Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

Figtree Park ‘Consultation’

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 tobinn@huntershill.nsw.gov.au 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…..

2021-08-30T15:22:01+11:00August 19, 2021|

Another twist in the saga……

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.

To confuse matters further, the first stage of the online Figtree Park consultation includes not just a ‘Survey’ but an ‘Ideas Map’ for the surrounding area.  Rather than simply obtaining community views on Figtree Park’s open space, this again misleadingly inserts the draft Property Strategy into the Plan.  The Ideas Map already has comments and suggestions that are well beyond the scope of the grant conditions and are completely irrelevant to “Reimagining Figtree Park”.

 

We have approached Council for an explanation as to how the proposals in the draft Property Strategy came to be included in the PoM for Figtree Park plus an assurance 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.

2021-08-19T16:06:18+11:00July 21, 2021|

Hunters Hill Trust Journal June 2021

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:

Summary Grant Application HHC and Draft Budget attachment to Grant Application HHC  and Unique Visits Figtree Park Grant Application HHC 

 

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

 

2021-07-12T10:38:29+11:00July 6, 2021|

Yet another threat to our heritage…..?

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 of the government’s Environmental Impact Statement attracting over 1600 submissions, more than 90% of which argued against its removal.  Heritage experts and architects have expressed doubt as to whether it can be dismantled and reassembled, given the age of its materials.

We are concerned that the current Parliamentary Review may propose amendments that further erode the protection and conservation of our heritage places.

The National Trust (NSW) www.nationaltrust.org.au/initiatives/heritage-act-review-2021 notes the Act is the single most important instrument in our state that identifies, protects and conserves our heritage. The Trust’s submission is here HHT submission Review of NSW Heritage Act

The North Parramatta Residents Action Group has been fighting against the proposed demolition of Willow Grove for over a year and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) enacted a Green Ban on Willow Grove in June 2020.  Very reminiscent of the inspiring battle for Kelly’s Bush 50 years ago this year but why are we still fighting to protect heritage against ‘development at any cost’?

On 16 June 2021, the Land and Environment Court ruled in favour of Infrastructure NSW, giving the government permission to relocate Willow Grove to an as yet undecided site and on 21 June 2021 – 7 minutes after the undertaking for no works to be carried out had expired (at 9am) – Infrastructure NSW gave the order for  non unionised contractors HAUS Building Services to commence works!  Many residents joined the hundreds of CFMEU reps blocking all three gates to the entire site and the combined efforts of the community and the union successfully blocked further work.  Judgement on its fate is currently before the Supreme Court.

2021-07-20T08:41:02+11:00July 2, 2021|

Hunters Hill Trust AGM 2021 (now to be held via Zoom) & Information Evening (postponed)

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!

 

Hunters Hill Trust Logo

When:  Thursday 24 June 2021 6.30pm for 7pm

Where:  RSL Hall, corner Ady and Alexandra Streets, Hunters Hill

RSVP:  members@huntershilltrust.org.au

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

2021-06-24T19:11:30+11:00June 21, 2021|

GOING…….. GOING…….. GONE?

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.

 

GOING…..

GOING…….

GONE…….?

2021-05-23T11:50:13+11:00May 15, 2021|

Some good news at last!

Our thanks go to Mayor Ross Williams and Councillors Sanderson, Krassoi and McLaughlin who voted at Council’s meeting on 26th April for Agenda Item 4.3 Property Strategy (formerly the Draft Community Infrastructure Plan) to be subject to further community engagement before it is formally accepted.

A huge thank you also to those Trust members who took the trouble to write in with their own submissions or to attend the meeting to address Council.  There were some powerful and erudite presentations and we commend those residents who spoke so passionately.

Here are the outcomes of the main Agenda items:

4.1 Draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy (LHS) Outcome of Public Exhibition

Despite the best efforts of Councillor Sanderson to achieve better outcomes, the LHS was adopted without substantial amendment, with the support of Councillors Miles, Collins, Krassoi and McLaughlin. Regrettably, there was little regard for the 37 submissions received, nearly 90% of which expressed concern about the impact on heritage and the environment and strong opposition to development over and above State targets.

