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Agenda

Extraordinary Meeting of Council

13 July 2015

The meeting commences at 6.30pm. If members of the public are

not interested in any business recommended to be considered in

Closed Session or there is no such business, Council will ordinarily

  commence consideration of all other business at 7pm.

 


 

Notice of Meeting

 

Dear Councillors

 

Notice is given of the Extraordinary Meeting of Council, to be held in the Council Chambers, 48 Longueville Road Lane Cove on Monday 13 July 2015 commencing at 7:00pm. The business to be transacted at the meeting is included in this business paper.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

 

Council Meeting Procedures

 

The Council meeting is chaired by the Mayor, Councillor David Brooks-Horn. Councillors are entitled to one vote on a matter. If votes are equal, the Chairperson has a second or casting vote. When a majority of Councillors vote in favour of a Motion it becomes a decision of the Council. Minutes of Council and Committee meetings are published on Council’s website www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au by 5pm on the Thursday following the meeting.

 

The Meeting is conducted in accordance with Council's Code of Meeting Practice. The order of business is listed in the Agenda on the next page. That order will be followed unless Council resolves to modify the order at the meeting. This may occur for example where the members of the public in attendance are interested in specific items on the agenda.

 

Members of the public may address the Council Meeting on any issue for a maximum of 3 minutes during the public forum which is held at the beginning of the meeting. All persons addressing the Meeting must speak to the Chair. Speakers and Councillors will not enter into general debate or ask questions.

 

If you do not understand any part of the information given above; require assistance to participate in the meeting due to a disability; or wish to obtain information in relation to Council, please contact Council’s Manager Governance on 99113525.

 

Please note meetings held in the Council Chambers are recorded on tape for the purposes of verifying the accuracy of minutes and the tapes are not disclosed to any third party under the Government Information (Public Access)  Act 2009, except as allowed under section 18(1) or section 19(1) of the PPIP Act, or where Council is compelled to do so by court order, warrant or subpoena or by any other legislation.

 

 

 


Extraordinary Meeting of Council 13 July 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

APOLOGIES

 

OPENING OF MEETING WITH PRAYER

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT TO COUNTRY

 

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING OF MEETING

 

public forum

 

Members of the public may address the Council Meeting on any issue for 3 minutes.

 

Orders Of The Day

 

Officer Reports for Determination

 

1.      St Leonards South Master Plan Finalisation  

 

 

 

 

                      


 

Extraordinary Meeting of Council Meeting 13 July 2015

St Leonards South Master Plan Finalisation

 

 

Subject:          St Leonards South Master Plan Finalisation    

Record No:     SU5422 - 36380/15

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):       Christopher Pelcz; Terry Tredrea; Stephanie Bashford 

 

 

Executive Summary

 

This report presents the draft “St Leonards South Strategy Stage 2: Draft Master Plan” following its recent public exhibition. The plan was prepared for Council by urban planning consultancy Annand Associates Urban Design (AAUD) with urban design and economics sub-consultants. It is attached at AT-1.

 

The St Leonards South Strategy has been undertaken in response to the policies of the Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. The principle of locating growth close to rail stations led, firstly, to the Marshall Avenue (Loftex) tower proposal, which is part of Lane Cove’s residential target of 3,900 dwellings, and subsequently consideration was given to the relationship to that development to the properties south of Marshall Avenue, at the request of owners. Secondly, the Metropolitan Strategy’s review by the State Government commenced in 2012, and Council supports evidence-based plans to guide increased densities close to the St Leonards Strategic Centre. The Subregional Plans are currently being prepared as part of the review  process,which includes initial population projections of 6,000 new dwellings for Lane Cove, which is likely to increase when the Greater Sydney Commission is formed

 

Stage 1 of the St Leonards South Strategy collected data on the existing situation and was completed in December 2013. Stage 2, the preparation of the draft St Leonards South Master Plan, commenced in August 2014.

 

The draft Master Plan developed 10 Principles for Transit Oriented Development appropriate to the precinct. The 20-hectare precinct (shown in following image) has differing characteristics between the eastern, central and western areas, in terms of road network, heritage, topography, subdivision patterns and distances to transport.

 

During the extensive community consultation process, issues emerging as priorities included:-

·     The importance of growth being matched by infrastructure provisions, in particular traffic, schools and other community infrastructure;

·     The appropriate boundary location between high and low densities;

·     Design and scale controls to moderate the transition along the boundaries;

·     Financial viability; and

·     Precinct character, sense of community and liveability.

 

Additionally, there has been a trend for groupings of residents to form, with several joint submissions made using planning consultants. These all requested expansion to the draft Master Plan, either in height, floor space ratio (FSR) and/or zoning boundaries. The individual submissions fell generally into either support for the draft plan, on the grounds that density was appropriate close the urban centre and high density cities overseas created successful communities, or those who wanted no change, so as to retain the existing character and sense of community.

 

Image: St Leonards South Precinct Study Area

 

This report has been structured to consider a range of views and options, as follows.

 

5 Options for Development

 

The public consultation identified 5 Options for Development being considered:-

 

Option 1 -  No change to the current zoning.

 

Option 2 - AAUD: The Draft Master Plan for the Marshall South Subprecinct, with potential variations.

 

Option 3 - Park Road: Owners seeking an extension of the plan to Park Road (east side), on the basis of assisting Council to meet State housing targets, and similarly close to rail stations (St Leonards and Wollstonecraft) as AAUD, providing a park central to the precinct and shifting boundary issues from Berry Rd west to Park Rd west.

 

Option 4 - Increased density (in two sub-options):-

·      Architectus: A proposal by owners for increased density from Canberra Ave to Holdsworth Ave, with possible extension west of Holdsworth Ave, east-west links, scattered towers of varying heights, and irregular rear layouts, for visual variety, FSR of around 3.5:1 but without costed verification of public benefits to merit that scale.

 


·          Similar submissions by GMU and JBA for increase densities at various areas, principally within the eastern end of the precinct, and by JBA for an 18-storey mixed use podium/tower at the north-western corner (Greenwich Rd/ Pacific Hwy intersection)

 

Option 5 - Woods Bagot: A proposal for redevelopment of the whole twenty-hectare precinct from Canberra Ave to Greenwich Rd: 5,000 dwellings (10,000 residents), three community centres with retail and parks, closing of the southern end of Berry Rd and Canberra Ave.

 

This report is structured so that the Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development, developed by AAUD with community input last year, are the basis for evaluating the 5 Options for the future strategic development of the St Leonards South precinct. This is appropriate as the public submissions all fell into those Principles’ categories (other than comments relating to planning process):-

 

Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development

 

These liveability principles reflect the concerns and values expressed by the local community, as expressed during preliminary Stage A consultation, and summarised by the consultant:-

1.   Density / Zoning / Boundaries/ Lot Size;

2.   Financial Viability;

3.   Infrastructure;

4.   Traffic / Parking / Access For Vehicles and Cycles;

5.   Walkability / Cycling / Access;

6.   Amenity (Built Form, Streetscape);

7.   Public Domain / Open Space;

8.   Community Facilities;

9.   Housing for All Stages; and

10. Liveability.

 

Evaluation of the opportunities and constraints of each of the five options has had regard to the ten planning principles, and concludes that:-

 

(a)        The AAUD Master Plan should be finalised as exhibited, subject to one exception, that the B3 Commercial Core zone west of Canberra Avenue should remain as currently zoned, having regard to the Department’s employment studies for the subregional planning process currently underway.

 

The draft Master Plan sets a framework to provide planning clarity and confidence for the public, including:-

·      The draft plan provides the greatest future amenity and liveability.

·      A generic FSR, currently estimated to be around 2.75:1, is an equitable approach for all property owners.

·      Its built form, shadowing and traffic generation have been tested and shown to be viable.

·      A bonus scheme to permit additional height and FSR for sites providing identified public benefits, being a community facility and/or land dedication for pedestrian links and open space.

·      It has received support of government agencies, however their commitment to infrastructure provision for the population growth are a pre-requisite for Council’s support for increasing density.

 

(b)       It is recommended that the alternative options for residential development proposed in submissions by individuals and consultants (Architectus, GMU, JBA and BBC) not be supported by Council to amend the Master Plan, on the grounds that:-

·      They do not offer clearly and substantiated community benefits relative to FSR.

·      The increased densities they propose are unlikely to be feasible under currently foreseeable constraints.  In particular, traffic modelling has shown that increased dwelling numbers beyond AAUD’s model, including by extension to Park Rd, would generate significant traffic impacts.

·      The mechanisms for achieving their outcomes have not been clarified. At the LEP/ DCP stage, however, components of those proposals may be considered appropriate for inclusion in the planning controls.

·      Government agencies have not given their support for these alternative options.

 

(c)        It is not recommended that the commercial/ retail strip along Pacific Highway west of Canberra Avenue be rezoned to mixed use at this stage, as there is no indication to date that the Department’s subregional plans would support this policy.

 

In conclusion, it is clear that Council will be required under the Metropolitan Strategy to provide increased residential densities around the St Leonards rail station. The response to meet these requirements should be twofold.  It should be measured and consistent, and it should be based on consideration and adoption of liveability principles of amenity and function, and based on community values and best practice. It is considered that the AAUD Draft Master Plan best satisfies these objectives.

 

Council is requested to finalise the draft “St Leonards South Strategy Stage 2: Draft Master Plan” prepared by Annand Associates Urban Design (subject to not proceeding to mixed use rezoning on Pacific Highway) as attached at AT-1.

 

Background

 

Council undertook the preparation of the St Leonards South Strategy in two (2) separate stages:

 

(i)    Stage One – Existing data collection: detailed analysis of the existing planning context within the precinct and the wider locality, including the precinct’s physical opportunities and constraints, LEP 2009 zonings, surrounding suburbs, adjacent local government areas and the Royal North Shore Hospital and other matters.

 

Stage One was undertaken by David Lock Associates, urban planners, with consultation firm Straight Talk, to examine and collect existing data on this precinct. This report was approved by Council on 17 March 2014.

 

(ii)   Stage Two – Master Plan: to examine a range of potential sustainable growth scenarios and infrastructure should additional targets be set by the State Government under the Metropolitan Plan for Sydney.

 

Council established a St Leonards Community Liaison Committee to assist with consideration of the development of a Master Plan. The Committee’s views were considered in drafting the briefs for both stages of the proposed Master Plan. It is important to note that:-

 

The brief for Stage Two divided the Master Plan project into Sections A and B:-

·    Section A – Principles: The theoretical planning framework: To report on the principles and best practice appropriate to an inner-city area such as this, and

·    Section B – Locations: Site-specific proposals: To provide options and ultimately recommendations on the implementation of the above Objectives, identifying the location of zones, densities, infrastructure, streetscape improvements etc.

The project called also for the community to be involved at key stages throughout the master planning, and that a “no development” option be included in discussion as one of the options.

 

The Master Plan’s role was to address the following areas:-

·   Density potential;

·   Financial viability;

·   Sustainable urban design & amenity;

·   Infrastructure; and

·   Staging and transition management. 

 

Annand Associates Urban Design (AAUD) was appointed following an Expressions of Interest process. Council also engaged Transport Modellers Alliance to undertake traffic modeling of the precinct.

