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Agenda

Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Meeting

7 May 2019, 5:00pm

 

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Notice of Meeting

 

Dear Panel Members,

 

Notice is given of the Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Meeting, to be held in the Council Chambers, 48 Longueville Rd, Lane Cove on Tuesday 7 May 2019 commencing at 5:00pm. The business to be transacted at the meeting is included in this business paper.

 

Craig - GMYours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Craig Wrightson

General Manager

 

Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Meeting Procedures

 

The Lane Cove Local Planning Panel (LCLPP) meeting is chaired by The Hon David Lloyd QC. The meetings and other procedures of the Panel will be undertaken in accordance with the Lane Cove Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Charter and any guidelines issued by the General Manager.

The order of business is listed in the Agenda on the next page. That order will be followed unless the Panel 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 Panel for a maximum of 3 minutes during the public forum which is held at the beginning of the meeting. All persons wishing to address the Panel must register prior to the meeting by contacting Council’s Office Manager – Environmental Services on 9911 3611. Speakers must address the Chair and speakers and Panel Members will not enter into general debate or ask questions during this forum. Where there are a large number of objectors with a common interest, the Panel may, in its absolute discretion, hear a representative of those persons.

Following the conclusion of the public forum the Panel will convene in closed session to conduct deliberations and make decisions. The Panel will announce each decision separately after deliberations on that item have concluded. Furthermore the Panel may close part of a meeting to the public in order to protect commercial information of a confidential nature.

Minutes of LCLPP meetings are published on Council’s website www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au by 5pm on the Friday following the meeting. If you have any enquiries or wish to obtain information in relation to LCLPP, please contact Council’s Office Manager – Environmental Services on 9911 3611.

Please note meetings held in the Council Chambers are Webcast. Webcasting allows the community to view proceedings from a computer without the need to attend the meeting. The webcast will include vision and audio of members of the public that speak during the Public Forum. Please ensure while speaking to the Panel that you are respectful to other people and use appropriate language. Lane Cove Council accepts no liability for any defamatory or offensive remarks made during the course of these meetings.

The audio from these meetings is also recorded for the purposes of verifying the accuracy of the minutes and the recordings 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.

 

 

 


Lane Cove Local Planning Panel 7 May 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

APOLOGIES

 

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING OF MEETING

 

 

public forum

 

Members of the public may address the Panel to make a submission.

 

 

 

Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Reports

 

1.       Planning Proposal 34 - Sites in Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue, St Leonards............................................................................................... 4

 

2.       Planning Proposal 35 - Sites within St Leonards South Residential Precinct Area......................................................................................................... 144

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Meeting 7 May 2019

Planning Proposal 34 - Sites in Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue, St Leonards

 

 

Subject:          Planning Proposal 34 - Sites in Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue, St Leonards    

Record No:    SU7347 - 20069/19

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):      Terry Tredrea; Christopher Pelcz 

 

 

 

Properties:

21-41 Canberra Avenue & 18-32 Holdsworth Avenue, St Leonards

PP No:

Planning Proposal No. 34

Date Lodged:

7 February 2019

Owner (Proponent):

Top Spring Australia (Silver Pond Investments Pty Ltd)

Applicant:                                 

Mecone NSW Pty Ltd

 

Site Area

12,653 m2

Description of Proposal

Top Springs Australia seeks to:

·          Rezone the site from R2 Low Density Residential to R4 High Density Residential Zone.

·          Include new LEP incentive clause 6.11 and maps to: –

o    Amend the Height of Building within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Amend the FSR within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    incorporate two public east-west through-site links between Holdsworth Ave and Canberra Ave, with one being 6m in width and one being (a relocated) 15m.

·          Not permit any variation to a development standard (height of buildings or FSR) through an exclusion from Clause 4.6.

·          Amend Council’s Planning Proposal 25 amalgamation patterns to reflect the Top Springs Landholdings.

·          Insert satisfactory arrangement for provision of a Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) levy.

·          Remove existing 550 m2 minimum lot size and replacing it with no minimum lot size.

Planning Proposal documents

Links to all the proponent’s documents are provided in the ‘Executive Summary’ section of this report.

Relevant Strategic Planning documents

A Metropolis of Three Cities

North District Plan
Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009

Council’s Draft St Leonards South Planning Proposal (incl. draft Development Control Plan, Landscape Master Plan, Section 7.11 Contributions Plan).

Note: The Draft St Leonards/Crows Nest 2036 Plan has completed public exhibition and is awaiting IPC comments (as required by the Draft 2036 Plan) before being reported to Council for final consideration. However, it still can be taken account as part of the Strategic Merit test in the ‘Discussion’ section of this report.

Recommendation

That Planning Proposal No.34 be rejected in full and not be forwarded to the Minister for a Gateway Determination.

 

Fig 1: Proposed rezoning area and intended outcome for Top Spring PP. 34

 

PURPOSE OF REPORT

 

The Lane Cove Local Planning Panel is requested to provide its advice on Planning Proposal No.34.