4.2 Boronia Park sports and community facility

The Heritage Grandstand will not be restored even though the State Government Grant was given for that specific purpose plus the upgrade of sporting facilities.  The Rugby Club has been awarded two government grants totaling $1.5m but will make only a capital ‘contribution’ to the construction costs of the building and pay a peppercorn rent for 20 years In a recent communication, Council had assured the community that ratepayers’ money would not be used to assist with the Rugby Club facility, but now it has committed $100,000 ‘in-kind’.

Speakers were opposed to the new facility on the basis of size, location, Licence Conditions of Use, an inadequate business case, impact on local residents and the loss of three magnificent Eucalypts.  View a recent letter to the TWT from one of our committee members here https://huntershilltrust.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/TWT-Letter-24-February-2021.pdf

Concept drawings entitled ‘Development application May 2021’ (included as pages 242 – 252 of the business paper) can be found at Council’s website.

The business case fails to mention payment for use of the facility by sports other than Rugby who will have 85% of the allocated time. This assumes the remaining 15% of use will provide sufficient income to make the project viable, but still leaves a net annual maintenance cost to ratepayers of $37,740 pa.  How is this equitable or prudent?

In spite of these issues, the business case for the facility was ‘received and noted’ by Council, and the proposed licence terms were approved by Hunters Hill Rugby Union Football Club.

4.3 Draft Community Infrastructure Plan (now renamed Property Strategy)

The Item was referred for further community consultation as above and we look forward to Council honouring its commitment to engage our community meaningfully, transparently and openly.

4.4 Gladesville Reserve Playing Field

This field is used for competitive sport and the natural surface is highly valued by the local community for casual use and family picnics.  Soccer club members are strongly in favour of replacing the turf with a synthetic playing surface which would allow more intensive usage. However this would exclude its use for cricket, dog walking and other passive pursuits. The proposal was opposed on environmental grounds with current evidence of damaging chemical run off into waterways, excessive heat off the surface in summer and the danger of ‘carpet’ burns when players fall.

After much community input for and against, Council decided to defer a decision on using the $2 million grant, delivered by our local MP in March 2019. We anticipate the matter will return for the 17 May meeting.

Connect with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/huntershilltrust/

2021-05-15T12:33:09+11:00May 8, 2021|

In case you missed it….!

Our President’s piece in the TWT this week on the vexed question of Hunters Hill Council’s push for ‘additional‘ development over and above dwelling targets set by State bodies.

2021-03-11T17:29:19+11:00March 11, 2021|

HHT Submission to Council on the Draft Local Housing Strategy

Summary

Behind the analysis and proposals of the Draft Local Housing Strategy (dLHS) is an assumption that Hunters Hill housing density must increase. Certainly, Government has imposed a modest increase, and undoubtedly those who profit from development would support a greater increase, but this Strategy should satisfy the ‘needs and aspirations‘ of the residents. This draft Strategy fails to establish whether the residents of Hunters Hill seek more than the current continuing increase which alone will satisfy Government’s requests.

As observed in the Executive Summary of the dLHS, ‘Development in Hunter’s Hill will remain highly constrained and land/property is set to become increasingly unaffordable. A capacity assessment under existing planning controls reveals very limited ability to support new development across the majority of the LGA. These factors, combined with slow population growth and a relatively small population, mean that implied dwelling demand as assessed by NSW DPIE capacity experts remains low.’

In recognition of the predictions of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and the recommendations of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC), the dwelling targets for Hunters Hill are modest relative to much of Sydney, and most will be achieved by continuing the current level of development. While Council is obliged to prepare a housing strategy it need not impose a greater increase than that suggested by Government, and should not use this opportunity to formalise the suggestions made in HH Local Strategic Planning Statement of 2019 (LSPS), and the draft Community Infrastructure Plan 2020 (dCIP); still in draft form.