 

The Draft St Leonards South Master Plan was adopted by Council these comments at its meeting on 8 December 2014 with the draft Master Plan recommended for public exhibition.

 

During this period, the following supplementary background studies were undertaken to assist in the final determination of the Master Plan:-

·   Hill PDA: Economic Feasibility Review (AT-2);

·   Transport Modellers Alliance: Traffic Review (AT-3);

·   Council  shadow modelling (AT-4); and

·   AAUD: Post-Exhibition Review (AT-5).

 

The Metropolitan Strategy: A Plan for Growing Sydney was published in December 2014 after the Draft Master Plan had been endorsed by Council for exhibition. The Strategy’s objectives for the St Leonards centre are consistent with, and supported by, the Draft Master Plan and discussed below.

 

Community Consultation

 

Council sought to engage and consult with the community using a variety of consultation methods, consistent with Council’s Consultation Policy, including:-

·   A number of pre-exhibition workshops and sessions with the local community;

·   Advertisements in the North Shore Times;

·   A notice of the exhibition period was distributed to property owners within (and adjoining) the precinct in the nearby suburbs by letter;

·   eNewsletters to Council database of over 7,000 subscribers;

·   Website and public exhibitions including at the Civic Centre, Greenwich and Lane Cove Libraries; and

·   Two (2) additional community sessions during the public consultation period.

 

Pre-Exhibition Consultation

 

AAUD held a series of meetings to engage the local community in all stages of the process. Prior to public exhibition, meetings with the community involved:-

·   A Scoping Workshop with Council staff and the Community Liaison Committee (28 August 2014);

·   An Enquiry By Design workshop with staff, various government departments and North Sydney and Willoughby Councils (16 – 18 September 2014);

·   An Information Session with the local community at the Greenwich Seniors Centre (Saturday 11 October 2014); and

·   A Community Workshop at Council (Thursday evening 16 October 2014).

 

To capture a wide range of options, a survey was used during the community sessions. In total 72 surveys and 37 submissions were received during this period, which informed the discussions and set foundations for the master planning process.

 

Public Exhibition

 

The initial consultation period ran from Friday 19th December 2014 till Friday 13th March 2015. Noting the broad and diverse community interest, Council extended the submission deadline to Friday 1st May 2015.

 

During the public exhibition period, two additional community meetings were held:-

·   A Community Drop-in Session with the local community at the Greenwich Seniors Centre (Saturday 7 February 2015) and

·   A community information session with the local community at Lane Cove Civic Centre (Tuesday evening 21 April 2015).

 

Council consulted with a number of public authorities throughout the masterplanning process: NSW Planning & Environment, NSW Ministry of Health (including Northern Sydney Local Health District), Sydney Water, Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Department of Education and Communities, Ausgrid, Jemena and Willoughby and North Sydney Councils.

 


In total, 545 submission documents were received in response to the exhibition – these comprised 215 submitters’ first submissions + a further 330 multiple submissions from these submitters.

 

The number of submissions received within the exhibition period comprised:-

·   From within the precinct = 157:-

o 12 Proformas (103 submissions)

o 6 Groups / Consultancies

o 46 Individuals (non-proformas)

o 2 petitions

·   From outside the precinct = 49

·   Government agencies = 9

·   Total from inside and outside the precinct = 215.

 

Characteristic of some of the submissions were:-

·   Multiple submissions from the same submitters (i.e. the number of documents was triple the number of submitters);

·   Duplicates (copied from another submitter); and

·   Changing views from individuals over time.

 

 

Note: Submissions from Berry (West) to Park (East) generally had a second preference that, if development were not extended to their central subprecinct, they did not support any rezoning of the east subprecinct (as exhibited) either.         

 

Since exhibition closed (4 May to 3 July), approximately 70 further submissions have been received (generally repeating issues raised earlier during the exhibition).

 

Submissions were received from North Sydney and Willoughby Councils, Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Water, Department of Education & Communities, Link Housing and the Northern Sydney Local Health District (Royal North Shore Hospital) & Health Promotion Lower North Shore. The submissions from the above agencies indicated in principle support for the draft Master Plan as exhibited.

 

General public submissions fell into categories summarised under 5 Options for Development, as discussed later. The Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) are used as the basis in the report to address those Options, and are provided at AT-6.

 

Copies of the government agencies’ submissions are attached electronically, and a summary of each submission is at AT-7. 

 

The Submissions Summary of the general public submissions is attached (available electronically) at AT-8.

 

Subregional Context

 

The new Sydney Metropolitan Plan -“A Plan for Growing Sydney” (the Plan) was released by the State Government in December 2014. The Strategy is a broad guide for land use planning decisions for the next 20 years in the Sydney Metropolitan Area.

 

The plan sets out a range of goals supporting increased densities close to rail corridors and centres. This includes the planned Sydney Rapid Transit system from a station at St Leonards/ Crows Nest under the Harbour to Barangaroo/ CBD and on to the south-west of Sydney. The Plan sets out actions that are intended to deliver these goals for Sydney.  It is intended that the Strategy will be implemented through subregional plans, local environmental plans and infrastructure improvements.

 

The Metropolitan Strategy does not specify numerical targets for dwellings and employment in the subregions or individual local government areas. The subregional plans will (among other things) define objectives and set goals for housing supply and choice and employment growth in each subregion and the infrastructure required to support growth in the subregion.

 

The Metropolitan Strategy Objectives and Actions are set out in a detailed selection at AT-9.

 

Of particular relevance to the St Leonards South Strategy is Action 2.1.1: “Accelerate housing supply and local housing choices”:-

 

“The Government is working to achieve its target of an additional 664,000 new dwellings by 2031. The most suitable areas for significant urban renewal are those areas best connected to employment and include:

·   in and around centres that are close to jobs and are serviced by public transport services that are frequent and capable of moving large numbers of people; and

·   in and around strategic centres” (page 65).

 

The Subregional Plans are currently being prepared by the Department of Planning & Environment. As part of the process, the Department has provided initial population projections for each of the councils of the Subregion which include an indicative 6,000 new dwellings for Lane Cove. Although it is yet to be confirmed, this is expected to include the 3,900 dwellings already planned under LEP 2009 and is likely to increase when the Greater Sydney Commission is formed.


To assist with the preparation of the North Subregion Plan, a technical working group of officers from council and state government organisations including health, emergency services, transport and education has been established to provide advice and feedback to the Department of Planning during preparation of the plans. The process is currently at the evidence base stage, collecting data on the existing government services and facilities and issues of concern to councils in the subregion.

 

The current work being undertaken by Council in St Leonards will form the basis of a new Council housing strategy which the Metropolitan Plan requires of each council. In relation to infrastructure capacity, relevant agencies are assessing existing capacity and the subregional plans will identify the scale of infrastructure and services required to support growth, and where and when this should be delivered by agencies. 

 

The Greater Sydney Commission to be introduced later this year is to be a new independent body with the responsibility to drive the implementation of the revised Metropolitan Strategy plans. The GSC would review the draft North Subregion Plan before its release for formal public comment.

 

St Leonards Rail Plaza

           

This project has the goal of revitalising and increasing the amenity of the St Leonards centre, by providing a park-like plaza of almost 5,000m2 across the rail line from Lithgow Street to Canberra Avenue. This will significantly improve the amenity of the St Leonards South precinct by  providing a new bus-rail interchange on the south side of Pacific Hwy in an enhanced pedestrian network under the highway and to a renewed Friedlander Place.

 

The project is progressing supported by three planning proposals: The Planning Proposals for 472-504 Pacific Highway (Leighton and Charter Hall) was gazetted in May, and the Planning Proposals for Lithgow/ Christie Streets (Winten) and Marshall Avenue (Loftex) are with the Department, comprising the three sites targeted to contribute to the proposed St Leonards Rail Plaza. This project supports the objectives of A Plan for Growing Sydney for the St Leonards Strategic Centre.

 

 

Image: Metropolitan Strategy priorities for the North Subregion

 

 

 

 

 


Discussion

 

It is important to consider the planning principles relevant to consideration of the community’s priorities, in particular relating to amenity and the physical and social infrastructure issues central to liveability. These principles are the basis for the report’s discussion of submissions and the options for development in the precinct.

 

This Discussion section of the report is structured as follows:-

 

Introduction

(i)      Overview of the Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development, established in the Draft Master Plan with the community and in accordance with best practice.

(ii)     Overview of the submissions.

(iii)     Overview of the 5 Options for Development, arising in submissions.

(iv)    Overview of submissions by consultants (on owners’ behalf).

 

Detailed Analysis

Section A:     Community Issues Addressed Under the Ten Planning Principles – to what extent each of the 5 development options satisfies the Principles.

Section B:     Principles Summary - to what extent each Principle is satisfied by the options.

Section C:     Options Assessed - a summary of the opportunities and challenges of each one.

Section D:     Recommended Option.

 

Introduction

 

(i)       Overview of the Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development

 

The following are the principles prepared by AAUD with the community during the preliminary consultation stage and in accordance with planning best practice conventions:-

1.    Density / Zoning / Boundaries/ Lot Size;

2.    Financial Viability;

3.    Infrastructure;

4.    Traffic / Parking / Access For Vehicles & Cycles;

5.    Walkability / Cycling / Access;

6.    Amenity (Built form, streetscape);

7.    Public Domain/Open Space;

8.    Community Facilities;

9.    Housing for All Stages; and

10.  Liveability.

 

(ii)      Overview of Submissions

 

The following is a broad summary of the submissions received, as an introduction to the subsequent detailed discussion.

 


Government Agencies’ Submissions

·   Willoughby Council:  Supports the Draft Master Plan, with focus on affordable housing, pedestrian access, employment and traffic should be considered.

·   North Sydney Council: Supports, and requests consideration of view lines from River Rd properties, employment and traffic (the LGA boundary with North Sydney is immediately east of Eastview St).

·   Transport for NSW: Supports, and requires traffic & accessibility study at LEP stage 

·   Roads and Maritime Services: Supports, and requires traffic & accessibility study at LEP stage.

·   Department of Education & Communities: Supports, subject to issues discussed below.

·   Sydney Water: No objection.

·   Link Housing: Supports, with provision of Affordable Housing.

·   Royal North Shore Hospital: Requests consideration of traffic impacts as well as helicopter flight path.

·   Health Promotion Lower North Shore: Supports, with focus on how urban design can improve health.

 

Public Submissions

 

Key issues raised in public submissions related in particular to the following:-

·   Traffic, Parking and Access;

·   Zone boundaries and Transition;

·   Density;

·   Overshadowing & Privacy;

·   Infrastructure;

·   Character & Heritage;

·   Open Space; and

·   Economic analysis and Voluntary planning agreement process.

 

A detailed discussion of the issues raised in submissions follows later in this Section.

 

(iii)     Overview of 5 Options for Development Emerging From Submissions

 

During consultation, groupings of residents formed and several joint submissions were made as a result, using planning consultants. These all requested expansion to the draft Master Plan, either in height, floor space ratio (FSR) and/or zoning boundaries. The individual submissions fell generally into either support for the draft plan, on the grounds that density was appropriate close the urban centre and high density cities overseas created successful communities, or those who wanted no change, so as to retain the existing character and sense of community; some of these requested increased open space, but without a scheme for its location or funding.

