Report on Architectus briefing Feb 11, 2014

Over a hundred people turned up at the public meeting in the town hall to hear a preliminary response from Architectus, Council’s consultants, to the Gladesville Shopping Village Development Application and Traffic Consultants McLaren Engineering.

Summary – withdraw or redesign

Architectus has recommended that the applicant either
• Withdraw the DA, or
• Make substantial modifications to the DA, which will warrant re-exhibition of the proposal.

Submissions received

The consultants made an overview of the 277 submissions received, of which 271 objected to the proposal.
The major issues raised were:
• Traffic and Transport – 32%
• Height bulk and scale – 13%
• Design and aesthetics – 10%
• Heritage – 8%
• Lack of infrastructure – 6%
• Density – 3%
• Community engagement – 2%

Architectus response to submissions

The website shows the full list as well as the consultant’s response to the key issues raised, which included the following:

  • Should amended plans be submitted, which address the concerns raised, then Community consultation should be an integral part of the design process.
  • Architectus has sought clarification from the applicant regarding height and floor space calculations.
  • Architectus has recommended a reconsideration of the design in relation to materials and finishes, expression of entry points and podium design.
  • The Flagstaff St wall should be only 2-3 storeys in height
  • There should be a retail analysis provided to identify demand for retail and commercial floor space in the vicinity.
  • Noise impacts should be a condition of any approval and approprate mitigation measures taken
  • Privacy to the town houses in Massey St to be improved
  • Pedestrian accessibility and permeability through the site to be maximised
  • Lack of infrastructure to be addressed through a monetary contribution (Section 94A) to Council
  • Public open space and landscaping to be redesigned to serve as a community focus
  • Safety and security to be upgraded
  • Traffic – there are major deficiencies in traffic and parking

Heritage impact – No 10 Cowell St and surrounding heritage items

  • The LEP and DCP assume comprehensive development of the site.
  • Relocation of the timber cottage should be considered.
  • Architectus has commissioned an independent heritage assessment of the proposal

Architectus Assessment

• Non compliance with SEPP 65 Design Principals in relation to
◦ Context,
◦ built form,
◦ landscape,
◦ amenity,
◦ safety and security,
◦ aesthetics
• Non-compliance or insufficient information in relation to NSW Residential Flat Design Code issues
◦ Height
◦ Deep soil zones
◦ Landscaping and open space
◦ Visual privacy
◦ Building entry
◦ Ceiling heights
◦ Natural ventilation
◦ Balconies
◦ Signage
• Non-compliance or insufficient information to confirm compliance with the Hunters Hill LEP 2010
◦ Aims of plan
◦ Objectives of B4 Mixed Use Zone
◦ Height of Buildings
◦ Gross floor area
• Non-compliance or insufficient information to confirm compliance with the Gladesville Village DCP 2010
◦ Built form heights
◦ Parking
◦ Active street frontage
◦ Retail pedestrian entry
◦ Building setbacks
◦ Parking and delivery access
• Concern in relation to the likely impacts of the development
◦ Context and setting
◦ Access, transport and traffic
◦ Public domain
◦ Safety, security and crime prevention
◦ Demolition works.

McLaren Traffic Review

Vehicle access
• Loading dock badly located
• Conflict between vehicles on Flagstaff and trucks exiting dock
• Applicant’s solution of speed bumps and mirror is not supported
Parking provision and allocation
• The Applicant’s traffic report is in error and inconsistent with the proposed retail expansion
• 30 existing car spaces have not been accommodated in the proposal
• A proposed re-assigning of parking spaces will require a strata plan
Traffic generation
• Tenfold error in number of vehicles per hour – 200 not 20
External Traffic Impact
• Risk of rear end collisions as a result of the number of driveways in Flagstaff St.
• If Flagstaff does become one way extra pressure will be put on the Victoria Rd/Cowell St intersection
• Assumed 5% background growth seems very low. Applicant’s report underestimates future traffic
• Traffic signal cycle and phase times have not been addressed.
• Pedestrian footpaths along Flagstaff will need to be improved
• Potential bus service frequency improvements to be addressed
Internal design
• Non-compliance with code for dead end aisles and conflict with pedestrian movement
• Driveway sight issues at Flagstaff St need to be addressed
• ITS parking system does not properly address circulation issues
Construction traffic management
• Unresolved
Tables of scale, parking and traffic generation
Two sets of figures provided by the applicant with the second revised to address errors etc
Errors in parking rate, Saturday trip generation rate.

You can check the full presentations:  Architectus presentation and Engineering report.


Deficiencies identified and recommendation for refusal

The Architectus and traffic reviews have identified and confirmed most of the deficiencies of this very substandard submission that have been covered in the 271 submissions objecting to this proposal.
They have also identified a number of additional shortcomings not canvassed by the submissions from ratepayers and interested parties.
Without detracting from the professionalism of their report, many of these shortcomings are glaringly obvious. It is most unfortunate that the ratepayers of Hunters Hill have had to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to consultants to
have their concerns confirmed about a proposal that should never have progressed this far.

The Architectus recommendation for refusal is completely endorsed by The Trust.

No 10 Cowell St

The Trust believes there is no need for any additional heritage study to determine the significance of 10 Cowell St. This is a given and was recommended to be upgraded in the Davies Review. Any idea that it should be considered for relocation should be discarded. The house at 10 Cowell St should be retained in situ and included as an integral part of any revised
This is a matter for Council to address as part of a rethink regarding what should be done with Council property and Council’s responsibility for the heritage of the Municipality.

Code compliance

Architectus has noted various issues of non-compliance with the LEP, DCP and SEPP 65 Residential Flat Design Code, The Trust also believes that proposal does not comply with the following:
• DCP maximum Floor Space Ratio (noted that Architectus has asked the developer for more information on this)
• DCP maximum building heights for all towers (noted that Architectus has asked for clarification on a number of issues to do with building height including minimum ceiling heights)
• SEPP 65 minimum separation between habitable rooms and balconies for all the towers as well as the separation distance between towers 3 and 4 and the existing Massey St town houses.

Structural feasibility

The Trust is also sceptical of the very minimal structural report that accompanied the DA, which stated that the existing carpark structure could have its existing columns and beams strengthened to accommodate the towers over without any impact on the number of car parking spots. It should be emphasised that the number of car parking spots already do not comply with the minimum required and that this non-compliance will be exacerbated by any revisions to the existing structural grid.

Traffic and parking issues

There are major problems with the design of exits, entrances and loading docks. As well there is a major problem in constructing the underground carpark across the R.O.W, which will disrupt access to the backs of existing buildings and proposed new buildings along Victoria Rd. This last was not addressed in the Traffic Report.
To properly address these shortcomings will have a major impact on the whole design. It is impossible to build the proposed residential development on top of the existing carpark and conform with code requirements for minimum car spaces, access and vehicular movements. The non-compliance of the foundation of the proposal means the whole thing collapses.

A community development

The Trust believes that the redevelopment of this site should not be a penny pinching exercise to maximise the developer’s profit. Rather, it should be a development that the community can feel part of and one that shows respect for its existing amenity as well as providing the maximum benefit for all the community.
The Council should take a strong pro-active role as a major landholder of the site to ensure that its own heritage at No 10 Cowell St is preserved and maintained and that the community’s interest is the main driver of any new proposal.

Tony Coote
Vice President The Hunters Hill Trust

Tony’s Report can be downloaded: GSV ARCHITECTUS MEETING REPORT