Submission re Draft DCP for Gladesville – Hunters Hill planning controls
Please scroll down for our submission to Hunters Hill Council regarding the Draft DCP amendments, to controls in Gladesville.
If you would like to make your own submission, please email council with your thoughts – agreeing or disagreeing with our submission, raising other issues, or whatever you believe.
The list below can be copied into your mail program.
In other news, it was great to see 23 submission to IPART regarding amalgamation – addressing Hunters Hill’s proposal. Well done everyone! There were 5 addressing Ryde, and none addressing Lane Cove’s submission. There may be some distortion in the split between Ryde and Hunters Hill because the email we sent had a link to the Hunters Hill page, for the joint submission with Ryde. It could have been either, as the submissions were joint and same, but IPART required the submission to identify a particular Council.
You can see the media release from IPART here.
Next DA for GSV
Also in other news, the Developer will be holding drop-in sessions for the next DA concept at the GSV site. These will be on 6-8pm on Thursday 13th August and Monday 17th August.
Below is our submission re the Draft DCP
Appreciation for Quality of DRAFT DCP
We thank Hunters Hill Council and Place Partners for the work undertaken to date, and acknowledge the superior aspirations of this planning instrument over both of the DCP’s which were adopted by Hunters Hill Council in 2010, particularly relating to the key site (Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GSV) and surrounds) in Gladesville.
We believe that this quality of work should be extended to the entire required scope of this review, including parking, traffic management, and specific heritage protections. We also believe that the Planning Instrument should be re-formatted in a manner as to allow the reader to easily distinguish controls that are actually of consequence to development assessment, from explanatory & supporting information. We are concerned with the lack of specific / numerical controls against which a development application will be assessed.
A number of proposed amendments are welcomed, including:
· The increased requirement for activated street frontages,
· The classifications of streets and associated definitions of controls (as an approach), and
· The progressive setback & height pattern as articulated on page 19. The diagram at the bottom of page 19, which seeks to visually demonstrate the setback and height patterns, is not visually consistent with the actual controls as set out on pages 23-24 and 26-27, but gives rise to a number of issues, being:
a) The importance of giving prominence (in the document) to the actual controls, as distinct from the broader concepts underpinning them,
b) The value of a review of the Local Environmental Plan 2012, which should consider the merit of defining a transition as presented on page 19 to the building height controls surrounding the Gladesville key site, and
c) Ensuring that the controls defined in the DCP actually align with the desired transition articulated on page 19.
Areas not yet addressed
We note with disappointment that the draft DCP amendments are lacking in these key areas:
· Traffic flows and management, as were defined (albeit not necessarily supported) in the 2010 DCPs (the latter being consolidated in 2013). The inevitable traffic generation arising from increased commercial floor-space and residential dwellings in the Gladesville key site, let alone taken cumulatively with other developments in Gladesville under both the Hunters Hill Municipality & City of Ryde, require traffic management to be considered. Any requirement for a key site over a certain size to have direct vehicular access to Victoria Road must be considered and dealt with, as well as how residential streets may be expected to manage additional traffic loads associated with developments that are invited under the Local Environment Plan 2012.
· Parking is a critical issue to local residents, businesses, staff, and customers alike. The success of Gladesville as a service centre to the broader Hunters Hill Municipality does depend, in some part, on the ability for those farther than walking distance from the retail/commercial precinct to access and conveniently park in the vicinity of shops. Parking was a key issue identified in the 270+ submissions received in response to the Development Application (2013-1036) lodged for redevelopment of the site.
· Heritage protections. The modified Draft DCP removes the explicit controls and protections stipulated in the existing Hunters Hill Council 2013 DCP for significant Heritage items. Several items of important cultural and heritage significance exist within the precinct of the key site, the amenity of which should be articulated and protected in the new DCP. Specifically the property “Dunham house” at 2 Massey Street, which was previously singled out for consideration in respect of height impact from any redevelopment, has been totally removed. Further, no consideration has been offered to articulate protections for the latest addition to the list of Local Heritage items, being the building at 10 Cowell St.
Scope of the engagement
Page 34 makes reference to the parking controls defined in Chapter 5 of the existing DCP. We believe that it is remiss not to consider the adequacy of parking controls defined broadly for the entire municipality. The Future Gladesville initiative arose from requests to revisit the DCP as applying to Gladesville, particularly the key site, informed by 270+ submissions in response to the Development Application (2013-1036 for GSV) that largely fitted the DCP controls. Parking was identified as an issue.