Major shortcomings of the Strategy

  • The strategy fails to meet the Vision stated at its beginning (p4). The first paragraph of the Vision would apply to anywhere in Australia. And the strategy simply fails to satisfy the requirements stated in the second, namely to ‘retain its current low-scale urban form whilst prioritising the protection of heritage, significant built and natural environs and unique garden suburb character.’
  • The assumption that a great deal of higher density housing is required, when the requirements of Government are quite modest, and residents have not been consulted for their views.
  • Failure to discuss the constraints which give Council no direct ability to influence development in those parts of the LGA subject to the State Government’s Complying Development.
  • Failure to explain how or where in the Municipality ‘affordable’ housing and accommodation for ‘downsizers‘ can be achieved and be compatible with environmental improvement.
  • Failure to clarify Council’s intents for the Council Works Depot, recognised as one of the possible sites for redevelopment in the draft CIP, in spite of the possibility of it’s redevelopment being mentioned in that document.
  • Inclusion of the expansion of retirement accommodation and aged care in the Priorities and Actions of Section 6 in spite of stating that there are no available sites on which to locate them and there being no analysis of the number of existing retirement and aged care locations and capacity.
  • It is disturbing that the document is not identified as a draft (rather than an agreed document) because there is no backing for some actions stated as already completed. For example, the Introduction (Section 1.1) states that Council has consulted with ‘community housing organisations, seniors living providers and the Sydney Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council (Metro LALC), yet the body of the document fails to reference or provide the content from these consultations, and simply states the intention to consult in the future.

Complying development

Thirty percent of the municipality lies outside the parts designated as Conservation Areas, and therefore outside the direct control of Council because it is subject to Complying Development. This sees modest-sized, single-storey family homes being replaced with large two-storey, family homes, not dual-occupancies or apartments, thus not altering the housing density but in many cases depleting the suburb of much needed tree canopy and green space. The implications of this need to be explored in the dLHS and a case made for some alternate thinking that encourages best design practices, preservation of scale and character of our suburb and innovation in providing additional accommodation, such as by sympathetic additions and  ‘granny flats’. The complying development laws are promoting unsustainable development that is impacting neighbour amenity and eroding the strong sense of community that Hunters Hill has historically enjoyed.

Ageing of the population

As shown in Table 4.1, forecasts for the population to 2041 show that while the total population will fall, the proportion aged over 54 years will increase by an average of 1% every 5 years, equivalent to 30 people entering this category each year. Some of these people will remain in their family houses, some will seek to downsize from family homes to places with easier access (e.g. the absence of steps or stairs), and some will seek to move to aged-care facilities. The suggestion (5.7.3) that shop-top housing could suit an aging cohort must be qualified by stating that this requires purpose-designed buildings (with level entries, and fitted with lifts for people who wish to live on top of shops).

Is there a need to provide additional housing in Hunters Hill?

As discussed in Section 4.3.4, DPIE figures suggest an additional 75 dwellings are required to meet projected population growth by 2041. There seems also a need for greater diversity of housing, which currently is not being satisfied under Complying Development in that part of Hunters Hill not under Council’s control.

The North District Plan of the Greater Sydney Commission (Section 4.3.5 and Table 5 of the DIPIEs ‘Hunters Hill data information pack’ states that Hunters Hill is on target to meet its requirements (projected 159 dwellings of a target range 150 – 200).

With these relatively small targets, the projected increase in housing will be catered for by developments already approved in Gladesville, and possible residential development of the Gladesville Hospital site – although this potential must be approached carefully to ensure the preservation of this location for future generations as well.

There is certainly no justification for the Actions envisaged in 6.2-Housing Priority 1, such as to ‘Focus mid-rise residential development on Gladesville Town Centre, Hunter’s Hill Village and Boronia Park’. Council should consider how it can preserve the character of Hunters Hill while enabling creative housing solutions – such as proposals to convert mansions into apartments that the suburb saw in the 1960s and 1970s that has left a legacy of beautiful heritage buildings and gardens but with increased housing capacity.

There still remains the requirement to provide greater diversity of housing, which will not necessarily eventuate under commercial conditions. Should Council decide to close permanently its Works Depot, it should open discussion of all possible uses for this site. Should it be converted to public open space, which is short in this part of the peninsular? Or rezoned for development as long-term affordable rental housing? This would provide a rare opportunity in an LGA described in the Strategy as having a ‘highly constrained, unaffordable property market’. Of course, this would reduce the sale price, and would require a watertight guarantee against it later being reclassified and resold into the general housing market, so creating a windfall profit for the then-current owners.

Section 6: Housing Strategy Implementation

Priority 1: Plan for additional housing in appropriate locations

The document equates Priority 1 to ‘Alignment with Hunter’s Hill LSPS Goals and Planning Priorities’, which are recognised as being to meet community needs and aspirations, stating that the Strategy should:

  • ‘Provide services and facilities within Hunter’s Hill to meet community needs and aspirations of the community’, and
  • ‘Provide land use planning framework to support community needs and aspirations’

But there is no reference to having determined the needs and aspirations of the people likely to live in the additional housing proposed by this Strategy. While their needs and aspirations could well include ‘a good level of residential amenity and connectivity via ready access to transport, shops, services and community facilities’, perhaps they also have other concerns that are incompatible with being crammed into high density, multi-storey living in an over-developed Hunters Hill Village, above a new supermarket in Gladesville, or on top of a shop in Boronia Park.