 

Note: A Concept Development Application has also been submitted with this Proposal under Division 3.5 of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act (EP & A Act), however the Panel’s advice is not requested on this matter.

 

REASON FOR REFERRAL

 

The Planning Proposal is referred to Council’s Local Planning Panel under Section 9.1 of the EP & A Act. This Section requires referral of any Planning Proposal to the Local Planning Panel for advice with an assessment report which sets out recommendations in relation to the Proposal and whether or not to the Proposal should be forwarded to the Minister under Section 3.34.

 

Due to the nature of the Planning Proposal it does not meet any of the following matters for exemption from referral:

 

a)         the correction of an obvious error in a local environmental plan,

b)         matters that are of a consequential, transitional, machinery or other minor nature, or

c)         matters that Council’s General Manager considers will not have any significant adverse impact on the environment or adjoining land.

 

Therefore the Planning Proposal must be referred to the Local Planning Panel for advice prior to Council making any determination on the matter.


 

 

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

As shown in Figure 1, this Planning Proposal is covered by Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for the St Leonards South Precinct which was granted a Gateway Determination in September 2016 and has been publicly exhibited and is awaiting review by the Independent Planning Commission. It is yet to be reported to Council for final determination.

 

On 7 February 2019, Council received draft Planning Proposal 34, a proponent-led planning proposal from Top Springs to amend Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 (LCLEP 2009) as it relates to certain land located within the St Leonards South precinct at 21-41 Canberra Avenue and 18-32 Holdsworth Avenue St Leonards, by adopting the Council-sponsored draft PP 25 with amendments detailed in draft PP34.

 

Planning Proposal 34 is also accompanied by:

 

·          Urban Design Package,

·          Traffic and Parking Assessment,

·          Economic Report,

·          Draft LEP Maps,

·          Voluntary Planning Agreement Letter of offer,

·          Submissions to Government exhibitions, and

·          Consistency with Council’s Draft Development Control Plan provisions.

 

A Concept D.A. was also submitted at the same time along with a Voluntary Planning Agreement letter of offer, but none of these documents are the subject of this referral. Council’s adopted policy is that any VPA would be assessed separately by Council at a later stage to ensure that any Planning Proposal is considered on its own merits.

 

As Council’s Planning Proposal 25 has received Gateway Determination and been publicly exhibited it has the status of being a ‘proposed instrument’ and can be considered in any development assessment under Clause 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The proponent acknowledges this status in their documents and assesses their Proposal to be “generally consistent” with the intent and objectives of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

Council’s urban design consultant has also reviewed (see AT-1) the proponent’s Planning Proposal against Council’s Proposal (AT-2), associated Draft DCP (AT-3 & AT-4) and Landscape Master Plan (AT-5).

 

Council’s consultant, is of the view that the proponent-led PP34 fails to comply with Council’s draft PP25 and places at risk the fundamental principles, objectives and desired outcomes proposed by draft PP25’s LEP amendments, DCP and related documents. However, there may be some non-compliances with Council’s draft DCP, which should be addressed at the appropriate DA stage.


 

 

The Panel is requested to review and consider issues and amendments proposed by the proponent along with the views and concerns raised in this report. In particular, the Planning Proposal No 34 is not supported and should not proceed to the Gateway Determination for the following reasons:

 

1.         Fails Strategic and site-specific merit tests because:

 

a.         it is not consistent with the findings of the Draft 2036 Plan which recommends that the St Leonards South Planning Proposal be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for review.

 

Further, Council’s Planning Proposal and its supporting documents already responds to a change in circumstances.

 

b.         the proponent’s Planning Proposal is inconsistent with draft PP25, and does not consider the potential impacts (i.e. by relocating the central east-west connection) it will have on the proposed future uses of Areas 5 & 6. 

 

2.         Council’s draft Planning Proposal 25 has the status of a ‘proposed instrument’ and has been the subject of public consultation under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act. The proponent also uses Council’s Planning Proposal as justification yet fails to comply with the objectives and intended outcomes of Planning Proposal 25.

 

3.         Planning Proposal 34 is inconsistent with the objectives of Planning Proposal 25 in amalgamation patterns which are designed based to achieve specific urban design & planning outcomes. The relocation of the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link fundamentally fails to satisfy the planning reasons for the original location. These are:

 

a.         a contiguous straight line of travel from Newlands Park to the new park between Berry & Park Roads;

b.         a connected accessible link, including people with a disability, involving ramps and lifts which connect in with other community facilities and infrastructure (in Areas 5 and 17);

c.         a coherent east-west visual corridor and central ‘pedestrian boulevard’.

 

The bonus FSR and Height is an incentive for Areas 7 & 8 to provide the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link in that location, as justified by points above. The applicant seeks the bonuses without seeking to satisfy the intent.

