|Hunters Hill Council has $2m funding from NSW government to spend on upgrading the Gladesville Reserve playing fields. Council has proposed a fenced-off field with an artificial surface. Sporting interests, mainly soccer, want a synthetic turf replacement but many in the local community are urging an improved natural turf surface to ensure this valued Crown Land remains accessible to all.
Council is required to consult widely prior to making a decision and you can learn more and get involved by signing the petition provided by the newly formed Sustaining Gladesville Reserve group at:
Their email address is SustainingGR@gmail.com if you would like to contact them directly.
A fenced off plastic surface will restrict activities other than sports and close off a shared community resource currently much used and enjoyed by all. Synthetic turf is opposed for its many environmental disadvantages, particularly in a changing climate. Microplastics migrate to waterways and bushland, vital natural processes are disrupted and native wildlife impacted. Disposal of the plastic surface every decade or so remains very problematic.
The Trust supports use of the funds to upgrade Gladesville Reserve’s facilities that benefit the whole community and the natural environment through proven techniques that provide a sustainable fit-for-purpose grassed surface.
Hunters Hill Council has prepared a revised Gladeville Master Plan whose stated aim is to provide an integrated plan for Gladesville Town Centre – but the main intent is to amend Hunters Hill Local Environment Plan 2012 (HHLEP) to enable greater development density!
The commercial zone along Victoria Rd from Junction St to Pittwater Rd is within a heritage conservation area and the Trust is opposed to the relocation or removal of the belatedly heritage listed Schedule 5 item at 10 Cowell Street, which was also sold to the developer but not adequately protected at the time. The timber cottage can provide a low-key transition from the commercial to the residential zone which should act to inform and shape the redevelopment of the GSV site. The issues are:
- The form of the Block Studies (referred to as Blocks 1, 2 & 3) used for public exhibition are not sufficiently defined to comprehend the proposed redevelopment for these sections of the Master Plan. The three options outlined for Block 4 (Gladesville Shopping Centre/Key site) are called Concept Plans and are all relying on amendment to the HHLEP to build to greater heights and accommodate much larger numbers of units – up to 19 storeys in height!
- The history of selling off Council land, now described as Block 4, in 2012 – without consultation with the community and adequate planning controls to guarantee public benefit – has left a legacy of mistrust. Council amended the LEP to increase Floor Space Ratio (FSR) of 2.3 to 2.7. This allows greater bulk and permits building height of 34 metres – 180 residential units up to 8-10 storeys. See the Trust’s submission here HHT Submission for Gladesville Master Plan
- Council’s proposed further amendment from […]
Here we go again with yet another Development Application (DA20211185) for an inappropriate adaptive re-use of the iconic heritage building at 39 Alexandra Street, currently leased by The Lost & Found Department homewares outlet.
The new proposal is another attempt to over-develop this historic site with alterations and additions for shop-top housing with residential accommodation, a retail shop and a licensed restaurant seating 35-40 patrons operating from 7.00am to 10.00pm (in reality likely to be in operation around 18 hours per day).
If you feel that this iconic building deserves to remain the well-loved community asset it currently is, make your views known to Council at firstname.lastname@example.org by 24 Sept 2021. Read the Trust’s submission here Submission re 39 Alexandra St
It is difficult to think of a more inappropriate use of this property. Restaurants are not in short supply in Hunters Hill. In fact, there are 3 within 50m of this site, as well as 4 more in Woolwich, barely 1km away, the Hunters Hill Club a few hundred metres distant and a clutch of eating establishments on Ryde and Gladesville Roads near the Hunters Hill Hotel. The Trust considers the civic importance of this corner location unsuitable for this type of development for the following reasons:
1. The Plan is for a 2 storey modern extension to the heritage building with increased height, no setback, inappropriate materials and lack of landscaping – particularly unsuitable for a site opposite The Garibaldi Inn, one of Hunters Hill’s few State Heritage Listed structures.