 


In broad terms, the views expressed by all residents (both inside and outside of the precinct)

clustered into variations upon these five development options:-

 

5 Options for Development

1.    No Change:  to zoning or the other existing planning controls (or none for the foreseeable future in the absence of new infrastructure).

2.    The AAUD Model: of a generic FSR 2.75:1, a base height of 8 storeys (compatible with Duntroon Avenue) and bonuses for public works (east-west pedestrian linkages, community facility and open space), with flexibility for possible built form variations. It also exhibited Mixed Use along Pacific Highway.

3.    Extension to Park Road (East Side): moving the boundary west.

4.    A Model by Architectus: for owners in Canberra/ Holdsworth Avenues:  for scattered towers, an average FSR of around 3.5:1 and some east-west links (and similar  submissions by GMU and JBA, on behalf of owners in the   subprecinct, to increase density at the eastern end of the precinct).

5.    A Model by Woods Bagot: for owners in Holdsworth Ave / Berry Rd (East): for the entire 20-hectare precinct at an average FSR of 5:1 with apartments ranging from 3 storeys up to towers of around 30 storeys, 5,000 dwellings and 10,000 new residents (almost one third again of Lane Cove’s existing population).

 

Overview of the 5 Options

 

Dwellings

Residents

FSR:1

Open Space

Public Benefits

1.No change

As is

As is

0.5

No

No

2.AAUD

1,500-2,000

3,000 - 4,000

2.75 + bonuses (30% uplift)

4 small parks – 1.65 ha with  green spines

Community facility east-west links, open space

3.Park Rd (east)

  2,800 - 3,200

(estimate)

6,400

2.75 + bonuses

(lesser uplift)

Central park

Similar to AAUD

4.Architectus & others

Not detailed

Not

detailed

3.5

No

East-west links

5.Woods Bagot

5,000

10,000

5.0

3 large parks - 1.8ha - road closures

3 community centres/ shops

 

These options are discussed in detail below. The options are then evaluated against the Ten Principles contained in Draft Master Plan.

 

(iv)    Overview of Submissions by Consultants (on Owners’ Behalf)

 

Description of the Key Proposals in AAUD’s Model and Owners’ Consultancy Submissions

 

AAUD Draft Master Plan’s Key Proposals

 

The Draft Master Plan proposes:-

·      1,500 new apartment dwellings approximately, between Marshall Av, Canberra Av, Berry Rd and River Rd.

·      500 additional dwellings in mixed use towers along Pacific Hwy between Canberra Av and Berry Rd. (This would depend on a rezoning from B3 Commercial Core to B4 Mixed Use and would require a separate LEP process from an LEP to rezone south of Marshall Avenue: The Department’s support for a change to the commercial zoning would need to be ascertained, and the timing of the two LEPs would not then be dependent on each other.)

·      Community facility.

 

By contrast with the AAUD Master Plan, the alternative options proposed in public submissions do not provide clear evidence as to dwelling numbers, or therefore resolution of traffic impacts, economics, public benefit bonuses etc. The traffic analysis done by TMA for the precinct as a whole was able only to be based on indicative estimates (assumes 3,200 dwellings under alternative proposals).

 

Consultancy Submissions’ Key Proposals

 

Architectus - Representing 14-26 Holdsworth Ave & 13-27A Canberra Ave:

·      Large consolidated lots along Holdsworth & Canberra block.

·      Option B = FSR 3.5:1

·      6-storey (+attic) street wall and 3x“slim” 25 storey towers on a podium.

·      Sunlight requirement “complies with SEPP 65” (e.g. 60-90 minute tower shadows).

·      No economic justification; no public benefits apart from notional E-W links.

·      Visual variety is the rationale for scattered towers.

 

BBC Consulting Planners - Representing 100 Pacific Hwy St Leonards:

·      A "possible school" site shown at 100 Pacific Hwy in Planning Principle 7 and Figure 5.3. 

·      Council is requested to delete thisto avoid confusion or misinterpretation” [AAUD purpose was “to express a general intention for a facility in this locality”].

 

GM Urban Design & Architecture - Representing 10-12 Marshall Ave & 1-3 Holdsworth Ave (Site 8A):

·      “Based on the review of the existing and approved heights within the St Leonards Centre, the northern portion of St Leonards South precinct has the potential for taller heights. The proposed height by the draft Master Plan - between 19-15-12 storeys transitioning to 8 along the southern portion of Marshall Avenue.”

·      16-18-storeys at Site 8A, based on Loftex height, scaling down to the southern end + E-W link along south.

·      Generally supports “Council’s strategic direction to intensify areas around St Leonards Station through higher density developments, ...new opportunities for public domain improvements and services to facilitate and complement the growth of the precinct”.

 

JBA Planning - Representing 31-41 Canberra Ave to 28-32 Holdsworth Ave (Site 4A & 4B):

·      Proposed FSRs (3& 3.2:1) not achievable at 8-10 storeys (only 2.3 & 2.65:1).

·      Therefore propose 12 and 15 storeys. FSR 3.5:1.

·      Southern overshadowing complies with SEPP65.

·      Possible public benefits (e.g. café or child care centre).

 


JBA Planning - Representing Landowners at 4-8 Marshall Ave:

·      Disagree that “site” is “irregular” (4-8 Marshall as separate from lots adjoining Canberra).

·      Delete the open space “requirement” at the northern part of the “site” (Site 1, page 91). only 30-40m from the proposed civic space (Plaza).

·      “The public open space is relatively small and it is considered that this land would be better utilised if integrated with a residential scheme to promote deep soil planting and useable communal open spaces.” Also not in map for Principle 7 (Open space).

·      The Loftex Tower will overshadow (max. 2 hours sunlight 9am – 11am in midwinter) - low amenity of any pocket park in this location.

·      “Regardless, in terms of SEPP 65 sunlight and daylight access, this can be addressed through good design of residential apartments to ensure adequate solar access is achieved (i.e. taller elements away from the Loftex Tower; orientation to the NE or NW). Introducing public open space reduces flexibility when designing building footprints, particularly if site amalgamation does not proceed in accordance with the Master Plan.”

·      Suggest 20-storey tower; FSR=4:1.

 

JBA Planning - Representing 154 Pacific Hwy (10-Storey Commercial, Cnr Greenwich Rd):

·      Current commercial viability of  St Leonards Centre will not achieve a significant uplift in development activity of a ‘standard’ office product, given competition from other centres” (e.g. Macquarie Park / North Ryde corridor, North Sydney, Parramatta and Sydney CDB).

·      Proposed 4-storey podium of commercial floor space (beneath residential towers along Pacific) is “of questionable viability”

·      Podium height should not be mandated; it should be stepped down with distance from station.

·      Proposes a 16 & 20-storey residential towers on 2-storey podiums, FSR 5.54:1.

·      Narrow tower shadows.

 

Sean Macken Strategic Planning Solutions - Representing 2-64 Pacific Hwy St Leonards:

·      Very supportive of the suggested changes to the planning controls and zoning.

·      Especially Mixed Use along Pacific Highway.

·      Considers that demand for commercial is decreasing in St Leonards.

 

Woods Bagot / Natalie Richter Planning - Representing 8-22 Berry Rd to 9-21 Holdsworth Ave:

·      Precinct-wide Master Plan, provides the largest and most varied lot configurations / amalgamations.

·      Provides a relatively large open ‘central’ N-S open space in the middle of the precinct (with a nexus to higher FSRs elsewhere).

·      Staging of amalgamations follows the availability of willing land owners, leaving other areas undisturbed. Potentially offers one standard land price/m2 over the entire precinct. Depends on success of large lot amalgamations and land banking.

·      Opportunity for housing mix (southern 3-4 storeys & northern towers up to 30+ storeys).

·      Unsupported by economic modelling, traffic modelling shadow modelling.

·      Open-ended timeframe.

 

The built forms of the AAUD, Architectus and Woods Bagot options are indicated below.

Image - Draft Master Plan by AAUD (Option 2) above

Image -Architectus (Option 4) above

Image - Woods Bagot (Option 5) above

 

 


The following is a comparison of the options’ key features :-

 

Detailed Comparison of Three Options

 

 

Annand & Associates Urban Design

Architectus

Woods Bagot

Open Space

1.65 hectares

 

 

( 4 smaller parks + green communal/public spines)

 

0.38 hectares (including East-west links as open space)

 

(1 pocket park + green east-west links)

1.8 hectares

 

 

(Central, E & W: 3 large parks)

East-west links/ pocket parks

East-west links/pocket park

East-west links/ pocket parks

 

Apartments

 

1,500 – 2,000

 

(Mixed Use for commercial strip)

 

 

1,700 (estimate)

 

(Commercial strip not considered)

 

5,000

 

(Commercial strip not considered)

Residents

3,000-4,000

4,000-5,000 (est)

10,000

FSR

2.75:1 – 4:1

3.5:1

5:1  average (up to 8.75)

Heights

8 to 19 storeys

6 (+ attic) to 25 storeys

3 to 20-30 storeys

Area

Canberra Ave to Berry Rd (east)

Canberra Ave to Holdsworth Ave (east)

Canberra Ave to Greenwich Rd – excludes Pacific Hwy

Lot  size

3-4 lots/ 1,500m2

Larger lot sizes: between 6,000 & 10,000 m2

“Superlots”/ 8,000m2

Child care

2-5 centres

Not mentioned

3 centres

Community centre

1 at Newlands Park & 1 indoor sports centre (suggests that there can be more than one)

Not mentioned

3 with supermarket/shops, cafes

 

The following sections discuss the planning principles, public submissions and resulting development options.

 

A.        Community Issues Addressed Under The 10 Planning Principles

 

The Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development TOD), developed by AAUD with community input last year, are the basis for evaluating the 5 Options for Development described above, as the public submissions all fell into those Principles’ categories (other than comments relating to planning process).

 

Please note:-

·   This section is recommended to be read with the Assessment Table at AT-3.

·   A detailed list of the public’s comments is provided in the Submissions Summary at AT-8.

 


Principle 1 - Density / Zoning / Boundaries / Lot Size

 

Public Submissions: Views vary between supporting or rejectiing the AAUD plan or seeking its expansion.

 

Density

·    This area near St Leonards railway station merits higher densities.

·    Architectus, JBA and GMU submit that larger amalgamations will lead to a better outcome - taller buildings with more ground-level landscape space - but submit that more FSR will be required.

·    Restrict height to 3-storey terraces.

·    The proposed FSR and height relationships may not provide flexibility in achieving taller and more slender built forms.

 

Zoning

·    Leave the zoning as it is currently – no change:

Already meeting current dwelling and employment targets set for the area

Delay rezoning until subregional targets are set

Draft Master Plan does not comply with current Metropolitan Plan.

 

Boundaries

·    Extend the boundary westwards to Park Rd (east side).

·    A zone boundary will force single residences to face blocks of flats.

 

Lot Size

·    Current minimum lot size of 1,500m2 is too restrictive - preventing larger amalgamations.

