Garden jeopardised?

SAGE 67 AlbertAccording to the North Shore Times, CHATSWOOD residents are outraged by a development proposal which has been described as “sacrilege”.

The North Sydney Planning Panel voted to approve the development application for 67 Albert Ave, right next to the Garden of Rembrance.

The application involves the construction of a 15-storey commercial tower valued at an estimated $57 million.

Residents claimed that “there will be complete overshadowing of morning sun to the garden, which understandably the RSL are distressed about.”

Since the development application was lodged in May 2017, a petition was created by residents opposing the development. But the Northern Sydney Planning Panel voted unanimously in favour.

Chatswood RSL manager Andrew Hoschke is reported as saying that “the garden is a place of quiet reflection for veterans and the community to go to seek solitude. There is no benefit at all to the community in putting up another commercial tower just for the sake of the developer making a quick buck. The garden was designed to record and remember all those wartime losses, if they go and die off that is basically sacrilege.”

Nearby residents are also furious at the fact they will have their views obstructed.

The development is on the same site as the Sage building and the land is owned by Willoughby Council. The land is leased  on a 99-year lease, which was signed in 2013. Before going to the planning panel, council endorsed the proposal. At Monday night’s council meeting residents and RSL members filled the gallery to plead their case.


Eddy-Devilliers Heritage Area

EddyConservationAreaAccording to the consultant’s report, the proposed Eddy Rd – Devilliers Ave Heritage Conservation Area was nominated by a family who live within the proposed area. It was nominated using Council nomination forms. Any member of the public is entitled to make such a nomination.

In most other matters where the activities of one neighbor might impact their neighbours, Council strongly encourages the proponent (nominator) to consult with their neighbours. In this instance, given the widespread angst caused by Council’s Notice of Meeting Letter, consultation, if any, seems to have been minimal.

Generally nominations are reviewed by Council staff each Council term depending on the number of nominations received. It is not known to what level Council staff reviewed this nomination.

Consultants (Architectual Projects) were then retained to review the nomination and make a recommendation. They reported

Properties within the proposed conservation areas were not individually notified as an assessment can be made from the street without entering the properties. However, all properties were notified, a few days before) of the Council Meeting to consider this report.

The Consultants reported that the proposed Eddy Road and De Villiers Avenue Conservation Area is significant as a harmonious and unified Interwar lower North Shore residential area, in a landscaped setting. Fieldwork found that the area had a reasonably high degree of integrity with 70% of properties contributing to the heritage character, and 46 out of 70 being highly intact. 24% of properties are considered neutral, in their contribution to the area, and only 6% were noted detracting.

The Consultant’s report was forwarded to the Sydney North Planning Panel. They concluded that the area was less unified than the consultant’s narrative seems to suggested that the quality of housing is not outstanding and that the area is not exceptional overall. They were also concerned that listing may dilute the value of existing heritage conservation area

Notwithstanding, the Council officer recommend the listing of the area as a Conservation Area because the area has a high degree of integrity. This view is vastly different to that of the Planning Panel and more complimentary than the Consultants’ view.

Based on a motion put forward by Clr. Campbell and seconded by Clr. Mustac, Council resolved not to adopt the Officer’s recommendations with regard to the Heritage Conservation area.

Will this be the end of the matter?

Based on previous experiences, it is possible that the matter may be again proposed at Council. However, a new motion contrary to the Council resolution, cannot be considered within the next three months. In the interim Council also resolved to hold a public educational forum on the proposal to list part of Eddy Road / DeVilliers Avenue, West Chatswood.

9 Centennial Heritage Listing

9 Centennial Protest

Save this historic house

The Association recently wrote to Willoughby Council seeking advice on the next steps in safeguarding the house. Council responded as follows:

“In response to your email I can advise that the following steps are required in progressing the listing of 9 Centennial Avenue as a Local Heritage Item:

1)    The Willoughby Local Planning Panel (WLPP) is required to provide advice on the Planning Proposal (being the proposed listing as a Local Heritage Item) prior to the draft Local Environmental Plan (Planning Proposal) being forward to the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). The WLPP provided advice to Council on 31 July, 2018. This advice is consistent with the resolution of Council to forward the proposal to the DPE for Gateway determination. The advice is attached to the report to the Council meeting of 27 August, 2018 (Monday night) on the comprehensive heritage review.

