CBD strategy fiasco


Key parts of Willoughby Council’s much vaunted CBD Strategy seems to have come to a screeching halt (READ THE DETAILS). The strategy designed, amongst other things, to facilitate an increase of population around the Chatswood railway station was initiated in 2016 and adopted by Council in 2018. It was then forwarded to the State Government for approval, and there is sat (until recently). Evidently, the State government has put key aspects of the strategy on-hold and asked for more detail from Council.

The biggest outcry over the strategy came from residents bordering areas that the Council had identified for 90m residential buildings. This was to be by way of a ‘hard front’ –  90m on one side of the street. two stories directly opposite. This was in stark contrast to previous strategies that adopted a ‘bell’ or ‘lemon’ curve strategy with building heights rising incrementally away from low rise dwellings.

The State government has determined that site-specific Planning Proposals (rezoning) in the previously proposed 90m zones will not be considered. The CWWPA has argued long and hard against allowing such site-specific planning proposals (speculative rezong applications).

What happens next?.

Council planners responded to a recent request by CWWPA for clarification on the strategy as below:

Work will begin on a new LEP for Willoughby including Chatswood CBD next year (2020). The aim will be to build on the foundation provided by Council’s strategic planning work to create the new draft instrument and submit this for Council’s consideration by the end of the year. It is then expected that the draft LEP – and perhaps draft DCP – would go on exhibition in 2021.

The existing Chatswood CBD Strategy has received partial endorsement from the DPIE with some matters such as the feasibility of the commercial component of the proposed Mixed Use zone requiring further examination. This work is currently underway and will feed into the draft LEP next year.

It is interesting to note that the planners did not mention the prohibition on site-specific planning proposals.

CWWPA has asked Council for a copy of the full State government determination.


To become a member of CWWPA, direct deposit $20* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application. Renewing members $10. *Non-refundable and subject to meeting membership criteria.




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