Monthly Report – September 2021

Report by Deputy Mayor Craig Campbell – September 2021:  Please find herewith some updates on various matters concerning West Ward.

  1. Lockdown Changes & Updates – the COVID lockdown has resulted in the following temporary changes (unchanged from previous reports):
  2. Lights are being left on until 8pm at the parks below:
    1. Mowbray Road Public School Oval
    1. Rotary Athletics Oval
  3. The following facilities are closed until further notice:
    • Customer Service Centre at 31 Victor Street
    • Customer Service Centre at 31 Victor Street
    • Dougherty Centre
    • Willoughby Leisure Centre
    • Willoughby Libraries – Chatswood and all branches
    • MOSAIC
    • All sportsground pavilions
    • Art Space on The Concourse
    • Incinerator Art Space
    • Dougherty Centre café (Blend)
    • Chatswood Youth Centre
    • Willoughby Park Centre
    • Zenith Theatre
    • Joe Ciantar Music Rehearsal Studio
    • Unstaffed Community Facilities (West Chatswood, Naremburn, Castle Cove and Artarmon)
    • The Concourse – ticketholders for cancelled performances will be contacted regarding refunds.
  4. Depot personnel and facilities are being split into 2 so that an outbreak does not close the entire maintenance operation down (as happened in Lane Cove recently).
  5. The Emerge Festival is cancelled for 2021 due to COVID.
  6. Laneways Upgrades in Chatswood CBD  – I previously reported  several projects underway to improve the amenities of laneways in the CBD, specifically Post Office Lane, Charlotte Lane, Mills Lane, and Spring Place. 

These projects are planned for delivery in early 2022.

  1. Dougherty Centre Upgrade –  There is an active project to update and reconfigure the Dougherty Community Centre internally to increase community and hireable space.   This will include a modernisation of the internal design and workspaces.  This will increase the capacity to allow for the co-location of the MOSAIC Multicultural Centre at the Dougherty Centre as well as increase its capacity to allow it to act as an emergency evacuation centre.

The design has been finalised. The tender for construction has been completed and the contract will be awarded by the end of August. Work is scheduled to complete in December.

  • Local traffic / parking changes proposed The following initiatives have been progressed in West Ward that may be of interest:
  • Installation of a new full-width shared path along Fullers Road, south side of the road between 112 – 114 Fullers Road and Lowanna Park, specifically:
    • Removal of the existing off-ramp and replacement with kerb and gutter in Fullers Road at Lowanna Park
    • Relocation of the existing shared path and bicycle guide signs to suit the new arrangement.
    • Installation of new  and  removal  of  existing,  line  marking,  pavement  marking,  signposting  and bicycle logos to suit the new arrangement

  • Installation of new fixed warning signs for mobile speed cameras – TfNSW has notified Council that they will be installing fixed signs in areas of enforcement to warn of the possibility of mobile speed cameras being present.  The current areas of enforcement in the Willoughby LGA are:
Artarmon, Chatswood, Lane Cove North, WilloughbyCentennial Avenue, Mowbray Road
Chatswood, Chatswood WestVictoria Avenue, Fullers Road, Millwood Avenue
Chatswood, RosevillePenshurst Street, Boundary Street, Babbage Road
Cammeray, Castlecrag, Northbridge, WilloughbyEastern Valley Way, Sailors Bay Road, Strathallen Avenue
Naremburn, WilloughbyWilloughby Road

The majority of streets are State Roads under the care and control of TfNSW. Those roads under the care and control of Willoughby Council are: Mowbray Road, Victoria Avenue and Archer

  • Proposed Data Centre on Mowbray Road West – This is a project in the Lane Cove LGA which will affect residents in West Ward.  The project is the construction of a data centre in an area of Lane Cove LGA currently zoned for light industrial with heigh controls of 18 metres.  The data centre plans significantly breach existing height controls (up to 38 metres or 6 storeys) and includes diesel fuel storage of up to 1,800 tonnes in a bushfire prone zone. 

Willoughby Council has made submissions raising concerns over the built form, bushfire impacts, etc as well as the adverse impacts expected to our residents during the construction phase. 

The project has recently posted some additional information, mainly Q&A from the public forum held last month.  It can be seen here:  www.mowbrayroaddatacentre.com.

Detailed information on the project can be accessed here: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/41041