2)    The draft Local Environmental Plan (draft LEP) for the listing of 9 Centennial Ave as a Local Heritage Item is required to be forwarded to the DPE for Gateway determination. The paperwork for this is complete and it is anticipated to forward the documentation on Tuesday 28 August, 2018 following the Council meeting of 27 August at which the WLPP advice is tabled.

3)    Once DPE has provided Gateway determination it is placed on a 28 day exhibition. This will include a notice in the North Shore Times, notifying the owners of the property, Ward Councillors and the relevant progress association (in this case West Ward PA).

4)    Following exhibition the proposal is reported back to Council detailing submissions received in response to exhibition and recommending whether to proceed to make the LEP (list the property).

5)    If Council resolves to list the property it is forwarded to Parliamentary Counsel for gazettal.

Note, protection of the property currently exists under the Interim Heritage order (IHO) applicable to the site. From the date the exhibition of the draft LEP commences, protection is provided under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 (EP & A ACT 1979). It is anticipated the exhibition will commence before the end of the year. The IHO is due to expire on19 February, 2019 (by which time the draft LEP provisions would be in place). The applicant has appealed the Court’s decision on the IHO which is due to be heard on 21 February 2019 (after the IHO has expired).”

Heritage and Conservation nominations

Council is in the process of considering new Heritage and Conservation listings within West Ward. This includes:


Eddy Road and De Villiers Avenue, West Chatswood – proposed conservation area
The area has a high degree of integrity and that Council should proceed with the listing of the area as a Conservation Area.


PublicMeetingEddyThe Association has called for a PUBLIC MEETING to be held BEFORE ANY decision is made by Council.



Proposed Conservation Area


  • 78 Hawthorn Avenue, Chatswood  – recommended that Council does not proceed with heritage listing.
Glass House

Harry Seidler’s Glass House

Significance: The Glass House has historical association with internationally significant architect Harry Seidler, and was originally a good example of Seidler’s modernist design methodology.  The house has undergone substantial alterations and additions, although the broad design concept is still recognizable, little original fabric survives and the form is altered. The house does not meet the threshold for Heritage listing.

  • 126 Greville Street, West Chatswood (former Acoustic Laboratory) – recommended that Council proceed with heritage listing.

Former Acoustics Laboratory

Significance: Designed by Department of Housing & Construction in 1975, the Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute is a significant building complex that is regarded as an important work of aesthetic value for its response to the site.
The buildings at 126 Greville Street have high aesthetic significance as fine and substantial example of brutalist government offices, sensitively sited in a suburban bushland setting.

Although the use has changed since the National Acoustics Laboratory and Ultrasonics Institute vacated the site in 2013, the building has been sensitively adapted to its new use and retains the characteristics and qualities of the original construction.

The Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute was built at great public cost, at a time when the federal government was investing in large scale public projects such as the National Library, National Art Gallery and High Court of Australia, also built in brutalist style. A fine representative example of the Late 20thC Brutalist style as expressed in Government Offices.

The Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute is a unique purpose built national scientific facility.

The high quality of construction of the Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute reflects the scientific, social and economic standing of its purpose for the time.

The Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute undertook scientific investigation into learning and the effects of noise on people were investigated at the NAL facility. The clinical use of ultrahigh frequency sound was researched at the Ultrasonics Institute. The Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute was a major employer of acoustic scientists, researchers, and an employer of local residents in specialist and support services. The Former National Acoustic Laboratory & Ultrasonics Institute contributed to the development of hearing protection for workers.
Despite its recent adaptation to a new use, the building retains a high level of integrity.

Source: Council Agenda Papers for meeting 27th August 2018 Item 18.3.

Eddy & De Villiers Heritage Review


Proposed new Conservation area

Willoughby Council is considering listing houses in Eddy Rd and De Villiers Avenue as Conservation items.

Council has not published a list of the houses that will be included in the Conservation Area (just maps).

Significance: The proposed Eddy Road and De Villiers Avenue Conservation Area is significant as a harmonious and unified Interwar lower North Shore residential area, in a landscaped setting.