 

4.         Planning Proposal 25 is undertaken on a precinct basis as well as considering site-specific merits (and constraints) of each site. Based on Council’s Urban Design advice, the proponent’s re-design of Areas 7 & 8 would not only have an adverse impact on its adjoining sites (i.e. Areas 5 & 6) but also adversely affect Areas 9, 10 & 11 in terms of potential solar access to units, and compliance with ADG requirements.

 

In addition, by reducing Areas 7 & 8, the proposed concept building on Area 7 has been rotated 90 degrees, adversely affecting sunlight to the already narrowed Green Spine in Areas 9 & 10.

 

5.         Inconsistent with the objectives of Planning Proposal 25 for Green Spines. These are to be generally 24m wide, but are proposed as between 12m and 24m. The planning reason for Council requiring a uniform 24m width is to facilitate the creation of integrated “communal” open space with extensive (50+%) deep soil zones, consistent throughout the precinct.

 

6.         Inconsistent with the objectives of Planning Proposal 25 for compliance with the Landscape Master Plan. The intent of the Landscape Master Plan is to ensure a consistently high level of landscaping is provided throughout the precinct. While the proponent does provide some elements, the missing elements (a continuous north-south and east-west accessibility link, children’s play areas, much formal seating for gathering) are essential to the vision of a communal open space that welcomes users of all ages and abilities.

 

7.         Inconsistent with the objectives of Planning Proposal 25 for bonus heights and floor space ratios. The intent of Council’s site-specific incentive heights and FSRs is to prevent development in areas identified for public parks, communal open spaces (Green Spines), walkways and roads and provide bonus heights and FSRs in return for identified outcomes. Many of the proponent’s proposed changes are not consistent with overall amenity outcomes.

 

8.         The parking basements are inconsistent with Council’s Draft Development Control Plan which requires deep soil as a minimum of 50% of the Green Spine. Council’s Urban Design advice states that proponent’s basements are too extensive and intrude into deep soil and Green Spine areas.

 

 Despite these inconsistencies, Council’s consultant notes the proposed park extension on Holdsworth Avenue (in Area 11) may be acceptable however the general heights (in terms of storeys), masses, bulk, setbacks etc are able to be discussed in detail at the Development Application stage.

 

This confirms Council’s view that such issues are premature and should not be considered at the Draft Planning Proposal stage.

 

SITE

 

The site is at 21-41 Canberra Avenue & 18-32 Holdsworth Avenue, St Leonards. As shown in the figure below it forms most but not all of “Areas” 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 as defined in Council’s St Leonards South Planning Proposal.

 

Figures 2 & 3: Subject site, showing Areas 7 & 8 of St Leonards South minus east-west link (shown in blue cross-hatch)


 

 

BACKGROUND

 

The proponents Proposal seeks to amend the Council sponsored PP25 and as such the following background forms an important context to any consideration to override this advanced proposal.

 

In 2012, Council resolved to undertake a master planning process for the precinct in St Leonards bounded by the Pacific Highway to the north, the railway line to the east, River Road to the south and Greenwich Road to the west. A Community Liaison Committee was formed by Council resolution which sought to undertake a St Leonards Strategy in two parts:

 

·          Stage 1 – existing conditions and issues report; and

·          Stage 2 – Growth Scenarios report.

 

Stage 1 (2012 – 2014)

 

Consultants David Lock and Associates (DLA) were engaged to complete Stage 1 of the St Leonards Strategy which included:-

 

·          Consideration of the current State, metropolitan and local strategic planning context;

 

·          A summary of existing conditions such as land use, demographic profile, urban structure and built form, public domain and natural features, vehicular and pedestrian access and movement, and physical infrastructure;

 

·          A summary of the community consultation undertaken as part of Stage 1; and

 

·          An analysis of issues and opportunities for the precinct, including that the area “is well located for potential urban consolidation opportunities”.

 

Stage 2 (2014 – 2015)

 

A draft St Leonards South Master Plan and supporting documents were prepared by urban planning consultants in 2014, in response to initial technical and community feedback received through a series of community sessions and workshops. It was endorsed by Council for further public consultation on 8 December 2014, this included additional community drop-in and information sessions in 2015.

 

The Draft Plan discussed potential changes to the zoning and scale of areas in the precinct as well as the provision of community facilities, open space and other matters.

 

Principles

 

The draft Master Plan was based on the principles of Transit-Orientated development (TOD) and were informed by the community consultation described above. The principles are:

 

1)         Liveability

2)         Housing for all stages of life

3)         Maximise walkability/cycling/access

4)         Amenity

5)         Public domain, Open space and Streetscape

6)         Efficient traffic flow

7)         Community facilities

8)         Appropriate lot sizes for amalgamation

9)         Appropriate infrastructure & controlled stormwater

10)       Financial viability & Options for increased growth

Planning Proposal 25

 

On 13 July 2015, Council resolved to amend and adopt the St Leonards South Master Plan. It also resolved to amend the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan to permit the rezoning of a portion of the precinct up to Park Road (east-side) for the purposes of higher density residential development. Council’s Planning Proposal 25 was submitted in May 2016 and approved by the State Government's 'Gateway' process in September 2016, subject to a number of supporting studies being undertaken.