Council’s request for Expressions of Interest for the DCP review engagement, contained in Council Meeting 4360 (10 June 2014) identified below (extract) as part of the project (highlighting added):
2. A Public Education/Communication Campaign using innovative engagement techniques. This will cover but not necessarily be limited to the following information:
• The background behind increased densities in Gladesville. The scope of influence available to the public.
• How increased densities will impact on amenity in the area: noise, service facilities, heritage buildings, parking and traffic volumes.
We welcome the $80K investment to create a higher quality DCP, which recognises the importance of, and better balances, community amenity against developer objectives. We believe that it would be a critical weakness in an otherwise excellent endeavour, not to address the parking, traffic, and heritage details as discussed above.
Hunters Hill Council is bound by Option agreements to sell (at the will of the developer, unilaterally) the at-grade car park at 4-6 Cowell Street, which provides 30 car parking spaces that benefit the retail and commercial precinct of Gladesville by accommodating visitors. The loss of these parking spaces will be a direct loss to the community. Inevitable development at the Coulter Steet site, near the Gladesville RSL club, will change the parking provided for community benefit at that large open car-park also.
Cumulatively, an enormous increase in floor-space and numbers of dwellings is in progress across by the ‘Ryde and Hunters Hill sides’ of Gladesville, driven by the Local Environmental Plans of each Council.
The importance of parking, and of traffic management, cannot be overstated.
The Opportunity: Fit For The Future and the Joint Regional Authority (JRA)
While these proposed amendments to the DCP were being prepared, Hunters Hill and Ryde (as well as Lane Cove) Councils were spending and planning further expenditure exceeding of $100,000 (combined if not individually) on consultants, advertising, lobbying, and similar – of ratepayers’ money representing to the NSW government that amalgamation is not warranted and that cooperative cross-municipality coordinate, delivering economies of scale and superior management, with unanimous agreement, is a plausible alternative.
Since the lodgment of DA 2013-1036 (for GSV) in 2013 we have asked for an integrated parking and traffic study across Ryde and Hunters Hill sides of Gladesville, to consider the cumulative impact of development. We have not seen such a study.
If the JRA model is to be taken seriously, we hope to see that 2 member Councils can work cooperatively in a bilateral, simple, sensible engagement to deliver a study which considers the Building Heights and Floor-Space-Ratios of the Local Environmental Plans, and consequential impact on traffic loads and demand for parking.
Format & Content of the Draft DCP document
Section 79c (3A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 states, in relation to Evaluation of Development Applications and the applicability of DCPs (highlighting added):
“If a development control plan contains provisions that relate to the development that is the subject of a development application, the consent authority:
(a) if those provisions set standards with respect to an aspect of the development and the development application complies with those standards—is not to require more onerous standards with respect to that aspect of the development, and
(b) if those provisions set standards with respect to an aspect of the development and the development application does not comply with those standards—is to be flexible in applying those provisions and allow reasonable alternative solutions that achieve the objects of those standards for dealing with that aspect of the development, and
(c) may consider those provisions only in connection with the assessment of that development application.”
We believe that the subsection above creates the consequence that:
· If a DCP codifies a control regarding an aspect of a development and an applicant’s proposed development meets it, then an applicant should expect that their DA is satisfactory in that regard,
· If a DCP does not codify (numerically, or similarly objectively but not subjectively) a control, then it will be extremely difficult to succeed in an argument that it fails,
· If a DA doesn’t meet the requirements of the DCP the consent authority is expected to take an accommodating view of the failure, and
· For a control to be of value to the community, it must be codified at the expected standard (or greater), for the control to be expected to be effective.
It would seem to be a mistake to expect that statements of objectives or subjective expressions of the performance standard in the DCP will be sufficient to safeguard community objectives when a DA is assessed.
Accordingly, we look for the DCP to:
1) ensure that the performance standard of each control that is represented to be important, is codified in a numerical or non-subjective manner, and
2) that the actual controls which are defined performance standards (that an application should meet) are brought forward in the DCP so that the reader may clearly distinguish the actual controls from the supporting information, objectives, discussion, or other information which is beneficial but should not be confused as actual controls.
We welcome the quality of the DCP, thus far, but look forward to seeing the full proposal.
Controls dealing with traffic management, parking, and heritage controls are critical to this DCP delivering against the requirement of the engagement, which is particularly clear when viewed in context.
If the Joint Regional Authority model is to be taken seriously as a superior alternative to amalgamation, this is an opportunity for Hunters Hill (and Ryde) Council(s) to show how bilateral cooperation is achievable and that consensus decision-making and commitment to strategic planning initiatives is actually plausible.