  • 99 Beaconsfield Rd & 22B Greville St. – the DA for a large redevelopment under the seniors housing SEPP was rejected by the Willoughby Local Planning Panel.  The proponent has appealed to the Land & Environment Court, and Council (on behalf of the WLPP) is now in arbitration with the proponent.  The parties have a tentative agreement on the current plans, but a judgement is not handed down yet.  [MORE INFO TO COME PRIOR TO THE MEETING]
  • Planning proposals in currently under consideration – Here are the current planning proposals in West Ward and their status (recent updates in bolded blue):
  • PP 2016/007/A  (65 Albert Avenue Chatswood, Mandarin Centre) – approved by SNPP, permitting a 70% non-residential, 30% residential  land use split on the site and the LEP amendment will now move to the final stages to be made.
  • PP 2017/003: 629-639 Pacific Highway Chatswood (tyre & brake shop between Gordon Ave & Nelson St, east side of the Highway) – this PP is under assessment.  It is next door to the site below (PP2021/004).
  • PP 2021/004  (613, 621 – 627 Pacific Highway Chatswood, east side of Highway between Gordon Ave & Nelson St) – approved by Council at the July meeting to forward to DPIE.   Commercial / residential mixed use, zoning change to B4, complies with the CBD strategy.  It is currently with DPIE awaiting Gateway determination.
  • PP 2020/007  (3 Ellis St Chatswood, west of railway line, behind Chatswood Oval) – refused by Council at the June meeting; rescinded at the July meeting and subsequently approved and forwarded to DPIE.  Commercial / residential mixed use in B4 zone; complies with the CBD strategy.  It is currently with DPIE awaiting Gateway determination.
  • PP 2020/010  (849, 853, 859 Pacific Highway and 2 Wilson Street Chatswood, SE corner of Wilson St & Pacific Highway) – refused by Council at the June meeting due to inconsistency with CBD strategy.
  • PP 2017/006: 54-56 Anderson Street Chatswood (off O’Brien St, opposite Tulip St; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) Gateway determination issued (to proceed).  Currently on public exhibition from 6 September to 4 October 2021.
  • PP 2017/007: 753 Pacific Highway and 15 Ellis Street Chatswood (east side of the Highway between Albert Ave and Ellis St; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) – Exhibition has concluded.  Under assessment.
  • PP 2017/008: 3-5 Help Street Chatswood (between Anderson Street & Cambridge Lane, east side of railway line; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) – Under assessment.
  • PP 2018/001: 58 Anderson Street Chatswood (triangle block north of Wilson Street, east side of railway line; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) –  Under assessment.
  •  PP 2018/003: 5-9 Gordon Avenue Chatswood (west side of railway line, near Bowling Club; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) – Under assessment..
  • PP 2018/004: 871-877 Pacific Highway Chatswood (NE corner of Wilson St & the Highway, west of railway line; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority).  Under assessment.
  • PP 2018/012: 815 Pacific Highway and 15 Help Street Chatswood (NE corner of Help St and the Highway Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) – Exhibition has concluded (occurred between 5 July and 2 August 2021). Under assessment
  • PP 2020/008: 845 Pacific Highway Chatswood (Star Car Wash site, east side of Highway; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) – Under assessment.
  • PP 2020/012: 9-11 Nelson Street Chatswood (west side of railway line, north side of Nelson St; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) –  Under assessment.
  •  
  • PP 2021/001: 44-52 Anderson Street Chatswood (NW corner of Day St; Council is the Planning Proposal Authority) –  Council supported forwarding this PP to Gateway on 10 May 2021. Currently with DPIE awaiting Gateway Determination.
  • Infrastructure Works in West Ward – Coming up, the following roads are scheduled for re-sheeting and heavy patching.  Works have been issued and shall be complete by end of calendar year.
  • Devilliers Ave between Carr St and Dardanelles Rd
  • Centennial Ave between Whitton Rd and Edgar St
  • Mowbray Rd between Greenlands & Beaconsfield Ave

Also number of heavy patching works at various locations are scheduled. Elimination of Footpaths trip hazards are on- going.

In terms of drainage, footpaths and kerb & gutters, number of projects will be implemented by incorporating road works.

Note that the timing of this is such that even it is ultimately supported, it would be unlikely to result in any changes to the construction currently underway.

  • OH Reid Oval Retufing – OH Reid Reserve Oval will be refurbished with a new drainage system, water storage tank, new turf, and new cricket wickets.  This was previously resolved and contracted to a contractor with a planned start date in September.  This was put on hold due to a motion to delay in recognition of the heavy use the ovals get during the lockdown (Castle Cove Oval was also affected).  However, delaying would cause issues to have the turf ready for the winter sport season and would also potentially breach a contract already executed, leaving Council open to damages claims.

After much debate, it was resolved to proceed with the works.  These will not be somewhat delayed but should start soon.  The kikuyu grass will be removed first, and roughly 6 weeks after commencement the oval will no longer be accessible for the remainder of the construction period.

  1. Bike Maps Online – Note that there are a number of bike maps and information on cycling available online at:  https://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/Residents/Parking-and-transport/Cycling.  There has been an increased interest in this during lockdown.
  1. Additional items out of West Ward – There are also a couple of items of outside of West Ward that may be of interest:
  • Artarmon Pavilion – At its August meeting Council resolved to request a review of DA-2021/5, which is the DA for the adaptive reuse of the old Artarmon Bowling Club into a park pavilion.  Officers did so and reported back that the only legal mechanism for this would be a complete re-examination of the DA (basically a start-over) under section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, which may incur costs in excess of $60k and delay the project by 12 months.  Council resolved to note this and to proceed on the basis of the internal meeting space being expanded to 80 square metres (leaving 52 square metres for outdoor pavilion space), as approved under the current DA.
  • Gore Hill Indoor Sport Centre – Tendering is currently underway for a principal design consultant for the project.  The timeline envisions having a concept design by mid-2022, with a DA to follow.  Construction should commence in 2024/2025 with a target opening in early 2026. 
  • Bales Park & Wickham Park Playground Updates – Bales Park and Wickham Park are due for upgrades to the playground areas.  Consultation on these is currently open on Have Your Say on the Council website until 11 October.

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