 

From 19 May 2016 to September 2017, the amended Planning Proposal was being refined and Gateway Conditions addressed. The LEP amendment is supported by studies that informed a DCP, Landscape Master Plan, and S94 Contributions Plan. Further studies included an Urban Design Report, shadow analysis, traffic studies, accessibility, and various economic reviews (open space, key worker housing, land values, etc). The amendments were completed, and NSW Department of Planning and Environment authorised the public exhibition of Council’s Proposal in October 2017.

 

Between 30 October 2017 and 5 January 2018, Council sought community's feedback in relation to draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP) amendments and other supporting documents for the St Leonards South Residential Precinct. Two (2) Community Drop-In sessions were held on in November and December 2017.

 

Intent of Council’s Planning Proposal

 

The intent of Council’s Planning Proposal is largely explained in the Planning Proposal document and in a ‘Plain English’ explanation (see AT-6):

 

“Council’s vision for St Leonards South is to create a liveable precinct by ensuring a holistic approach to housing while having regard to urban design, open space, pedestrian and traffic movements. This Planning Proposal is the next step in the process of achieving this vision by implementing site-specific planning controls which will coordinate development”.

 

An ‘incentive’ clause and maps will control development; the maps will identify suitable locations where additional floor space and height can be achieved. However:

 

“These eligible sites must meet preferred land amalgamation patterns and have a high level of landscaping (as defined in the Landscape Master Plan) in order to be considered for incentives.

 

Further incentives are available to select sites closest to the St Leonards Station if they provide open space, multi-purpose facilities (child-care centres and community halls), key worker housing, and efficient pedestrian and traffic circulation. These incentives are designed to promote appropriately located built form that transitions down from the St Leonards Station to River Road”.

 

It is also important to note that the floor space ratios and heights (shown in metres) in Council’s Proposal will be maximums and a new clause will prevent the use of a clause 4.6 variation.

 

Additional Council resolutions

 

At its meeting held on the 19 March 2018, Council resolved to:-

 

"Write to the Anthony Roberts MP, Minister for Planning, the Minister for Housing, and the Special Minister of State, requesting: - An extension of time for Council to complete the St Leonards South Planning Proposal to allow for the public release and consideration of the St Leonards / Crows Nest Planned Precinct Draft Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan".

 

This was “to allow the community and Councillors to understand the Government's plans for the whole area, particularly in relation to the provision of infrastructure, prior to further considering the Planning Proposal”. A 12-month extension was subsequently granted. In addition, at Council’s meeting held on the 20 August 2018, it was resolved that Council: -

 

“As the planning proposal authority for the Lane Cove LGA, resolve to seek a moratorium on any new planning proposals involving a residential use as per the Minister’s initiative, until the earlier of 1 July 2020 or the completion of any gazetted amendments to the Lane Cove LEP in respect of any Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan produced by the Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct planning process”.

 

Draft St Leonards and Crows Nest 2036 Plan

 

The St Leonards/Crows Nest Planned Precinct is identified by the North District Plan (NDP) as “a mixed-use centre with high-rise offices, and high-density residential development”. Action 34 of the NDP focuses growth subject to “growing jobs in the centre”. Additional capacity for housing supply is a secondary but important function of the precinct. It is from these two purposes of the North District Plan that the 2036 Plan has emerged.

 

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment released the draft plans and supporting documents for the St Leonards and Crows Nest Planned Precinct for community consultation from October 2018 to 8 February 2019. When it is finalised, areas identified for change will be implemented by Councils through changes to their Local Environment Plans.

 

As part of the 2036 Plan, feedback in response to the Local Character Statement consultation undertaken by the Department in March 2018 “included a range of differing and sometimes opposing views on the proposal.” As a result,

 

The draft Plan recommends referral of the proposal to an independent panel for review to ensure consistency with conditions of the Gateway Determination and this draft Plan. (p 63)

 

At this time, Council’s Planning Proposal is yet to be reviewed by the Independent Planning Panel (now known to be the Independent Planning Commission).

 

Advice on status of Council’s Planning Proposal

 

Council has sought advice on the legal status of its current Planning Proposal and to what degree Council’s Planning Proposal can be taken into account as part of the assessment of the proponent’s Proposal.

 

That advice confirms that Council’s Proposal has received a Gateway Determination it is a ‘proposed instrument’ and because it has been the subject of public consultation under the EP&A Act, it must be considered when assessing any development application within the subject area. Under section 4.15(1)(a)(ii) of the EP&A Act such a planning proposal must be considered in determining any development application in respect of land to which the planning proposal relates.

