District Plan

north-district-overview-coverThe long awaited draft District Plan North by the Greater Sydney Commission has been released. Unfortunately, it is long on rhetoric but short on detail.The Northern District is one of six districts covering Sydney. So an area the size of Chatswood west Ward slides into insignificance in the wider scheme of things. This is further exacerbated now that the Greater Sydney Commission has grouped the Northern and Central Districts into one of three ‘cities’ within Sydney – Sydney East.

Whilst there is interesting predictions on population growth and jobs, where additional people are to be housed is not shown, although there are suggestions that infill housing in our district will be important. There are ambitious targets for affordable and social housing, but again no details as to how these will be funded. When it comes to jobs, it seems more of the same, with jobs expected to be created within the existing CBDs. However, there is no proof that the Commission can better the Joint Regional Planning Panels and Planning Assessment Commission who have violated Willoughby’s Local Environmental Plan and converted cast amounts of commercial land (particularity in the Chatswood CBD) to residential.

Looking at supporting maps, there does not seem to be any significant open space initiatives in what might become the Council of the Lower North Shore.

 

DA 2016/394 130-138 Archer St Roseville

132-138-archerThis site falls within the Middle Harbour Council Ward and the West Ward Progress association. It is a DA according to the council website.  The Willoughby LEP has the area bounded by Boundary/Archer / William/Railway line as zoned R3.
The DA refers to the site being zoned “R3 Medium Density Residential zone”

According to the DA the aplicant claims that the variations to the zoning requested: are reasonable variations to the following development standards:

– Building height (maximum 13.3%),
– FSR (4.4%); and
– Minimum lot size (12.5%).

The variations are in response to site specific constraints and will not create any unreasonable environmental impacts on the surrounding area.

The DA is proposing a height of 13.6 meters instead of 12 m per zoning.

Once you accept the terms and conditions and click on the documents tab, details of the application can be found here: https://eplanning.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Pages/XC.Track/SearchApplication.aspx?id=459938

688-692 Pacific Hwy again

Hi to all,

I have just received from Council official notification of the second  Development Application for 688-690 Pacific Highway, which they are forwarding to the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Note the it is not being considered by Council but by the JRPP.

Any person can seek to make a submission to appear before the JRPP.

I am hoping others of you will seek to do this apart from myself.

I note the following:

The application is available for inspection until the above closing date.  If you would like to make a comment on the proposal, it must be made in writing and must be received at Council by the closing date.  If you do wish to comment on the proposal an information sheet is attached to assist you.

The application will be reported to the JRPP for determination.  This meeting is open to the public and you are able to appear before the Panel to state your case for or against the development.

I will be visiting Council this week to look at the actual application as the details are not available online.

I will write again after seeing the plans and seek to summarise these.

As others have noted, it is common practice for developers to gain an achievable development approval in order to onsell land to another developer, who then increase height claiming their purchase would otherwise be unviable.

56 units in 6 storeys must mean it is extensive.

This application is thankfully not 13-15 storeys any more, however current buildings on this site are 2 storeys and would seem to be about as tall as any of us would wish a new building to be on this site.

A development such as this:

  • exceeds the current LEP (Council regulations (LEP 2012) sets a maximum height of 18 meters, around 4 storeys, for this area). To date Council has prevented the encroachment of Chatswood’s CBD high-rise to the west of the Pacific Highway)
  • blocks use by the Department of Education unless they were to purchase now
  • presents extensive and intractable traffic issues
  • continues the lack of transparency regarding the involvement of previous officers of the Council (General Manager and Planning Officer) as employees of the developer Aqualand.

…and more

sincerely,

Parking across driveways

Issue: Residents driveways being illegally blocked by other vehicles

no-parking-across-drivewayWith the growing infill development and corresponding increased population, and a lack of adequate parking around shopping centres in the Willoughby Community and a lack of respect for others, residents across the Willoughby LGA are reporting issues of being parked in to their houses by cars and trucks blocking their driveways.

In some cases parents have been late or unable to pick up their young children, which has placed them in danger, many residents have been inconvenienced and unable to leave their properties to go to their own planned events, one resident reported being parked in for the whole Easter holiday, and another reported that the bus driver of a bus for the local Ex-Serviceman’s club parked his car across their driveway to go off to drive the bus, and they just caught him as he was driving off.

