyone who applies for consent to develop a piece of land knows what they can and cannot do on that property.

In the case of FSA, the zoning regulations have been by-passed by the Minister of Planning (Craig Knowles). By declaring the site to be a 'non-designated' development, Craig Knowles took away the right of potential residents to have a clear understanding of the terms that apply to their prospective home. A 'non-designated' site does not have a development category and does not appear on the local councils plans as being different to the surrounding area.

Other rights have been taken away by further changes to the laws and regulations that apply to all developments. Declaring the FSA site as a 'non-designated' development does not allow the developers to side-step the Environment Protection Assessment Act or the POEO Act. Without further changes, the FSA site would be categorised as a heavy industrial site under State Environment Planning Policy 33 (Hazardous and Offensive Industry) and would be prohibited from development in any residential area, let alone one as densely populated as Centennial Park, Moore Park and Surry Hills.

What does this mean for residents and property owners surrounding the FSA site?

No Disclosure - No Compensation

Unless there is an explosion, fire or chemical that can be traced directly to the FSA, accumulated damages to the health of individuals, from factory emissions, will have to be proved in the civil court system and the onus will be upon the individual member of the public to prove that the impact on their health is directly and only attributable to operations on the FSA site. These individuals will face a long and expensive journey through the offices of lawyers and courtrooms and unsuccessful claimants may have to pay court costs (approx x on the basis of similar claims).

The timeline of events outlines the unfolding of the health and safety provides an extensive listing of incidents and correspondence regarding the activities of tenants and subtenants on the FSA site.

See more details of the health and safety issues in our timeline of events at FSA

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