 

It is also important to note that the proponent’s Planning Proposal acknowledges this status and provides an assessment against the objectives of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

As a result, because Council’s Planning Proposal No 25, has “received a gateway determination to proceed and has been the subject of public consultation” it is further advanced than the Proponent’s Planning Proposal, and needs to be addressed and considered in any assessment. By reason of being less advanced in the process of becoming a ‘proposed instrument’, the proponent’s Proposal should be assessed against the objectives and provisions of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

Against this background, two recent planning proposals initiated by developers within the St Leonards South precinct are to be assessed.

 

PROPOSAL

 

The proponent-led Planning Proposal seeks the following amendments to Lane Cove LEP 2009 (see proponent’s Draft LEP maps):

 

1)         Rezone the site from R2 Low Density Residential to R4 High Density Residential Zone.

 

2)         New LEP incentive Clause 6.11 as additional local provision: –

 

o    Amend the Height of Building within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Amend the FSR within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    incorporate two public east-west through-site links between Holdsworth Ave and Canberra Ave, with one being 6m in width and one being (a relocated) 15m.

 

3)         Amend Clause 4.6 to specifically not permit any variation to a development standard that relates to the heights of building or FSR.

 

4)         Amend Council’s Planning Proposal 25 amalgamation patterns for part of Areas 7 and 8 to reflect the proponent’s land holdings.

 

5)         Insert satisfactory arrangement for provision of a Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) levy.

 

6)         Remove existing 550 m2 minimum lot size and replacing it with no minimum lot size.

 

Fig 4: from Council’s Planning Proposal 25            Fig 5: from Proponent’s Planning Proposal 34

 

The development is stepped and staggered from 7-to-11-storey residential flat buildings with lower level townhouses, stepping down the hillside towards the south. The two storey townhouses along the ground floor front Holdsworth Avenue, Canberra Ave and River Road.

 

The northernmost three buildings are 37m high, while the others are 31m. Townhouses are located on the ground floor street frontages, and along the south and east boundaries they are cut into the sloped land. Part storeys created by the slope do not count towards the number of storeys. Most of the site is set back 4m at street level (from Canberra Avenue), and 3m further in above Level 5. At River Road, it is set back 10m for the first 3 storeys, then 7m at Level 4 and a further 7m at Level 6.

 

As shown in figure 2, Council’s Planning Proposal 25 requires that if all of the lots within areas 7 to 11 are amalgamated they will have a total minimum area of 13,000 m2. Areas 7 & 8 are only partly amalgamated; resulting in a total minimum area of 12,653m2. Page 24 of the proponent’s proposal states that the landowner has been unable to negotiate the purchase of the two northernmost lots, which would become the 15m wide east-west path between Holdsworth and Canberra Avenue, however no evidence has been provided to demonstrate this.

 

Instead a relocated 15m wide east-west pedestrian link is proposed along the north boundary of the site (in Areas 7 & 8), while a 6m wide pathway is to be provided near the bottom of Holdsworth Ave (in Area 11).

 

In terms of these sites, Council’s Proposal 25 is offering incentive heights & FSRs for the sites, but only in return for the following public benefits: -

 

·          meet preferred amalgamation patterns (for equitable development);

·          construct and dedicate the prescribed Public Infrastructure (a 15m wide path through Areas 7 & 8 and 6m wide path in Area 11).

 

The proponent agrees with this intent, but is offering in return to reduce their Section 7.11 contributions by 30% of the value of the land dedicated and by 100% of the capital construction costs.

 

On a positive note, the proponent’s redesigned Area 11 building may protect more trees from removal, and has the opportunity to provide and embellish a larger pocket park at the bottom of Holdsworth Ave. Also, fewer vehicle access points are proposed.

 

However, the only matters that relate to the draft LEP controls are amalgamation patterns and the preferred location of community infrastructure (i.e. east-west connection in Areas 7 & 8). These amalgamation patterns were specifically designed to achieve best practice urban design, planning & built form outcomes – namely maximising solar access, creating through-site connections (and a centralised ‘pedestrian boulevard’) to existing and proposed open spaces, universal accessibility and delivers community infrastructure in appropriate locations. Many of the other matters raised in the proponent’s proposal do not relate to the draft LEP controls and should be addressed at the Development Application stage.

 

DISCUSSION

 

This section examines the provisions of the proponent’s Planning Proposal against the strategic and site-specific merit test as well as consistency against Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

 

When considering a Planning Proposal, A guide to preparing Local Environmental Plans (prepared by NSW Department of Planning & Environment) applies to the following strategic and site-specific merit test to assess proposals.

 

Strategic Merit test

 

Is the Planning Proposal:

 

·          Consistent with the relevant regional plan outside of the Greater Sydney Region, the relevant district plan within the Greater Sydney Region, or corridor/precinct plans applying to the site, including any draft regional, district or corridor/precinct plans released for public comment?

 

Comment:

 

While the proponent’s Planning Proposal does demonstrate general consistency with the Greater Sydney Region Plan and North District Plan it does not exhibit consistency with the Draft 2036 Plan document which was released for public comment from October 2018 till 8 February 2019.

