Tomorrow Archive 2 - Proposals affecting residents future
Development 'Shocker' for the Residents of Ray Road Epping
This application has been lodged under the NSW Government policy known as the Affordable Rental Housing, State Environmental Planning Policy 2009 (AHSEPP09).
The application is a shocker. It is bad enough that the policy is a "cash cow opportunity for developers" (quote Brad Hazzard, Planning Minister - SMH 20/05/2011) but the locals have found that the development proposal in Ray Road doesn't even comply with the planning policy. Mr Lex Strauss, a local resident said in correspondence with the Trust that "... the whole development resembles stacked shipping containers and is simply out of character with the existing streetscape".
It is proposed to remove the house and most trees, offering instead 10 'modern' dwellings, of flat metal roof and rendered walls, with 16 car spaces, and extensive hard surfaces.
We also understand that the Hornsby Shire Council Mayor Nick Berman recently wrote to the Planning Minister stating that there has been an enormous backlash by the Shire residents against AHSEPP09 and asked the Minister to address inadequacies in the policy.
But there has been good news. On the 29th of May the new Planning Minister, Brad Hazzard announced amendments to the AHSEPP (see DoP web site). He has called an immediate halt to all new developments under the policy, pending a review. For current applications (those pending) he has directed that they satisfy a new local character test. This will mean that the application in Ray Road will be sent back to the developer for consideration in view of the amendment.
The developers application will not pass the test in its current form. The developers plan is reproduced in the Trust's members newsletter but you can go to the Councils web site to view all the relevant documents http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/
(Planning and Development directory and - then go to Development Enquiries for DA 359/2011).
The Trust and the residents have lodged objections to the development proposal in Ray Road.
Correspondence from a resident, Mr. Lex Strauss, can be seen at: Letter
The residents web site and blog is at: stoprayroaddevelopment
ECT submission – (not yet loaded)
For more information on the Affordable Rental Housing Policy and the recent amendments go to the Department of Planning web site www.planning.nsw.gov.au (Strategic Planning directory and then go to Affordable Rental Housing).
6 June, 2011
Epping Town Centre Study – April 2011 Update
As reported in the Trust newsletter of December 2010, Hornsby Shire (HSC) and Parramatta City (PCC) Councils have engaged a consultant to undertake a study of the Epping town centre to explore the potential for residential development and job establishment with the aim of maximising the use of the public transport infrastructure developed by the State Government and to cater for future population growth in terms of the Metropolitan Strategy Plan for Sydney 2036.
The consultant (JBA Planning) met with local stakeholders on the 3rd of March 2011 to discuss progress with their study. Discussion centred on the traffic study, the residential and commercial development potential of the town centre core area and an outer 'walkable' residential development area (up to 400 metres from the railway station).
The traffic study
Clearly a lot of effort has gone into the traffic study. The role of the consultant is to find extra road capacity to cope with the increase in population resulting from their development proposals. The proposal is for 900 additional residential units in the first 10 years of a new town centre plan. Ideas were aired on how intersection, road lanes and the Epping road bridge could be improved to cater for the increased population. While it is proposed to plan for the development of an extra 3000 residential units over the life of the plan (to 2036) the consultants made it clear that this level of development and growth in through traffic would require the government to provide a major expansion of road infrastructure. It is not in the consultants brief to plan for through or commuter traffic. However it was disappointing that the consultant didn't look at the options for reducing the use of the Epping road bridge by accessing an upgraded M2 motorway with a fair toll.
Town centre core area
Proposals for the town centre core area include high rise residential and ground level retail/commercial developments between 8 and 24 stories (varying in height depending on the location). For example there is a proposal to rezone the HSC land in Pembroke Street and the adjacent AGC car park for high-rise (18 stories). Rezoning would allow the small park to be enlarged by shifting the access road (Chambers Court) to the west and could result in HSC acquiring a new library and community centre at no cost in a joint development along the lines of the new Woolworths and library development in West Ryde. Most of the high rise in the town centre will be in the existing core commercial area in Rawson Street. The consultant was aware of the need to avoid shadowing. The high rise proposed was not of the slab wall variety (building at 51 Rawson Street beside the car park for example) but of the podium type with a tall slender building arising from the centre of the podium and ideally orientated to maximise sunlight penetration. The podium levels would be retail/commercial where possible with residential in the towers
The town square
Unfortunately at the time of the stakeholder meeting the consultant had only a rudimentary plan for the Council car park in Rawson Street. The Trust's view is that a town square provides a social nucleus for a community and that the planning for the Epping town centre should include a town square on the Council car park and that all other planning should have a focus on this area. A great town square is a sociable place defined by the buildings that surround it and the engagement of people in activities such markets, ceremonies, entertainment, cafes and restaurants to mention a few. The Trust will be looking for a much better plan for the car park and surrounds than is presently on offer.
The consultant has proposed that the 'walkable' area be zoned to allow for town houses as the first line of development in the interface with the traditional residential housing blocks. A town house was defined as two stories plus a loft. The next layer of zoning would be for five story residential flats. This type of development allows for a wider range of residents (they have lift access) and can allow for higher quality landscaping including trees than the current 3 - 4 story walk up type of flat. Some of the area proposed for five story residential flat zoning will already have 3 - 4 story strata buildings in place and the new zoning will simply facilitate redevelopment in the future. However there are large areas in the 400 metre walkable area which are currently traditional housing blocks and are proposed for residential flat development. The proposal for the inner core area is for high rise (see above). It is worth noting that the purpose of the high rise is to limit the expansion of the redevelopment of Epping into the tradition housing areas of the suburb. The consultant was very careful to acknowledge the importance of Epping's heritage buildings, streetscapes and abundance of tree cover.
