Wind Tunnels

Wind Tunnel.jpgWe recently raised with Council the issue of the wind tunnel effects within the CBD and particularly in Victoria Avenue near the Pacific Highway.

Council advised that they regulalry require  a development proponent tolodge a wind assessment report and that often additional design elements are required to be incorporated in conditions of consent for the development was acceptable. This is not to say that wind impacts would not be experienced but rather that sufficient attempts are made to minimise such impacts whilst still enabling multi-storey development.

The Chatswood CBD Planning and Urban Design Strategy was adopted by Council in June last year. The vision for the CBD includes achieving great public places, urban design quality and greening the centre. Guiding concepts include (amongst other things):

  • Slender towers
  • Tower separation
  • Design excellence
  • Urban approaches to podia and greening

The greening of the city, including street tree planting and other landscape measures together with podiums, street awnings and slender, separated towers all assist in controlling local wind conditions. Design excellence will be a requirement for all multi-storey development which will also have regard to public domain amenity including wind conditions. Wind studies are required for major multi-storey development within the CBD.

The suggestion of a temporary Chatswood Wind Measurement Station has been forwarded to Council’s Environmental Health section for consideration as has the suggestion that developers install a recording anemometer in their buildings.


Unhealthy high rise

unhealthy high riseLeading Sydney architects and urban designers believe that many (if not most) of Sydney’s high rise apartment buildings are inherently unhealthy.They are calling for a rethink on the design of residential apartments.

Existing buildings with long, dark corridors, windy balconies and little cross-ventilation are damaging people’s health and well-being.

The buildings are described themselves as being ‘sick’.

There is a call for buildings to support “gentle urbanism” which rejects the bulky footprint design for 10 to 30 storey towers in favour of a slim footprint building with generous setbacks and deep rooted landscaping.

The enlightened’ architects are concerned that where towers rise too far above the street, whilst people may gain views they can no longer step out and talk to friends on the street. However, restricting the footprint of buildings, within the context of planning laws, results in the delivery of buildings needing to be far higher.

In reality, the pronouncements of these reformist architects could be termed ‘a cry into the sky’. Development economics, legal entitlement and government strategies that demand the housing of an increasing population cannot be achieved without a massive increase in the footprint of the city resulting in unsustainable need for costly infrastructure and the loss of productive land on the outskirts of the city. Fostering ‘urban sprawl’ generates as many problems as the architects are dreaming of solving.

Source: Architects say towers a health risk by Linda Morris, SMH, 1 October 1918 p.4


Club Willoughby developments

Heart of Willoughby

Club Willoughby and Hyecorp Property Group have announced receipt of its long-awaited Site Compatibility Certificate! With the Certificate, Club Willoughby has secured approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to advance a development application that seeks approval for building of a brand new state of the art club as well as seniors’ housing.  

Mobile Phone Base Station

Fullers Phone TowerA poster has been placed on at least one power pole on near 245 Fullers Road advising of the imminent installation of a Mobile Phone Base Station on behalf of TPG.

It is noted in the details at that the tower is required to improve 4G reception in the area.

Public consultation is open until the 20th September 2018 via the address above.

Satisfaction Survey


SatisfactionReally ?

Over 71% of the 723 people who responded to an independent survey rated the overall performance of Willoughby City Council as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Only 4% rated Council’s performance as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

Free activities, excellent parks, outdoor spaces and art centres, are among the list of things council is doing well, with scores well above the state average, according to a residents’ survey.

Services that rated more than 80% ‘good’ or ‘very good’ were libraries, waste and recycling, maintenance of bushland areas and parks and ovals, art centres, the appearance of public spaces including the Chatswood shopping precinct, and community and cultural activities.

Services rated more than 70% (‘good’ and ‘very good’ combined) were children support services, the attractiveness of streetscapes, caring for the environment and elderly support services.

Top of the list of the ‘best things Council is doing’ were the free activities like Vivid and Emerge Festival.

What was not revealed was how the current results compare to the results from past surveys.

Threat to garden removed?

Garden of Remembrance

A strange saga is unfurling regarding a new building being proposed next to the Garden of Remembrance near Chatswood station.

Willoughby Council owns the land which is leased to CorVal.

This week, objectors to the proposal were advised in writing that the proposal had been approved (deferred commencement consent) by the Northern Sydney Planning Panel.

The saga started when CorVal approached Council with the proposal seeking consent for them to lodge a development application. Council Officers, acting under delegated authority granted Council consent. After the proposal was lodged, Council officers assessed it and reported generally in favour.

The Sydney North Planning Panel considered the proposal and approved it with conditions.

The proposal had been strongly opposed by the community and the Chatswood RSL Club.

Last Monday night, Willoughby Council decided to object to the proposal. They intend to write to CorVal advising them that the current lease  does not permit such a development.

CorVal have already listed their building for sale, citing the approved DA as a benefit to any purchaser.