Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ redevelopment
If you’ve been wondering what’s happening with the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GSV) redevelopment during 2017, so have we!
On the evening of Monday 13th November 2017, Russell Young (of Gladesville Community Group) attended the Hunters Hill Council meeting and requested that Hunters Hill Council engage with the local community, by 1) educating the local community about the planning process being used by the applicant (owner of GSV) to have the planning controls amended to allow the GSV site to be increased to allow approximately 100 more flats (280 now intended, compared to 180 in the 2013 Development Application), and the towers to go up to ~18 storeys instead of ~10 – currently permitted by the Local Environmental Plan; and 2) inform the local community about actions of the Applicant and the Council, so far – so we understand what is going on.
It is hoped that, with a new Council, may come a new era of greater engagement with the community and greater transparency.
We appreciate that Councillors were supportive, and the initial plan was to hold an information meeting before the end of 2017, so that the community could be advised about the process being used to seek developer-friendly changes to the planning controls, and be updated about actions to date.
On Monday 27th November Russell Young was advised by Mr Steve Kourepis (Group Manager – Development and Regulatory Control) that information for which Council staff have been waiting is expected to be received from the Applicant/Developer around 12th December, which was the intended timing of the information meeting – yet to be scheduled and advertised. Russell Young attended the Council meeting on the evening of Monday 27th November, requesting that the information meeting be deferred because it is not desirable that:
a) such a meeting be held too close to Christmas (when many people are away or preoccupied),
b) such a meeting be held with too short a notice period, and/or
c) such a meeting be held exactly when critical information is being received – making it very difficult for the community to separate fact from expectation/assumption.
Russell requested that Council provide written information that can be circulated to members of the community, including (~135) subscribers to this mailing list, so that people can start to understand the planning process, and actions of the Developer and of the Council until this point.
On Tuesday 5th December we were advised that a report will be prepared for the Council Meeting to be held Monday 11th December, and that report will be available on Council’s website on Friday 8th December.
It is clear that there has been a great deal of activity during 2017.
The following questions have been asked of Council:
1) Will you please publish to Council’s website all communication (and reports received or prepared) between Hunters Hill Council and other parties, including the applicant/developer, and state government authorities and panels involved in the assessing the application (past and future). Approximately 290 submissions were made in response to the Development Application lodged for the site in 2013. With so many people interested in this site, the lack of information provided to us through 2017 is disappointing, and it is reasonable to expect that many people are interested to see what Council has communicated on behalf of the the public, especially since Council’s involvement is complicated by having sold public land to the developer and having responsibility for managing heritage protection of 10 Cowell Street – which was a publicly owned asset until its disposal by Council in 2016.
2) During 2016 and 2017 Hunters Hill Council spent a significant amount of rate-payers money fighting amalgamation. Council was successful on a legal challenge, but during the campaign it was frequently claimed to be desirable because an independent Hunters Hill Council is critical to the protection of heritage and local character of the municipality. Standing up for locally developed planning instruments (Local Environmental Plan limiting heights and bulk of buildings) is a very important part of that protection of local character. Why is Hunters Hill Council supporting the applicant’s attempt to circumvent locally developed planning instruments with its Planning Proposal, by planning the relocation of the timber cottage at 10 Cowell Street on to land owned by Council – which is not in the vicinity of its present location? The applicant wants the LEP changed, so why is the Local Council cooperating to accommodate ANY condition imposed in the Gateway Determination, without being satisfied that it is in the LOCAL public interest to allow the applicant to build ~18 storeys on the GSV site, adding EVEN MORE flats to the Gladesville area which is quickly becoming over-developed with 5-6 storey blocks of flats along most of the Victoria Rd corridor?
We will keep you updated about response(s) received.
Over-development of Gladesville and (how) will Hunters Hill Council help?
We have received a number of emails and frequently see comments on social media from members of the local community who are concerned about the over-development starting to hit Victoria Rd, Gladesville.
