Less developer control

Scality Fast Track Vector Logo | Free Download - (.SVG + .PNG ...

The NSW Productivity Commission is recommending that the planning control systems be relaxed to allow developers to ‘get on with the job’ which they say is currently made difficult by the amount of ‘red tape’ (such as community consultation) restricting growth and the speed of application approvals.

The Commission is arguing that the Government had implemented an “overly complex, prescriptive and slow” system, which has hamstrung the ability of developers to respond to housing demand.

The commission wants the government to order councils to reassess housing supply capabilities in local government areas, while also calling on councils to revise housing strategies in areas where a lack of capacity is identified.

“Housing supply has failed to keep up with demand — that has led to an undersupply of housing, increasing the cost of living for households and making NSW a less attractive place to live,” he said. “Development applications are taking longer to assess, restricting housing supply and reducing affordability.”

The NSW Productivity Commission also recommended NSW Planning cut red tape and “Bring NSW approval assessment times into line with other jurisdictions’ times by the end of 2023”.

No one has asked local communities what they think about these proposals. The most likely outcome will be less community consultation and the greater use of Exempt Development policies for bigger projects that have greater local impact.


Planning alerts

There is a state-wide system called Planning Alerts (planningalerts.org.au). If you subscribe to the system (which is free) you can receive alerts about planning proposals in your area. The planning alerts system digitally “scrape” information from Council and State government planning systems and send you an email when it discovers a proposal near you.

Recently Willoughby Council changed it computer systems. At that point planning alerts for our area stopped working. This issue was raised at the Federation and CWWPA worked with other Associations to lobby Council to get the matter resolved.

Council interacted with the planning alerts people who have now responded:

Thanks for getting in touch and letting us know!

 We had to make some changes at our end to handle the changes you made to your site but that’s all done and things are working again. See for example https://www.planningalerts.org.au/authorities/willoughby/applications

 Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.


To become or renew as a member of CWWPA before March 30, direct deposit $10* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application.  *Non-refundable subject to meeting membership criteria.



No new Mall

A misguided proposal by a couple of residents to extend the Victoria St Mall to Archer St has been kiboshed by Councillors. This idea surfaces every decade or so.

A report to the last Council meeting revealed that the budget needed to extend the Mall would be of the order of $37 million.

The footnote to the report was the need to create a “CBD orbital by-pass” (referred to as “associated works”). No budget has been indicated for such a by-pass nor where it would be built. It is highly likely that the budget required for such a by-pass would be exorbitant.


Due to the timing of the Council meeting and based on previous resolutions of the Association we wrote to Councillors prior to the meeting requesting that:


No further work or expenditure be undertaken on the proposal to extend the Chaswood Mall further down Victoria Avenue until an investigation and report (including a budget) is completed and presented for the development of a CBD orbital by-pass.”


At the meeting Councillors voted unamiously to’Note’ the council officer’s report and recommendation. This effectively takes the proposal ‘off the table” as no further work on it by Council officers has been authorised.

Subsequently, council officers wrote to us advising:

At that Council meeting on Monday it was resolved unanimously:


That Council note the preliminary information provided regarding the potential for extension of the existing Chatswood Mall.




 The motion on being put to the meeting was CARRIED to become the resolution of Council.

There is not an intention to further consider the extension of the mall at this stage. Given the importance of the Chatswood CBD to all areas of the Willoughby local area, please feel free to share this information with your members.

CWWPA was supported on this campaign by the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations (FWPAs)


To become or renew as a member of CWWPA before March 30, direct deposit $10* with your name in the reference field to BSB: 032090 Acct: 548083 & complete our Membership Application.  *Non-refundable subject to meeting membership criteria.