·    Draft plan seems to indicate which properties will amalgamate with whom, and this is too restrictive.

·    Developers will cherry-pick the best sites and other properties will be left undeveloped (isolated).

 

Staff Overview: The AAUD plan: provides density satisfactory to government agencies / limits zoning impacts to a relatively small area/ would transition development along the boundaries in the DCP / and allows flexibility for lot amalgamations if owners wish to group – preliminary work has already been done in the post-exhibition report at AT-5.

 

Density

·    The submissions from government agencies, including RMS & Transport for NSW, have all supported the dwelling numbers specified in this draft plan (1,500 – 2,000 dwellings).

·    Traffic modelling indicates that further increases in densities may not be supportable in the precinct under currently-known traffic planning policies.

·    Large lots could be specified for such purposes as to: facilitate transition with lower buildings at boundaries and higher ones massed away, or to facilitate provision of public benefits. It is not necessary to formulate the “large lot” opportunities at this stage. Annand Associates has, however, provided preliminary studies in its post-exhibition report in June (AT-5).

·    The submissions seeking FSR increase did not provide economic justification or need for this.  Both economic studies confirm that an FSR of 2.75:1 is viable with up to around 30% uplift in the Marshall South subprecinct (Canberra Av to Berry Rd (east). If an LEP proceeds, the massing and height would be further investigated to assess whether increased FSR is required/ justified with increased lot amalgamations.

At FSR 2.75 this is already almost double the FSR in the Mowbray Precinct, currently redeveloping rapidly under the LEP introduced in 2010.

·    Additionally, the two adjacent councils, while supporting the exhibited plan, are also planning density increases, and it would be advisable to monitor these before proposing further densification at present.

 

Zoning

 

Boundaries: Extension to Park Rd (East)

·    A boundary between R2 and R4 will be required at some point, as occurs throughout any LGA. It is acknowledged that there will be construction impacts at the zone boundary for properties on the west side of Berry Rd. This may be comparable with the situation along Cox’s Lane west of the Finlayson/ Birdwood high density precinct, recently redeveloped under rezonings in LEP 2009; however, this has been managed through control of the hours of operation and other construction management plan measures.

·    In St Leonards South there are, at the same time, compensating benefits planned for those residents with the introduction of east-west linkages along the contours towards the rail line, Newlands Park and a new community facility.

·    There would also be a period of at least two-three years while the LEP were finalised and development applications submitted before works would commence.

·    It is noted that residents requesting a rezoning extension to Park Rd generally had a second preference that, if that extension were not approved, they would prefer no rezoning at all to occur as exhibited – they do not want to on the boundary of a rezoning.

 

Lot Sizes / Amalgamation

·    Since exhibition, when the public expressed interest in larger property groupings, AAUD has indicated that larger lot amalgamations (i.e. 5,000 to 7,000m2) may be accommodated within the precinct. This approach may have benefits in achieving higher massing of the FSR (taller buildings), allowing flexibility & visual variety. This would be subject to shadow modeling, and would need to maintain the greenspines. As stated in the AAUD June report, this is supported only if additional public benefits result.

·    The minimum lot size comes from Council's current DCP. This provision has not prevented larger lot amalgamations - an example is already located within the precinct (Loftex development) i.e. The draft plan does not limit the size of amalgamations or specify a maximum - large lot amalgamations are possible.

·    The Draft Plan's lot amalgamations are indicative examples only, and are in no way intended to restrict lot amalgamation layout. However, specific areas could be considered appropriate for specified amalgamations, with community consultation, at the LEP/DCP stage, for example to facilitate a road closure for open space at the lower end of Berry Rd or Holdsworth Avenue. Or to facilitate open space, community facilities and an E-W link. This would need detailed testing at the LEP stage.

·    All precincts rezoned in any LGA will potentially develop faster in some areas than others, but this is not considered a significant concern due to this locality's amenities and proximity to the CBD. Creating a blanket FSR control seeks to make all sites equally viable and attractive to developers to mitigate this potential impact. It is easier to minimize this issue if only one sub-precinct is developed at a time.

·    Isolated sites provisions apply in the DCP to minimize the issue of blocks being too small to take advantage of the upzoning, and have been applied through the LGA for some years.

·    The proposed FSR and height relationships do not restrict flexibility in achieving taller and more slender built forms, which would be determined based on further testing of the site in the precinct.

 

Principle 2 - Financial Viability

 

Public Submissions: Submissions varied largely depending upon whether the outcome supported the writer’s development view.

·    Economic studies by David Mann and Hill PDA - questions raised about methodology, assumptions, property valuations, location and size:

Open space should be large & central to the 20ha precinct.

East-west links – how to fund these.

·    Financial mechanisms have been not provided for all options.

·    Questions as to certainty of delivery for the Woods Bagot model over such a large precinct and therefore timeframe.

·    Development contributions (Section 94, VPAs) needed more clarity.

 

Staff Overview: The economic studies commissioned by Council are a foundation which highlights that the fundamental economic premise is sound.

·    Economic studies by the two independent consultants, David Mann and Hill PDA, had comparable findings that the draft Master Plan density, specifically the base FSR of 2.75:1, is viable with possibly up to 30% yield.  It was noted by the economists that they cannot guarantee the entire area would redevelop in the short-term since, in some cases, land-owners may place a greater premium on their land owing to a variety of reasons such as lifestyle, lot sizes and location. Council is satisfied with the studies, noting also that the Hill PDA review study was undertaken at the request of the public to Council.

·    The base 2.75:1 is to be equal for all properties. Open space is to be land dedicated by developments in return for additional height and FSR on certain properties. That is, open space would be paid for by new developments, through land dedication or Section 94, not by existing residents.

·    Financial mechanisms relate to two purposes: (i) for ensuring that developments occur and (ii) for delivery of public benefits (open space, community facilities, etc).This would be the subject of a detailed development contribution plan (Section 94, voluntary planning agreements and works-in-kind) for any option. Council already has one tested approach - see Option 2.

·    Section 94 contributions are required for general uses such as drainage, traffic measures and community facilities (e.g. to date: library and aquatic centre), to be used by incoming residents across the LGA as a whole. VPAs are appropriate for site-specific facilities for use principally in a precinct.

·    The economic report and previous work undertaken by Hill PDA was based on evaluations of current sales data from the St Leonards area, as well a combination of other factors discussed in the report. These figures were used to calculate the amount of contributions for previous Voluntary Planning agreements in the St Leonards Area.

·    As discussed at the community meeting on 21 April 2015, the Woods Bagot model could create more uncertainty as there is a higher risk to community if not all of the plan is completed, resulting in larger piecemeal development. This could result in development occurring over decades in unpredictable areas. There is currently no legal mechanism to ensure lower densities, open space and community centres are delivered if the high density areas are developed first.

 

Principle 3 - Infrastructure

 

Public Submissions: These highlighted the  link between the need to provide adequate infrastructure and the capacity for accommodate growth.

·    Funding uncertainty (both via local funding and from State agencies).

·    Extending the area (to Park Rd) would provide more opportunity for infrastructure (e.g. open space and traffic lights at top of Park Road).

·    Provision of extra infrastructure required for:

o Schools - local area at capacity;

o Public open space;

o Traffic/ pedestrian/ cycling routes;

o Public transport (already reaching capacity and additional residential densities would add excessive pressure);

o Health services;

o Stormwater – Council;

o Sewerage – Sydney Water;

o Parking; and

o Telecoms/electricity.

 

Staff Overview: Preliminary consultation confirms that existing infrastructure would require upgrading and augmentation. All government agencies have advised that detailed investigation will need to follow at the appropriate time. 

 

Infrastructure

 

Infrastructure is essential to the successful integration of a new population. It relates to seven of the ten Principles. It was mentioned in the majority of submissions. Subregional planning’s focus is on the interrelationship between growth and infrastructure. 

 

Major State Government infrastructure providers were consulted in relation to the draft Master Plan. Council has received responses (at AT-8) from Health NSW, Willoughby & North Sydney Councils, Sydney Water, Transport for NSW, Roads & Maritime Services, Department of Education. As this plan is at the conceptual stage only, no approvals are required by any agency. All agencies consulted supported the draft Master Plan in principle. They would be consulted again if an LEP proceeds. This is standard practice under NSW Gateway requirements for a draft LEP. It is to be noted that each agency has its own timeframe for commitments; e.g. several commit to works only once DAs are approved.

 

The processes for development contributions to fund local infrastructure are generally: (i) a Section 94 developer contributions plan which establishes a nexus between the level of proposed development and local council infrastructure required as a result of this development e.g. roads; sewerage; etc). (ii)  the Voluntary Planning Agreement process which can allow variations to LEP standards in return for a public benefit; Council’s policy is to set this out in an LEP; (iii) land dedication/ works in kind. 

 

For State works, however, there are potentially changes anticipated to be made in the relationship between State and local government in the balance between their funding mechanisms.

 

The Education Department’s submission is described in detail below as it has provided an example of the ways in which future infrastructure provision may be required to be made. Of particular note is the indication that schools should be funded by developer contributions (typically collected to date by councils under Section 94) for such infrastructure that has, until now, been completely funded by State sources.

 

For these reasons, it is recommended that Council inform the State Government that any proposal to increase dwelling numbers is supported only if conditional upon a commitment that infrastructure will be provided proportionate to proposed population increase (based on ABS data for that local government area.) This needs to relate to the projections for the adjacent councils and relevant regional catchment for each agency (e.g. education and health). 

 

The relationship between State and local infrastructure needs to be clearly articulated (e.g. open space and traffic), as does the anticipated regional cross-flow of demand.

 

Most importantly, the State needs to provide clarity as to funding and delivery of such infrastructure mechanisms – whether through developer contributions and which authority is to collect these, government funding etc. Without commitments at the appropriate time as to the location, timing, funding and other mechanisms, it is not recommended that Council support additional dwelling numbers.

 

More detailed work would be done if the LEP amendments proceed, in liaison with the Department of Planning & Environment and Greater Sydney Commission. Some of the questions arising may relate to the timing and staging of growth, which agencies need to provide infrastructure before growth and which respond when growth occurs, whether land need to identified and preserved for any works (none has been suggested in submissions), what individual lead-times each agency needs, whether they interrelate or work independently etc.

 

To better understand the broader St Leonards context, Council has pressed for a joint study and programming to be undertaken between the three councils (LCC, NSC and WCC).  Council is currently discussing with the Department how the Master Plan would feed into a study and the timeline for this to occur.

 

Department of Education

 

As an initial response to the possible development in St Leonards South, the NSW Department of Education & Communities (DEC) has made calculations on Council’s suggestion of an approximate figure of 3,000 additional dwellings. Based on the existing rate of children living in similar housing types i.e. apartments in Lane Cove, it is expected that public schooling would be required for 150 primary level children.

 

Age Group

Total Yield

Government Share

Government Yield

Primary School

240

63%

150

High School

150

27%

40

 

Noting that Council has rezoned three (3) properties on the east side of the railway line, Willoughby and North Sydney are considering a number of  large-scale residential projects, the cumulative additional dwellings could see the Government Yield rise to around 500 students.

