Planning Proposal for Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ not supported by Hunters Hill Council

Hi Everyone,

Hunters Hill Council votes not to support the Planning Proposal for Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’

At last night’s General Meeting of Hunters Hill Council the first of two Options recommended by Architectus (Council’s consultant) was carried.

Architectus, has been engaged to assess the merit of the Planning Proposal in which the owner of Gladesville Shopping Village seeks to increase the maximum height control to 58m (16 storeys) and the floor-space-ratio to 3.4 (from 2.3 and 2.7 at various points on the site), and to make recommendations to Council as to how Council might treat the Proposal. The two options they recommended were to a) not support the Planning Proposal in submission to the state government, or b) give the applicant more time to provide information to address a list of outstanding issues – all of which were understood to have already had clarification requested.

All Councillors voted not to support the Planning Proposal, except Councillor Astridge. This is surprising given Councillor Astridge’s platform when seeking election in 2012, including “No selling of community owned land to developers” – see here

Where to from here?

The NSW Department of Planning allows an applicant seeking a spot amendment to the Local Environmental Plan (like the one contemplated at Council last night) to take their Planning Proposal directly to the state government, without local council support. The state government can approve the Proposal without local council support, and we expect that to be the applicant’s ultimate intention.

What do we think might happen?

From the plans exhibited, the applicant expects to build across the site where the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St stands (as well as the at-grade open car-park further up Cowell St, and land on Massey St).

The applicant will take legal ownership of the timber cottage at 10 Cowell Street on 4th April, having been sold it by Hunters Hill Council. This disposal surprised local residents and other community members alike as it was not subject to any public consultation before the agreements were entered into, and there was no public or competitive tender for the sale. The disposal was also arranged before Council decided whether to apply the heritage listing to the property, an issue which was outstanding since before the agreements were entered into to facilitate the sale. Eventually, Council did resolve to grant heritage protection, but when the listing was amended in the Local Environmental Plan the property’s curtilage was excluded – despite no such limit being applied to any other heritage listing by Hunters Hill Council and no such limit to the listing in the motion approved by Council. You can read more about that here

We expect that the developer will pursue approval from the NSW state government to build higher and build even more units than the planning instruments currently permit – approx 180 just on this expanded GSV site, apart from all the other new unit blocks being build in Gladesville. We expect that the developer will want to use the limit on the heritage listing to build over the site where the timber cottage stands at 10 Cowell St, given that they will own it from 4th April after Hunters Hill Council sold it to them.

The resolution not to support the Planning Proposal last night is welcome, but it stands apart from a series of events and actions in the management of the Gladesville Shopping Village site and adjacent (until now) public land, by Hunters Hill Council that we don’t believe reflect the expectations of the community. But, to be clear: we do not expect or claim that the actions of Hunters Hill Council, staff or elected Councillors, have been illegal.

GSV Planning Proposal + RSL Youth Club

Hunters Hill Council’s first actions regarding Planning Proposal make Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ 16 storeys high (allowing 250 units)
+ Gladesville RSL Youth Club DA
+ 230 Victoria Rd DA


Hi Everyone,

Gladesville Shopping Village update – Planning Proposal 16 storeys

At tonight (Tuesday’s) meeting Hunters Hill Council will consider the Planning Proposal from the owner of Gladesville Shopping Village, seeking a spot amendment to the Local Environmental Plan to allow them to build up to 58m (16 storeys), and increase the floor-space-ratio (FSR, which is a measure of bulk because it is the ratio of how much area a building can create, expressed as a multiple of the site footprint at ground level) from 2.3 and 2.7 at different points of the site, to 3.4 across the entire site.

The development site now includes the ‘at-grade’ car park at 4-6 Cowell St, and the timber cottage at 10 Cowell St, after the developer exercised its Option to acquire these properties from the public, settling 4th April 2016. 10 Cowell St only recently received its heritage listing after Hunters Hill finally concluded in 2015, the process of heritage listing public properties which commenced in 2012. 10 Cowell Street’s heritage listing was deferred in 2012, and when its heritage listing was included in the amendments to the Local Environmental Plan made in 2015, the curtilage was specifically excluded – despite the resolution of Council not directing such a limit to the listing, and Council not excluding curtilage on ANY other heritage listing.

Pages 19 – 78 of the Council’s business papers for the meeting on Tuesday 29th March deal with the Planning Proposal here

The short version is that the recommendation, for Councillors to vote on, is to either i) not support the applicant’s Planning Proposal, or ii) wait for the applicant to give more information before Council decide what it thinks of the Planning Proposal.

We expect to be able to bring your more information about this Planning Proposal and Hunters Hill Council over coming weeks and months.

Gladesville RSL Youth Club redevelopment

After the previous attempt to jointly develop the Coulter St car park and Youth Club sites owned by Ryde Council and Gladesville RSL (respectively) was deferred and not resurrected, Gladesville RSL is redeveloping the Youth Club site as a stand-alone project.

From our observation, the seniors living facility above an improved youth club (providing training facilities for gymnastics, martial arts, etc) appears to be quite a responsible and community-friendly development (FOR THE HEIGHT AND SIZE). Gladesville RSL has engaged in public exhibition sessions and a number of expected community concerns (vehicular access, congestion, parking, shadowing, bulk of the built form, etc) seem to have been considered in planning the development for the site.

The site is zoned by Council planning instruments to allow a 33m high building, so although the size may be of concern to many we do not expect it to prohibit approval from the consent authority – the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP). It is not that we do not sympathise with concerns about height and scale, but from what we learned in 2013 after the GSV DA was lodged we do not expect community responses to limit approval of a development to a constraint below the LEP entitlement. To date, a number of submissions have been made, primarily focussing on pedestrian safety during construction.

To add your voice make your submission here: