Answer to good Question + Ryde Council response to NSW Government’s new planning controls + Graffiti on hoardings

Hi Everyone,

Header ImageYou may have noticed some graffiti on the construction site hoardings in Gladesville. Without condoning the graffiti, we have copied some pictures of it as header image for this email because we think it is a sign of community sentiment that could be held by many others – who might not actually paint it. From what we hear and observe, there is real concern amongst locals about this high rate of development.

Clarification by answering question we received

We received the following question from a subscriber. It is an excellent question, which is why we have distributed this answer to all subscribers.
My question relates to this statement from this newsletter: ‘Until now, the focus from both Councils has been on re-zoning Gladesville for high-density development.’.
I’m wondering, is this a statement of fact, based on Councils’ clearly stated objectives, or is it sarcastic in nature, reflecting on the reality of what’s actually happening around us and which isn’t openly acknowledged by the Councils?
If the former, then this is news to me and I’d like to find out more information. Who decided this? When? Why? What is the end goal; another Chatswood?
Thank you for the excellent question, which may be shared by others, so we provide this answer to the whole mailing list.
The use of the word “focus”
The reference to the focus being on redevelopment is reference to the lack of equivalent investment in planning to manage the inevitable consequences. We meant focus in terms of the lack of balance in efforts. We we would have preferred the amendment to Local Environmental Plans (LEP’s, which control building height and bulk) to be accompanied by revised master plans and timely development of Development Control Plans from both Councils, regulating aesthetic and other impacts of the developments as well as planning for investment in infrastructure and services, and communication of these plans to the public – for reassurance.
Why the rezoning for redevelopment

Both Councils have been required by the NSW government to amend LEP’s to create more dwellings. We acknowledge that the NSW government drove the creation of the new LEP’s in each Council, adding dwelling numbers in each municipality.

The Councils chose where to rezone to accommodate the dwelling targets.

Unfortunately we don’t have detailed information at hand about exactly how and when the NSW government drove the creation of those new LEP’s, but it has often been discussed and we accept that it was as claimed – driven by NSW government.

Council-by-Council: City of Ryde
Ryde has a larger footprint and other suburbs within its Local Government Area (LGA) have also been targeted for high levels of development. This is easily recognisable when considering areas such as Meadowbank and Macquarie Park.
It has not concentrated all of its development in Gladesville. However, we would like to have seen City of Ryde Council develop and communicate plans to invest in assets and services as described above.
Council-by-Council: Hunters Hill Council
Hunters Hill Council has rezoned Gladesville to take the overwhelming majority of new dwellings in it’s LGA. Given the proximity to Victoria Rd public transport services, some focus is to be expected – to some degree. However, there is a question of balance, about whether too much development is concentrated here vs other areas which also have good public transport links – most notably the Hunters Hill overpass area and along other main roads also served well by buses.
Similarly, we would like to have seen Hunters Hill Council develop and communicate plans to invest in assets and services as described above.
Also, Hunters Hill Council undertook actions during the 2008-2012 and 2012-2017 terms, which may exacerbate rather than mitigating the impact. We understand that the ‘Newbold Report’ and DCP review process was used to inform amendment to the Development Control Plan (DCP) for Gladesville in 2009 – a year in which TWO DCPs were made. The focus was to make the controls applicable to the GS’V’ site more development friendly.
At the very end of the 2008 – 2012 term, Hunters Hill Council deferred heritage listing of 10 Cowell St Gladesville (after exhibiting the draft LEP with heritage listing included). Council did not decide that 10 Cowell St Gladesville wasn’t worth heritage listing (expert recommendation clearly identified that it should have received such protection) – but apparently ran out of time to decide that – before finalising the 2012 LEP (at the end of the 2008-2012 Council term).
Then, at the start of the 2012-2017 term, instead of finalising the outstanding question about heritage listing, Council voluntarily entered into Option Deeds (like contracts) for the disposal of 10 Cowell St Gladesville as well as other public assets adjacent to the GS’V’ development site. That action was authorised at the second meeting of the 2012-2017 Council term, at which time new Councillors must be expected to be ‘learning the ropes’ and looking to more experienced peers for guidance.
Although ‘new’ Councillors of the 2012-2017 term may not have fully understood the history of the deferred heritage listing, not having served on Council during time when it occurred, there were Councillors and senior staff who carried across from the 2008-2012 term. Further, a transaction as significant as disposal of public land for ~$9.5m should have attracted sufficient attention that the combination of those events should not have been ‘unknown’ in a coordinated sense. Eventually, in 2016, a weaker heritage listing was applied but it was the first in Hunters Hill municipality which excludes its curtilage, and that limitation was not included in the Davies (heritage expert) recommendation. We believe that the exclusion of curtilage was introduced not to limit the aspiring developer, having just sold our previously-public asset to them.
You can read more about the treatment of the 10 Cowell St Gladesville heritage listing and disposal at
Publicly owned heritage assets are easier and ‘fairer’ to protect, in the sense that applying restrictions to public assets does not concentrate the financial impact of restricting actions of the site owner – to a private individual – but rather is borne by the whole community – just as the whole community benefits from amenity of its continued existence.

We are not alone in our view that we should expect better from Hunters Hill Council, which claims to be a champion of heritage. You can read more about the disappointment with Hunters Hill Council’s handling of the Heritage listing and the disposal of 10 Cowell St Gladesville, which occurred alongside rezoning of Gladesville for a high level of redevelopment, at:

We hope that this additional information provides better understanding about what was meant in our original comment.

Ryde Council response to NSW Government new planning controls – Medium Density Housing Code

Please also find information from NSW Government and Ryde Council’s response, which we have just received, at the link below:

From the Committee of Gladesville Community Group Inc.

Solve tomorrow’s problems: Traffic and Parking

Hi Everyone,

Councillors Zac Miles and Ross Williams successfully moved a Motion at the Hunters Hill Council meeting on 12th March to develop a long overdue Master Plan that is consistent with the current planning controls.

The current planning controls allow so much more development along the Victoria Rd corridor than was contemplated when the last Master Plan was developed in 2005. We gratefully welcome that initiative. That Motion was, ultimately, supported unanimously by all Councillors of Hunters Hill when it was voted upon.

Until now, the focus from both Councils has been on re-zoning Gladesville for high-density development. Ryde Council has taken the lead on works that provide some benefit, as is evident if you look at the pavements on either side of Victoria Road and the current place-making initiative for Coulter Street.

Re-zoning Gladesville for high density development and ‘walking away’ as if the job is done, and blaming the state government, is not good enough. The effort needs to be made to invest to mitigate the problems which will come with high density. This investment is made more difficult by the boundary dividing Gladesville between two Councils.

We need our Councils to rise to the challenges created by the state government’s policies of forcing additional dwellings into each Local Government Area, by planning to develop infrastructure and services to cope with the increased population. That needs to happen in Gladesville because if we only get the development and don’t benefit from planning and investment, the end result will be worse for residents, worse for businesses, worse for visitors, worse for everyone – than it HAS to be.

In that spirit, we are requesting that Councillors at both Ryde and Hunters Hill Council act now to solve identifiable problems which are inevitable.

This email has been sent to all Councillors in both Councils, as well as our mailing list, and we’re hoping that there will be support from Councillors on both sides to move Motions at the next meeting of their respective Councils – to support these actions.

The problems described below real problems and they will not solve themselves. Councils cannot expect to wake up one morning and find that the “cross-border municipal infrastructure and services fairy” has magically dealt with them.

We need our Councillors to demonstrate a greater sense of leadership and commitment to solving problems, particularly those which require investment in collaboration. We are calling on the current Councillors to continue showing leadership to fix problems, as Councillors Zac Miles and Ross Williams did recently at Hunters Hill.


1) Resourcing and deliberate focus on boundary interfaces

1.1) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolve to dedicate sufficient resources to ensure that adequate planning and management occurs where areas of high density residential or where commercial activity exists at the boundary between Ryde and Hunters Hill Council’s Local Government Areas (LGA’s). Such areas include Gladesville, Boronia Park, and may include smaller groups of shops such as those on Pittwater Road between Harvard and Venus Streets.

1.2) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council nominate a staff member or agree contribution for a shared staff member (full or partial load) to coordinate information flow between specialist teams of each Council, to ensure that activities are undertaken collaboratively where applicable. Such activities should include (but not be limited to): notification of Development Applications, Planning Proposals, or other planning and assessment initiatives; notification and consultation about place-making initiatives, ground surface and streetscape management, and similar; provision of services; and routine management of parking and traffic. The protocol should be activated when the impact of one Council’s actions at or near the municipal boundary is reasonably expected to affect residents, businesses, landowners, students, or other stakeholders across the boundary. Without delaying proper progress, the relevant specialist staff of that Council should provide earliest possibly notice to the liaison officer or agreed resource, to then communicate to their equivalent specialist staff. The would enable the ‘other’ Council to communicate to it’s residents and stakeholders and, where appropriate, contribute to or participate in that activity of the initiating Council.

2) Traffic modelling – Gladesville

2.1) That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolves to contribute appropriately to engage a suitable consultant to develop a comprehensive traffic model informed by the Local Environmental Plans (LEP’s) of each Council. The model should realistically assume development to the maxima of the each Council’s LEP, in height and floor-space-ratio (bulk) – which can be translated into dwelling numbers using benchmark references. With the derived number of dwellings and application of Development Control Plan (DCP) ratios for parking provision, the model should reasonably accurately inform traffic generation which will arise from existing planning controls.

2.2) For the first time since the LEPs were amended to allow so much development in Gladesville, stakeholders in the Gladesville area should have reference to a cumulative and integrated model for traffic management, and the outputs including traffic flows should be prescribed and included in master planning, development of planning instruments, and made available for other purposes.

2.3) That the traffic consultant who is engaged to develop such a model should deliver a comprehensive report, including assumptions and detailed outputs including optimal traffic flows, which must be made available to the public.

3) Parking management – Gladesville

That, contingent upon reciprocal agreement by the ‘other Council’, the Council resolves to engage a consultant to evaluate the adequacy of parking supply for Gladesville, on an integrated basis across both sides of the municipal boundary.

3.1) The model should be informed by the Local Environmental Plans (LEP) of each Council. The model should realistically assume development to the maxima of each Council’s LEP, in height and floor-space-ratio (bulk) which can be translated into dwelling numbers using benchmark references.

3.2) Subject to improved assumptions or methodology under professional guidance by the consultant, the model should assume the existing pattern of retail usage at ground level, residential properties above, and creation of space for commercial use at the existing rate in Development Applications for sites in Gladesville. With the derived number of dwellings and application of Development Control Plan (DCP) ratios for parking provision, the model should reasonably accurately inform any shortfall of parking spaces to be created by complying with DCP ratios, vs expected parking demand, and derive resultant excess parking demand (overflow).

3.3) The model should reasonably accurately describe the demand for parking spaces required by staff of retail and or commercial enterprises to operate in Gladesville. The model should address requirements for customers, shoppers, diners, parents dropping off or picking up school children, and other users. It should provide estimates of the foreseeable level and pattern of demand for parking spaces for relatively short durations (peak periods).

3.4) The model should reasonably accurately define gaps where supply is expected to be insufficient for demand, which would then enable both City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils to develop integrated strategies to meet foreseeable demand. Such data may inform the business case for capital investment to develop multi-storey car-park(s). Coulter St and Signal Hill (3/3A Cowell St) car-parks are both sites which may be considered, among others. Proper consideration of the requirement or business case for development of mutli-storey car park(s) serving Gladesville will require collaboration by both City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils.

3.5) The collaborative effort above should support the development and management of cost and/or revenue sharing arrangement(s) between City of Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils as appropriate*. The problems faced by Gladesville are shared between both Councils, and must be solved collaboratively. Solving a shared problem but should not attract financial penalty for being the responsible council that acts to solve it.

3.6) The collaborative effort above should support the development and management of various parking schemes which may be tailored to time-of-day based demand, including: parking passes which may be available for sale to businesses, residents, etc; casual paid parking; casual free parking for limited duration; and commuter parking to support the use of public transport (opal car park or otherwise). Such solutions may also look to providing additional/improved commuter parking at locations outside the commercial centre of Gladesville, such as the car park at the corner of Victoria Rd and Crown St (to Henley).

3.7) That the consultant who is engaged to develop such a model should deliver a comprehensive report, including assumptions and detailed outputs, which must be made available to the public.

* For example, given the loss of parking supply to be expected when Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GSV) is redeveloped, it may be appropriate to expedite planning and development of a muti-storey car park at the Coulter St location for construction to commence when the RSL youth club development is completed. Signal Hill might also be designated for a multi-storey car-park when an integrated solution is designed to meet Gladesville’s needs, but it may be preferable to avoid redevelopment of the Signal Hill car park while the GS’V’ is occurring, reducing parking supply and increasing demand. The Council that makes the required investment should not be required to subsidise the ‘other Council’, but rather this should be an initiative of collaboration to solve what is a highly foreseeable problem, with the financial impact shared appropriately.

Boarding houses (a big deal) + our new website

Hi Everyone,

You might recall that there have been 2 x DA’s for boarding houses lodged in recent months. One at 126 Victoria Rd, Gladesville (in Ryde municipality) and one at 2 Flagstaff St, Gladesville (in Hunters Hill Municipality).

Residents and commentators have expressed a number of valid concerns about these new boarding house DA’s, and one of the most obvious is that of parking. The current parking requirements are very low, and this is now the subject of public consultation by NSW Planning.

You can read more about that consultation at the link below, and we encourage you to HAVE YOUR SAY. A quick, simple submission is better than nothing.

Helpful information on boarding houses

You can read more from the Hunters Hill Trust, and a Sydney Morning Herald article, at the links below:

2 Flagstaff St, Gladesville boarding house DA

HHT submission re 2 Flagstaff St, Gladesville boarding house DA

The resurgence of Boarding Houses

SMH article

Gladesville Community Group updated website

Out of date for a few years, the website has now been revised and turned into a blog-style site. We hope you find it useful.

From the team at Gladesville Community Group (Inc).