Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

The Hunters Hill Trust

The Hunters Hill Trust

Preserving Our Heritage since 1968

New Ministries and departments in NSW

Planning administration is changing following the NSW election. The full impacts won’t be known until the new arrangements start operating, but we already have concerns.

Image: Smithsonian

The powers of the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Office of Local Government have been transferred to the Premier or the new Minister for Planning and Public Spaces (formerly Planning and Environment).

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces now has responsibility for over 100 Acts including:
• The Local Government Act;
• Planning related Acts:
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
Land and Environment Court Act 1979 No 204
National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 No 80.

Now that the Office of Environment and Heritage been abolished, the submissions and assessments lodged as part of a planning consultation process by an independent agency will no longer be visible to the public. Instead, assessments and advice will go to internal managers and not into the public domain.

Better Planning Network provides more information.

2019-05-04T11:40:50+11:00April 27, 2019|

‘exempt & complying developments’ threaten HH character

under construction

heritage item next door

A recent development at No 8 Earnshaw Street Gladesville (at left) is an example of the impact of the Exempt and Complying Development Code on the character of Hunters Hill.

Were it not for the Complying Development SEPP this development proposal would have been assessed under the controls of Hunters Hill Council’s LEP and DCP.  Council’s Conservation Advisory Panel would have viewed the proposal and its advice incorporated into Council’s assessment.

There is another anomaly with this particular development.  At first sight it would appear to be a dual occupancy on a single block of land.  However this is not the case.   There are in fact two lots at 8 Earnshaw St.   One is just over 6m wide, while the other is a little over 12m wide.  The smaller block has an area of around 230m2 and the larger block’s area is about 450m2.  Neither block complies with the LEP minimum of 700m2.  How this unusual subdivision occurred is not known.

[…]

2019-04-16T23:24:00+11:00April 12, 2019|

Another blow to heritage in NSW

The recently re-elected Liberal State Government will dismantle that the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and its two principal functions will be absorbed by other departments.

ArchitectureAU says “The environmental protection and management functions of the office will be moved to an enlarged “Planning and Industry” department, while the heritage functions of the office will be moved to the arts portfolio.  Speaking to reporters on 2 April, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “We’ve moved heritage into the arts, because heritage and the arts have a very strong focus.”

[…]

2019-04-22T09:19:26+11:00April 12, 2019|

‘Exempt and complying developments’ in Hunters Hill

In 2008 the NSW State Labor Government introduced State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying  Development Codes) to ‘provide streamlined assessment processes for development that complies with specified development standards’.   Exempt and Complying Development Certificates are issued by the Accredited Certifier, which in most cases is a Private Certifier appointed by the owner of the proposed development.  Council can also be nominated as the Accredited Certifier.

[…]

2019-04-22T09:14:59+11:00April 12, 2019|

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage disbanded

It can be tough reading the news these days. Architectureau.com reports that the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage will be dismantled and its two principal functions absorbed by other departments, following the re-election of the NSW government in March.

Design Guide for Heritage

The environmental protection and management functions of the office will be moved to an enlarged “Planning and Industry” department, and the heritage functions of the office will be moved to the arts portfolio.

The Heritage Council of NSW’s  ‘Design Guide for Heritage’ shows how to use innovative, creative, and sensitive design approaches to heritage.

People of NSW are increasingly distressed about the impacts of rampant over-development.

2019-04-12T18:37:28+11:00April 10, 2019|

‘no’ to the Gladesville Planning Proposal

What do you think of having a 54 meter high building (approx 18 storeys with 280 units) at Gladesville shops?

The developer of the Gladesville Shopping Village (GSV) site lodged a Planning Proposal (PP) to Council seeking to increase the height and density allowed at the site. This was refused by Council. The developer took the matter to the State Government which has now said that the PP can proceed, subject to conditions (see the Gateway Determination).

Hunters Hill Council is now asking for community comments on how Council could change the planning controls and allow a building that is higher than what is currently permitted.