Access within the town centre
Planning for access within the town area seemed to be adequately dealt with by the consultant. There were plans for good walking and bicycling access radiating out from the railway station including wide pavements of a standard design and a new crossing over Beecroft Road.
Where to from here
The consultant expects to present their study to the steering committee set up by the Hornsby Shire and Parramatta City Councils at the end of April 2011. From then it will be up to the Councils to prepare a draft environmental plan for public exhibition .. for us all to review and comment.
ECT, April 2011
Epping Town Centre Study - Stakeholders meeting -
4th October 2010
4th October 2010
The Hornsby and Parramatta Councils have approved a consultant to undertake this study. The consultant is JBA Planning based in North Sydney. The consultant has got off to a swift start and has met with the major stakeholders including the Epping Civic Trust. The brief for the consultant is to explore the potential for the residential development and job establishment to maximise the use of the public transport infrastructure developed by the Government. The consultant has assembled an impressive team including subcontractors with expertise in economic feasibility, infrastructure costing, transport and traffic studies.
The study is in the context of the Government's overall Metropolitan Planning Strategy. In that strategy Epping is defined as a Town Centre. A town centre is described as having 4500 - 9000 residences, not primarily a job centre, 1 - 2 supermarkets, medical centres and schools. The study area is wider than the town centre and extends to a 'walkable' boundary. Walkable refers to a distance no more than 800 metres from the transport hub.
The study area has already been evaluated and has an area of 247 hectares, 4165 dwellings (62% units and 38% houses), 60,000 sq metres of commercial space, 13,000 sq metres of retail and 3500 jobs.
The next stakeholder meeting is in February 2011 and the consultant is scheduled to report to the Councils in April 2011.
The ultimate objective is to have a Local Environment Plan (LEP) approved for Epping. The form of the plan is not yet known (one plan for Epping or two plans on a council basis). The preparation of the LEP will follow the Government's normal planning process including public exhibition. The part of the plan that will attract the interest of residents will be the zonings (rezonings) allocated to lands within the planning area. The Trust will make every effort to keep its members informed as the planning progresses.
Some pictures included been provided of areas that will almost certainly be subject to rezoning.
Epping Town Centre Study
The Epping Civic Trust last reported on this study in its Newsletter of April 2008. The study did not progress due to issues over funding. However late last year the Department of Planning (DoP) allocated some funds and determined that the study could proceed under the management of Hornsby Shire Council (HSC).
Subsequently a steering committee was established consisting of a councillor and officers of the HSC and Parramatta City Council (PCC) and officers of the DoP and they were given the task of preparing a study brief, selecting a consultant, overseeing the provision of information and ensuring the successful delivery of the study.
Hornsby Council has recently advised the Trust that a tender process has resulted in 17 consultants providing expressions of interest. It is expected that the successful consultant will be announced in August 2010.
It is also expected that a stakeholder reference group involving property owners, developers, the Epping Chamber of Commerce and the Epping Civic Trust will be established to assist with the study.
The study will be in five stages:
1.. Transport capacity and needs
2.. Opportunities and constraints
3.. Development potential of the retail/commercial core area
4. Residential development potential including the surrounding 'walkable' area (from station)
(See Map below)
5.. Finalisation and implementation
The study is scheduled to be completed in twelve months (c. August 2011).
Public exhibition will then take place (28 days). Following the review of submissions, completion of the planning process and approvals, the councils will incorporate the adopted planning controls in their respective Local Environment Plans and Development Control Plans.
The Epping Civic Trust undertook a survey of its members in October 2005 to determine what they wanted for the Epping town centre (and what they didn't want). This was undertaken in anticipation of a new plan for Epping to replace the current Epping Commercial Centre Masterplan of 1999. This survey remains very relevant and it is the Trust's intention to bring it to the attention of the study consultant when appointed.
The Trust will keep its members informed of progress with the study as information becomes available and will if appropriate hold public meetings to deal with contentious issues.
A copy of the Epping Town Centre Study proposal can be found on the HSC website at :
then by going to the 'COUNCIL' tab then 'Business Papers' in the menu and then to '>> See Council Business Papers' and selecting the Planning Committee meeting of the 3rd February 2010, 'PLN108/10' and attachments.
A copy of the Epping Civic Trust members survey can be found at: Epping Town Centre Workshop
or the pdf link below
Map from HSC site of area under study is also shown down below!
Hornsby Council Amended Housing Strategy
Hornsby Council have removed the top four areas below from the Strategy in July 2010, BUT have NOT removed the Keeler Street area at the bottom. The ECT remains adamant that the Keeler Street area cannot sustain such development and MUST be removed from the Strategy!
In addition HSC has advised that they may seek permission from NSW Govt for Townhouses in the removed areas.
Hornsby Council Community Plan 2010-2020
To assist you in thinking about the future Council has prepared brief Issues Papers on nine key issues in Hornsby today. The Issues Papers address topics such as the ageing population, climate change, housing affordability and transport.
Epping's opportunity for tomorrow
Ideally situated to bridge a valued life style to the demands of the future.
Sensibly merging the new with the old, balancing the esthetics of a garden suburb with cost/benefit considerations of development poses numerous challenges.
Make your voice heard by becoming a member
of the Epping Civic Trust: > enquiry