Developed following the subdivision and sale of allotments in the Glenview and Ferndale No. 1 Estates in 1915 and 1924 respectively, the area is a good representative example of development of the Interwar period in Chatswood.

A range of largely intact California and Interwar bungalows occur in groupings of consistent styles. The houses were controlled by building covenant which contributes to the cohesive character of the area.

The subdivisions have a strong landscape character due to their location adjoining the Ferndale Park, Chatswood High School and strong street planting. The garden settings of the houses contribute to this character.

Willoughby Planning Panel

The Willoughby Planning Panel made the following observations about the proposal:

Eddy {Planning Panel

Benefits of owning a property in a Heritage Conservation Area

According to Willoughby Council, the benefits of owning a property in a Heritage Conservation Area are:

  • Maintaining the heritage qualities and original features of residential buildings in a heritage conservation area can contribute positively to property values.
  • Inclusion in a heritage conservation area provides owners and intending purchasers’ greater certainty that the amenity of the area is protected. Development requires consideration of how the proposal will protect, preserve and reinforce the key characteristics of the heritage conservation area.
  • Protection against inappropriate development detracting from individual properties and the distinctive identity of the heritage conservation area.
  • Access to free heritage advisory services provided by Council including advice from Council’s heritage architect and planning staff to assist property owners with alterations, additions and conservation.

Development Control

To achieve the above aspirations, Part H of Council’s Development Control Plan contains some of the rules and regulations applicable for a Heritage Conservation Area. The Code includes consideration being given to:

H.1 General

H.1.1 Introduction

H.1.2 Aims

H.1.3 Information Requirements

H.2 General Conservation Controls

H.2.1 Planning and Design Principles

H.2.2 Design Elements

H.2.3 Development of Corner Allotments within Heritage Conservation Areas

H.2.4 Demolition

H.2.5 Subdivision

H.2.6 Infill Development

H.2.7 Secondary Dwellings

H.3 Heritage Conservation Areas



Floodlights for OH Reid Oval?

OH Reid Oval

OH Reid Oval

Willoughby Council has revealed that the OH Reid Oval is on the list for the installation of floodlights.

The majority of sportsgrounds in the city already have lights,

A major factor in the decision to install floodlights on unlit sportsgrounds is the need to increase the capacity of sportsgrounds by over 40% due to the existing demands and projected population growth to 2026 (reference NSROC Regional Sportsground Strategy
Review 2017). Council argues that it has limited resources to provide additional capacity for the sportsgrounds under their care and control. The NSROC Regional Sportsgrounds Strategy Review 2017 which was adopted by Council on 14 May 2018 is clear in stating that there will be an undersupply of sportsgrounds for a growing population in the region over the next 10 – 20 years. It is unlikely that there will be more land for sportsgrounds in the Willoughby LGA, therefore Council has followed a path in increasing the capacity of its existing sportsgrounds by placing floodlights on unlit fields.

It is quite common that where Council install floodlights on a sportsground it also seeks install a synthetic grass surface.


Crossley Memorial

Council first proposed the installation of floodlights and a synthetic grass surface on the OH Reid Oval in the early 1990s. This was fiercely and successfully opposed by local residents led by Garry Crossley (RIP).

There is a memorial to Garry near the OH Reid Playground.



Source: OHReid Lights (Refer Item 17.6)

Neighbourhood watch

Neighbourhood Watch logoA new Neighbourhood Watch initiative has been launched for the Willoughby area.

The Neighbourhood Watch program is one of a range of crime prevention and community safety strategies currently in use within NSW. Since 1984, when the program was first introduced, the NSW Police Force has supported the NHW program in those communities that have demonstrated their ongoing support for it. The program itself is not funded at a community level by the NSW Police Force, or any other government organisation. Instead, Neighbourhood Watch is resourced through fund-raising, sponsorships and grants and has at its core, dedicated volunteers in each local community.

Neighbourhood Watch is a community based, crime prevention organisation that aims to reduce localised crime and fear of crime by promoting and coordinating multifaceted approaches to prevention and problem solving. It is part of the broader Neighbourhood Watch Australasia organisation, of which, the NSW Police Force is a participating Board member.

Access the Willoughby Neighbourhood Watch website or join the Willoughby Neighbourhood Watch Facebook site.

Here are the latest crime statistics for Chatswood:

Crime Stats