Boronia Park: proposed works

Priority aspects of the Boronia Park Management Plan 2015 are being implemented.   See the Plan of works.  It includes

  • the looped Track
  • Upgrades to Princes Street Access Road
  • Shelters, picnic tables and benches
  • Boronia Park carpark entrance.

Send feedback to Hunters Hill Council by April 3 2017.

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SOS: Sydney’s urban green spaces

Image: GSC

It’s obvious that community groups need to become more effective in protecting Sydney’s green spaces, especially since the Greater Sydney Commission’s District Plans and the new and proposed state legislation are upon us.

The Total Environment Centre (TEC) is inviting community groups to a forum to improve collaboration and build effective strategies.  Speakers and facilitators include:

  • Jeff Angel, TEC
  • Corinne Fisher, TEC
  • James Grant, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
  • Emily Ryan, Environmental Defender’s Office NSW.

When:   Saturday 1st April, 10am – 3pm, lunch provided
Where:  Mitchell Theatre, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.

RSVP and more info: Building the voice: community forum.

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boom gate at Hunters Hill Hotel

What happened to free public parking at Hunters Hill Hotel?

Free public parking was a condition of the approval for the construction of the hotel, but in December, HHH installed a boom gate.  Free parking was only for hotel customers and everyone else had to pay.

The community complained, Council referred the matter to its lawyers.  Now the first 2 hours of parking is free again.

Extended trading hours.  Despite strong community opposition, the HHH is pushing ahead with its plan to extend its alcohol trading hours to 2:00am.  There will be an onsite hearing of the Land and Environment Court at 9:30 am on April 20th followed by a hearing at the court.  More information re trading hours:  Rachael Knapman, HWI Ebsworth Lawyers rknapman@hwle.com.au or 9334 8507.

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What’s your response to the plans for our Northern District?

Housing targets:  only 4 years from now

The Greater Sydney Commission’s Plan for the Northern District sets a target of 25,950 additional dwellings by 2021.

This includes 150 in Hunters Hill, 300 in Mosman, 1,250 in Willoughby, 1,900 in Lane Cove, 3,000 in North Sydney, 3,400 in Northern Beaches, 4,000 in Ku-ring-gai, 4,350 in Hornsby and 7,600 in Ryde.  The target for Greater Sydney is 189,100 additional dwellings by 2021.

How do you feel about this?  Are you confident this will give us a ‘more liveable, more sustainable, more productive’ community?  Other important changes are proposed for our area.

Read the full draft Northern District Plan here and Make your own quick submission to the Greater Sydney Commission here, before March 31st

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Where NSW’s revised planning laws lead …

Image: Eugene, The Conversation

The NSW Government is proposing further amendments to the State planning laws.  The community has until Friday 31 March 2017 to comment.  Follow this link to make your submission.

Worrying changes that are proposed:

  • Weaker requirements to achieve ecologically sustainable development
  • Poor standards for native species protection under the biodiversity legislation
  • Department of Planning will be able to override advice from other expert agencies if approval time frames aren’t met.

Corymbia maculata, artist Edward Minchin

Some positive changes:

  • Another nail in the coffin of ‘Part 3A’ (the major projects law that failed on community engagement, transparency, accountability and environmental protection).
  • New public participation plans and clearer exhibition periods
  • New local planning panels to improve transparency in decision making.

Changes that are concerning and should be included:

  • Strengthen the effectiveness of environmental impact assessment in major developments
  • Address climate change in plan making and development decisions
  • Protect community appeal rights to appeal:  reinstate third party merit appeals.

This Briefing note from Environment Defenders Office outlines the proposed changes and their implications.  You can also check their PODCAST:  NSW Planning law reforms, Environment Defenders Office.

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Cruise around Hunters Hill

Lithgow ferry, built 1927

Join a guided tour around Hunters Hill.  We will travel on the Lithgow ferry.  A light morning tea will be provided.

Events are intended for Trust members and their friends and family.  New members are welcome to join us.

When:  Sunday 2nd April 10:30-12:30

Where:  meet at Alexandra Street wharf

Bookings and enquiries: members@huntershill.org.au

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court to decide late trading at Hunters Hill Hotel

alcohol shoe

not pretty at 2:00am

drinker

    not witty either

Iris Hotel Group Management is pressing ahead with its application to extend alcohol trading hours till 2:00am at the Hunters Hill Hotel.

The community is strongly opposed and anticipates increased social harm.

No agreement was reached at the conciliation conference on December 15th so the matter will now proceed to a hearing at the Land and Environment Court.  There will be an onsite hearing at 9:30 am on April 20th followed by a hearing at the court.

More information:  Rachael Knapman, HWI Ebsworth Lawyers rknapman@hwle.com.au or 9334 8507

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Joubert St childcare centre approved

              Too big!

Hunters Hill Ventures Ltd has won its appeal in the Land and Environment Court and will be allowed to demolish the existing buildings at 22 & 22A Joubert Street and remove 20 trees so they can build a childcare centre with a capacity for 88 children and 14 staff.

The Trust and local community members had argued against the development because of its great bulk and scale, traffic and noise impacts, loss of trees and because it will be out of character with its neighbours.  The conciliation process led to some very modest concessions.  The approval is for 88 children instead of 98 and closing time will be 6:00pm instead of 6:30pm.

Read the court details at Land and Environment Court and details of the approval here.

 

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Neighbours and Councils will be powerless …

suburban-tree-canopy-annie-charlton

Suburban tree canopy (Annie Charlton)

The Baird Government is proposing to expand the definition of ‘code complying development’ to include Medium Density buildings.  You wont need to put in a Development Application to get approval to build townhouses, terraces, manor homes (2 up, 2 down) and dual occupancies on lot sizes of more than 200 sq. m per dwelling.

Neighbours and the broader community won’t have the opportunity to comment or object.  Private certifiers employed by the developer will have control. This is a gift to commercial developers.  See more here.

We encourage people to send their comments.  Submissions close Friday 23 December codes@planning.nsw.gov.au .  Some key points:

  • There will be no way to maintain the character and/or amenity of our suburbs
  • Existing infrastructure, tree clearing, bush fires, flood mitigation, storm water runoff, privacy and topography would not be assessed
  • There are already serious concerns about private certifiers giving the green light to non-compliant developments
  • This poses a broad scale threat to existing ‘backyard’ vegetation or tree canopy – resulting in loss of open space, climate change mitigation and biodiversity.

Read what HHT had to say: Submission on Medium Density Housing Code.

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Apartment living: what lies in store

The big squeeze. Photo Jessica Shapiro, SMH 2016

The big squeeze. Photo Jessica Shapiro, SMH 2016

Garry Linnell wonders about the consequences of the massive social engineering experiment that is happening in Sydney right now:

We need to talk about the toll of apartment living

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