Beaconsfield Petition

 

petition

The following response to the Beaconsfield lights petition was received from Willoughby Council:

Dear petitioners,

 

Thank you for your petition calling for the lifting of the left turn ban for traffic exiting Beaconsfield Road to Mowbray Road West. The petition was considered at the Council meeting on 9 December and has been referred to Council’s Infrastructure Services Division for action.

 

Council has received a number of submissions from residents concerning the recently introduced traffic signals at the intersection of Mowbray Road and Beaconsfield Road. It should be noted that the introduction of the traffic signals has had a long history dating back to before the introduction of the Lane Cove Tunnel. Council ultimately resolved to support the installation of the signals and specifically supported an option which banned the right turn out of Beaconsfield Road and which prevented the cross traffic movements to and from Ralston Street. This decision was made following a public meeting on 8 February 2012. All residents in the area bounded by Mowbray Road, Greenlands Rd, Goodchap Rd and Swaines Creek/Eddy Rd were invited to that meeting and feedback received at that meeting together with related petitions and other submissions received helped Council determine its stance.

 

While supporting the installation of the signals Council has also resolved that monitoring of traffic conditions take place after the signals have been installed. This monitoring has commenced.  Once the traffic monitoring has been completed staff will prepare a summary report on the traffic changes which have arisen following introduction of the signals and make recommendations to Council in regard to modifications which might be required to address any traffic concerns. In reporting to Council, issues which have been raised by residents in regard to the operation of the signals will be summarised for the elected Councillor’s information, this will include a summary of comments made in the petition.

It must also be noted that any traffic signal controlled intersection is under the control and management of the of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and as such Council can only make submissions to RMS seeking changes to the operation of the signals rather than making those changes ourselves. Should Council consider that modifications to the signals might be beneficial it is likely that consultation will take place with residents before approaches are made to RMS.

 

Regards

 

James  Brocklebank. Group Leader, Traffic & Transport

 

Willoughby City Council

Special Rate

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Willoughby Council is currently consulting on a proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV). A SRV will mean an increase in rates to fund the maintenance and replacement of Willoughby’s enormous infrastructure network.

The reason Council is considering applying to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) for a SRV is that Council’s Long Term Financial Plan has identified that more funds are required to maintain assets and services to the level expected by the community, while at the same time ensuring Council’s financial sustainability.

You can read the cases FOR and AGAINST the Special Rate
Make sure to read the second page of the brochure.

 

Some Mowbray improvements

longtimecoming (2)

The installation of the pedestrian refuges on Mowbray Road is not related to the traffic works proposed as a result of the rezoning on the Lane Cove side of Mowbray Road. The pedestrian refuges are part of the package of works which were tied to the Local Area Improvement Plan for Mowbray prepared in conjunction with the Lane Cove Tunnel project. The pedestrian refuges were the subject of widespread community consultation at the time

the Local Area Improvement Plan was prepared. The installation of the refuges has been approved by both Council through the Local Traffic Committees and installation has always been tied to the completion of the traffic signals at Mowbray Road and Beaconsfield Road. Now that those signals are installed there was no impediment to installation of the refuges which have been long awaited by Willoughby Council. The refuge work is being managed by Lane Cove council and funded by RMS.

The refuges do not conflict with the proposed traffic control measures linked to the Rezoning work. An exception to this was the refuge proposed near Hatfield St which is not being installed at this time given that the intersection is proposed to become a signalised intersection with pedestrian phases over Mowbray Road.

Council has not yet determined its position in regard to the traffic measures proposed in conjunction with the Mowbray Road rezoning. To assist Council in determining its stance we are currently in the process of engaging a traffic consultant to assist us with the following.

  • review of the works proposed by Lane Cove for the efficacy and impact on Willoughby residents
  • review traffic counts data (volume, speed, direction and turning movements) in Coolaroo, Felton, Hart, Dalrymple,  in addition to the intersections outlined in the Lane Cove Council report.
  • Analyse crash histories in the subject streets
  • Prepare recommendations for changes to proposed works or for additional works for this precinct
  • Submit a draft report for review.

Once this is complete we propose to commence an engagement process that seeks community feedback on the proposed changes and consideration of our findings of the above work. We will ensure that every household in the area is notified and would be prepared to attend a West Ward Progress Association meeting to present both the Lane Cove Study and our response to it. Both documents would be available for review by the community.

Feedback from the community will be considered and included in a report to Council, via the Willoughby Traffic Committee that will allow Council to adopt a position on the matter.

Golf Club Lands

public accessThe public consultation regarding proposed changes to Council’s Plan of Management in relation to the Council-owned portion of Chatswood Golf Club has now been completed. The plan is now recommended for approvalThere were 22 submissions on the plan. 

NEW SPORTS OVALS (?): Two submissions argued for not renewing the lease but to develop the land as a sports oval. This proposal was not supported by Council officers.

