Epping Town Centre Planning & Consultation 2010-2012
High-Rise is coming to town - State Government Plans
ETCS - Urban Activation Project Declared
Town Centre Study – 2012 Updates
- Hornsby Council to consider a report (20/6/2012)
- NSW Budgets 4,000 dwellings (May, 2012)
- HSC adopted a recommendation re ETCS (June)
- Activity hots up (Oct/Nov)
Activity Hots Up generally
- Two changes have been put in place to improve plan-making processes under Part 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. These changes came into effect on 2 November 2012 and 'increase transparency, provide greater certainty, and increase councils’ roles and responsibilities in plan making', by: a) delegating the making of some local environmental plans (LEPs) to councils, and, b) allowing for independent reviews of some council and departmental decisions in the plan making process. See also SMH article by Harvey Grennan 20 Nov 2012. DThe actual P&I Circular is here
- Changes to the Environment Planning & Assessment Act have been introduced to Parliament by the NSW Government and are currently being debated:
A developers eye view on it: http://www.gadens.com.au/publications/Pages/New-planning-laws-in-NSW-to-facilitate-property-development.aspx
The Trust is seeking a meeting with Greg Smith MP on this matter, and also the Green Paper (29/10/12) [Held on 16/11/12]
- A developer made an approach to a residential 'precinct' affected by the Epping Town Centre Study, to sign up to 'Option to Purchase' agreements - the intention to seek fast-tracking of High Density rezoning by Government, and development and submission by the developer of a
masterplan. Following a lukewarm response, the offer has been withdrawn. The residents have set up a local group to monitor such approaches and to seek information to share (27/10/12).
- A very good and up to date article about the planned changes to Planning in NSW, and latest developments. (22/10/2012): http://newmatilda.com/2012/10/19/big-plans-nsw-development
HSC adopted a recommendation re ETCS
[Update (10/10/12): Recommendation sent by HSC to NSW Government on 31/7/2012 for 'Gateway Determination'. Government also considering Station Precinct with NWRL, and Urban Activation Precinct (UAP) projects, with impacts on ETCS - no answer to HSC at 10/10/2012. See DP&I Citcular on UAP here. Developers already approaching residents for interest should rezoning occurr. In September HSC requested the ETCS be considered for UAP]
Recommendation on the ETCS was adopted at HSC meeting of 20 June, 2012,
that ... "1. Council endorse progression of a planning proposal for Epping Town Centre
generally in accordance with the Epping Town Centre Study subject to a review of
- Proposed East Epping and Essex Street Heritage Conservation
- Proposed Rosebank Avenue Heritage Conservation Area boundaries and the relationship of the Area with the Cliff Road residential precinct;
- Boundaries and heights within adjacent residential intensification precincts in response to a review of the draft Heritage Conservation Areas, existing property capitalisation and issues raised in submissions;
- Potential heritage and archaeological significance of individual nominated sites;
- Consideration of alternate urban form, including building heights and envelopes nominated in landowner submissions for properties within the Town Centre Core;
- Acquisition of the Epping Bowling Club; and
- Short and long term impacts of the North West Rail Link on the Town Centre Core including implications for building heights for properties fronting Beecroft Road.
2. Pursuant to Section 56(1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Council forward the planning proposal to the Minister for Planning seeking "Gateway Determination" to progress the preparation of the planning proposal.
3. Council write to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure supporting the identification of funding under the State Government’s Housing Acceleration Fund for road and intersection upgrades within the Epping Town Centre and seeking confirmation regarding the scope of the
infrastructure to be delivered and associated timeframe."
NSW Budget models 4,000 extra dwellings in Epping Town Centre - the maximum under the Study (SMH 13/6) / PCC LEP, and an unspecified provision for road & intersection upgrades - under Building the State Package (provision for any extra essential other infrastructure not known)
Hornsby Council to consider a report on the Epping Town Centre Study at its full meeting on Wed 20 June, 2012. 4 options to be put with one preferred option for approval to proceed with approach to State Government.
