Currey Park Petition

Please read some of the comments and listen to the Community.

Please halt this part of the Development.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Currey Park Petition

  1. Provided by a concerned rsident:

    Dear All,

    As you are aware there is a great deal of community angst surrounding the planned development by Westfield that will significantly impact on Currey Park.

    There are several worrying things about this development. In no particular order those worries include.

    The axing of established trees.
    The lack of community consultation at every step of the development proposal.
    The use of public land for private use.

    Whilst Willoughby Council and Westfield have been found wanting on their community engagement strategy, it is pleasing to see that community members have organised themselves to mount a campaign to halt the development with a view to stopping it for good. An example of this campaigning is the change.org petition that is allowing residents and visitors the chance to voice their concerns.

    https://www.change.org/p/willoughby-council-nsw-australia-save-currey-park

    It is not to late to halt the development and protect Currey Park for residents and visitors alike.

    Kind regards,

  2. We had discussions regarding the trees.

    The car park expansion is part of the DA requirements of both Council and the JRPP. Unfortunately this requires the removal of screening trees planted by Council around 20 years ago.

    Westfield have undertaken to liaise with you regarding a landscape plan for replacement planting.

    Regards

    Gail Giles-Gidney
    Mayor
    Willoughby City Council

  3. A local resident opines:

    his is what I had feared.

    Westfield (Scentre Group) had already made a token offer to me re liaising with landscaping.
    They obviously re-iterated and stuck with that during their meeting with Gail.
    I had briefed Gail that I thought that is about all they would offer.

    In fact during an earlier discussion with Alison Pearson (Scentre) I firmly indicated that the community were focussed on preventing the felling of mature trees and destruction of the park in the first place, not in patching up the mess afterwards.

    The fact that almost one-half of the park is fenced off and will be used as a construction zone for Westfield’s car park works for at least 3 months is something not even the Council should tolerate – but it appears they are.

  4. From a concerned resident to Council’s Acting Director of Planning & Infrastructure Services:

    I am writing to you on behalf of concerned residents and members of the Save Currey Park Trees Community Group.

    As you are no doubt aware there is great concern from residents and the Community about the pending axing of healthy, mature trees in Currey Park to allow for additional car spaces in the Westfield Carpark.

    Additionally there is angst over the fencing off of a large portion of the park.
    This already fenced-off section seems likely to become a construction zone for Westfield and consequently out-of-bound to residents and the Community for a protracted period.

    We would like a response from Willoughby Council as to the circumstances under which the area of land in question in Currey Park was reclassified (or rezoned) from Community to Operational Land.
    Also what benefits, if any, were there to the Community and/or Council as a result of this reclassification.

    If you are not the correct person to attend to this request would you be kind enough to redirect it to the appropriate person in order to facilitate a prompt reply.

    Sincerely

  5. At last night’s meeting of the Chatswood West Ward Progress Association It was moved, seconded and adopted that the Association write to Council and Westfield strongly objecting to the loss of mature trees and the extensive alienation of portions of the park to accommodate a general works area during the time of the carpark upgrade. Also to write to Council requesting that they refuse any application by Westfield to use additional portions of Currey Park as a works area. Also to write to the Mayor that she meet with the State Manager of Westfield (rather that Scentre managers) to see how this matter might be handled to the better satisfacation of the community.

  6. This response received from Westfield/Scentre \:

    Thank you for your email on Friday the 21st of August and for taking the time to share with us your views.

    Over the past 10 months the Scentre Group, Owner & Operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand, has been undertaking a redevelopment of the Westfield Chatswood shopping centre. The upgrade will provide our loyal and valued customers with new large format and speciality retailers including a unique Asian inspired dining precinct.

    As part of the Willoughby Local Environmental Plan 2012, this area of the park was reclassified to operational land and mixed use. A requirement of our development consent is to undertake modifications and additions to the council’s Albert Avenue car park.

    Scentre Group is committed to maintaining the natural integrity of Currey Park on completion.
    The significant ‘Tingha Women’ Currey Park fountain will be protected during the works and will not be impacted. Trees that do not require removal will be encased by a tree protection zone. On completion we will be undertaking a landscaping plan (approved by Council) to replant mature trees and perform general landscaping to improve the park and the screening of the car park.

    The affected area is around 200 square metres of the park’s total 4,000 square metres and its surrounds will be landscaped.