 

It is therefore expected that the proposal will “significantly” increase educational demand in the future, potentially requiring significant investment in new education infrastructure. In response, the DEC supports a shift in planning policies, as follows:-

·    the infrastructure costs of additional teaching spaces to be funded from developer contributions;

·    optimising the size, amenity and function of existing schools so that they afford greater choice and provide contemporary teaching spaces for students;

·    facilitating out of hours shared use of education facilities such as ovals and halls;

·    the removal of planning policy barriers to school development;

·    land and floor space dedications and appropriate zoning in areas where a new school is required; and

·    streamlined planning approvals for new education infrastructure.

 

The DEC is keen to work with Council and land owners to “ensure the best outcome for the community”.

 

Principle 4 - Traffic / Parking / Access For Vehicles and Cycles

 

Public Submissions: Submissions vary as to appropriate future capacity of the precinct, but it is generally agreed that traffic is a major consideration.

·    Local traffic capacity seems close to failure (entry and exit points).

·    Pacific Hwy capacity – query how close is it to development being prohibitive.

·    Extend to Park Rd to provide 2 additional entry/exit points & allow E-W link through to them.

·    On-street parking is already at a premium (from commuters, medical users, residents).

 

Staff Overview: Other than the “no change” response, there is broad support for the AAUD dwelling yield as a base for future planning.

·    RMS & TfNSW support exhibited AAUD plan and request further studies if it proceeds to LEP.

·    Traffic modelling assumes 2021 traffic levels, plus LCC approved developments east of the railway line.

·    Developments would provide their own parking under Part R of Council's DCP.

·    Resident parking schemes may be required to control commuter parking.

·    Research of TOD precincts world-wide has shown reduced car dependency. This has been environmentally sustainable, where they are carefully designed. These factors are addressed in Section 3.3 of the draft Master Plan.

 

Traffic Modelling

 

Council commissioned traffic modelling based on assessing the three most relevant development scenarios as they would result by 2021: (i) AAUD (2,200 dwellings), (ii) Park Road extension (2,800, 3,000 or 3,200 dwellings) and (iii) Woods Bagot (5,000 dwellings).

 

Each scenario was assessed against a future “base” of no development (i.e. the existing controls in St Leonards South, plus current planning proposals). The modelling is based on a number of traffic assumptions, including:-

·    In relation to the option of extending the precinct to Park Rd, the E-W connection of Berry Road to Park Road in particular being a westbound extension of Marshall Avenue, with Berry Rd still forming the main access to Pacific Highway, as there is no expectation that RMS would support new traffic lights on Pacific Hwy or River Rd.

·    A range of relatively low-cost works being done outside the precinct by RMS and North Sydney and Willoughby Councils.

·    Morning peak volumes being greater than afternoon peak volumes, as these are more dispersed

·    The proportionate increase of Vehicle Hours Travelled (VHT), used to measure traffic volumes as indicated in the table below.

 

The full report by Traffic Modelling Alliance is provided at AT-3.  In overview:-

 

Development Option

No. extra Dwellings

Vehicle Hours Travelled a.m.

% Increase on current base

Lights cycles to exit Berry Rd

Future Base

0

900

--

1

AAUD Master Plan

2,000

1090

20%

2

Park to Berry Rd

2,800

1230

35%

3

Park to Berry Rd

3,000

1310

45%

3

Park to Berry Rd

3,200

1390

55%*

3

Woods Bagot

5,000

1530

75%

n.a.

 

In conclusion based on the modeling the impact of each scenario is as follows:-

 

 

Dwellings

Results

AAUD

2,200

Feasible. An additional exit lane would be required at Berry / Pacific (removal of a few car spaces at the northern end of Berry Rd)

Park Rd extension

2,800-3,200

Feasible. New lights are not likely to be supported by RMS at Park Rd, due to proximity to existing lights at Berry and Greenwich Rds.  With an E-W link, the Berry /Pacific intersection would operate at maximum thresholds i.e. be feasible with delays particularly at the a.m. peak.

Woods Bagot

5,000

Not feasible The complex series of major network upgrades required would be difficult to plan and be approved. River Rd would fail at key intersections.

 

In terms of public transport, major infrastructure improvements are planned by the State Government:-

·    The State plan Sydney's Bus Future proposes new bus connections with high-frequency, rapid bus routes for travel between St Leonards and other centres not directly connected by rail, including 50 to the Northern beaches and Chatswood.

·    As part of A Plan for Growing Sydney, St Leonards is identified within the new Sydney Rapid Transit train system. The NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan provides for the location of a new Sydney Rapid Transit station in St Leonards / Crows Nest. This project has been allocated funding in the NSW State budget as well as the recently updated Rebuilding NSW - State Infrastructure Strategy.

·    A new Rail / Bus Interchange Plaza is in planning by Council with State agencies.

 

Principle 5 - Walkability / Cycling / Access

 

Public Submissions: Submissions generally support the need and desire for increased walkability/ cycling and access for this precinct.

·    The planning principle of rezoning to 400 metres of the station is a reason to extend to Park Rd.

·    Improved pedestrian and cycle access requested.

·    Ensure safety for pedestrian and cyclists  near traffic.

·    Ensure safety for pedestrian and cyclists  in terms of crime prevention, including the pocket park at the Marshall/ Canberra Avenue’s corner.

·    Various cycling comments.

 

Staff Overview: The AAUD option provides the best balance between walkability and vehicle usage.

·    This Principle relates to pedestrian and cycle access to trains, buses, parks and bushland and other amenities outside the precinct. The principle encompasses development within 800 metres of a rail station, but there are other planning reasons why the rezoning has been proposed only at the eastern end.

·    It is envisaged that pedestrian/cyclist pathways would be provided through Section 94 developer contributions and possibly voluntary planning agreements.

·    The aim of Transit Orientated Development (TOD) is to encourage alternative (non-vehicular) trips to a transit node. In traffic planning terms, the proposed East-West connections should ideally be non-vehicular and only allow for pedestrian/cycling access. While this is would need further public consultation at the LEP/DCP stage it would maximise the TOD opportunities to limit these connections to non-vehicular access.

·    This would be considered as part of the traffic and accessibility study required by the RMS for this plan.  Additionally, Council's DCP provides for widened footpaths with pedestrian colonnades in future as retail/ commercial redevelopment occurs along Pacific Highway. Marshall Lane is to be upgraded with a new landscaped footpath with the Loftex developments.  Safe design would be standard in the design of any other paths as for any locality.

·    This would be taken into account in detailed designing for lighting and landscaping of the links and parks. The issue is comparable for parks around centres anywhere, in accordance with Crime Prevention Through Environmental design guidelines. The Marshall/ Canberra Avenue park would be consistent with these, as it has good passive surveillance from apartments, as in fact would the other pocket parks/ links.

·    Council would aim to integrate public domain designs with the Lane Cove Bike Plan and Sydney’s Cycling Future, in coordination with cycle routes in the broader locality including in North Sydney and Willoughby. As part of Sydney's Cycling Future, a bicycle network plan will be developed (with State Govt) within 5km catchments of major centres (St Leonards). St Leonards is also part of the Inner Sydney (North Shore link) Priority Cycle route (for investigation & consideration).

·    East-West pedestrian/cyclist connections are supported by Willoughby Council as well as other government agencies. The current North-South connections within the precinct are sloping down from Pacific Hwy towards River Rd. This does not encourage either pedestrians or cyclists to access the station. East-West connections would run across the slope where the level changes aren't as steep.

·    Suggestions for pedestrian/cyclist links to Gore Hill oval, St Leonards Station and south of River Road would need to be discussed at the later LEP/DCP stage and undertaken with the Traffic studies proposed by TfNSW.

 

Principle 6 - Amenity (Built Form, Streetscape)

 

Public Submissions: Many submissions highlight the connection between built form, shadowing and the need for transitioning to ensure a desirable precinct form.

·    Transitioning: Development on the eastern side of a road will create bulk & scale and overshadowing impacts on residences on the western side.

·    Sunlight: Excessive overshadowing is created by high rise in general

·    Streetscape: Excessive bulk and scale is created by high rise in general.

·    Privacy: Overlooking of residences is created by high rise in general.

·    Views: Loss for residents in The Forum in particular.

 

Staff Overview: Examples of good and best practice in urban form are outlined in guideline plans including SEPP 6 and the Apartment Design Guide and these have formed the basis for the AAUD plan.

 

Transitioning

 

Transitioning at the boundaries from higher to lower density zones will be important, in four areas in particular: Berry Rd, River Rd, Marshall Avenue and Newlands Park.

·    Throughout much of the LGA, streets form the boundaries between zones. There would be a separation of around 30 metres between flats and houses (Berry Road is approximately 20 metres wide with verges), with street trees and private landscaping intervening, to reduce visual impact. The design of balconies under SEPP 65 and the DCP aims to minimise looking down, as distinct from across the precinct to distant outlooks.

·    New landscaping, with semi-mature trees, would be provided on site, and supplemented by additional street trees where appropriate for screening. Street trees already assist to screen the outlook from most of the houses in Berry Rd’s western side, other than at the upper part of Berry Rd towards the commercial area. Few houses in Berry Rd west have views to city.

·    The living areas of houses on the western side are understood to be predominantly towards the rear of their sites i.e. looking westwards rather than at the new development. The sight-lines from many of those rear yards to the new flats would be limited, due to the topography falling at the rear of those properties, towards Park Rd.

·    The scale would be consistent with the character of the area when the approved 7-storey Loftex building is built across the road at 15-25 Marshall Avenue. Additionally any proposed building would need to be carefully articulated.

·    The curtilage of the heritage properties on the western side of Park Rd (Nos. 3-7) would not be affected as it would if flats were developed on the opposite side of Park Rd.

·    At the southern, River Rd end, the houses opposite are set away from the potential development sites by a 10-20 metre vegetated road reserve, as well as the street and building setbacks. This buffer does not exist higher up River Rd opposite Park Rd.

·    Using Berry Lane as the boundary of high density development is not recommended, having regard to issues of overlooking etc, as it would result in potential blocks of flats (8 storeys tall) close to the rear gardens of low density homes that are not proposed for rezoning, with less separation distance between buildings across Berry Lane in contrast to the wider Berry Road.

 

The level of separation and vegetation screening currently at the Berry Rd and River Rd boundaries is indicated in the photographs below:-

 

Photo - Berry Rd (west side) – Open streetscape at the northern end near Marshall Ave high density, with dense tree canopy in front of houses further south (above).

 

Photo - Intersection of Eastview Street and River Road - Vegetated road reserve and separation distance (above).

·    Generally, final detailed controls, such as for setbacks and building articulation would be addressed at the LEP/DCP stage. Measures could include:-

Massing buildings away from the street while retaining landscaping, with possibly 2-3 storeys on street (as per Loftex).  This could be tied to large-lot amalgamations in targeted areas along boundaries;

Reduce scale on River Rd, transferring .the green link bonus to the properties to the north instead;

Note that the 19 storeys (2 Marshall Av) next to 8 storeys is not the final form; it is indicative of a range of types for LEP workings;

If the boundary were extended to Park Rd (though not supported on traffic grounds), it has been suggested to close Berry Lane over time and set flats 6 metres further back from Park Rd (East) to provide further separation; and

A further discussion of possible transition measures in provided in the AAUD June report at AT-5.