Residents have few rights and limited courses of action when this occurs:

  • Currently residents would have to pay for a car to be towed and would be liable for any damage caused in the process of doing so.
  • Police and rangers can fine the offending drivers if they are there in time and have the inclination to do so.

On the flip side of this, another resident reported being fined for parking across his own driveway when there were no other spots available.

This issue is widespread and likely to increase as the local urban infill development continues to increase. It needs a co-ordinated action by Council and legislative changes from the State Government to address this issue.

On a recent local social media forum similar issues have been reported for residents living in Chatswood, Willoughby (near High St Shops), Naremburn, and Northbridge.

 Recommendations

  1. Request that Willoughby Council:
  • develops a fact sheet in consultation with Chatswood Police and local Progress Associations providing residents with information about their rights and available courses of action if they are parked in. This should be distributed to local residents, particularly those living in close proximity to retail and transport hubs, and also be available on Council’s website.
  • Monitors where the problem areas are and have regular ranger patrols at the times identified as when the main problems occur.
  • Facilitates a web and app based reporting system where residents who have been parked in can send photos, to enable rangers to rapid response where possible, and to enable ongoing monitoring of the issues in particular areas.
  • Advocates to the State Government to have the law changed so that Councils and the police can arrange for any offending vehicles to be towed away, including those reported by residents sending photos, and that to recover the vehicles, the driver must pay a fine and the towing fee.
  • Enables residents in areas where there are ongoing issues to request white lines be painted on the road outside their residences to mark driveways.
  1. Request that the State Government changes legislation such that :
  • that those who are affected by being parked in are able to report to Councils or the police via sending photos via the internet or a specialist app, and that Councils and Police will have the power to immediately act on reports in this manner, rather than being required to undertake a site visit first (with protections against false and/or vexatious reports);that police and council officers can organise immediately they are notified for vehicles that are illegally parked across a resident or business driveway to be towed,
  • that towing is at the registered vehicle owner’s cost,
  • that any such vehicle is impounded until fines and towing cost are paid; and
  • the driver is automatically fined; and
  • providing an exemption to enable residents to park across their own driveways.

 

Noise complaints

If you are having trouble with noisy neighbours, here is Willoughby Council’s process for lodging a complaint:

Neighbourhood Noise

Noise disturbances are controlled under the provisions of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. In general, offensive noise should not be emitted from a premises.

Offensive noise means noise:

  1.  that, by reason of its level, nature, character or quality, or the time at which it is made, or any other circumstances:
    (i) is harmful to (or is likely to be harmful to) a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or
    (ii) interferes unreasonably with (or is likely to interfere unreasonably with) the comfort or repose of a person who is outside the premises from which it is emitted, or
  2. that is of a level, nature, character or quality prescribed by the regulations or that is made at a time, or in other circumstances, prescribed by the regulations

Reporting Noise Pollution

Firstly it is recommended that you try and resolve the noise issue yourself by talking it over with the person causing the noise. Often people don’t realise they are causing a problem and they may be very happy to do what they can to help. If this approach is not successful and where noise is a recurrent problem you may, depending on the circumstances, consider contacting a Community Justice Centre. If you are unable to resolve the matter by using these methods, more formal action may be taken by contacting Council and providing the following information:

  • Time, date and duration of the noise
  • Details of the type and sound of the noise
  • Details of the likely noise source
  • Your contact details

Council will not investigate anonymous complaints.

Civil action for the issuing Issue of a Noise Abatement Orders:

  1. The occupier of any premises may apply to the Local Court for an order under section 268 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.
  2. The application is to be commenced by the issue of an application notice that alleges that the occupier’s occupation of premises is affected by offensive noise.
  3. The respondent to the application may be a person alleged to be making or contributing to the noise or the occupier of premises from which the noise is alleged to be emitted.
  4. If the Local Court is satisfied (on the balance of probabilities) that the alleged offensive noise exists, or that although abated it is likely to recur on the same premises, the Local Court may make either or both of the following orders:
    (a) an order directing the respondent to abate the offensive noise within the time specified in the order,
    (b) an order directing the respondent to prevent a recurrence of the offensive noise.
  5. Part 4 of the Local Court Act 2007 applies to an application under this section.