RAIL TO RIVER WALK: A portion of the planned Rail to River Walk needs to cross Golf Club private property. The Golf Club and Council are currently negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding in relation to this matter. It is proposed that the Memorandum will be finalised prior to enacting the new lease.

PUBLIC ACCESS ACROSS COURSE: Council is working with the Club to ensure appropriate public access across the course. This might require the redesign of parts of the course.

Mowbray Rd Safety Improvements

pedestrianrefugeThe local community had been advised that there would be community consultation on proposed safety measure for Mowbray Rd West, however:

It would appear that Pedestrian Refuge Points have been installed along Mowbray Road North without any further community consultation in regard to the High Density Development and the Mowbray Public School upgrade.

This is a very disappointing outcome especially in light of your previous email and another example of Willoughby City Council residents being excluded from the process.

Further enquires are being made with Willoughby Council and the RMS.

Beaconsfield Lights

lefttturnonlySubject: 175 signature petition to remove the ‘Left Turn Only’ restriction at the new Beaconsfield/Mowbray Lights
 
We are pleased to submit for your consideration and action a petition of more than 175 signatures requesting the removal of the Left Turn Only restriction at the new Beaconsfield Rd / Mowbray Traffic Lights. 
The petition wording and the comments submitted by signatories (attached) outline the many issues with the imposition of the installed intersection design, including most commonly:
         1. Significant negative impact to local residents trying to exit Chatswood West on a daily basis, particularly those heading to Lane Cove.
         2. Significant shift in traffic volumes onto inappropriate, and now dangerous, back streets nearby (predominately Dalrymple, Coolaroo and Greenlands).
         3. A strong belief that the wishes and needs of the vast majority of local residents have not been accounted for in the decision making process relating to configuration of the new lights, and for some, a suspicion that a very small but vocal number of residents may have disproportionately influenced the design decision.
We encourage you to read the comments on the petition to get a sense of the various negative impacts on different residents and the level of subsequent frustration in the local community.
Compounding the issue is that while council did do some consultation with residents at a meeting 18 months prior to the installation, there is a strong belief that consultation was primarily focused on whether lights should be installed or not, with many residents both for and against the lights (in any form) at the time.
With that focus at the time, the majority of local residents do not feel that they were then adequately engaged or consulted regarding the configuration of the lights once it had been resolved to go ahead and do the installation.
It is noted by petition signatories that council meeting minutes outline how council staff advised against the Left Turn Only restrictions that have since been installed.  We believe that the advice of council staff to allow multi-directional use of the intersection was in the interests of the vast majority of residents and road users, and are deeply displeased that such advice was not acted upon.
These additional factors have compounded the depth of frustration at the impact on residents of the overly restrictive configuration that has now been installed.
The petition was circulated only in the following local streets:
– Beaconsfield Road (incl associated smaller side streets)
– Dalrymple Ave
– Coolaroo Rd
– Sharland Ave
– Greenlands Rd
– Moola Parade
– Goodchap Rd (western side)
– Ivy Street
– golf club and local progress association website
Despite this limited local distribution, 176 signatures have been received as of 1st December, a very significant proportion of residents in the above streets.  We suspect that a broader survey of Chatswood West residents would yield even higher numbers.
In this context we strongly request that Willoughby Council, Lane Cove Council and the RMS adopt the wishes of the majority of local residents and remove the Left Turn Only restriction from the Beaconfield lights so residents can once again turn right into Mowbray Rd and cross straight into Ralston St.
Fortunately this should simply require removal of a few signs and some road paintwork.  It would not require costly demolition of installed medians, poles, electrical or the like.  It would also not require any change at all to the sequencing of lights.
While noting that council is currently gathering traffic volume information in the impacted streets, we request a prompt resolution of this issue and return to sensible traffic balance and access in our local streets.
In addition to consideration of this petition by council traffic staff, we ask that you forward this petition to:
– The Willoughby Traffic Committee for consideration/awareness at it’s next meeting, and
– The most senior RMS contact responsible for the traffic lights
We also ask our local councillors (copied) to listen to the feedback of local residents and provide the necessary support/authority to council staff so they can fix this problem as promptly as possible.
Please direct any correspondence and/or updates to the below email address and we will be pleased to share them with the petition signatories via our mailing list.

Planning Reforms

BradHazzardThe following motion requesting the government to ‘withdraw’the bill was defeated, but was supported by the majority of councillors with the word ‘defer” the planning bill.

 ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 25 NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 159 ITEM – 22.2 Notice Of Motion: Concerns With The Proposed Changes: Planning Bill 2013

22.2 NOTICE OF MOTION: CONCERNS WITH THE PROPOSED CHANGES: PLANNING BILL 2013
MEETING DATE: 25 NOVEMBER 2013

Purpose of Report
Councillor L Saville has indicated her intention to move the following Notice of Motion.
Motion
THAT Willoughby City Council:
(a) Notes its deep concern at the changes proposed to the NSW planning system in the Planning Bill 2013.
(b) Calls on the Government to defer the Planning Bill 2013.
(c) Requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP and the Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP calling on the NSW government to defer the Bill.
(d) Requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning and, the leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary representatives from the Greens, the independents, the Shooters & Fishers, the Christian Democrats advising them of this resolution and Council’s concerns.
Background
The NSW Government has responded to community anger at the first draft of its Planning Bill 2013, which seeks to dramatically overhaul the way planning is done in NSW.
The O’Farrell government was elected on a pledge to return planning powers to local communities, yet the proposed bill will fall far short of this promise, despite recent changes.
The legislation continues to provide for fast-track approval of ‘code assessable’ development, without community consultation or merit based environmental assessment.
The legislation concentrates planning powers in sub-regional planning boards which will be dominated by state-government appointments, and provides those boards with effective authority to force councils to rezone land and intensify development in local government areas.
The legislation proposes to allow the Director General of Planning, or a JRPP, to unilaterally overturn council’s planning controls wherever they are seen to conflict with state, regional or sub-regional planning policies and in doing so they will allow development that would otherwise be prohibited by council’s LEP. 
ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING 25 NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE 160 ITEM – 22.2 Notice Of Motion: Concerns With The Proposed Changes: Planning Bill 2013 
The lack of objective criteria under which the Minister can intervene in planning matters (including in approving state significant development in breach of local planning rules), strategic compatibility certificates can be granted in breach of local planning controls and merit based planning decisions will be made under the proposed laws has attracted persistent and ongoing criticism from ICAC as providing a corruption risk.
Members of our community have concerns about the direction of this legislation including:
• the failure to enshrine ecologically sustainable development as the principle object of the bill;
• the absence of any reference to addressing climate change;
• the absence of mechanisms for providing affordable housing;
• the unenforceable nature of most community participation requirements;
• the imposition of code assessable development (which removes the community’s right to have a say) in many areas in NSW;
• the use of discretionary strategic compatibility certificates to override local planning laws; and
• the expanded reliance on private certifiers, despite the obvious conflict of interest in having them selected and paid for by the developer.
General Manager’s Comments
Council considered a motion on 11 November 2013 as follows:-
That Willoughby City Council:
(a) notes its deep concern at the changes proposed to the NSW planning system in the Planning Bill 2013.
(b) calls on the Government to withdraw the Planning Bill 2013.
(c) requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, and the Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP calling on the NSW government to withdraw the Bill.
(d) requests the Mayor to write to the Minister for Planning and, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary representatives from the Greens, the Shooters & Fishers Party and the Christian Democrats, and the two independent Members of Parliament advising them of this resolution and Council’s concerns.
The resolution was not carried by Council. This resolution calls for the government to defer the legislation. 

Meriton – Albert Ave Carpark site

meritonAfter a conciliation process with the Land and Environment Court, Meriton has now provided a set of amended plans. The amended plans include the following changes:

 a reduction in the proposed height of the residential tower by 9 storeys
(from 47 storeys to 38 storeys);
 a reduction in the proposed height of the serviced apartment tower by 4
storeys (from 37 storeys to 33 storeys); and
 a number of amendments to the podium design to address access issues,
street activation and the through site link.

NOTE: Whilst there is now a reduction in what Meriton is seeking it should be kept in mind that this is far more than recommended by Willoughby Council and the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC).

Giving evidence at the hearing
Attached is a further update from the PAC.
As the update says, please advise if you would like to give evidence at the hearing on 11 December 2013 by sending an email to this address no later than Monday 9 December 2013.
As we advised at the s34 conference, it will assist the Court greatly if you try to avoid repeating the same concerns already expressed by other objectors at the hearing. You may even wish to nominate a few spokespersons to speak on behalf of those of you who share similar concerns.
The Commissioner who will make the decision will be a different Commissioner to the Commissioner at the s34 conference.
We will provide the Court with a list of all objectors who advise they wish to speak next Tuesday. A copy of all previous submissions made on mod 6 to the Department and the PAC will also be in evidence before the Court.
Written submissions
If you:
  • cannot attend the hearing or
  • wish to attend but do not wish to speak or
  • you would like to put something in writing about the amended plans,
you can forward a written submission to this address which will also be provided to the Court at the hearing.

 

Telstra Tower – Nelson St

mobilephonewtowerClr. Saville reports:

There was much debate and 2 presentations to the councillors
Eventually the councillors supported the officers recommendation which was to refuse the application (Moved by me, seconded by Wendy Morton).  The reasons  for refusal were based on planning rationale
It was very close vote with a majority of one