Sunlight

·    Shadow modelling for all options has been undertaken (AT-4) and takes into account existing topography. It indicates that the AAUD model results in least impact, especially on Newlands Park compared with Architectus (see below). The Woods Bagot model significantly overshadows its three major and other parks with towers up to around 30 storeys at the top of the slopes. The AAUD model also has the least impact on properties located to the south of the precinct.

·    Newlands Park is an important public recreational asset and its amenity needs careful protection.

·    The Architectus increase in shadow with a tall tower adjacent to Newlands Park is not supported. This is a different character of area from Alexandria/ Zetland/ Green Square, where man-made rectangular parks have towers adjacent.  Newlands Park, by contrast, has an informal, natural quality and only a moderate scale of around Duntroon Av’s building height is recommended – both on shadow and visual impact grounds.

·    The overall increase in FSR proposed by the Architectus scheme results in comparatively wider (east-west) towers, which increase shadow impact on the central spines between apartments. These are, furthermore, proposed by Architectus to be for private use only, and have an irregular layout which would preclude the AAUD ‘green spine” of communal/ public open space amenity being available.

·    In so far as proposed shadows at the south of the precinct fall mostly on to River Rd and on to some houses for short periods a day, this is an area proposed for transitional scale and the AAUD proposal is recommended to be fine-tuned at the LEP/DCP stage here.

·    It is agreed in principle that slimmer towers reduce the time of overshadowing though extending the reach on to additional properties; however, it is not explained in the Architectus model why or how the indicative locations of the towers were chosen.

·    Principles of solar access, setbacks, building separation and articulation would be controlled under SEPP 65 (revised) and Council’s DCP, and should mitigate the sunlight impacts of increased density.

 

 

Image - AAUD (Option 2) indicative shadowing over Newlands Park: 2.00pm (above)

 

Image - Architectus (Option 4) indicative shadowing over Newlands Park: 2.00pm (above)

 

Image - Woods Bagot (Option 5) indicative shadowing over Newlands Park: 2.00pm (above)


Privacy

·    Measures such as privacy screens, planter boxes, window treatment, landscaping etc are typically addressed in DCP controls. Street trees will also moderate overlooking opportunities.

 

Streetscape

·    As a general rule, heights reduced below 8 storeys have been found in this expensive precinct to be financially unviable, unless a reduced height is linked with an adjacent development above 8 storeys. This principle was followed on the Loftex site in Marshall Ave. This may be a reason to investigate large lot amalgamations at the LEP/ DCP stage. Annand Associates has undertaken preliminary work already  in his post-exhibition report at AT-2.  As well, street tree planting should mitigate the visual impact of development.

 

SEPP 65 revision: Since the Master Plan was prepared, the State Environmental Planning Policy 65 revision has been completed and is to take effect from 17 July 2015, supported by the Apartments Design Guide (updating the Residential Flats Design Code). The Master Plan, at LEP/ DCP stage, would be reviewed to ensure conformity of the proposed building scales with the SEPP’s new provisions.

 

Helicopter Landing Site for RNSH: This concern was raised by Northern Sydney Local Health District (Royal North Shore Hospital). A modification to a previous Part 3A approval for the RNSH Concept Plan was approved in 2011 to include a helipad on level 11 of the Acute Hospital Building. A plan has been prepared showing the available approach and departure “arcs” and the primary (preferred) flight path” – this flight path is shown in their submission at AT-7 (levels are expressed as the distance above mean sea level.)

 

The St Leonards South precinct falls within the “Preferred Helicopter Approach Path”. This preferred path extends 1200 metres from the Helicopter Landing site and imposes an increasing scale of building height restrictions based on distance from the landing site.

 

No issues have been raised by Northern Sydney Local Health District (Royal North Shore Hospital) in relation to the building heights shown in the exhibited draft Master Plan. Subject to endorsement, further studies and discussions with Northern Sydney Local Health District (Royal North Shore Hospital) would need to be undertaken at the LEP/DCP amendment stage to determine the level of affectation and potential mitigation measures.

 

Principle 7 - Public Domain / Open Space

 

Public Submissions: Open space is of high importance to the community and a means to guarantee is requested.

·    Supply:

Increase the supply of open space in proportion to any population growth

compensate for the loss of backyards

Newlands Park will not cater for additional residents.

·    Location and Size:

Open space should be large & central to the 20ha precinct.

Close roads and use the road as increased open space e.g. Berry Rd (Woods Bagot),  Park Road.


·        Linkages Outside the Precinct:

Gore Hill Park is a great asset for walking and exercise. A pedestrian bridge is requested.

Link south across River Road to open space.

·    Public versus private tenure: The ‘green spines’ of the AAUD model might be fenced, whereas the open space of the Woods Bagot model is public, paid for by a larger base of development.

·    Mechanism: Some guarantee is needed of the proposed “small but useful and interesting public spaces (associated with community spaces)”.

Staff Overview: The AAUD model (Options 2) provides the most certainty of a timely open space provision, though without a large central park (Option  3), as this would take some years to fund via S.94. Architectus does not provide parks, and its configuration impacts on the “green spines”. The Woods Bagot model is ambitious, but is too uncertain at a 20ha scale, depending on a greenfield-style of total development within an existing residential area. Whilst a central park is provided, the overall quantum compared to the proposed residential density is low ( 0.18 hectares per 1,000 population, compared with AAUD’s 0.55 hectares per 1,000 population), and much of the other open space cannot be used due to the terrain.

·    Increased open space requires increased density to configure and fund it.  The mechanisms for funding this could include Section 94 developer contributions, Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPA’s), and land banking over an extensive area under single ownership. The mechanism for locating and ensuring public open spaces (and associated community facilities) can be dealt with in a Section 94 plan at the LEP stage.

·    A large, central park is supported in principle. However there may be a potentially long time frame where open space provision is dependent on a small area of owners. It is noted also that, due to the high land prices, acquiring any large park land would be expensive. For that reason, a large central park with the extension to Park Rd would impose a large cost upfront. The AAUD model, though, allows for collection of S.94 funds over time for fund such a park in anticipation of future density increases if those occur to the west.

·    Road closures for parkland, whilst not factored into initial planning, may however, be a benefit of large-lot amalgamations and would be considered as a bonus.

·    Linkages Outside the Precinct:  Access across to Gore Hill Park would require a collaborative approach with RNSH, Willoughby Council and the RMS. To date there is no RMS support for new lights across Pacific Hwy.   A River Rd crossing may be feasible by an underpass funded by S.94.

·    Public versus private open space:

The Draft Master Plan provides:  “All developments will be required to provide communal and/or public open space for use by residents and/or the general public. This is generally proposed as a 4-5m front garden setback and a 12-15m rear communal space with deep soil” i.e. around 25 metre wide shared open space between apartments for ball-games and a range of passive and active aaras.

The mechanism for allowing access along the entirety of the green spine would be addressed in the LEP/DCP stage. 

It is proposed that, whether communal private open space or public open space, a Landscape Master Plan would be developed which ensures a high level of amenity and avoids duplication of small individual-lot landscape treatments.


·        Appendices A & B demonstrate that the N-S building orientation will allow for solar access for these spaces.

·    The intention of the corner park at Marshall Ave / Canberra Ave in this location is to provide a sense of “gateway” to the precinct and entry to the green spines, establishing its landscaped character and increasing the separation between the two towers across Marshall Avenue. It would be local in character compared with the urban context of the Rail Plaza, and will contribute to the precinct’s walkability and accessibility to the train station and proposed plaza.

 

               

Image - AAUD open space                              Image - Woods Bagot open space (east and central

 sections) (above)

 

Principle 8 - Community Facilities

 

Public Submissions: Support is given for the AAUD model with ideas suggested for use and style of the community facility [this would be the subject of later consultation].

·    Loss of Existing Character / Community:

Concern at loss of existing sense of community and character.

The area has a sense of character but lacks a sense of 'central focal point/meeting place'.

·    Create a Sense of Place / Community:

Create a sense of place and sense of community.

Centrally located.

·    Loss of Identity: “High density may produce soulless precincts unless community facilities are provided.

Staff Overview: The AAUD model (Options 2) proposes to introduce specific community facilities and opportunities for the community to determine their preferred uses. Architectus does not offer community facilities. The Woods Bagot model provides three centres with community facilities and a relatively large open ‘central’ space in the middle of the precinct, but without a mechanism or timeframe to ensure it is actually developed. “No change” provides no mechanism for providing community facilities.

 

·    Loss of existing character / community: - At the precinct level, AAUD's draft plan proposes to introduce community facilities and opportunities for the community to determine their preferred uses. An example successful in other new communities is small business support as a community / IT / cafe hub.

·    On the larger scale, discussion could be held between the 3 councils collaboratively to share responsibility and resources to meet the community needs of the growing population, to provide a coordinated set of facilities for the St Leonards centre as a whole (library, recreation centre or pool were requested by the public). Library facilities will be incorporated into the new Plaza; other recreational facilities would be provided on as needs basis, noting that the topography within the precinct makes large active spaces difficult.

·    Child care is provided to a large extent by the private sector and would be permitted in the future zoning. Council would also monitor, at later stages, the need to supplement this according to demand.

·    The community centre's location is indicative until set into LEP provisions. It is considered suitably central currently as it is half-way up the block facing Newlands Park. This also facilitates mid-block pedestrian links from the west through to the park. Higher up the block would be away from the park, and lower down the block would be further from the shops and transport.

·    To provide the infrastructure necessary to support such development a new site specific section 94 plan would need to be done and exhibited prior to any development occurring. Financial modelling shows (in both draft Master Plan section and Hill PDA report) that the cost of providing facilities would need to be re-calculated.

·    Detailed planning would be undertaken with the community to develop ideas for community facilities.

 

Principle 9. Housing for All Stages

 

Public Submissions: The principle submission was from the community housing provider, Link Housing.

·    Housing Mix:-

Council should enforce a better housing mix and DCP controls should provide this.

Provide for a wider demographic: from singles and couples to families with small children, families with teenagers, and retirees.

·    Affordability:-  

There should be provision of affordable housing within this precinct (for greater social mix and key worker housing).

Link Housing has submitted that St Leonards represents a significant opportunity to provide affordable housing close to the CBD and other facilities (i.e. transport, RNSH).

Staff Responses: The Woods Bagot model theoretically provides the greatest opportunity for a housing mix, with 3-4 storeys balancing the taller buildings of up to 30+ storeys, but with no mechanism to ensure its provision. Affordable housing is not addressed.  Architectus is based on visual variety only rather than social mix. The “No change” option provides existing housing mix. 

·    Housing Mix:-

The principle is to provide housing suitable to a range of ages and incomes. In practice however, the economic testing indicated that townhouses and low high-rise are not economically viable in this location due to land costs.

The site-specific DCP would review this - currently it requires a minimum of 10% each of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units, as well as adaptable and visitable units.