More details fon the study from page 479 in the large pdf file attached to the Council papers for the meeting: https://businesspapers.hornsby.councilsonline.com.au/Open/2012/OC_20062012_ATT.PDF
The council papers also contain a reprot to council, wth 4 options:
Item 14 PLN28/12 Epping Town Centre Study - Report on Submissions ... see page 52
Town Centre Study – September/December 2011 Updates
- Councillor Hutchence reports
- ECT submission of 28/11/11 is here: ETCS
- ECT leaflet encouraging response to HSC
- ECT media release from Public Meeting
- Hornsby Council to exhibit study
- Epping Civic Trust to hold public meeting
'Have your say about the future of Epping'
Councillor Hutchence reported at the Trust meeting on 6 December that at close of the exhibition period 361 responses had been received (including about 264 individual letters). This is a good result as 3 weeks before there were 30 and 1 week before only 60. Council will consider the responses and the ETCS Steering Committee will meet in late February. It is expected that a Council Meeting will consider the matter further in March or April, 2012. [NB: PCC will meet with the Epping Town Centre Study departmental steering committee on 3 March (this includes HSC) (source Lord Mayor Cllr Lorraine Wearne - ECT GM 21/2)
ECT submission of 28/11/11 is here: ETCS
You can download the HSC Map here: Flyer
Latest ECT leaflet encouraging response to HSC
ECT leaflet view or download
and Fill out and send off comment slip
ECT media release from Public Meeting of 18 October, 2011
"EPPING RESIDENTS SAY HANDS OFF OUR HOMES
At a public meeting to discuss the Epping Town Centre Study held last Tuesday night, Epping residents voted overwhelmingly:
"That there should be no re-zoning of the areas that are single residences to multi-unit housing and residential flats".
Less than a handful disagreed.
The meeting attracted a large turnout from across the Epping community, with little standing room left in the Church of Christ Hall in Bridge Street.
Epping Civic Trust Secretary, Chris Dunkerley reported that "residents (many of whom have lived there for 30, 40, 50 years, and others who chose to move in just this year) spoke passionately about their local community, neighbourhoods and their family homes!"
"Also to the forefront in questioning was the lack of clear long term resolution of traffic congestion, prior to major development on the scale the study promotes". "I think residents had looked for a study that built up their town centre and its amenity, and were unhappy they got re-zoning and
Mr Dunkerley also said, "it was pointed out that the Study was based on many assumptions and with the Global Financial Crisis such massive zoning changes to Epping are, to say the least, premature. Residential rezonings could lead to poor quality ad-hoc spot development, rather that the consolidation foreseen in the Study." The Trust opposes rezoning of residential areas.
The meeting was hosted by the Epping Civic Trust, with the Mayor of Hornsby Cr. Nick Berman, Cr. Robert Browne, Cr. Michael Hutchence, new GM Scott Phillips, and with James Farrington (HSC) presenting the Consultants study. The Study is on exhibition until 28 November, 2011, and HSC residents are reminded to make written submissions and comments to HSC, PO Box 37, Hornsby 1637, by that date.
Parramatta Lord Mayor, Cr. Lorraine Wearne also explained that Parramatta's Local Environment al Plan for the Epping CBD, which Epping residents had helped develop over last 6 years, had just been approved by the NSW Government, taking precedence over the Study.
Media Release, ECT, 20 October, 2011
Hornsby Shire Council to exhibit the study
A message from HSC: "Epping Town Centre Study, which explores the potential for Epping to accommodate residential and employment growth, will be placed on public exhibition from Wednesday 28 September to Monday 28 November, 2011.
The document was prepared by a planning consultant commissioned by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Hornsby Shire Council and Parramatta City Council. Council are really keen to hear what residents and business owners think of the Study, particularly the proposals about how traffic could be improved.
While Parramatta City Council has decided against the public exhibition of the Study, HSC thinks the community feedback is essential in planning for the future of Epping.
The key recommendations of the Study for Hornsby Shire include: -
Compact, high density residential, retail and community development around
the railway station with building heights between 4 and 20 storeys
Opportunities for new townhouse and two to six storey residential unit developments providing approximately 1,300 new dwellings in five residential intensification precincts
Upgrades to roads, footpaths and cyclist facilities, including the widening of the Epping Road rail overpass and other upgrades to ease traffic congestion and improve pedestrian connectivity
Creation of three new Heritage Conservation Areas to preserve heritage streetscapes
New recreational facilities and community spaces
A key element of the Study has been the preparation of a comprehensive traffic simulation model to look at how Sydney’s future growth may impact upon traffic in Epping.