Permissible Hours

To enable people to use and maintain their properties, an understanding has been reached for certain acceptable domestic noise. Certain items may only be used outside the permissible hours if they are not heard within a habitable room of an affected residence. Even operating within the permissible hours, restrictions can be placed on the use of these articles if they cause offensive noise.

Noise Source

Permissible Hours

Power tools and equipment, including powered garden tools, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, electric or pneumatic tools, chainsaws or circular saws, compressors etc. 7am – 8pm, Monday – Saturday
8am – 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Swimming pool and spa pumps 7am – 8pm, Monday – Saturday
8am – 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Amplified sound equipment, including radio, TV, hi-fi etc. 8am – midnight, any friday, Saturday or day immediately before a pulic holiday
8am – 10pm on any other day
Domestic air conditioners 7am – 10pm, weekdays
8am – 10pm Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Motor vehicles, except when entering and leaving residential premises 7am – 8pm, Monday – Saturday
8am – 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays
Refrigeration units fitted to vehicles 7am – 8pm, Monday – Saturday
8am – 8pm Sundays & Public Holidays

Night Time Music or Party Noise

Disturbances of excessive noise from parties at night, where Council Rangers are unavailable, should be directed to the Local Police. Authorised officers can issue Noise Abatement Directions if they are satisfied that the level of noise is obtrusive and offensive. A person to whom a Noise Abatement Direction has been given must not, without reasonable excuse, while the direction remains in force:

  • fail to cause the emission of the offensive noise from the premises to cease promptly
  • at any time within 28 days following the time at which the direction was given cause or permit offensive noise to be emitted from the premises

Commercial Premises

Most commercial operations are required to comply with noise requirements (in accordance with the NSW Industrial Noise Policy) under their respective development consents for the use of the property.

Reporting Noise Pollution – Who to Contact

Noise Source

Contact

Industrial/Commercial Noise
Large industrial complexes EPA environment line, phone: 131 555
Smaller factories and backyard workshops Local Council
Commercial premises – ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration Local Council
Pub, club or licensed premises – loud music or patron noise Office of Liquor, Racing and Gaming
(02) 9995 0300
Online form
info@olgr.nsw.gov.au
Transport Noise
Commercial airports and aircraft in flight National Noise Enquiry Line: 1300 302 240
Aircraft on the groud at private and local council operated airports Local Council
Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) in a public space, such as roads, verges and car parks and off roads, including parks and reserves EPA Environment Line, phone: 131 555, or Police Assistance Line, phone: 131 444, or Local Council
Noisy motor vehicles (including trail bikes) on private property Police Assistance Line, phone: 131 444, or Local Council
Local roads noise Local Council
Freeways, tollways, main roads noise Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Rail noise EPA Environment Line: 131 555
Rail Greenline: 1300 656 999
Australian Rail Track Corporation EnviroLine: 1300 550 402
Naval vessels Department of Defence: 1300 333 362
Container and passenger ships Ports Corporation, Sydney: 9296 4999
Recreational boating, jet skis Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Amplified music from vessels Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Water Police: 9320 7499
or Local Council
Construction Noise
Freeways and tollways construction EPA Enviironment Line, phone 131 555
Main Roads construction Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Other Roads construction Local Council
Building construction Local Council
Major public infrastructure construction EPA Environment Line, phone: 131 555
Public Sporting and entertainment Venues
Motor sports and gun/rifle/pistol clubs Local Council
Sporting facilities (other than vessels) Local Council
Aquatic sporting events Roads and Maritime Services: 1300 308 349
Concert facilities Local Council
Concerts at major state venues (eg SCG, the Domain, Centennial Park, Moore Park, Olympic Park) EPA Environment Line: 131 555
Neighbourhood Noise
Noise from residential premises such as animal noise, barking dogs, power tools, loud music, air conditioners, pool pumps etc. Local Council or Police Assistance Line: 131 444
Building intruder or car alarms Local Council or Police Assistance Line: 131 444