Read Willoughby Council’s response about this fiasco.
A notification letter ( Currey Park Westfield Notification) dated 29th July 2015 was delivered to nearby residents of Currey Park by Westfield’s sub-contractor on the 12th August 2015.
One resident’s response follows:
Thank you for your belated letterbox notice yesterday re the expansion and encroachment of Westfield Chatswood Carpark into public land at Currey Park. The letter was dated July 29, but only delivered Aug 12, after work had already started in the now fenced-off area of Currey Park.
This situation is rapidly turning into a public, social and PR disaster for both Westfield and Willoughby Council. The felling of at least 12 trees, including at least 2 healthy and mature Water and Red Gums of 40 feet in height is unforgiveable.
Your letter states that Scentre Group (Westfield) will be reinstating the park and trees on completion of the works.What rubbish and how misleading is that! The large gums are irreplaceable. Sure you might plant a few smaller trees and try and get some of the landscaping back to somewhere near normal. But the entire canopy of the large trees and with it the shade for park goers, privacy for residents (from the car park) and general amenity for everyone will be forever lost.
This part of the carpark development should never have been allowed to get past first base, let alone proceed. To steal public land and destroy so many trees for the sake of an extra handful of parking spaces is an absolute tragedy and disgrace. The PR disaster to Westfield over this is only just starting to build and is going to resonate with the local community (your customers) for years to come.
Already an online petition is gathering pace, talkback radio is happening, and community groups and progress associations are making their stand. State and local politicians are now involved through Twitter and their constituents. Regrettably, senior management of Willoughby Council have gone into lockdown mode, shamed into silence.
Stop the Currey Park part of the process now before the damage becomes permanent.
READ WONG -Currey Park Trees Must be Saved, 14th August 2015 Labor MLC
This is the response from Council about the development:
“The proposed works to the car park are located within an existing section of the car park and all public recreation space will be retained when the project is complete. The use of Currey Park won’t be affected at the completion of the works.
The seven trees approved for removal currently form part of a garden bed that helps to soften the visual appearance of the car park. There are another 15 trees to be retained with many other smaller trees. Replacement planting within the garden bed will be undertaken to provide the same visual screening of the car park. In addition, the approval also requires that additional ground cover and shrubs to be provided within the garden beds adjacent to the car park to screen any undercroft areas and to visually soften the car park structure as viewed from Currey Park.
The application was notified in accordance with Part B of Council’s Development Control Plan. Notification letters were sent to property owners in the area on 17 July 2014 and no submissions or comments were received by the closing date of 31 July 2014. A sign was also placed at the park during this time to notify members of the public. “