A major failing of this Strategy is that it gives little attention to that portion of Hunters Hill that lies east of the overpass. The nominal reason for this is concern about traffic congestion on the route leading down the peninsula, but this is purely peak-hour congestion, which is shared by Ryde Rd and Victoria Rd (see Section 4.4.4). Perhaps the underlying reason is that summarised by the statement that ‘Council is committed to maintaining the character, amenity and high environmental values that apply to the Hunter’s Hill peninsula, whilst allowing for some additional capacity in appropriate locations’. The Hunters Hill Trust acknowledges the special character of our part of Sydney but this is not limited to the peninsular. All of our through roads suffer peak hour traffic congestion, which can be reduced by enhancing other modes of transport such as cycling, walking and public transport. In summary, ‘character, amenity and environmental values’ are not confined to the peninsula.

Priority 2: Support housing diversity and housing affordability

Quoting the LSPS Goals and Planning Priorities, these aims are stated to be to:

  • ‘Provide services and facilities within Hunter’s Hill to meet community needs and aspirations of the community now and by 2040’; and
  • ‘Provide a caring and safe community where healthy activities are encouraged and promote a strong sense of community and connection among residents by 2040’

But the dLHS fails to identify the community’s needs and aspirations regarding housing diversity and affordability, and simply assumes everyone (including ‘shrinking household types, young families, those who wish to downsize’) wish to live in ‘one, two- and three-bedroom apartments’. Surely ‘diversity’ means more than everyone living in an apartment; this may coincide with the State government’s current view, but is one we are not obliged to accept.

It is difficult to see how Action 2.5 (‘Work with neighbouring Councils ...’) could improve affordable housing within Hunters Hill: it sounds more like seeking to transfer our responsibility to our neighbours.

Action 2.9 suggests ‘a sensitive upgrade of existing housing stock and a consistent approach to assessing proposals to older apartment stock and some older residential buildings‘, but doesn’t explain how this might increase diversity and/or affordability without reducing quality or degrading the environment. It is acknowledged, however, that older apartment stock is often better designed and built for amenity and preservation of green space than new apartments that just seek to maximise developer returns against the land acquisition costs.

Priority 3: Protect significant environmental values through sustainable developments and design quality of new developments

The aims to achieve sustainable development and design quality are stated to be to:

  • Create great places and streetscapes for people.
  • Facilitate and undertake sustainable practices.

The means to achieve these admirable but vague aims include to:

  • ‘investigate a design excellence bonus’; this is important, and could be combined with an Environmental Excellence bonus. But there would need to be a mechanism to provide some certainty that the measures permitted by the bonus were permanent.
  • ‘locate future housing away from environmental risk areas’, yet the proposed development of and around Figtree Park inevitably would degrade environmental values here through removal of tree canopy and green spaces which water absorption rather than run-off.
  • ‘address transport and parking”; intensive development inevitably leads to increasing traffic congestion, so should be kept away from areas such as Figtree Park, and Boronia Park shopping area, both of which are already currently congested centres is with limited provision for parking.

Priority 4: Encourage compatibility of new housing with existing local character and heritage

The aim of this Priority is stated to be to ‘Maintain and enhance the natural and built heritage character of Hunter’s Hill’, which, in turn is stated to be ‘a leafy established area with early garden suburb features and areas of urban bushland and scenic foreshore stretches that are highly valued by the community.’

Such an aim is welcomed but shifts the burden of development sought by Council through the proposals for:

  • ‘mid-rise apartment living’ in Gladesville, or
  • ‘buildings providing a 2-3 storey presentation to street’ in the Hunters Hill Village, or
  • ‘2-3 storey buildings in a strip shopping centre’ in Boronia Park

Protecting environmental values

While stated as an aim, no specific mechanisms are proposed to protect environmental values while increasing housing density. The reality of the euphemism ‘renewal of existing housing stock’ is the ‘knock-down-rebuild’ pattern that, under the heavy touch of Complying Development, currently is blighting all but the Conservation Areas of Hunters Hill (and even here heavy-handed change is being imposed). Inevitably, such ‘renewal’ is accompanied by the loss of open space and trees. Under complying development only 20% of the site area (as opposed to the original garden suburb rate of 50%) need be available to grow plants of any type, and replacing single-storey with multistorey structures exacerbates the impact on ‘environmental values’.

