Monthly Report – October 2021

Report by Councillor Craig Campbell – October 2021:  Please find herewith some updates on various matters concerning West Ward.

  1. Lockdown Changes & Updates – lockdown has ended for most, with the status as of 11 October as follows:
  2. Facilities are reopening on a staggered basis to allow for proper staffing and preparation.  Admittance will require proof of vaccination and check-in with the NSW QR code system, and masks will be required indoors.
  • The following facilities are reopened or will reopen soon:
  • Customer Service Centre at 31 Victor Street open from 18 October by appointment only (ring 9777 1000 for appointment)
    • Willoughby Leisure Centre fitness centre now open 06:15 – 20:00 on weekdays, 07:00 – 14:00 on weekends (creche, café, sauna, and spa closed), capacity restricted
    • Willoughby Leisure Centre pool open from 18 October
    • Chatswood Library now open 10:00 – 18:00, with extended a week.
    • Tyneside Tennis open for social play only
    • Art Space on The Concourse open from 20 October
    • Incinerator Art Space open from 20 October
    • Chatswood Mall Markets reopening from 21 October (take-away food only)
    • Chatswood Youth Centre from 80% vax rate
    • Zenith Theatre opening from 80% vax rate
    • Joe Ciantar Music Rehearsal Studio from 80 % vax rate
    • Unstaffed Community Facilities (West Chatswood, Naremburn, Castle Cove and Artarmon) from 80% vax rate
  • The Emerge Festival is cancelled for 2021 due to COVID.
  1. 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.

Work is scheduled to complete in December.

  1. Customer Service Centre Upgrade –  The Council building at 31 Victor Street is undergoing a refurbishment to move the customer service centre to the ground level entrance (including the previous Two Jays space).

Works commenced in September, and we expect final completion and the relocation of services from Level 4 in February 2022.

There will be no access to the Ground Floor area from 27 September until mid-November 2021.  General access to the lifts from Victor Street is scheduled to be reinstated in mid-November, subject to delays.

During this time, access to Levels 4, 5 and 6 will be available from the basement carpark lifts and the Level 4 pedestrian entrance.

Here is what it will look like when completed:

  • Local traffic / parking changes proposed The following initiatives have been progressed in West Ward that may be of interest:
  • Installation of wombat crossings on Hatfield St in Lane Cove North at the eastern entrance to Mowbray Public School and on Kirk Street in Chatswood in front of St Pius X College.
  • Upgrade of shared path & construction of new footpath on Bowen St / Moriarty Rd – To improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists using Whitton Road, Bowen Street, Moriarty Road and the shared path, the following improvements will be requested at the 20 October Traffic Committee meeting:
  • To eliminate the use of the shared path by motor bikes it is proposed to install barriers with hazard warning signs at the entry to the shared path. New pedestrian and bicycle logos, ‘slow’ pavement markings, line marking and changes to the existing signs in the shared path will reinforce the correct and legal road user types in the shared path.
  • A new footpath to connect the existing concrete footpaths in Moriarty Road and on the western side of Whitton Road.
  • 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 in August.  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.
  • Draft Planning & Assessment Regulation Changes – the NSW government has announced a draft regulation which will impact planning and assessment.  Council has made a submission as part of the process.  This submission included the following points with Council’s position in brackets:
  • No fees & charges changes proposed (requested regular fees & charges reviews)
  • Deemed refusal periods proposed to be shortened to as low as 40 days (requested longer period for consideration)
  • Simplification and transparency improvements proposed (supported, with some questions)
  • Increased transparency for Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Impact Assessments proposed (supported)
  1. 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.
  2. Devilliers Ave between Carr St and Dardanelles Rd
  3. Centennial Ave between Whitton Rd and Edgar St
  4. 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.

  1. OH Reid Oval Retufing – As previously reported, the OH Reid Reserve Oval will be refurbished with a new drainage system, water storage tank, new turf, and new cricket wickets.  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.

The timeline for this is roughly as follows: 

  • Letterbox notification: late October 2021
  • Site fencing installed: early November 2021
  • Field closure: late November 2021
  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. Rate Pegs to Include Polulation Growth Factor – As mentioned previously, there is new legislation regarding how the rate pegs will be calculated by IPART.  The new method will include a factor to take population growth into account.  What exactly that means for the 2022/23 rates is yet to be decided by IPART.
  1. IT Systems Upgrade – As part of the customer service and efficiency improvement strategies, Council is implementing a new ERP system to streamline operations.  This system will ultimately allow for a much more seamless experience with real time data and process status online (like online DA updates, tracking of customer service tickets, etc).  In the assets group, a new works management system has now successfully gone live which streamline the works and maintenance part of Council.  This will lead to much greater efficiencies and ultimately better resident support.  Anyone who has been through a systems change can testify to the chaos that happens, yet this one went smoothly and successfully thanks to the great planning and training work by the teams involved.
  1. Additional items out of West Ward – There are also a couple of items of outside of West Ward that may be of interest:
  • Willis Tennis Centre Transitioned – Council resolved to award the management of the Willis Recreation and Sports Centre (including Cleland Tennis Centre) in Castle Cove to the Sydney Sports Management Group and Voyager.  The transition from the old management group is complete.
  • Bike Path Concepts for Chatswood – St Leonards – There are two bike path concepts up for approval at the 18 October meeting which will connect Chatswood (from the Dive Site) to St Leonards.  One is via the Pacific Highway; the other down Hamden Road through Artarmon.  Notably, the Hamden Road one will require traffic signalisation at the Brand St / Hamden Rd roundabout as well as a right turn restriction from Hamden Rd (southbound) into Cleg St.  Some carparks would also be removed.  Note neither of these is currently funded.
  • Lane Cove Council – local centre in west ward

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