Public Schools in West Ward

educationThere are three public schools within the West Ward. Chatswood Public School (CPS), Chatswood High School (CHS) and Mowbray Public School (MPS). Both CPS and CHS are over capacity.

Mowbray Public School
The school was recently completely rebuilt with capacity to house 1,000 students. Enrollments currently stand around 500. Additional enrollments will come from the unit developments along Mowbray Road West on the Lane Cove side. The Department of Education (DofE) is considering adjusting the catchment boundary with CPS to drive more students to MPS from CPS.
Chatswood High School
The school is currently over capacity at 1,400 students. However, there was a plan to build an additional 25 classrooms on ‘underutilised’ land, but this has been put on hold.
Note: 10 or more demountable classroom have been installed on the site for classes from CPS (known as the Bush Campus)..
Chatswood Public School
The school is way over capacity with 1,200 students. However, parts of the school are Heritage listed restricting somewhat future development of the site.
The current imperative in the area is to secure the future of Chatswood Public School.
There are a number of possible options.
1. Purchase additional land contiguous with CPS to allow the return of classes from the CHS site and expansion of enrollments.
On three sides the school is bounded by roads – Pacific Highway, Centennial Ave and Jenkins St.
To the north of the site, 688-692 Pacific Highway is zoned for medium density development.. If the Department of Education was able to purchase these sites they could potentially build a multi-level school with housing above. The difficulty is that the current zoning means the land is relatively expensive to purchase. Also, the Department has previously indicated their hesitancy in having mixed use on a school site.
To the west of the site there are a number of residential allotments between Jenkins St, James St and Western Way. These could be acquired for a traditional expansion of the school.
There may also be space available for some additional facilities on the site.
2. Relocate more classed from CPS to CHS
The plan to build 25 new classrooms could facilitate such a plan, but CHS needs additional classes itself. So this would seem to be aa self-defeating option.
Implications for Chatswood High School
The relocation of classes from CPS to CHS could dramatically impact the educational outcome on the CHS site. There have been suggestions that some classes from CHS move to the new UTS school at Roseville.
Some years ago, there was a proposal to relocate some or all of CHS to the then UTS site in Roseville. This was fought by local residents to the extent that a campaign was run to ensure that there was not a station at UTS on the then Parramatta to Chatswood rail line.
Sydney Metro Dive Site
After the completion of the new Sydney Metro South, the land at the corner of the Pacific Highway and Mowbray Road currently being used to construct the dive site will be vacant. This site at what was once the early CBD of Chatswood could make a great site for a new school. The site is at the end of the proposed southern expansion of the current CBD and is equidistant between CPS and Artarmon PS.

Woodhams rises

gregwoodhamsGreg Woodhams, former Director of Planning for Willoughby Council has taken on a new role with the Greater Sydney Commission.

Executive Director – City Planning

January 2017 – Present (2 months) 

My role at the Commission is to work collaboratively with the Commissioners, government agencies Councils to deliver the major priority projects and growth area initiatives outlined in the District Plans for the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area.

December 2014 – December 2016 (2 years 1 month)

Willoughby City Council – Environmental Services Director

1993 – 2014 (21 years)31 Victor Street CHATSWOOD

Woollahra Council – Director Of Planning And Development

October 1985 – November 1993 (8 years 2 months)

Chatswood Public School


Many of you have asked to be notified when the campaign opposing excessive development of 688-690 Pacific Highway and associated overcrowding issues at Chatswood Public School.

Chatswood Public School P&C parents will be presenting to Willoughby Council this Monday night 27th February at 7pm.

Parents at the school would love to see people support them at the meeting as Councillor Lynne Saville will be putting forward the following motion to Council on their behalf:

Motion: Re Chatswood Public School

That Willoughby City Council makes representations to our local MP, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of NSW, the Minister for Education, Mr. R. Stokes, Minister for Planning and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Foley with regards to:

  1. a) serious over-crowding at Chatswood Public School, and anticipated future population increases which will put further pressure on the school
  1. b) to address the urgent need to accommodate more students at local public schools in Chatswood
  2. c) investigating options for increasing the capacity of its education facilities including the provision of additional land and facilities

More information can be found on the Chatswood Public P&C webpage

“Next we will be producing a petition and a form letter to send to the Department of Education culminating in our meeting with the NSW State Premier, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP on Friday 10th March.  Please feel free to send your own letter to the Department of Education as every letter received will have an acknowledgement letter.  Then a soft copy of this letter could also be emailed on to other parties including our local member, councillors, etc.  Feel free to email me (email below) for full list!

Department of Education, Ministerial Office, The Hon. Rob Stokes MP. GPO Box 5341,SYDNEY NSW 2001

Forecast growth of our school exceeds the capacity of our buildings and facilities.  The Department of Education recently ceased all discussions of increasing capacity for our school, and instead proposes to “fix” overcrowding by “adjusting catchment boundaries”.  Their proposal does not account for the fact that most of our students walk from medium and highrise apartments in the immediate neighbourhood of the school and will continue to do so even as new residential developments come online, opening another 600 new local apartments by 2019.”


Parking across driveways

You may recall that via the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations we have been agitating for a resolution to the problem of people parking across a driveway in such a way that the residents  cannot get out. This has been particularly problematic near schools, sports venues and other locations.

Follow the link below to read the Council’s response. The Federation will continue to pursue an appropriate resolution.