    We value your feedback and are committed to ensuring that further information will be made available via our website and our Facebook page.

  7. Posted by a local resident:

    Unfortunately today dawned a very sad day as they began to axe our beautiful Currey Park trees
    It is another example of public assets being destroyed and community rights trampled.

    It is a disgrace that management of both Willoughby Council and Westfield turned a deaf ear to the wishes of the people.

    The influence that Westfield has over Council is something that must be brought to light.
    Westfield says ‘jump’ and Council management replies “how high?”

    It appears that Council have also acquiesced to Westfield re allowing them to use a substantial area of Currey Park as a construction/work zone during the carpark extensions – estimated at 3-4 months.
    Fencing off the area from public access and use for such a protracted period in order to add a handful of car spaces to the 2,880 they already have should not be tolerated.
    That in itself is another example of Westfield’s corporate muscle dominating public needs and rights.

    Thanks Lynne for all your help and support.
    You raised strong objections to this Development when it was first raised a number of years ago and you remain the only Councillor to stand up and be counted.

    This is certainly not the last Council and Westfield will be hearing from residents and the community over this issue.

  8. From Dominic Johnson, Acting Director Planning & Infrastructure:

    Sorry for the tardy reply.

    Please find a response to your answers below but in essence Westfields have applied for and been granted a permit to conduct the works from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015. The reason was that there was no other way they could actually do the works (we have looked at every other possible alternative but current slab heights prevent them coming through the existing car park).

    The actual location of where the car park addition is to be constructed is identified as operational land as per Schedule 4 of the WLEP.

    Tingha Street, Chatswood
    Part of Lot 5, DP 69948 and part of Currey Park, being land approximately 6 metres wide and 43 metres long at an indent of the car park structure (between 2 fire escapes from the Albert Avenue car park)

    The reclassification was exhibited in 2009 and 2012, when Council prepared the Draft WLEP. The public notice and relevant documents associated with the reclassification are here: http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Development/Draft-Willoughby-Local-Environmental-Plan-2009/WLEP2009-Reclassification-of-Council-Land/

    The permit for temporary access over community land issued by Open Space is under a section of the Local Government Act. The Policy for such permit is here: http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/About-Council/Forms-Policies—Publications/Policies/200/

    I hope this answers your questions.

    Regards

  9. From Local Resident:

    In case you were not included in Council’s response (as per your request) to my email re Currey Park, I am forwarding Dominic’s reply.

    Of particular interest is the link to the ‘permit for temporary access over Community Land’. (It’s only 2 pages and worth reading).

    From my understanding of it – apart from Council claiming there was “no other way they (Westfield) could actually do the works …” – the Application appears to fail the majority of ‘criteria for assessing requests for access (to Community Land)’!
    A number of those criteria have already been breached, some savagely.

    Apart from the felling and loss of irreplaceable trees within the rezoned area, at least one mature gum outside the area has had a major upper limb amputated. Many smaller trees have been impacted and are in need of life support.

    Should a works area be allowed to proceed – only inches away from the (so-called) “tree preservation area” – there will inevitably be further adverse impact.

    Another of the “criteria” viz: “Effect of access on visual amenity of the land” has already been trashed.
    Right now the park is cut down the middle by a series of fences.
    Gates, padlocks, chains, scaffolding and signs all contribute to what is a terrible eyesore. The park’s visual amenity has been totally trashed.

    From what we have already seen it is clear the applicant is also incapable of meeting another of the criteria – that of minimising any impact on the land.

    It is interesting that the dividing fence (and gates) extend all the way from the park, along the pathway to Devonshire Street.
    This is well outside the reclassified area.
    Until the gates were temporarily unlocked, access to the walkway and to Devonshire Street from the park was prohibited.
    It begs the question of whether there is to be further loss of trees and greenery alongside this path.

    Most importantly I find it astonishing that Council have acquiesced to Westfield’s desire to use Currey Park as a works zone.
    They have placed the requirements of a corporate entity well above those of the Community.
    To claim “there was no other way they could do the works” and cite current “slab heights prevent them coming through the carpark” gives the strongest possible indication yet that Westfield can do as they please re this Development.
    Surely Westfield should be made to accommodate the works zone within the carpark, or simply find another way!
    Perhaps they do not want to ‘sacrifice’ any of their 2,880 car spaces in the lead-up to Christmas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s