 

The Draft 2036 Plan recommends that Council’s Planning Proposal for St Leonards South be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for review (see Figure 6 below).

 

Fig 6: Draft 2036 Plan – Proposed Changes

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal falls within the same area as Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for St Leonards.

 

·          Consistent with a relevant local strategy that has been endorsed by the Department?

 

Comment:

 

Not relevant, as only two (2) Local Government Areas in all of Sydney have strategies that have been endorsed (fully or in part) by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

 

·          Responding to a change in circumstances, such as the investment in new infrastructure or changing demographic trends that have not been recognized by existing planning controls?

 

Comment:

 

A draft Section 7.11 Contributions Plan, Cumulative Transport and Accessibility Study and Cumulative Traffic Study was exhibited as part of Council’s Planning Proposal 25. These plans propose a range of infrastructure upgrades and take into account changing demographic trends.

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal 34 and supporting studies do not refute these findings nor do they propose any additional infrastructure envisaged by either Council’s Planning Proposal or the State Government’s Draft 2036 Plans.

 

Council’s Planning Proposal 25 has directly responded to a change in circumstance i.e. investment in new infrastructure which will improve accessibility, primarily to the existing St Leonards train station.

 

Site-specific merit test

 

If the Planning Proposal has demonstrated strategic merit, then the site-specific merit must have regard to:

 

·          the natural environment (including known significant environmental values, resources or hazards)

 

Comment:

 

Significant environmental values or resources are not likely to be impacted as a result of the proponent’s Proposal. While the proponent’s Urban Design Report claims there are some flood issues at the intersection of River Road and Canberra Avenue this has not been identified as an area with flooding issues. Notwithstanding this, Part O of Council’s existing Development Control Plan contains mitigation measures to address this. Council’s engineers have confirmed that development of residential flat buildings in this corner area would not have impact on overland flows, especially during the PMF.

 

·          the existing uses, approved uses and likely future uses of land in the vicinity of the land subject to a proposal

 

Comment:

 

Due to the proponent’s proposed relocation of the central east-west link (in Areas 7 & 8) it would significantly impact on the likely future uses of land in vicinity. Amongst other things, the central east-west connection (in Areas 7 & 8) is designed to connect into the multi-purpose community facility and lift connections being provided in Area 5 directly north of the site as part of Council’s proposal. Such an amendment would adversely impact not only Council’s plans and layout, it would adversely impact the plans and viability of a number of adjoining and nearby sites.

 

·          the services and infrastructure that are or will be available to meet the demands arising from the proposal and any proposed financial arrangements for infrastructure provision.

 

Comment:

 

Not relevant as Council’s Planning Proposal already addresses these matters.

 

The proponent’s plan seeks to take advantage of the Council’s sponsored PP 25 provisions

 

Consistency with Council’s Planning Proposal

 

The following assessment of the proponent’s Planning Proposal is provided in tables below against the relevant LEP & DCP provisions and planning intent of Council’s Planning Proposal. Following this, the reason for each of the major non-compliances is addressed. For a more detailed assessment of all the prescriptive measures of PP34, refer to Council’s consultant report (AT-1).

 

Matters for consideration

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 34)

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Complies with Planning Intent

1.Amalgamation Patterns

(see Figures 7 & 8)

Areas 9-to-11 fully amalgamated; while Areas 7 & 8 partly amalgamated. With a total minimum area of 12,653m2.

Areas 7-to-11 can be amalgamated individually or collectively., If collectively will need a total minimum area of 13,000m2.

No, see discussion below

2.Incentive FSR

(see Figs 9 & 10)

Part Areas 7 & 8 = 3:1

 

Areas 9-to-11 = 2.75:1

Areas 7 & 8 = 3:1

 

Areas 9-to-11 = 2.75:1

No, see discussion below

3.Incentive HOB Building Heights

(see Figs 11 & 12)

Part Areas 7 & 8 = 37m

 

Areas 9 & 10 = 31m

 

Area 11 = 31m & 15m

 

No evidence that lift overruns have been included in heights

Areas 7 & 8 = 37m

 

Areas 9 & 10 = 31m

 

Area 11 = 31m & 15m

 

Lift overruns must be included as well.

No, see discussion below

4.Public benefits (see Figs 13 & 14)

East-west pedestrian paths:

 

* 15m not contiguous with Berry-to-Holdsworth 15m path;

* 6m on north boundary of Area 11

East-west pedestrian paths:

 

* 15m contiguous with Berry-to-Holdsworth 15m wide path and be in a central location;

* 6m on north boundary of Area 11

No, see discussion below

VPA to provide pathways in return for reduced S7.11 contributions

Provide pathways in return for bonus FSR/HOB (LEP incentive mechanisms)

No, see discussion below

5.Green Spines & Building separations (see Figs 15 & 16)

Across the Green spine = 12m, 19m, & 24m

 

Generally across the Green spine = 24m

 

(except for Areas 9 & 11)

No, see discussion below

North-south = 9m & 12m

North-south = ADG (= 6m between non-habitable rooms)

Yes

6.Building footprints

Mostly north-south lengthwise except for Area 7

North-south lengthwise (to minimise overshadowing)

No, see discussion below

 

Consistency with Draft Development Control Plan & Landscape Master Plan

 

Matters for consideration

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 34)

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Complies with Planning Intent

7.Landscape plan (see Figs 17 & 18)

No contiguous north-south or east-west accessibility.                                                                                     No children's play areas.                                                                                            Shortage of formal seating.