2. There is no mention of protecting the building’s interior which boasts many outstanding heritage features.
3. The proposed hours of operation (minimum) 15 hours per day are far too long for a quiet neighbourhood and twice those of its […]
Mature eucalypts due for removal
Hunters Hill Council has now lodged a Development Application DA20211184 for a Sports & Community Facility at Boronia Park. You may have received a flyer from the Boronia Park Action Group inviting you to have your say on this development within our heritage-listed parkland. Submissions close on Friday 17 September 2021 at 4pm and we encourage you to make your views known to Council at customerservice@
Council promotes this building as a ‘community facility’, although we know the Hunters Hill Rugby Club will have almost exclusive rights and access, at a nominal cost of $100 per annum! Despite this, ratepayers are expected to cover an annual maintenance bill in excess of $38,000.
The need for better facilities in Boronia Park, such as female change rooms, storage, etc is clear, but amenities can be easily and more sustainably provided by restoring and extending the existing heritage grandstand, as intended by the original $1M State Government grant. In fact, this site was identified in the 2015 Boronia Park Management Plan as being the most appropriate, reinforced in 2020 by Council’s independent consultant finding overwhelming support for the grandstand location, with 97 submissions in favour and only 6 opposed.
However the Plan adopted by Council, under pressure from the sporting lobby, instead locates a new 50 metre long, 8 metre high, two-storey facility between Ovals 1 & 2. This oversized structure will act as a wall between the two ovals, destroying views across Boronia Park to bushland and compromising the expansive sense of open space. It will require a lift to reach the viewing platform, adding to maintenance costs and energy use, and will be lit up until 11pm at […]
The Trust welcomes Council’s interest in Figtree Park now they have to spend the huge Public Spaces Legacy Grant they inexplicably applied for, for just this one small space! We are puzzled as to why muliple smaller Grants were not sought to cover the needs of other parks in the municipality that were eligible under the guidelines. Counci now has $4.75 million to spend on this small park (the rules do not allow the money to be allocated elsewhere) although they have confirmed that unspent funds can be handed back to the State.
Council is requesting our ‘Participation’ in an online survey for Figtree Park. We know from past experience particularly at the time of the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan when one interest group was able to stack responses, that this type of survey is an unreliable indicator of community views.
We have therefore prepared our own Submission for Figtree Park Consultation and urge you to email the General Manager email@example.com and Councillors directly with your own views on what you do and don’t want to see in the Park. Closing date for submissiions is 21 August 2021.
Your email can be very brief, eg supporting a small play area in its previous location, more seating, fencing along Ryde Road, no loss of existing green space, trees etc. Or you may want to question the appropriateness of Council’s wider plans for public art; an elaborate ‘Changing Places’ amenity block; Infrastructure for events and car parking; paved areas; increased lighting and Smart City Integration etc…..
What next for Figtree Park?
Following on from our post below – we have now received a reply from the General Manager Letter from HHC GM in response to our query as to why elements of the unadopted Property Strategy appear in the draft Figtree Park Plan of Management. As you will see, he acknowledges that this has occured, but under section 8 ‘Future Uses’
In response to our request that any comments or suggestions in the Ideas Map not pertaining to the open space of the Park will be excluded from the Survey responses, the General Manager goes on to confirm that ‘All comments recorded during the consultation period will be included in the summary of feedback but as detailed earlier only those items which are permissible under the Figtree Reserve Plan of Management will consider [sic].’ We will be holding him to his word.
At its March meeting, Council approved a Plan of Management for Figtree Plan to be sent to the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment for review. It has not yet been placed on public exhibition but we have been sufficiently dismayed by its content to approach the Minister Figtree dPoM letter to Rob Stokes 16 July 2021
Our concerns are that the Plan of Management appears to deliberately conflate the modest updates required for the Park with elements of Council’s controversial draft Property Strategy, which was not adopted due to wide opposition from the community – and residents are still awaiting the promised revisions. Also by calling it the Plan of Management 2021 ‘Figtree Park and Gladesville Community Centre reserves – Part of the ‘Village Green Hub‘, it appears to be a contrived attempt by Council to entrench its development-driven proposals for the existing village into the Plan.
