Most people would be aware that the sports fields in Willoughby are reaching their capacity. Some of the time fields are unplayable due to adverse weather. At other times, there is different sporting codes vying for the same space or timeslot. There is not just a need across the city for more sporting grounds. Chatswood, West Ward contains six schools, all are growing in student numbers and they have an increasing demand for sporting facilities.
There is a limited number of strategies that can be used to address this situation. Installing synthetic surfaces on existing fields can overcome some of the adverse weather situations. The implementation of lighting on fields can extend the playing time on a particular field. Working out how to facilitate multiple sporting codes on the same surface can address some of the time slot issues. The final approach is to find spaces for new fields. This latter approach can be prohibitively expensive (due to the high value of land in the city.
Twenty years ago, Council proposed to install lights and a synthetic surface on the O.H. Reid Oval site. The local residents object, mainly due to the topography of the area. The idea was shelved. More recently, Council has been undertaking a review of all its sporting facilities. Whilst solutions have been found for some sports who only require relatively small areas, finding locations for new sporting oval has not been successful.
A local Chatswood West resident has come up with an innovative (albeit likely contentious) solution. His idea is to build ovals at the northern end of Chatswood Golf Club. Possibly 2 to 3 sporting fields could be located on public land currently leased to the golf club (the lease is currently up for renewal). He points out that the site is well-serviced by buses along Delhi Rd. There is an existing unformed vehicular road in to the area where parking could be located without cars having to go by residential streets.
The downside for this proposal is the impact on the Golf Club. Currently, three of the club’s eighteen holes are located on the public land leased from Council. The proposal would reduce the course to fifteen holes. This would mean golfers would have to play three holes twice.
Whilst the proposal to reclaim the public land for more diverse is radical, it does awaken some issues worthy of consideration. It would be quite interesting to see the number of players per year that use our various sporting facilities. Particularly if this is analysed by the size of the facility and the return to Council from fee or leases.
Transport NSW has raised $16M through the sale of a revamped retail and commercial complex next to the Chatswood Transport Interchange. The site is at 426-430 Victoria Avenue. It was bought by the NSW Government to facilitate the construction of the Interchange. It is reported that the complex is fully let.
It would appear that the site includes the Station Medical Clinic,TAB and Shands Pharmacy.
The Local Government Act Taskforce is considering major changes to Councils. A host of responsibilities may be taken away from Councils. Public consultation is planned to be reduced. There might be half-term elections for Councillors. The Ward system could be abolished.
1. The Council should prepare and implement whole of council policy and procedure to ensure all of its legislative and regulatory obligations are met on an ongoing basis.
2. The Council should better align its ‘Policy for the Payment and the Provision of facilities for the Mayor and Councillors’ with the ‘Guidelines for the payment of expenses and the provision of facilities for Mayors and Councillors in NSW’,
Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet, October 2009.
3. The Council is encouraged to continue work to better resource the individual activities of its Delivery Program.
4. The Council is encouraged to strengthen its Operational Plan by the including target and baseline information in the measures and targets.
5. The Council should ensure that future revisions to the Asset Management Strategy and Long Term Financial Plan adequately address the issue of asset maintenance and renewal to prevent a cumulative impact on the Council’s financial sustainability.
6. In proceeding with the option of applying for a special levy (Special Rate Variation), the Council is encouraged to use the guidelines that the Division has prepared to assist councils in this area.
7. The Council is encouraged to continue to work toward reducing the average time it takes to assess development applications.
PROPOSED LICENCE OF NELSON STREET ROAD RESERVE CHATSWOOD TO TELSTRA
1. That Council enter into a Licence with Telstra for a portion of Road Reserve adjacent to 14 Nelson Street, Chatswood for the purposes of telecommunications infrastructure for a term of five (5) years with a starting Licence fee of $33,000 per annum plus GST.
That Council notes that Telstra will make available an expert to inform Councillors about EME upon the lodgement of the Development Application.
That, in the event the tower is erected, a term of the licence is to be that Telstra monitors the total emissions from the transmission antenna and any other providers and reports to Council and the EPA annually.
PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF A MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING HOTEL, INTEGRATIVE MEDICAL HOSPITAL FACILITY, RETAIL AND RESIDENTIAL UNITS – AMENDED PLANS AND DOCUMENTATION.
Councillor Saville moved: That, having regard to the advice of the Environmental Services Director by email to Councillors dated 22 July 2013, in regard to sustainability features of the building, no submission need be made to the JRPP on this matter.
Council recently considered a proposal for Councillors and staff to visit towns in Italy. Council had already entered into a Global Friendship/Sister Cities agreement with Guardia Sanframondi, a small hamlet in the mountains behind Naples. There is a relatively large community in Willoughby who migrated from this area. It was also proposed that Councilors and staff meet with Vetrona while they were in Italy.
The plan was that the Mayors costs be met by Council and everyone else would need to pay their own way. There was debate on this matter before it was decided that only the trip to Guardia Sanframondi would be endorsed by Council.
Clr. Mustaca is planning on going on the trip (at his own expense). The motion was moved by the two remaining West Ward Councillors (Mustaca and Saville)
The 26,000 plus ratepayer families in the Willoughby Council area will be out of pocket $300 a year (on top of their $1300 -average house- rates) every year for the next 14 years according to figures in the the Long Term Financial Plan of the Willoughby City Council – a total of $4200 per ratepayer family. Up until a few years ago Willoughby Council met all its obligations without accumulating annual losses – then along came the sell-off of assets to pay for The Concourse, plus the heavy debt all rate payers carry for that building which Mayor Reilly told a public forum when it was mooted “It will not cost ratepayers a cent to run”.
Concerns have been raised about the impacts at Chatswood Railway Station when the North West Rail Link is completed. The Link will run from Chatswood to Rouse Hill.
Trains will run every five minutes during the peak. This may mean that there will be an extra 12 trains per hour using Chatswood Station.
Of more concern is the fact that the trains terminate at Chatswood. This means that all passengers have to alight and change trains at the same time as commuters are trying to board trains for the city. In addition, the new service will have new single deck trains which are able to carry about 50 per cent more people than double deck trains..
Add it up, more trains, more people more often could be a recipe for disaster.
On another front, the tunnels being bored for the Link will not accommodate the existing double-decker train sets – short term thinking ?