The following information was supplied by a local resident.
At least 10 trees in Currey Park – along with plants and gardens – are about to be sacrificed for a few extra car spaces added to Westfield Chatswood Carpark. The trees to be destroyed include a Forest Red Gum and a Water Gum. Both of these are magnificent mature trees, at least 40 feet in height and classified by Council as of high retention value. The loss of these significant specimens will be of severe detrimental social impact to the community – including loss of shade for recreational users, loss of privacy (from the carpark) for nearby residents and visual degradation for everyone. Their potential loss will also contribute to a loss of Currey Park’s cultural and historical significance.
Until last Wednesday (Aug 5) I was unaware of their imminent destruction.Upon enquiring to Willoughby Council I was advised that notifications were sent out sometime in 2014 with no submissions received. Determination of the “Development” occurred on Oct 27 2014. I placed on record that I am a long term resident of Parkside Lane, Chatswood – overlooking Currey Park and the closest residential building to the Westfield Carpark – and did not receive any notification. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, did any of my neighbours.
Irrespective of notification or otherwise, it is hard to reconcile how this development application was ever approved, when the gains of a few extra car parking spaces are weighed against the substantial loss of public recreation space and amenity. Every day children, couples, families and groups enjoy the peace and serenity of Currey Park. It is an escape and an oasis behind a very busy CBD – something the noisier recreation area on the edge of Chatswood Oval cannot provide. The larger trees are irreplaceable, their canopy treasured. Together with another 8 endangered medium size ones their proposed loss is too great to ignore.
Let us hope that commonsense will prevail at all levels. The community deserves it.
Even Council appears to contradict itself in the Development Application Document when it states: “the proposed additions to the … Car Park will require minor modifications of the existing landscaping within Currey Park”. Can I urge you to take every possible action in reversing or modifying this particular part of the Development Approval before it is too late.