List of required landscape features (Landscape Master Plan)

No, see discussion below

8.Setbacks

River Road:

 

- 10m street level

- 17m at Level 4

- 24m at Level 6

River Road:

 

- 10m street level

- 17m at Level 4

- 24m at Level 6

Yes

Canberra/Holdsworth:

 

- 4m at street level

- 3-9m at and above Level 3

Canberra/Holdsworth:

 

- 4m at street level

- 3m at and above Level 6

Yes

9.Parking Intrusion under Green Spine (see Figs 19 & 20)

Basement under most of Green Spine (Urban Design Report p26).

 

Appears in part to be 3m below ground surface.

Deep soil = min of 50% of Green Spine.

 

 

Basement only permitted into deep-soil Green Spine after two levels of basement parking has been provided under the building footprint

No, see discussion below

10.Solar access onsite and beyond

Onsite = 71% of units

 

 

Neighbours = 2 hrs sunlight midwinter preserved for neighbours west, south & east

Onsite = ADG (70% of units)

 

Neighbours = 2 hrs sunlight midwinter

Yes

11.Incentive DCP Building Heights (storeys)

Part Areas 7 & 8 = 10 & 11 storeys

 

Areas 9 & 10 = 8 storeys

 

Area 11 = 7 & 8 storeys

But appear with an extra 2 storeys from lower areas.

Areas 7 & 8 = 10 storeys

 

Areas 9 & 10 = 8 storeys

 

Area 11 = 8 & 4 storeys

 

 

 

DCP 6.4.6: “Part storeys resulting from excavation of steep slopes and as activating frontages for basement or semi basement parking will not count as storeys.”

No, see discussion below

 

 

Schedule of Figures

 

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 34)

Fig 7 – Council’s proposed amalgamation patterns

Fig 8 – Proponent’s proposed amalgamation patterns

Fig 9 - Council’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratios

Fig 10 – Proponent’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratios

Fig 11 - Council’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings

Fig 12 – Proponent’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings

Fig 13 – Diagram showing Council’s proposed East-West pathways

Fig 14 - Diagram showing Proponent’s proposed (relocated) East-West pathways

Fig 15 - Council’s proposed Green Spines and Building Separations

Fig 16 – Proponent’s proposed Green Spines and Building Separations

Fig 17 – Council’s proposed Landscape Master Plan for Areas 7, 8, 9 and 10

Fig 18 – Proponent’s proposed Landscape Plan for Areas 7, 8, 9 and 10

Fig 19 – Council’s proposed Basements permitted under Green Spines in Areas 7, 8, 9 and 10

Fig 20 – Proponent’s proposed Basement intrusion under Green Spines for Areas 7, 8, 9 and 10

 

Fig 21 – Mid-section of proponent’s basement parking levels

 

Amalgamation Patterns

 

Fig 7: Council’s proposed amalgamation pattern                                 Fig 8: Proponent’s proposed pattern

 

Proposal:

 

The proponent states that due to their inability to acquire the two outstanding lots at the northern edge of Areas 7 & 8, “Top Spring is unable to deliver the 15m wide west-east link required by Council’s draft incentive controls to be provided on these lots.” Instead, they propose to “deliver a new 15m wide link within Area I [shortened Areas 7 & 8]. In future, this link could be consolidated with Council’s proposed link to provide a 30m wide path.”

 

Comment:

 

Council’s Planning for this entire area is designed and proposed on a precinct-wide basis while having regard to the site-specific merits of each site. The particular location of the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link between Canberra and Holdsworth Avenues aims to create:

 

a)         a contiguous straight line of travel from Newlands Park to the new park between Berry & Park Roads;

 

b)         a connected accessible link, including people with a disability, involving ramps and lifts which connect in with other community facilities and infrastructure (in Areas 5 and 17);

 

c)         a coherent east-west visual corridor and central ‘pedestrian boulevard’.

 

The proponent fails to demonstrate any effort to acquire the remaining two lots. The proposed relocation is also not justified on planning grounds and fails all three criteria for location.

 

Secondly, as discussed below, the bonus FSR and Height is an incentive for Areas 7 & 8 to provide the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link in that location, as justified by points a, b & c above. The applicant seeks the bonuses without satisfying the intent of providing a link where it is located in the Incentives maps.

