Explanation for content in Planning Proposal submission

Hi Everyone,

This email is to be read in conjunction with the suggested submission which was just sent separately. This email is to explain our understanding, and why we have suggested a submission with the content as we have.

We do not view the planning proposal (PP) as a benevolent act from Hunters Hill Council trying to protect Gladesville by introducing open space requirement or a design excellence requirement. The planning proposal is an amendment to the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) that the owner of Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ (GS’V’) is seeking. The amendment they are seeking would increase the value of the development site by increasing the number of flats which can be built on it. The open space and design excellence elements have been directed by NSW Department of Planning to be included in the proposal, as well as planned relocation of 10 Cowell Street, and the change to the control for the developer’s desired increase in the number of flats is included in the design excellence clause in the DRAFT that we have just been provided by Council. It does not mean that the LEP will be changed as exhibited in the DRAFT.

We view the proposed increase in Floor Space Ratio (FSR) as being highly problematic because it will translate into additional flats on what is already zoned to be a big block of flats – approximately 180 of them (before the increase). There are already developments of more blocks of flats all along Victoria Road, and there is valid concern from the community that local services and infrastructure will not cope. The idea of adding an extra 80-100 flats on that side alone is concerning.

It is not in the interests of residents or businesses for Gladesville to be crippled by concentrated over-development. The proposed redevelopment of the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ focuses on adding residential flats far more than it does of adding commercial or retail space. We do not agree that this proposed redevelopment will revitalise Gladesville, by mainly increasing the number of people who come home to sleep here. We believe that retailers require customers to be here during the weekdays, which requires commercial space and available parking for associated staff. We do not see that catered for in the Planning Proposal or in the existing Local Environmental Plan. Indeed we have not heard an articulated strategy or overarching vision for Gladesville from Hunters Hill Council, as a suburb having a ‘high street’ commercial/retail strip along Victoria Road which is separate from and not well connected to the Gladesville Shopping ‘Village’ site.

If the planning proposal is successful in adding the extra FSR, those additional residents living in the ‘extra extra’ 100 flats will be also competing for public transport along the Victoria Road bus corridor, and/or adding more traffic and parking demand into a concentrated area. Because the nearby section of Victoria Road is the boundary between two different Councils’ Local Government Areas we are concerned that there is no single point of accountability or control to ensure that Gladesville remains a functional centre after all of the impending development (already zoned in Ryde and Hunters Hill Councils’ LEP’s) is completed.

Although we do not support an increase in FSR, because we do not believe that the site can cater for continual increases of intended population, with each site redevelopment and this proposed re-zoning, we acknowledge that design excellence is a worthy concept. We believe there is room for the Height on the site to be rearranged and increased strategically, effectively resulting in a taller but more slender development, reducing the width and overall visible impact at ground level. Higher flats can also attract higher prices as their views are superior to other stock, so we believe the concession of additional height required to execute a design of excellent quality is a fair trade-off. But the FSR must remain unchanged.

We do not believe that relocation of the timber cottage at 10 Cowell Streetaway from the existing site or its immediate vicinity is sufficient to respect the existing streetscape of the area, and the heritage value of the property which should remain at or near its existing location. The handling of the Heritage listing of 10 Cowell Street is well documented and we will continue to provide reminders of how that process unfolded, for public awareness. For this purpose, we simply believe the appropriate response to the Planning Proposal is not to support relocation to remote locations, but instead to require it to be located locally. Noting that this will probably be approximately a $200 – $250 million dollar development, acquiring a suitable site for relocation nearby it not an unreasonable financial impost.

The above-reasoning is the reason why the suggested submission or content available for use in your submission, is drafted as it is. Of course, please feel free to use it or express your opinions otherwise.

Please just make a submission to council@huntershill.nsw.gov.au by Tuesday 20th March 2018, so your voice can be heard when it matters.

For reference, documents relating to this Planning Proposal are available at Council’s website http://www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/Page/Page.aspx?Page_Id=1319

For reference, the draft motions proposed to be included in the Local Environmental Plan in the Planning Proposal are copied below.

Draft Clause – 6.11 Special Provision (Open Space)

(1) The objective of this clause is to ensure any development involving the Key Site achieves the character objectives specified in Chapter 4.4 of the Hunters Hill Development Control Plan 2013.

(2) Development consent must not be granted to any development to which this clause applies unless at a minimum two publicly accessible, open landscaped recreation spaces are provided:
(a) The first open recreation space is to have a minimum area of 600sqm and be located adjacent to Cowell Street as shown on Figure 3 – Chapter 4.4 of the Hunters Hill Development Control Plan 2013. This location will ensure the landscaped open space is highly visible, enhances the existing pedestrian network and has a level connection to the Cowell street footpath.
(b) The second open recreation space is to have a minimum area of 25% of the Key Site area. This area is to be clearly visible and easily accessible to both the public and residents of a Key Site development. At least 75% of the space is to be provided in one consolidated area.

Draft Clause – 6.12 Design excellence 

(1) The objective of this clause is to deliver the highest standard of architectural, landscape and urban design.

(2) This clause applies to development involving any Key Site land and the erection of a new building; or external alterations to an existing building.

(3) Clause 4.6 (Exemptions to Development Standards) does not apply to development to which this clause applies.

(4) Despite Clause 4.3 and 4.4, the consent authority may grant consent to the erection or alteration of a building on the Key Site that has a floor space ratio of up to 3.4:1 and a building height greater than that allowed by clause 4.3 if:
(a) the existing level of solar access to Trim Place is maintained; and
(b) the residential apartments at 3 – 7 Cowell Street are kept free of shadow for three hours between 9am and 3pm on 21 June; and
(c) the development exhibits design excellence.

(5) In considering whether the development exhibits design excellence, the consent authority must be satisfied that the applicant has demonstrated and documented that the proposal:
(a) has a high standard of architectural, landscape and urban design and will be constructed with quality materials;
(b) has a high standard of detailing that reflects the building type, location and any surrounding buildings, especially heritage items, which add to the amenity of the area;
(c) has overall heights which allow for appropriate transition from the low scale heritage main street and surrounding residential neighbourhood;
(d) has minimised street frontage heights;
(e) does not detrimentally impact on view corridors;
(f) meets the requirements of the Hunters Hill Development Control Plan 2013, particularly Chapter 4.4;
(g) will significantly improve the quality and amenity of the public domain through the use of materials, landscaping and built form at street level which maximises the comfort and amenity of pedestrians.
(h) is designed with active frontages at or near street level, particularly around the two main open recreation spaces. At a minimum 23% of the Gross Floor Area of any development involving Key Site land is to be commercial floor area;
(i) will contribute positively to the configuration of the local vehicle, cycle and pedestrian networks. Cross-site pedestrian paths (both north-south and east-west) are to be provided which link to the two main open recreation areas and existing surrounding pedestrian access points;
(j) has integrated landscape design into the development in an exemplary way, to provide green, comfortable, attractive spaces throughout the development. The two main open recreation spaces are to include layered landscaped areas that include grass, shrubs and trees;
(k) has evidently integrated the provision of essential services such as car parking and pedestrian and vehicular access, waste collection/removal, stormwater management and electricity requirements into the development at design stage.
(l) has addressed the relationship of the development with other development (existing or proposed) on the same site or on neighbouring sites in terms of providing adequate separation, setbacks, solar access, acoustic and visual privacy;
(m) has addressed environmental impacts and factors such as sustainable design, noise, wind, reflectivity, water and energy efficiency and water sensitive urban design.