This month’s HHT Journal June 2021 provides an update on the plans for Figtree Park in light of the $4.75 Public Spaces Legacy Grant. Details of the Grant Application submitted by Hunters Hill Council were not released to the community. The Trust was therefore obliged to request them under the Freedom of Information (GIPA) Act and the relevant information is below:
This edition includes:
- From the President’s Desktop
- The 50th celebration of the Battle for Kelly’s Bush
- What’s happening at Figtree Park and the $4.75M Public Spaces Legacy Grant
- The deferred Property Strategy 2021
- The cautionary tale of 61 Downing Place
- Tony Coote – a celebration of 50 years’ dedication to the heritage of Hunters Hill
- Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977
- Date of Council Elections 2021
Update on Willow Grove 16 July 2021
The Supreme Court of NSW today upheld the decision to allow the NSW Government to demolish the 140-year-old locally heritage listed ‘Willow Grove’ in Parramatta. The North Parramatta Residents Action Group (NPRAG) challenged the planning approval on the basis that the environmental assessment failed to meet essential requirements designed to protect Parramatta’s heritage.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said: “Today’s decision is a tough one for the campaign to save Willow Grove but the fight is far from over and the Green ban remains in place. So much of Parramatta’s heritage has already been destroyed by overdevelopment that saving Willow Grove is now even more important. The Berejiklian government now needs to explain to the community how knocking down Willow Grove is ‘essential’ work during a lockdown.
Regardless of today’s judgment the Green Ban remains in place and the community fight to save Willow Grove continues with the strong support of the union movement and local campaigners. Thank goodness Parramatta has staunch supporters like the North Parramatta Residents Action group, which has saved Willow Grove so far and continues to stand strong against these threats of destruction. Parramatta should not have to choose between having a world-class museum and retaining its precious heritage – it deserves both and that’s our goal in this campaign,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977
There is grave concern that the current Parliamentary Review of the NSW Heritage Act 1977 is an attempt to water down protections for heritage across our State perhaps prompted by the long running battle to save historic Willow Grove Villa on the Parramatta Powerhouse site. The 130-year-old heritage building is set to be relocated for the construction of the Museum (on the site of a floodplain), in spite […]
Due to the new COVID-19 restrictions for Greater Sydney we cannot go ahead with our planned in-person event at the RSL Hall. We have no alternative but to postpone the Information Evening to a later date when this outbreak is under control (and before the Council elections) and hold the AGM by Zoom. A disappointing outcome for our meeting but looking forward to rescheduling as soon as possible – so watch this space!
When: Thursday 24 June 2021 6.30pm for 7pm
Where: RSL Hall, corner Ady and Alexandra Streets, Hunters Hill
We invite members to come along at 6.30pm for a long overdue get-together over drinks and nibbles! After a short AGM at 7pm and a break to refresh our glasses, at 7.30pm, our guest speaker Mayor Ross Williams will talk to us about the latest proposals and consultation regarding Council’s Property Strategy and newly released plans for Figtree Park. These plans are in the Agenda for Council’s meeting on 21 June under Item 6 Public Spaces Legacy Project at Figtree Park
Under the current Property Strategy – this would be the result if the proposed ‘Village Hub’ at Figtree Park went ahead – the low rise leafy entrance to the village replaced by a multi-storey development. A large development of this nature including residential, offices, commercial space, retail etc would inevitably encroach on precious green space and add even more traffic and congestion to the area.
Now that the Property Strategy is to be subject to further community engagement before it is formally accepted (see our recent flyer Do you know what’s happening in Hunters Hill) we await Council’s needs analysis, fully-costed business case and justification for taking this drastic course of action.