GSV redevelopment meeting + Boarding house site visit by Commissioner

* GSV meeting at Hunters Hill Council building to be held 27th February
* Boarding house at 126 Victoria Rd, LEC on-site meeting was held 12th February

Hi Everyone,

SAVE THE DATE – Meeting about Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GSV) redevelopment

Please diarise: Tuesday 27th February from 6:30pm at Hunters Hill council building – 22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill. There will be a meeting held, to provide information to interested parties.

We are disappointed that the community has not been updated on the last 12-18 months of activity, and not given an opportunity to learn about the complexities of the planning system where the Council and state government appointed bodies play different roles in different situations, as was intended to happen at the meeting resolved by Hunters Hill Council to be held initially before Christmas, and then (sensibly) deferred to the new year. The meeting will now occur part way through the exhibition period, so everyone will be trying to understand the planning system and context of the application, as well as the details of the proposal itself, and then get organised to make submissions – within a tighter timeline.

The consultation period for the developer’s intended change to allow extra height and floor-space-ratio at the GSV site runs from 21st February until closing date for submissions – being 20th March.

We will provide more information when we are able, but the important point is to pleasesave the date for that meeting, and let friends know about it – if they are concerned about over-development in Gladesville. This is one development (or intended increase in development from 10 to 16/18 storeys) where we hope that public attention can create a less-worse outcome. It will not always be possible to influence the scale of development, understanding that most of the 5-6 storey development on Victoria Road will continue – because the planning controls allow it on most sites.

126 Victoria Rd redevelopment: Boarding House site visit by LEC Commissioner and meeting

Yesterday at 9:30 am on Monday 12th February, a Commissioner from the Land and Environment Court attended the site of the proposed redevelopment and received presentations from concerned residents.

Apart from representatives of the applicant, of Council, and the Court, there were about 12-15 people present, presumably concerned members of the community. That’s quite a good turn-out considering most people have to be at work at that time. Approximately 6 presentations were given, generally from residents, some immediate neighbours and others from streets away, with key concerns being adequacy of parking (including cumulative impact on street parking) and features of the application including the reliance on the vehicle lift/turning disc to allow access to the lower parking floor. The site only offers 12 car parking spaces for 58 rooms, and there was concern that fear of mechanical failure could discourage residents from using the lower parking level. There was also some concern or confusion about whether the project deserves special consideration as an affordable housing initiative, but as far as we could tell it is simply a normal commercial project but to create smaller living spaces than normal multi-unit dwellings – which is not surprising given the high cost per square meter as housing has become so expensive in Sydney. The logic of assuming a low rate of vehicle ownership was challenged.

Along with other valid comments, the following extracts from Gladesville resident Warren Bell’s presentation are representative of the concerns and views expressed, broadly.

“However, the lack of an on-site manager’s residence and the apparent lack of any specialised facilities or support suggest that this proposal is for a boarding house open to any potential resident including those who own a motor vehicle.

The ABS Motor Vehicle Census, Australia 9309.0 dated 31 January 2015 recorded that in NSW the number of motor vehicles registered per 1000 population was 696 or 69.6%. This suggests that the 116 residents proposed could generate the need for parking for 80 additional vehicles of which only 12 are provided for within the building.”

“This development takes the opportunity of revenues through the provision high density accommodation without taking responsibility for the impact on the local traffic and parking which is already under significant stress.”

We are grateful to Ryde Council for refusing the initial application, which is why the matter has progressed to the Land and Environment Court. As Gladesville residents well know, there is a lot of redevelopment in progress and coming – adding more residents, cars, and parking demand to every street – across two different Council areas so there is no single authority responsible for ensuring that the end result leaves Gladesville functional. Ryde Council’s rejection of the proposal was a welcome protection, where the cumulative impact of developments will intensify problems created by any one project.

From the team at Gladesville Community Group