Feedback on the recommendations of the Study that relate to land within Hornsby Shire is encouraged from residents on both sides of the Hornsby-Parramatta local government boundary. A special online discussion forum has been set up for the community to discuss the Epping Town Centre Study at
Community drop-in sessions are scheduled for Wednesday 19 October from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, and 6pm to 9pm - at Epping Creative Arts Centre, 26 Stanley Street, Epping (near Dence Park). The community is invited to come along at any time through the sessions to ask questions about the Study.
To read the Study and make a submission, please visit www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/onexhibition. Hard Copies of the Study can be viewed at Epping Library, as well as Hornsby Library and Council’s administration building in Hornsby during normal opening hours". HSC ends
Epping Civic Trust to hold public meeting 18 October, 2011
Following HSC decision to exhibit the Study, the Trust will hold a public meeting to consider the Epping Town Centre Study. The study was prepared by a private consultant commissioned by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Hornsby Shire Council and Parramatta City Council. The study explores the potential for Epping to accommodate increased residential and employment growth and also considers limiting factors such as road traffic congestion.
The Trust wishes to make it clear that no decisions have been made on the recommendations in the study by the Councils concerned or the Trust at this time. The study is simply a way of presenting a lot of information and ideas with the objective of stimulating informed comment and discussion. The study is only a first step in developing a formal plan for the town centre (Local Environmental Plan).
The Trust believes that it is now time for the community to consider the future they want for Epping and provide feedback to their Councils. Unfortunately, Parramatta City Council has declined to exhibit the study. Nevertheless the Trust is inviting residents of both Council areas to attend the public meeting and have their say.
All residents can access the study plan through the Hornsby Shire Council web site www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/onexhibition. Hard copies of the study can be viewed at the Epping Library, and attend the drop-in sessions.
The Trust is holding a Public Meeting on Tuesday 18th of October from 7:30pm at the Church of Christ Hall, 31 Bridge Street Epping. All interested residents from HSC or PCC areas should attend and have their say. Details are on the Trust's web site www.eppingcivictrust.org
Where is the Study up to?
Following the exhibition, the submissions will be considered and reported to Hornsby Shire Council, detailing any recommended changes. HSC will then make a decision on whether to progress with the various recommendations of the Study.
What happens after the exhibition ?
If the recommendations of the Study (with any required amendments) are adopted by Hornsby Shire Council, statutory and policy documents would be prepared. Any rezonings would be incorporated into a Planning Proposal, which would be exhibited for further public comment
How do I provide my comments?
Submissions on the Study are welcome and will be received until Monday, 28 November 2011. Please note that details of submissions are public documents and will not remain confidential.
Post: General Manager, Hornsby Shire Council, PO Box 37, Hornsby NSW 1630.
26 September, 2011
Civic Trust and the Epping Property Owners Group Concept
There were some good or interesting ideas, but the absence of detail and particularly the complete absence of a traffic plan to support any development were major failures of the EPOG concept.
A resolution of the existing traffic gridlock, for the benefit of the local community first, is a key precursor to business or residential development.
The Epping community will then need to decide if you agree to move beyond the existing provision for considerable development and go with the concept and detail of high density residential towers of 25 storeys on top of three-storey podiums up to 90 metres in height, and that a huge increase in CBD population is of real benefit to them. Do you want Epping to be another Chatswood (photo) and is it viable?
Note that the Trust membership has not yet been consulted on their views on the EPOG concept.
Input from them at an earlier ECT Workshop on the Epping Town Centre steers the Committee in its role to work to protect Epping from 'exploitation by developers' and to ensure Epping is a better place to live in.
That has been the ECT vision: Protection of our natural and built environment, including heritage, and support for the 'health' of a real residential and local business community in Epping.
Our Constitution and the Town Centre Workshop notes are available here on our web site.
The Trust considers the EPOG concept document as one input into the mix for community consultation with the imminent release by Parramatta & Hornsby Councils of the Epping Town Center Study (ETCS).
The Trust plans to hold a public meeting and seek resident input once the ETCS is public in the next month or so. (Read below for more on the TCS)
Secretary, ECT 3 July, 2011
ECT Letter to Editor NDT 11/7/2011 - Not published in paper edition:
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.
Vice President 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!
Epping's fate is in your hands - make sure you have your say!
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 and maintaining our community and the natural and built environment poses numerous challenges. Over development is to be fought.
Make your voice heard by becoming a member
of the Epping Civic Trust: > enquiry