IN RELATION TO THE STORY BELOW, WESTFIELD WITHDREW ITS DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LOCAL RESIDENTS WHO LOBBIED SO HARD. IT PROVES A FEW PEOPLE CAN AFFECT CHANGE.
A nearby resident who has been spearheading the campaign to save community land and trees provides the following update:
“At the very last minute at Willoughby Council’s meeting on Monday night (Oct 26 2015), Westfield withdrew their DA modification to axe a further 15 trees in Currey Park.
This was supposedly to allow them access of heavy vehicles through the park.
We had always maintained they could find a less invasive means of access and , suddenly, it appears they have.
On Wednesday (28/10) morning the Devonshire Street access ramp to the car park was closed and being used for a concrete pour.
We are by no means convinced the fight is over. However Westfield’s withdrawal of the DA modification indicates that they were finally feeling the pressure of growing community anger.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to make a submission and/or sign the petition. In all there were a combined 200 signatories/submissions. A special thanks to Lynne Saville and Terry Fogarty for their wonderful support and unwavering commitment.”
Clr.Saville has raised the following concerns with Council:
A resident from De Villiers Ave has contacted me regarding the following matters:
1. Cars parked on both sides of Carr Street and Lone Pine Ave Chatswood often prevent the local bus passing, resulting in delayed bus services. Please refer to Traffic committee to Consider parking on one side of road only in Carr and Lone Pine
Other residents have contacted me re the following matters:
2. Bus stops on Victoria Ave between Katherine St and Pacific Highway: Inadequate shelter from wind and rain. If people seek shelter from the rain under cover at the adjacent commercial building, they are chased away. Proper effective shelter is required. Refer this matter to the traffic committee please
3. Existing footpaths along the more eastern and southern sides of De Villiers Ave are in dreadful condition. The pathway is an obvious falls risk. Please check the paths along De Villiers between Carr St and Dardanelles, and up to Eddy roads and ensure they are repaired ASAP
Residents are perplexed that council is planning to construct a new path on De Villiers Ave (northern side) on the existing grass verge from Dardanelles to Carr streets, while the footpath on the southern side is in serious disrepair
I suggest that it would be more prudent to repair the existing seriously deteriorated path on the south side of De Villiers before embarking on another route.
The following response was provided by Council after recent complaints by a local resident. The response typifies the ever decreasing powers Council’s have to manage their local area to the benefit of local communities.
“I refer to your recent e-mail to Council in which you express concerns about signage on display at specific locations in Chatswood. I confirm that my staff have been investigating your concerns and I now provide you with progress advice.
- Scrolling LED sign: Chatswood High School, 24 Centennial Ave., Chatswood
- Animated Digital Sign: Chatswood Primary School, 680 Pacific Hwy., Chatswood
The land occupied by the two schools is owned by the NSW Department of Education. Council has limited scope to control and regulate signage on NSW state government school land. However, Council is currently investigating your concerns with NSW State Government agencies with a view to perhaps securing an improved outcome regarding the erection and display of signage.
- ‘Meriton’ illuminated sign: 70 – 83 Albert Ave., Chatswood
The ‘Meriton’ illuminated building sign on the western elevation of Building 2 (serviced apartments) was approved by the NSW Minister for Planning on 14 August, 2014.
- Scrolling digital sign: Kayoe Furniture, 769 Pacific Hwy., Chatswood
This matter was originally investigated and actioned by Council’s Compliance Unit in July, 2013. The signage was subsequently modified in August, 2013 to comply with the ‘Exempt Development’ provisions of Willoughby LEP 2012.”
Along with many other Councils, the Independant Pricing and Regularity Tribunal (IPART) has deemed Willoughby Council ‘unfit’ to continue in its present form.
Whilst IPART found that Willoughby Council was ‘fit’ as far as it financial underpinning, it also found that Council does not meet scale and capacity criteria (read they are not developer friendly).
IPART has recommended that Council be amalgamated with adjoining Councils.
Willoughby Council has one month to respond to the IPART report. The Government is hoping that Council will accept financial incentives on offer to voluntarily amalgamate.
It is unclear what will happen if Councils do not volunteer. The Government may not have the numbers in the Upper House to force amalgamations. Perhaps the Government has some other options available to it. Time will tell.
The Government wants to sort this issue out before the next sceduled local government election due in September 2016.
The proposed changes to the Beaconsfield lights to allow through traffic and right hand turn movements have gained support in principle from the RMS. However, Lane Cove Council have concerns from some residents about the through traffic movements. The changes cannot proceed until both Councils are in agreement. The RMS also advises that this will be the last changes that they make to the lights.
The State Government has been indicating that Councils will know more about their long term fates by the end of the year. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will release its analysis of Councils ‘Fit for the Future’ claims shortly. Evidently, Councils will then have the opportunity to respond to this report by the end of the year. Then the Government may announce its intentions regarding amalgamations.
It is likely that many Councils (including Willoughby) did not give due regard to the population size of their area. This could turn out to be one of the most critical dimensions weighted by IPART.
Time will tell.
In a recent NRMA survey, the Pacific Highway at Chatswood was named as the State’s worst road for a fifth consecutive year. This would not surprise residents in the ear surrounding the various intersections along this route.
To our knowledge the Government and the Roads Authority do not have any specific plans to address this problem.