The market will also determine the demand for specific type of units - hence a minimum is required. A demographic section has also been included in the draft master plan based on the 2011 Census data analyzing this point.

Woods Bagot proposes townhouses and this is supported in principle. However as this would occur over decades there is no certain mechanism to ensure that the current developer continues with this scheme once apartments have been developed as the funding basis for lower densities.

·    Affordable Housing:-

 

Link Housing strongly supports the St Leonards South Planning study. Their submission states that the project is considered “vital for the expansion of affordable and community housing within the St Leonards area, one of which Link Housing already has a substantial presence”.

 

Furthermore, St Leonards is a key area that has various essential services in the area including Royal North Shore Hospital, North Sydney (TAFE) College, other health and education campuses and transport facilities.

 

The development of more affordable housing would encourage a greater social mix and provide opportunities for key workers to live close to their workplace.

 

Existing dwellings tend to reflect past and current needs rather than future client needs. Their size, location, design, amenity and facilities do not always match the anticipated needs of clients at present or in the future.

 

Link supports the delivery of units that match the growing demand for the smaller households:

A strong sense of community is derived from mixed tenures. social, affordable, market renters and home owners all living in the same community.

Affordable apartments can be provided through the VPA system, permitting FSR/Height uplift in return for some apartments. For example, Council could require dedication of a percentage of units to Council, to be managed by a community housing provider.

Link Housing recommends a 20% dedication of apartments as affordable housing. Council’s limited experience in this field has extended to a 4% dedication.

 

Council has attempted where possible to incorporate affordable housing into VPAs and could build on this by considering FSR bonuses in return for dedication of units (e.g. Hill  PDA with the planning consultant at LEP stage). The actual quantum can have regard to the desired amenity for the area created through the other proposed controls. As a guide, 4% would equate to 80+ units, Hill PDA have indicated an additional FSR of 1.25:1 is required (total 4:1) to achieve a 4-5% dedication of affordable housing. As part of development of the LEP, it is suggested that a bonus scheme be further explored which would be applicable to sites where other bonuses (open space/ community facilities) are not proposed.

 

Principle 10 - Liveability

 

Public Submissions: A wide range of aspects of liveability, amenity and functionality were raised.

·    Meeting Spaces - There is a need for community meeting places.

·    Amenities - More community amenities within the precinct (e.g. child care; town square; performance space). 

·    Character -

Protect the current (treed, single residence) "character" of the precinct.

Create a new place-character that people can identify with. 

·    Heritage - Contributes to local character: -

Needs protection from excessive bulk and scale.

Will constrain nearby development (especially models including Park Rd).

·    Construction Impacts - “Any 'bulk' [large precinct] rezoning opens the door for a long period of staggered development, resulting in continuous construction noise, dust, adverse health impacts and inconvenience for local residents.”

·    Eco-Corridors - High rise will have negative impacts on existing wildlife corridors (street trees and Berry’s Creek vs. stormwater / sewage).

Staff Overview: The AAUD model makes purposeful provision for community focus, while acknowledging that the current character will be changed. Architecuts is concerned with visual variety rather than broad liveability, and reduces sunlight to Newlands Park considerably. The Woods Bagot model completely changes the existing character. Change may occur in scattered locations, causing widespread dislocation and disturbance over several decades, with difficulty for infrastructure planning. It disregards heritage site and conservation.

·    Meeting Spaces - Further studies would need to be done at the LEP stage to identify and facilitate the locating of community meeting spaces in the precinct.

·    Amenities - At the precinct level, AAUD's draft plan proposes to introduce community facilities and opportunities for the community to determine their preferred uses. These are the area's first community facilities and increased open space. These will be more accessible with east-west pedestrian links.

·    Character - Development will change the current low density residential character of the leafy streets. The LEP/DCP can reflect and guide the desired character of a changing precinct, such as in terms of street planting, public furniture, public meeting spaces, public art and building front facades. Potential Council initiatives to promote a sense of community identity include: opening on to expansive, shared open space "green spines", affordable housing and community centre(s) currently lacking with est.-west connectivity. The proposed Rail Plaza would also provide a new meeting-place for residents, workers and visitors to St Leonards.

·    Heritage - The NSW Standard LEP stipulates the heritage provisions designed to protect the visual amenity of heritage items. The Lane Cove Heritage Register specifies significant site-specific issues to be conserved for each property. The planning term “adjacent to or adjoining” requires properties across a road or lane to be considered.

·    Eco-Corridors - Council’s DCP details recent requirements to improve stormwater controls for new developments e.g. on-site detention basins. The concentration of growth around urban areas aims to minimize pressures on bush land around the harbour. Sewerage systems are typically updated by Sydney Water when redevelopment occurs to identify and overcome leakage in ageing pipes.

·    Council’s DCP details recent requirements to improve stormwater controls for new developments e.g. on-site detention basins. The concentration of growth around urban areas aims to minimize pressures on bush land around the harbour. Sewerage systems are typically updated by Sydney Water when redevelopment occurs to identify and overcome leakage in ageing pipes.

·    Both economic analyses have concluded that the current FSR proposed in the AAUD Master Plan is the minimum that is needed to promote development relatively quickly. This equates to 8 storeys. It also allows for bonuses to be applied if developments can demonstrate a public benefit. Only 4.9ha (25%) of the precinct is proposed for higher density at present.

 

Section B: Principles Summary - To What Extent Each Principle is Satisfied by the Options (see AT-6)

 

C.     Options Assessed      

 

Option

Relative merits

1. No Development

This option preserves the current streetscape character and low density amenity. There is no increase in traffic congestion, and sufficient infrastructure (incl. schools). However, there is also no opportunity for provision of further green space, cycle/pedestrian paths or community facilities. Provides no long-term certainty for residents against future development. Provides existin housing mix.

2. AAUD

This option provides a sound, tested, economically viable plan with identified public benefits. It has the support of all respondent State agencies. Its focus on the east end of the precinct would concentrate redevelopment/ construction impacts over the smallest timeframe and area. It nevertheless provides a potential model to be replicated westwards in future. It allows time to amass S.94 contributions towards central open space at that later stage.

3. AAUD to Park Road

This option transfers the “zone interface” issue westwards; but the need to transition between high and lower densities will remain, wherever the boundary. Traffic modeling indicates this is at the maximum capacity with delay times classified as “failing” to meet standards. Financial modelling suggests the proposed FSR may lead to slower redevelopment rate.

4. Architectus

This option encourages lot amalgamations with height and FSR bonuses. The FSR bonus is expected to compensate for unreliable timing of amalgamations, and so this option is considered to be indicatively feasible. AAUD advises, however, that such FSR not be given unless public benefit results.

Taller towers could theoretically add more ground level open space; however the concept plans show these as preventing “green spines”. Suggests some E-W links, but does not address pocket parks, or community facilities.

No economic justification is provided, and no public benefits addressed. Also, it is unclear whether this model can be replicated in the Holdsworth to Berry block or the Berry to Park Rd block.

While taller slimmer buildings, in principle, reduce the hours of shadowing, the proposed 3 towers increase the number of dwellings being affected and do not result in a better amenity outcome than the AAUD model.

5. Woods Bagot

This option aims to provide the largest and most varied lot configurations/ amalgamations. Staging of amalgamations would follow the availability of willing land owners, leaving other areas undisturbed. In theory capable of offering one standard land price/m2 over the entire precinct.

Provides a relatively large open ‘central’ park in the precinct. Provides the greatest opportunity for housing mix, with 3-4 storeys balancing the taller buildings of up to 30+ storeys.

However, has not been economically demonstrated. In practice, this is likely to lead to sporadic, unstructured staging, with construction impacts in unpredictable locations possibly over decades. Depends on success of large lot amalgamations and land banking. This option is unsupported by any economic modelling. There is little information as to timing and staging, other than that redevelopment would occur in sections over time as groupings of owners indicated willingness to participate. Further, the timeframe is significantly exacerbated due to the 20-hectare spread, and higher dependence on market fluctuations over an extended period. May change in scattered locations, causing widespread dislocation and disturbance.

The traffic modelling shows intersections would fail significantly. Council shadow modelling shows general non-compliance with SEPP 65 (& appears unacceptably extensive), including impacts on open space (existing & proposed). Completely changes the existing character and infrastructure pressures and disregards heritage sites.

 

Recommended Option

 

On balance, Option 2: the AAUD model as exhibited is supported on of the following planning grounds:-

·   It provides relative economic certainty of being developed under tested market conditions;

·   It has infrastructure impacts (on roads, schools, pedestrian ways, water, particularly) that are relatively manageable;

·   It best complies with the amenity provisions of SEPP65 in terms of sunlight, privacy, noise, etc; and

·   Each of the other options has some planning merit, and some of the merits of Options 3, 4 & 5 could be suitably incorporated into the exhibited Option 2 at the LEP/ DCP stage.

 

Why the AAUD Master Plan is Recommended

 

The Master Plan process has been sound and thorough:-

(i)         Community consultation has been extensive, with three (3) moths of preliminary discussions, four (4) months of formal exhibition and five (5) community sessions.  It has become interactive with groups forming between neighbouring property owners and community opinion evolving over the time.

(ii)      The alternative options that have emerged as a result are, in effect, variations on the  AAUD model: -

·     Architectus is based on the same eastern location closest to the rail station, while adding increased height and FSR to the AAUD base scale.  This applies similarly to the submissions by GMU and JBA for other owner-groups.

·     The Park Rd extension proposal is based on the AAUD scale.

·     Woods Bagot’s scheme has a similar principle to AAUD of locating the highest buildings nearest to the St Leonards Station and Pacific Hwy transport hub, although with a significantly higher precinct-wide FSR of 5:1 average.

       As discussed elsewhere, however, the Woods Bagot scheme is not supported on grounds including: its reliance on one single development firm, lack of a mechanism to ensure commitment to completion of the scheme over several decades, its magnitude and complexity and excessive scale, The proposed population of 10,000 residents would equate to almost one third again Lane Cove’s existing population.

       Similar outcomes of transitional scale and open space would result under the AAUD model, but at a moderated scale and through measured and timely planning.

(iii)        The AAUD framework is replicable. If, at a future date, and following work with infrastructure agencies, extension west of Berry Rd is appropriate, AAUD’s model (of a generic, viable FSR, public benefits schemes, linkages and transitional scale) would remain valid in principle. Replicable does not mean, however, that they could be directly translated to the sub-precincts to the west. Detailed investigation and modelling would be required based on those areas’ topography, road network, heritage and other characteristics. Consequently, it is not guaranteed that such future investigations would conclude that it was appropriate to extend westwards.

(iv)       The financial viability of the AAUD model has been verified by two independent economics analysts. (Note: It was suggested in some submissions that Hill PDA had incorrectly stated that it had proprietary interest in the Estate Master software used in its report.  That submission is erroneous. Hill PDA is in fact the firm which developed Estate Master, used since under licence extensively throughout the land valuation industry.)

(v)        The 10 Principles for Transit-Oriented Development are satisfied to a high level by the AAUD plan.

