Fullers accident

There has been another serious accident at the Greville St lights. Two cars involved. One ended up wrapped around the lights. The other car smashed through the fence across the road.  The fate of occupants is unknown. 

We recently learned that the Local Member has finally intervened in relation to safety on Fullers Rd even though residents have been reporting serious accidents for years.

 

 

 

 

 

Millwood Avenue safety

A resident of Millwood Avenue has raised the following matters:

The dangers that residents of Millwood Avenue face every day, is that

a)      Residents of Millwood Ave  risk their lives every day trying to get to the bus stop. It is reported that the other day where a guy got out of his car, and yelled at the driver behind him, that he was already 20 kph over the speed limit, and was still being pushed to go faster!

b)      The RMS website explains the number of accidents on Millwood avenue down from the Fullers Rd, Millwood Ave junction to Lady Game drive, and they continue to happen.

c)       Backing out of a garage on Millwood Avenue is a challenge every day, even at 6.30 A.M.

d)      Many discussions with police indicate they will not put a mobile traffic camera on Millwood Avenue due to OH and S issues for their members!

e)      So, this road goes un – policed and is dangerous to

f)       Sections of Millwood  Avenue footpath are that narrow (towards Lady Game Drive) that speeding trucks and vehicles are a real and present danger to pedestrians.

g)      If Fullers Rd gets a speed camera, then any chance of Millwood Avenue getting one are nigh on impossible.

h)      I have written countless emails to RMS, even had a representative out to understand the issues, and to date  – nothing.

i)        Raised this at several CWPA meetings.

The issue of road safety in Millwood Avenue has been added to the Agenda of our next meeting on Thursday 21st November, 7:30 PM Dougherty Centre, Victor Street.  Representative of RMS and the Police are being invited to attend.

Council Finances

Year on year Council’s operating income has increased whilst operating expenses have decreased resulting in a positive net operating result of over $8M.

More importantly, Council’s result before Capital Grants and Contributions has improved by almost $3.4M.

Council’s Balance Sheet also shows improved outcomes.

The various comparative ratio information are all within industry norms.”

Acoustics Laboratory

The Council has been advised that the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) intends to hold a Public Meeting regarding the Planning Proposal for the proposed rezoning of land located at 126 Greville Street and part 25 Millwood Avenue, Chatswood.

The Planning Proposal is proceeding to the JRPP on the basis of the scheme endorsed by Council and as exhibited.

The JRPP is the Planning Authority in this instance for the purposes of making a recommendation to the Minister whether the draft LEP/Planning Proposal should be made.

The details of the Meeting are as follows:

Date: 23 Oct 2013, Time: 10 am – 12,

Location: Willoughby Council Chambers,  Level 6, 31 Victor Street, Chatswood

The purpose of the Meeting is for the JRPP to listen to the community’s views on the planning proposal. It should be noted that the JRPP will not be answering questions.

The JRPP has sent notification letters dated 9 October 2013 to those who made submissions during the public exhibition between 2 April 2013 and 6 May 2013. A Notification letter of public meeting – Acoustic is attached. Furthermore the JRPP will shortly place an advertisement in the North Shore Times.

Any member of the public is permitted to speak at the Public Meeting, provided they register with the Regional Panels Secretariat before 4pm on Monday 21 October 2013 on 02 9228 2060 or email angela.kenna@planning.nsw.gov.au.

Also find attached a copy of the Submissions_reportAcoustics prepared by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure following the public exhibition period between 2 April 2013 and 6 May 2013.

Meriton Refused

The proposed extraordinary high rise residential development on the former Council carpark in Thomas Lane/Albert Avenue has been refused by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC). The reasons given for the refusal were:

  • Overshadowing of Chatswood Oval. The VPA does not offset the loss of sunlight
  • Entry/Exit points on Thomas St unacceptable
  • Design of Podium adversely affects through site access and amenity of the landscaped plaza
  • Inappropriate building height contravenes very recent planning provisions of WLEP 2012
  • Public benefit of 122 accessible units does not outweigh the environmental and amenity impacts of the proposal.

This means that the applicants can rely on the earlier Modification 3 scheme involving the lower height towers for the residential apartments and serviced apartments. The decision of the PAC means that the VPA will not proceed and Council will not receive the $12 million monetary contribution provided for in the VPA. The public car park and all other elements approved under the Modification 3 scheme remain as part of the approved scheme.

POSSIBLE APPEAL

The planning Act provides that there is only a right of appeal against a decision of the PAC if there has NOT been a “public hearing”. A “public hearing” is specifically defined in the Act in relation to the decisions by the PAC when the Minister determines that the PAC has to hold a “public hearing” in accordance with s 23F. The Minister didn’t decide this for the Thomas Street application. What did occur is that the PAC decided to have a public meeting (as distinct from a public hearing). In this case there is a right of appeal by Meritons.

The parties to the appeal will be the applicants and the Minister (represented by the PAC).

The grounds for appeal need to be stated by the appellant (Meritons). It is assumed that Meritons will appeal against all of the reasons for refusal given in the PAC decision.

Neither the Council nor the community will automatically be able to participate in the Court proceedings. They need to seek leave of the Court to appear in the proceedings.

When/if the appeal is lodged then Council can consider it’s position. Recall however, that more than half of the Council in the past have stated that they do not object to the Meriton proposal..

The full reasons for refusal of the application are below:

1. The additional overshadowing impacts on public and private open spaces and nearby residences are not acceptable and reducing the height by 5 storeys makes little difference. The proposed improvements of the Chatswood Oval via the Voluntary Planning Agreement do not outweigh the additional loss of sunlight in the afternoon.