Tourist accomodation

88archer88 Archer St (on the corner of Ferguson Lane) is the old Library carpark. The site is owned by Council but subject to a 99 year ground lease. The intent of the lease in the site  was for Strata Subdivision of 88 Archer Street (Lot 102 DP1186488) into 224 leasehold lots and included the inclusion of a positive covenant restricting the use of the lots to tourist accommodation. The provision of tourist accommodation on this site is a key aspect of the ongoing success of The Concourse.

Council Officers have been able to establish a number of additional provisions to assist Council in ensuring that the future use of the 224 leasehold lots is consistent with the sites tourist accommodation objectives

The Section 88b Instrument that sets out Terms of Easements and Restrictions that apply to each of the Strata Lots now includes:

  • A definition of Serviced Apartment.
  • A restriction limiting the use of the land to tourist and visitor accommodation.
  • A restriction limiting the occupancy of the serviced apartment by the same person to no greater than 90 days in any 365 day period.
  • A restriction requiring all car paces to be managed by the operator of the serviced apartments.
  • A restriction requiring that a monthly report to be submitted to Council providing occupancy details required by Willoughby Council to assist it in ensuring that the land is being used as serviced apartments / tourist and visitor accommodation.
  • A restriction requiring that car spaces can only be used by the owner and/or a tenant and not allowing any other person to use them.
  • A restriction prohibiting the alteration, removal or interference with any entrance doors or any equipment ancillary to the operation of the entrance doors.

Council Officers should be congratulated on their handling of these lease conditions.




Webcasting Council

webcastThis coming Monday (27 February) Willoughby Council is considering a proposal to ‘webcast’ its meetings. A webcast is a video broadcast of an event transmitted across the Internet. So we can watch Council meetings at home. (A bit like Gogglebox).

The Officer’s report states:

“Transparent, participatory democracy is at the heart of local government. Public access to proceedings can increase confidence in the exercise of Council decision making. Council meetings are held in the evenings and members of the public are occasionally required to wait for the agenda item in which they have an interest. Live webcasting can enable the public to be present in real time when decisions that may affect them are being made. Members of the community are also able to be aware of the debate around particular issues, either as it is happening or subsequently, without having to travel to the Council Chambers”.

Both Mosman and North Sydney Councils are already webcasting Council meetings.

The Officer goes on to say: “Given that Council is in a pre-merger state, it would be preferable to defer consideration of this issue until a merger is proclaimed to ensure that the most economical option is considered and Council is not in the position of paying unnecessary monthly maintenance costs.:

This is a furphy. Even after amalgamation, Willoughby residents will be paying for webcasting.

The Officer’s recommendation is:

“That Council defer consideration of this issue until after amalgamation to enable an assessment of the technology used by North Sydney and Mosman Councils to ensure the most economical solution.”

There is no certainty as to when Willoughby might be amalgamated. This appears to be  another example of Council failing to act in a timely manner.

688 Pacific Hway

The latest news on the second application is:

Council staff have advised as follows:

The Sydney (North) Planning Panel was briefed about this application on 8 February 2017. Council officers do not support the proposal in its present form and has advised the Panel as such. The minutes of this briefing is available here: Minutes – Briefing DA2016-425

The applicant is recommended to withdraw the application by Council officers. We are still waiting for a formal response from the applicant.

a) Has the date for the hearing been set, if so, when?

No, a date has not been set. The Panel Secretariat has indicated that a determination meeting date is tentatively available in late April (26th?) for this application. Assessment report for the application will be publicly available approximately 2 weeks before the determination meeting.

b)  Who is on the SNPP?  Which council officers will be present?

Council members:


The Mayor, Councillor Gail Gile-Gidney

Council’s Consultant, Linda McClure.

State appointees:


Deborah Dearing (Chair/ District Commissioner for the Sydney North District)

John Roseth (former senior commissioner of the Land & Environment Court/former Chair of the JRPP)

Sue Francis (Town Planner/ former member of the JRPP)

Assessment Officer: Annie Leung

If the elected Council wishes to make representation/submission to the Panel, this submission will be presented to the Panel by Planning Manager, Ian Arnott.

c)  Can members of the public attend, and what is the process for them to address the panel?

Yes. The determination meeting will be a public meeting. Council will provide a list of the correspondents/submissions to the Panel Secretariat, who will then advise correspondents of the meeting date/venue at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

Anyone who wishes to address a Planning Panel at a public meeting must register with the Secretariat before the meeting.  For more information, a member of the public can call 02 8217 2060 or email the Panel


Amalgamate & perish?

amalgamation2The off-again, on-again State Government amalgamation process is well and truly ON-AGAIN.

The Premier has announced that pending amalgamations in the Sydney area will proceed (subject to the outcomes of court challenges).

It is proposed to amalgamate Willoughby with North Sydney and Mosman Councils. Both have launched court appeals. So until these are determined the matter stays open.

Given that the probabilities lie in that we will be amalgamated, we need to start now working so that the Willoughby we cherish does not wilt or perish.

Please consider joining your local Progress Association or other local bodies that have similar interests (such as the Willoughby District Historical Society).



Driveway Parking

drivewayparkingWe will be discussing the issue of parking either parallel across a driveway or on a driveway crossing on public land with our elected representatives over the next few weeks.

It is illegal to park as described above.

Recently, a local resident received a warming notice, he was lucky not to be fined.