I am the Planning Manager for the owners of the property that is opposite 809 Pacific Highway at 688-692 Pacific Highway.
We previously had a proposal for demolition of the existing buildings and seeking approval for an 11 storey apartment building.
We are now not proceeding with that proposal. We are now working on a different plan for a 6-7 storey building.
As part of understanding aspects of the new plan, we want to try to assess the effect of the new building on views from apartments in “Leura” especially those directly opposite our site.
To that end we are hoping that we might gain access to several units at and above level 12 on the southern end of the Leura Building where the views most directly overlook our building. Our aim is to take photos from the apartments/ balconies so that they can be included with our application to Council. That will help Council to better assess the proposal. I expect it would only take 5 minutes in an apartment and we could do it on a weekend or early morning if that was convenient for a resident.
I don’t have plans of “Leura” but I think the units a facing Pacific Highway on level 12, 13 and 14 at the southern end would be the ones to get the photos from.
We don’t need access to all of the units, perhaps 1 on each level if possible.
If you are able to contact the residents on our behalf for them to call me to arrange a suitable time that would be a great help. I can make arrangements directly with the residents or through you if you think that would be appropriate?
My contact details are below. The best number to call me is 0499889830
Response from community activist:
UPDATE RE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL FOR 688-690 PACIFIC HIGHWAY
(PLEASE SHARE WITH NEIGHBOURS, PARENTS AT CPS AND OTHER LOCALS!)
1 AQUALAND’S NEW DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION
Thank you for your continuing interest and support for the campaign regarding plans for this site.
You may recall that Willoughby Council promised to inform all those who formally made a submission opposing the original development application when any further applications are made by the developers, Aqualand.
This email is to keep you informed of recent news.
We have been informed that Aqualand is intending to resubmit a modified application for a building of 6-7 storeys. Their original proposal was 13 storeys, including podium level.
The company recently contacted Leura high-rise apartments seeking permission to photograph the development site from certain levels in that building.
Those with experience will not relax over such news, as it is common practice for developers to submit a less controversial proposal to gain initial approval, with the intention of making modifications later, such as applying for subsequent height increases.
2 MEETING WITH OUR LOCAL MEMBER, HON. GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN
Last Friday Megan Carapiet (a parent member of Chatswood P & C) accompanied me to a meeting with Gladys Berejiklian, our local state member of Parliament in response to a request made on behalf of all petitioners.
We provided Gladys with the background of our ongoing battle and showed her the petition opposing it, signed by 653 residents including 346 parents of Chatswood Public School. We presented the arguments regarding excessive height, the dramatic overturning of planning controls for the western side of the Pacific Highway, the lack of transparency regarding the employment by Aqualand of Council’s previous General Manager and Council’s previous Planning Officer, the imposition upon pupils of such a building as well as upon parking and traffic (including emergency vehicles) in and out of the school from the highway and the finality that such a development would have on any future school acquisition of appropriate land.
We put our major request, that the NSW Government urgently consider purchasing the site for public education, using it for additional classrooms and increased open space for pupils, space which has been dramatically compromised as more portables have been erected.
The site is ideal: situated adjacent to the school with two existing buildings offering refurbishment as classrooms, should the cost of new school buildings prove immediately prohibitive.
The pressure of a ballooning school population (now over 1100) has necessitated extensive overflow accommodation at Chatswood High School and now uses multiple portables as well as commutes by students and teachers. The remaining teacher’s carpark area has even been mooted for more portables. A series of such inadequate compromises dictate this obvious and rational decision.
Ms Berejiklian received us warmly and responded that she would be writing to the Minister for Planning, Hon Rob Stokes, for his response on this proposal and will let us know the outcome. She mentioned too that she has recently been in conversation with Chatswood P & C regarding the school’s needs.
Letters and emails of support to Gladys would be well-placed at this time:
Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP
Member for Willoughby
Should such a favourable purchase of this land be made, it will be a wonderful legacy by all of us for many future generations of local children.
Thank you for such detailed feedback. The effort put in to meet with Ms Berejiklian and the achived outcome of that discussion is exactly what the land in question needs, i.e. expansion of the school and overall improvement of our well overcrowded community.
I think similar idea have crossed minds of many of us but it was you and Megan who actually took actions. On behalf of both my family and I, I thank you greatly.
Brilliant approach, as all points put in item 1 of your email are exactly what the future could and would bring.
Request for 6-7 storey building(s) would grow into the ordinal plan of 2 buildings,I.e. 15 & 17 storeys. Who knows maybe even that would end up with a request for further increase in height.
Let us not forget the wording from the Council’s report (to which we opposed at the meeting in their chambers):
“… In general, we do not oppose to this proposal …”. Or” … In general, the proposal seemed to be acceptable…” (cannot remember the exact wording). Council did not explain how they supported such statement.