The development seen, so far, is only the tip of the iceberg. \
It is realistic to expect that developers will build buildings to the height and bulk (floor space ratio) permitted in the Local Environmental Plans (LEP) – as they are permitted by legislation (EP&A Act). The heights are generally 5-6 storeys for most buildings on both the Ryde and Hunters Hill Council sides of Victoria Road, through the Gladesville town centre and up as far as Monash Road.
Except where an applicant is seeking to over-develop a site beyond the (height and bulk) controls of the LEP (as IS the actual case with the GSV redevelopment and this Planning Proposal seeking to increase permissible height and bulk), perhaps the more relevant question to ask now becoming: What are our Councils going to do to help?
Hunters Hill Council’s delegation of authority to the former Mayor and the General Manager (current and at the time) of Hunters Hill Council, authorising them to dispose of the public land in Cowell and Massey Streets – (to the owner of the shopping centre without public tender) occurred in 2012. For at least 5 years now, Hunters Hill Council has been on notice that the ~$9.5m cash windfall from disposal of public land was foreseeable.
In addition to the proceeds from sale of public land, there are ‘section 94 contributions’ (reference to section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) titled “Contribution towards provision or improvement of amenities or services“) which will be financially significant from a development of this size.
The disposal of public land and the limited heritage listing of 10 Cowell Street – the first in Hunters Hill Local Government Area (LGA) “excluding the curtilage”, will reduce resident amenity. The high number of flats that will be concentrated in Gladesville will create a massive increase in population density leading to significant increases in: vehicle movements, parking demand, demand for public transport services, demand for public services and increased loads on infrastructure, and more. We HOPE that Hunters Hill Council, while working towards the concentration of the LGA’s additional dwellings in Gladesville and the sale of public land, has given some thought over the past 5+ years as to how those funds can be spent to HELP THE LOCAL PEOPLE WHO WILL SUFFER.
We hope that Hunters Hill Council does not intend to add insult to injury by ‘gold plating’ the peninsula, nor keeping the money in reserve to create the impression of financial sustainability for the next time a State Government looks to amalgamate Hunters Hill (the smallest Council in NSW) – an impression bankrolled by ‘selling the silverware’ – from Gladesville. We HOPE that Hunters Hill Council has given due consideration to the adverse impact on residents and visitors, including school parents and patrons of local businesses, if traffic and parking aren’t managed and catered for properly. We HOPE that Hunters Hill Council has considered how to mitigate the massive disruption which will be inflicted on the local community in Gladesville during the period of reconstruction of Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ – which could easily take years. We HOPE that Hunters Hill Council is intending to spend every dollar and cent of section 94 contributions on “provision or improvement of amenities or services” serving the affected area. We HOPE that Council is intending to reinvest every dollar and cent received from selling our assets, back into the community that has lost that amenity – for the provision of new dwellings that satisfied the State Government’s target for the whole LGA of Hunters Hill Municipality – leaving the rest of the Hunters Hill Municipality largely unscathed. From the LEP map (link above), it is easy to see that development permitted at the Hunters Hill overpass, an area very well served by public transport, is extremely ‘light’ by comparison to that permitted in Gladesville.
People in Gladesville still pay rates like the rest of the Hunters Hill Municipality does, and we still suffer from an infrastructure backlog like other parts of this Municipality – such works that must be funded from rates and grants. The community of Gladesville MUST expect the Council to reinvest the financial ‘upside’ of the over-development, for which the pain WILL BE borne in Gladesville (to the benefit of Hunters Hill and Woolwich), back into the LOCAL community.
The following question has been asked of Council:
Will you please advise us what plans have been developed, or how Hunters Hill Council will engage with residents and other stakeholders in the development of such plans, to relieve the Community of Gladesville of the adverse and enduring impacts of the massive increase in population density, and also the assist the Community to deal with the severe disruption during the redevelopment of the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’?
We will keep you updated about response(s) received.