The newly reformed Camden Residents Action Group have joined forces with the Camden Community Alliance to oppose a proposed doubled-decked car park in Oxley Street.
The two groups claim the car park will be an expensive eyesore that does not keep within the heritage character of neighbouring buildings in Camden.
The groups have condemned Camden Council for only giving residents two weeks to comment on the proposed car park and have called for an extension of time to make submissions.
Alliance president Pieter Versluis has urged the council to put the car park proposal on the back burner and let council election candidates campaign on the issue.
“The alliance challenges the mayor and councillors to take this issue to the next council election and to not rush into a decision. Wait to see what the community wants and decides,” Mr Versluis said.
“The short time frame for submissions shows the council’s level of contempt for the community. They say they consult with residents but don’t. The council has assumed the community want this car park but in their survey they failed to ask that exact question.”
Camden Residents Action Group president Glenda Davis said the group had reformed because it felt the council would destroy the town by removing heritage provisions and increasing height limits for buildings.
She said the proposed car park contravened the seven-metre height limit of a local heritage order.
The council conducted a heritage impact statement and a council spokeswoman said the council had gone to great lengths to ensure the design of the car park extension complemented the heritage of the Camden Town Centre.
She said the car park height limit complied with heritage provisions.
“The materials of the car park were endorsed by a heritage officer and trees on the street frontage will be retained,” the spokeswoman said.
Action group member David Nethercote said the projected cost of the project outweighed the benefit.
“We don’t need it and we don’t want it,” he said.
“The projected cost is more than $3.3 million to produce an additional 52 car park spots at roughly $64,000 each,” he said.
“If the loss of parking spaces in Argyle and Oxley Streets due to the council's enhancements are accounted for, then projected cost per space is more than $80,000.”
A council spokeswoman said the car park would be built from developer contributions.
Action group vice president Robert Wheeler said the group also had concerns for resident safety.