Open letter to HHC 8th November 2013

8 November 2013

To: Mayor Richard Quinn, Clr and Deputy Mayor Meredith Sheil,Clr Justine McLaughin, Clr Zac Miles, Clr Peter Astridge, Clr Mark Bennett, Clr Gary Bird

Re: DCP for Gladesville Village Centre

We believe there is a clear call from the Community for our Council to protect the long-term interests of the residents and others with interest in this municipality.

The expectation that our Council should safeguard against poor quality development goes beyond the treatment of DA 2013-1036 for the redevelopment of Gladesville Shoppping Village (lodged in June 2013), and extends to the planning instruments under the control of Council. Specifically, we believe Council can do more to safeguard the quality of design that could be approved for this site, by improving the Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Gladesville Village Centre.

Amongst other impacts, the 2013 DCP removed the requirement for setbacks to Cowell and Flagstaff Streets, previously required under the 2010 DCP to be 5 metres with landscaping requirements, and reduced the parking requirement expressed as spaces per sqm of retail floor area. The writing of option instruments that subject our Council to the will of a developer, enabling the developer to acquire and demolish 10 Cowell St, is highly controversial. Given Council’s financial interest being linked to the commercial viability of this development, such actions must be viewed with concern, as the actions are contrary to the Objectives of the DCP and LEP, and the commitment to Heritage, which is often expressed. Actions are what count, and the adoption of any given DCP is an action of significant consequence in the planning and approval process.

Accordingly, we ask that Concillors i) take immediate action to urgently adopt a DCP for the Gladesville Village Centre which restores the superior requirements of the 2010 DCP, removing any validity that the 2013 DCP (adopted AFTER the lodgement of this DA) may have in assessment for DA 2013-1036.

Further, we call for Councillors to ii) task Architectus with improving the DCP, as was undertaken in respect of Hunters Hill Village. Ensuring quality of design and satisfaction of the Objectives of the DCP and the LEP should not be left to the subjective judgement of the Consent Authority of the day, but should be enshrined in planning instruments that codify and explicitly require that the quality of design that this site should attract, are achieved. The preservation of Number 10 Cowell St is clearly an issue which receives great public support, and must be addressed adequately by Council given the previous failure to accept recommendation for Heritage Listing, or to formally refuse.

It is imperative that, at this time when the State Government is seeking to reduce the power of Local Governments in Planning, Hunters Hill Council demonstrates its relevance and value to the local Community.


Russell Young (                   Richard Li (GSV Action Group)