The Trust does not support any change that would increase the density of the site over and above what is allowed in the current LEP.  There can be no proper consideration given to changing the planning controls until a Master Plan is in place for the whole site.   Read the Trust’s submission to Council here.

We are deeply concerned about many aspects of the GSV saga, including:

  • poor quality of life for residents (see comments from elderly residents)
  • overshadowing and massive scale
  • adverse impact on pedestrians
  • lack of a cohesive plan with other current developments
  • pressure on local infrastructure
  • traffic gridlock
  • loss of heritage.

Community members are encouraged to send their comments  to council@huntershill.nsw.gov.au before Tuesday 20th March.

2018-03-17T15:38:45+11:00March 15, 2018|

what lies ahead for Crown Lands in NSW?

Crown Lands are precious and irreplaceable.

The draft Crown Lands Regulation 2017 and the Crown Lands Management Act 2016 will affect the use, management and potential transfer or sale of publicly owned lands across NSW.

The new regulations will govern the proposed transference of Crown Lands to local government.  Better Planning Network points out serious risks and problems in the current draft.  Read BPN’s submission here.

Image: NSW Dept of Industry

About half of NSW is Crown Land. Some of this land is for public use such as national parks, state forests, schools, hospitals, sporting, camping and recreation areas.  There are also significant portions of Crown land that can be leased for commercial or agricultural purposes or developed and sold.

Read the submission sent by Hunters Hill Trust here.

Send your own message (large or small) to the Department of Planning before October 15th:  here is the link.

2017-10-15T10:03:51+11:00October 6, 2017|

Creeping ugliness: fixing our broken planning system

Image: Jessica Shapiro, SMH 2016

Members of the Hunters Hill Trust’s executive committee recently met with the Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Special Minister of State along with the Secretary of NSW Department of Planning to discuss our deep concerns about the failures of the planning system and its impact on heritage and the environment. The presentation addressed:

  • Greater Sydney Commission
  • Gladesville Shopping Village development
  • Revisions to the NSW Housing Code
  • Protections for conservation areas
  • Design led planning that strengthens community life.

See the full presentation of concerns and solutions here:  HHT presentation to Minister for Planning.

2017-07-31T12:14:32+11:00July 31, 2017|

Effects of living near a busy road…

Image:  The Telegraph UK 2017

Have you ever wondered about the longterm health effects on noise, vibration, airborne pollution?

Evidence about the risks is accumulating. A decade-long study of 6.6 million people, published in the The Lancet, found that one in 10 dementia deaths in people living within 50 metres of a busy road was attributable to fumes and noise. There was a linear decline in deaths the further people lived away from heavy traffic.

The Age reports on a major US study that links asthma and  cardiovascular disease to living up to 500m of a busy road.
Our very own Dept of Planning set out guidelines for managing risks back in 2008:  Development Near Busy Roads, NSW Dept Planning.
So how come we are building stacks of accommodation along the major highways of Sydney right now?
2017-07-25T14:55:18+11:00July 25, 2017|

BEFORE another toilet is given planning approval

Riverglade Reserve  Image: Leanne Barrett

Heavy rains over recent weeks have resulted in Sydney Water discharging raw sewerage into Tarban Creek north of Gladesville Road bridge.

There was so much untreated effluent discharging into the harbour that it deprived the Riverglade Reserve mangrove estuary of oxygen and caused mass fish fatalities.

Image: waterairpollution.org

Effluent threatens the viability of the mangroves, which would lead to the proliferation of weed species and damage aquatic life, particularly the molluscs and fish species that rely on the mangroves. The health of the living harbour is under threat.

The Environment Protection Agency currently gives Sydney Water, an agency owned by NSW government, approval to discharge raw sewage into Sydney Harbour.

We treat Sydney Harbour and beaches as an extension of the sewage system, while across the ditch in New Zealand a major waterway now has legal protection as a living entity with its own ‘rights and values and legal status as a person’.

NSW Government fails to address basic infrastructure requirements. The Sydney sewerage system needs to be totally upgraded BEFORE another toilet is given planning approval.

2017-09-03T11:31:22+11:00March 21, 2017|
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