 

The  AAUD draft Master Plan allows for flexibility, subject to further shadow-modelling and other fine-tuning, to incorporate some of the public’s suggestions, if preferred by Council. Possible variations could include:-

·     Large lot amalgamations with higher buildings massed to allow larger landscaped ground-level areas

·     Increased FSR for other bonuses, including affordable housing

·     A range of open space configurations.

 

Why the Other Options Are Not Recommended to Change the Master Plan

 

It is important to note that none of the other options proposed (Options 3, 4 or 5) could be adopted without first undertaking further detailed work, for example:-

·    The Park Road (East) Extension: At the time the plan was drafted, members of the community had been generally requesting that rezoning be considered only in the eastern end of the 20-hectare precinct.

Open Space: This subsequent proposal to extend westwards with a central park, while attractive in principle, has not been supported by detailed design. It is not known whether compulsory acquisition may be required to supplement this open space’s funding since, even with land dedication, a large park would have a substantial cost. It may be more feasible in future, since Section 94 funds could be amassed from the eastern subprecinct’s developments over time towards future open space provision.

An east-west road would need careful consideration. If located between the upper end of Park and Berry Rds, as has been suggested, it would join Park Rd opposite the heritage sites at 3-9 Park Rd, and it would also impact on the homes of owners who have expressed a desire to retain the existing scale and character of the precinct.

The extension would also impact on the curtilage of those heritage properties, with or without a new road.

Hill PDA has shown that a higher FSR may be required west of Berry Rd for owners to receive a comparable financial uplift formula as in the east, which could mean that the FSR bonus for land dedication for open space and east-west links may need to be separately calculated.

Extension to Park Rd would transfer the zone boundary without provide any planning benefit in terms of transitioning at the interface between high and low density zones.

·    Traffic Implications: The traffic modelling undertaken by TMA for Council, indicates that the density proposed in the draft Master Plan should be considered close to the maximum at this stage.

Substantial traffic measures, such as new traffic lights for Park Rd (or Portview Rd) on Pacific Hwy, would be necessary and there is no basis for confidence that RMS would agree to such changes to the regional traffic flow.

This may apply also to the Architectus and similar proposals to increase FSR (some requesting up to 6:1 i.e. over double the draft plan).

·    The Architectus proposal indicates contrasting building heights on the grounds of visual variety, but this results in greater shadowing of Newlands Park than the AAUD model. There is no justification provided in terms of resulting public benefits. If height and FSR were to increase, more detailed built form and shadow modelling and analysis of impacts on traffic and open space needs would be required.

·    Initial examination suggests that the Woods Bagot proposal for an FSR of 5:1, with 5,000 new dwellings and 10,000 residents, is untenable in terms of planning and infrastructure parameters.

 

Fine-tuning of the Master Plan is expected at the stage of drafting an LEP and DCP. This would take into account the range of issues (e.g. transition at the boundaries) and opportunities (e.g. large lot amalgamations affecting building form) that have arisen during the extensive consultation process. It is not envisaged that Council should “lock in” the sites used as examples, for exhibition purposes, of community facility and pedestrian linkages locations and of transitional heights etc. These were stated in the draft Master Plan to be indicative only.

 

Rather, the Draft Master Plan’s principles and framework for scale and public benefits in the exhibited precinct, shown to be financially viable and with manageable traffic impacts, should be adopted.

Specific sites should, however, be confirmed by the exhibition of an LEP. This will be important to ensure that the public infrastructure, around which the future community would form, will be developed.

 

Subregional planning is a further factor, having commenced in January this year, i.e. since the draft plan’s exhibition was undertaken. As the State policies are evolving at this stage, the Master Plan needs to retain adequate flexibility to respond appropriately. Subject to the Department’s views, the timing of preparation of an LEP and DCP may occur in parallel with the GCS and subregional processes.

 

Additionally, depending on the interval of time to finalisation of the subregional plans and an LEP, owners’ priorities and allegiances may, of necessity change. For this reason, it is recommended that the exhibited plan’s small lot amalgamations be maintained as a base position, with larger lot sites mandated for specific purposes only (e.g. possibly to mass buildings away from boundaries) and setback and other DCP controls to protect the sunlight and privacy between smaller and larger developments.

 

The lengthier timeframe required, if the alternative options were to be as thoroughly tested as the AAUD model has been, in terms of scale, density, shadowing, traffic, relationship to heritage etc, would increase the possibility of owner groups altering. 

 

The implications for adjacent councils and other agencies would also alter and require further consultation.

 

Conclusion

 

After an extensive four (4) month consultation process, the Draft Master Plan has been reviewed in response to community and government feedback. Alternative options submitted during exhibition by residents have also been considered. 

 

The recommendations to Council comprise:-

 

(a)   The AAUD Master Plan be finalised as exhibited, subject to one amendment:-

 

·    The B3 Commercial Core zone west of Canberra Avenue should remain as currently zoned. The Department of Planning & Environment has not indicated support for this area to be rezoned to B4 Mixed Use as proposed in the draft plan. It is understood that this strip of properties is to remain part of the commercial area at this stage, having regard to the Department’s employment lands capacity investigations in relation to the broader subregional planning process currently underway.

The grounds for adopting the AAUD plan are:-

It provides a verified, equitable and viable FSR for all owners in the subprecinct;

It provides for community benefits under a tested FSR bonus scheme;

Its height and shadowing have been tested; and

It has the support of the government agencies – although their commitment to infrastructure is to be a condition of Council’s support for increased density.

 

(b)  The alternative options for development proposed in submissions by consultants and individuals not be supported for ad hoc incorporation into the Master Plan.

 

The planning principles, rather than submission numbers, should be the Plan’s basis. Although all of the options have some planning merits and opportunities, they also present challenges.

 

At the LEP/ DCP stage, however, components of those proposals may be considered appropriate for inclusion in the planning controls, but this should be subject to detailed testing at that stage in relation to shadowing, traffic generation, community infrastructure and other implications.

 

(i)    Finalisation of the Master Plan

 

In order to achieve the zonings, height and FSR recommended for the eastern subprecinct, a planning proposal to amend the LEP is required to be submitted to the Department of Planning & Environment. Firstly, the detailed planning controls would need to be prepared in text documents and maps:-

 

LEP:    A draft LEP (planning proposal) would provide the FSR and height standards. It is proposed that the LEP process be subject to the following:-

i.   A progress report would be made to Council following preparation of these documents.

ii.  The LEP should specifically identify the individual sites on which any community facility, linkages and open space are to be developed. This is to provide visible mechanisms for the community that those public benefits will in fact be developed, as there is otherwise no compulsion for developers to build more that the generic flats buildings.

iii. Affordable/ key worker housing may be a further bonus scheme component; this would require testing by economics and urban design jointly.

.

DCP:   A draft DCP would be prepared providing setbacks, solar access and other controls to guide transitional scale on the boundaries and other matters. These may include:-

i.   Transitioning: Setbacks, facade articulation, landscaping and other measures

ii.  Large-lot amalgamations on specific sites, consistent with the LEP, e.g. to facilitate massing of buildings away from zone boundaries

iii. A Landscape Master Plan is recommended to be included in the DCP, to ensure provision of the “green spines” as unfenced open space, east-west linkages, parks, street trees and other public domain landscaping.

 

Development Contributions Plan:       A plan would be drafted to provide Section 94, Voluntary Planning Agreements and Works-in-Kind, land dedication and other mechanisms to achieve the Master Plan.

The submissions now provide a basis to proceed to the LEP/ DCP stage, if Council adopts the Master Plan and subject to the Department’s views as to the timing in relation to the process for the Subregional Strategy and Greater Sydney Commission. The AAUD framework has been endorsed by a significant number of property owners in the subprecinct proposed for rezoning.

 

The opportunity would remain for the areas to the west to be subject to reconsideration at a future date. This would, however, require satisfaction of significant issues relating to scale, traffic, open space location, tower heights, heritage, cost-benefit analysis of land acquisition or dedication for a possible new east-west road and its location, government agencies’ support and other matters.

 

(ii)   Implementation of the Master Plan

 

Council is also requested to consider the process for implementation of the Master Plan following its finalisation. If Council supports proceeding to an LEP planning proposal, the submission to the Gateway should stipulate Council’s policy that increased density is supported only if infrastructure commitments are given by the State Government, as a prerequisite before exhibition is permitted.

 

Council has involved the two (2) adjacent councils and government agencies to be included at each stage, from the early workshops to formal exhibition. The support of those agencies and councils in submissions is welcomed, but needs to be converted into specific commitments to infrastructure provision and data-sharing. Otherwise it may lead Council to increase dwellings on an unreliable assumption that adequate infrastructure will be available to meet the needs of the incoming population, and without reducing the quality of service for established residents.

 

However, the approach of submitting an LEP proposal on the basis of this infrastructure proviso raises a technical issue: that, once the Gateway approves a planning proposal, a Departmental timeframe would be triggered which may conflict with the policy of ensuring infrastructure is committed to, especially having regard to the role and timing in that process of subregional planning and the establishment of the Greater Sydney Commission.

 

The planning proposal submission to the Department should therefore stipulate Council’s request that Gateway approval for exhibition not be given until those commitments are provided to Council.

 

Council is requested to adopt the draft St Leonards South Strategy Stage 2: Draft Master Plan as final.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

That Council:-

1.   Adopt the Draft St Leonards Master Plan as exhibited subject to the B3 Commercial Core zone west of Canberra Avenue remain as currently zoned;

2.   Resolve to proceed to the preparation of a planning proposal to amend LEP 2009 in accordance with the draft Master Plan;          

3.   Prior to the exhibition of the Draft LEP, Council obtain firm commitments from each of the relevant government agencies responsible for the delivery of infrastructure to deliver the required infrastructure, in particular the Department of Education and RMS.

4.   Prepare a draft Development Control Plan to accompany the LEP exhibition;

5.   Prepare a draft Landscape Master Plan to be incorporated into the DCP;

6.   Prepare a draft area-specific Development Contributions Plan which includes a suitable provision of Key Worker Housing; and

 

7.   Acknowledge and thank:-

i.     Council’s consultants Annand Associates Urban Design, Cred Community Planning, and HillPDA for the work undertaken for the draft St Leonards South Master Plan;

ii.    The Community Liaison Committee for their input into the master planning process; and

iii.    All those who provided input into the draft Master Plan, both in the informal and formal stages of public exhibition.

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1 View

Draft St Leonards South Master Plan (20MB)

112 Pages

Available Electronically

AT‑2 View

Hill PDA Economic Report February 2015 (3MB)

90 Pages

 

AT‑3 View

Traffic Modelling 08 June 2015 (1MB)

22 Pages

 

AT‑4 View

Council's Shadow Modelling Diagrams (9MB)

27 Pages

 

AT‑5 View

AAUD Post-Exhibition Reports May-June 2015 (9MB)

33 Pages

 

AT‑6 View

Assessment Tables: (i)  Ten Principles for Transit-Oriented Development /  Five Options for Development (ii) Principles Summary

12 Pages

 

AT‑7 View

Government Agencies Summary & Submissions (1MB)

30 Pages

 

AT‑8 View

Submissions Summary - Public

36 Pages

Available Electronically

AT‑9 View

A Plan for Growing Sydney Objectives

5 Pages