2. The proposed vehicular entry/exit points on Thomas Street (about 16m) and Albert Avenue (about 13m) are excessive and not acceptable on pedestrian safety ground, notwithstanding the proposed pedestrian refuges. The site is located in a high density development area with increased pedestrians over time, particularly those who use the footpath to access the adjacent medical services and Guide Dogs NSW.

3. The design of the podium as a result of the above ground parking will adversely impact on the through site access connecting Albert Avenue and Thomas Street, as well as on the practicality and viability of providing an active frontage link. It essentially removes the open air above the originally proposed open space landscaped plaza, an important feature of the original approval. The podium design will also adversely impact on streetscape and the visual amenity of adjacent residents and pedestrians.

4. The proposed building height and design result in impacts that are inconsistent with the objectives of very recent local planning provisions. Willoughby LEP 2012 only came into effect on 31 January 2013.

5. The public benefits of providing an additional 122 residential units in a highly accessible location and in close proximity of an employment centre and the voluntary planning agreement do not outweigh the environmental and amenity impacts on public infrastructures, nearby residents and pedestrians and workers who use the area.

Chatswood Golf Club

Golf

Response from Chatswood Golf Club to the West Ward News article, Spring 2013

 Chatswood Golf Club currently leases land adjoining the Lane Cove River on which is situated three golf holes – 6th, 7th and 8th – which complement the remaining 15 golf holes on Club-owned land. This leased land has been used for golf for more than 60 years.

The Spring 2013 West Ward News carried a comment that ‘possibly 2 or 3 sporting fields’ could be built on this leased land rather than granting a lease extension to the Club to continue using this area for passive golf and recreational walking.

In response to that article the Club makes the following comments.

  • Throughout previous lease terms the Club has co-operatively consulted with Willoughby City Council to professionally maintain the pristine nature of this river land area. Such liaison has supported public access along the leased area and created marked public walking tracks for the Great North Walk, the ‘Rail to River’ (Editor: Council documents do not support this claim) walking trail plus access to the O H Reid Memorial Oval. The Club has supported environmental mangrove protection along the Lane Cove River and the Swaines Creek tributary.
  • The three golf holes on leased land constitute a significant component of the Club’s 18-hole golf course which is extensively used by public players, local sports/social clubs and members. Considering the already tight course configuration incorporating three new holes within Club-owned land would involve massive costs for course re-design and layout modifications creating an inevitable loss of player patronage. Such disruption would drastically impact on the Club’s long term financial viability.
  • The grassed fairway comprising the 8th hole is flood prone. Past instances are known when 100cm-plus depth of brackish flood water has inundated the entire fairway leaving up to 20cm of mud and detritus. While this silt overlay ultimately improved the fairway’s grass quality any future flooding would dramatically impact on alternate sports activities. To avoid future flooding the entire leased area would need to be raised by at least 1.5 – 2.0 m to avoid flood damage should more capital intensive sports use be considered such as basketball, netball, etc.
  • The narrowness of the current fairway could barely accommodate any longitudinal sports field unless considerable earth and rock removal was undertaken below Reid Drive. The entire 8th fairway is already subject to a 100 ft preservation strip from the River to avoid encroaching on or damaging the estuarine environment. Such environment preservation is easily accommodated by the grassed fairway.
  • More extensive sports field use would require additional parking for players, spectators, service and emergency vehicles, etc. Parking provisions on the leased land would be expensive to install considering the site fall off the adjacent Reid Drive onto the leased land and/or the distance from nearby Millwood Avenue or Fullers Road should any new road access be considered. Expanding hard-stand parking surfaces increases the potential for oil, grease and waste run-off noting the river’s minimal tidal flow. Reid Drive is closed at both extremities meaning additional traffic flow through residential areas would automatically result. Increased kerbside parking in Reid Drive or adjoining streets could not be contemplated.
  • Golf and walking provide passive recreational use with insignificant environmental impact to the adjacent LaneCoveRiver and no detrimental consequences to residents or community members. The financial cost, development disruption, traffic and noise implications, environmental considerations and loss of this passive recreational space for golf and public walking cannot justify changing the community’s use of this native bushland and grassed golf course environment

The Club’s submission to the Willoughby City Council regarding the lease extension can be read on the website

For additional information contact Mr Alan Hall-Watson, President, telephone through the Club’s office 9419 2336 or email president@chatswoodgolf.com.

Federation of Progress Associations

On the 12th October 2013, Kay Freudenastein-Hayes and Terry Fogarty attended the Federation of Progress Association meeting as West Ward delegates. Points discussed of particular interest to WestWarders were:

  • It looks like that there will be no ticket dispensing machine at Railway Stations when the Opal Card fully implemented.
  • There was a claim by one delegate that double-deck trains would fit into the new, smaller tunnels of the NW Rail Link. Further research however does not seem to support this assertion.
  • There is a need to better understand the differences between Public Hearings cf Public Meetings under the current planning legislation (as well as appeal rights in relation to JRPPs and PACs
  • There were a variety of views expressed regarding Voluntary Planning Agreements
  • There is a proposal going to the Traffic Committee to remove parking in Albert Avenue between the rail bridge and Pacific Highway.
  • Any Golf Club comments to Ted Wilson
  • Bob McKillop announced that he needs to step down as the Federation’s delegate to the Willoughby Traffic Committee. Terry Fogarty was endorsed as Bob’s replacement on the Committee.