Conclusion

  • The document explains that the current rates of increase in housing will meet the requirements of both the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), and the Greater Sydney Commission, (GSC),
  • The document contains no evidence that the community seeks increases beyond these,
  • Traffic congestion and parking are already recognised as problems in our tightly constrained municipality, yet the proposals would intensify these problems,
  • The only bodies likely to benefit from the proposed changes would be developers, and those (most of whom are not residents) who would benefit from demolition and construction.
  • Council should amend this proposal to meet only the minimum requirements of the DPIE.
2021-02-28T06:51:16+11:00February 27, 2021|

Another Year, Another Plan!

You may not be aware that HH Council has prepared a draft Local Housing Strategy (LHS) for community comment, for future dwelling targets up to 2041 – as required by the State Government.

The Trust is concerned that behind the analysis and proposals of the LHS, is an assumption that Hunters Hill housing density must increase.  Certainly, Government has imposed a modest increase, and undoubtedly those who profit from development would support a greater increase, but the Strategy’s stated first Housing Priority is to ‘meet community needs and aspirations’ (p46).  The LHS fails to establish whether the residents of Hunters Hill in fact wish for more than the gradual dwelling increase imposed by Government or to justify why Council is seeking additional development opportunities.

So we are asking why:

1.   Council is seeking development opportunities in excess of the dwellings required by the Department of Planning and the Greater Sydney Commission’s North District Plan.  The LHS appears to align with the development proposals contained in the recent Community Infrastructure Plan (CIP) with its particular focus on Figtree/Hunters Hill Village.

2.   Council has not updated the community on the responses to the CIP.  We do not believe the community wants greater dwelling targets and increased development adversely impacting the existing fabric of the Municipality – such as the major re-development mooted for Figtree Park/Gladesville Road.

3.   Council recognises ‘ongoing environmental impacts of increased residential densities ie traffic management’ but is still pursuing plans for additional development which will inevitably lead to increased traffic in already heavily congested areas.

4.   Council’s Community Infrastructure Plan and draft Local Housing Strategy both promote additional development when it appears we are already on track to meet our LGA’s dwelling targets.

You’ll find the full document on Council’s website just search for ‘Local Housing Strategy’ and Click here to view the draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy .   At 81 pages, it is lengthy and somewhat complex, so we have extracted the relevant facts below.  Council acknowledges the significant discrepancy in the LHS between the Department of Planning and the Greater Sydney Commission’s housing forecasts, and has yet to clarify the dwelling types and actual numbers! (p32)

Department of Planning (DPIE)
a)  The population projection for Hunters Hill LGA has been identified to decline by 225 people from 2016 to 2041

b)  The implied dwellings required for Hunters Hill in 2041 is 5,621, an increase of 82 from 2016 (p32)

c)  With the limited capacity due to existing land use controls, DPIE’s housing projections indicate a growth of 75-82 dwellings by 2041 (p26)

Greater Sydney Commission (GSC)
a)  The GSC 2016 North District Plan also recognises the Municipality’s constraints derived from being an historic garden suburb with significant heritage, extensive bushland and foreshore reserves and over 70% within conservation areas.  

b)  Their target is for 30-32.5 dwellings per year between 2016-2036 (p32)

Even without the new multi-unit development planned for Gladesville Shopping Village, existing approved DAs along Victoria Road will provide 79 dwellings well before 2041 (p27).  In addition, over the last 5 years, Hunters Hill LGA has normally achieved 31.2 dwelling approvals and 27.4 dwelling completions p.a. (p25).  Therefore Council will have little difficulty in meeting the projected dwelling targets of both State bodies.

We hope the above will give you a snapshot of the LHS to allow you to have your say.  Simply email your views to Council at customerservice@huntershill.nsw.gov.au  (with ‘Draft Hunters Hill Local Housing Strategy’ in the subject line) or post to: PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110.  Submissions must be received by 28 February.

Thank you for your continued engagement to ensure that Council’s multiple development plans for our heritage suburb are scrutinised and questioned!

2021-02-17T19:04:41+11:00February 16, 2021|
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