 

Thirdly, all FSR/Height bonuses are based on careful consideration of urban design and planning outcomes (i.e. transit-orientated development principles, transitional building scale, maximising solar access to proposed units, surrounding dwellings and existing tree canopy cover) as well as calculation of viable yield for each site area within the entire St Leonards South precinct. This alternative consolidated lot pattern and built form not only adversely affects Areas 7 & 8 but also the urban design and planning outcomes and the bonus/yield calculations for Areas 5 & 6, which are currently required to provide a multi-purpose community facility and affordable (key worker) housing respectively. It is not reasonable or viable to expect that Areas 5 & 6 to provide the east-west link in addition to other public benefits – i.e. “to provide a 30m wide path.”

 

Finally, as discussed below, as a result of reduction of Areas 7 & 8, the building on Area 7 has been rotated 90 degrees, this directly affects sunlight to the already narrowed portion of the Green Spine.

 

To permit the proposed amendment to the endorsed Gateway amalgamation pattern would set an unacceptable precedent for other Areas, with corresponding disruption of urban design and planning outcomes as well as viable benefit/bonus calculations it would put at risk the fundamental master plan approach adopted by PP No.25.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Incentive FSR

 

Fig 9: Council’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratio          Fig 10: Proponent’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratio

 

Proposal:

 

As shown in Figures 9 & 10, the proponent’s proposal is to claim the same bonus FSRs for:

 

·          “Area I” - Part Areas 7 & 8 = 3:1

 

·          “Area H” - Areas 9-to-11 = 2.75:1

 

in return for public benefits:

 

a)         A relocated 15m wide path linking Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue (Areas 7 & 8);

 

b)         Consolidate into a minimum of single lots of a minimum area to suit their landholding pattern;

 

c)         A 6m wide path linking Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue (Area 11).

 

Comment:

 

Figures 9 & 10 show that the proponent’s public benefits do not match the intent of Council’s incentives scheme. In fact:

 

a)         A 15m wide path is offered but in a different location;

 

b)         Areas 7 & 8 are required to be a minimum of 5,000m2. The proposed “Area I” is only 4,235m2.

 

c)         Another 6m wide path (required in Council’s proposal) is offered where required.

 

The proponent may argue that the public benefits are being provided, albeit in a slightly different location for the central 15m path, and therefore the “Incentive” FSR is earned. However, as explained above under Amalgamation Patterns, the 15m path that is being offered is in an inappropriate location. For this reason, the public benefit does not match the intent of the bonus offer and impacts on the ability of other sites to achieve and deliver community benefits and infrastructure, and is not consistent with the Master Plan principles and PP No.25.

 

Incentive Height of Building

 

Fig 11: Council’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings          Fig 12: Proponent’s Incentive Height of Buildings

 

Proposal:

 

As shown in Figure 12, the proponent’s proposal is to claim the bonus HOB (Height of Building) for:

 

·          “Area I” (shown in Fig 10) - Part Areas 7 & 8 = 37m

 

·          “Area H” (shown in Fig 10) - Areas 9-to-11 = 31m

 

in return for public benefits:

 

a)         A relocated 15m wide path linking Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue (Areas7 & 8);

 

b)         Consolidate into a minimum of single lots of a minimum area to suit their landholding pattern;

 

c)         A 6m wide path linking Canberra Avenue and Holdsworth Avenue (Area 11).

 

d)         2.5m height limit is to protect the location of the Green Spines and East-West connections and this is being narrowed substantially.

 

Comment:

 

Figures 11 & 12 show that the proponent’s public benefits do not match the intent of Council’s incentives scheme for the following reasons:

 

a)         A 15m wide path is offered but in a different location;

 

b)         Areas 7 & 8 are required to be a minimum of 5,000m2. The proposed “Area I” is only 4,235m2.

 

c)         A 6m wide path is offered where required.

 

As stated above, the public benefit does not match the intent of the bonus offer. Moreover, a height of 2.5m (blue) is proposed for the north-south Green Spine. Council’s Planning Proposal shows the Green Spines are mostly 24m wide (apart from Area 9). However, the proponent’s changes (shown in Figure 12) appears considerably narrower, thereby reducing any potential Green Spine considerably and increasing the building footprint – resulting in an undesirable pedestrian link and unintended planning outcome.

 

Regarding heights in storeys the proponent’s number of storeys would vary between 7 and 11 (however comply with the FSR and height LEP controls) whilst Council’s Draft DCP incorporated a 8 and 10 storey maximum (4 storeys along River Road) with a 4 storey street wall height along Canberra Avenue.

 

Council’s consultant sees these minor variations of storeys as having neither benefits nor unacceptable impacts but these should be considered at the Development Application stage, not at the Planning Proposal stage.

 

Public Benefits

 

Fig 13: Council’s proposed East-West pathways          Fig 14: Proponent’s proposed East-West pathways


 

 

Proposal:

 

As has been addressed above, the East-west pathways consist of:

 

·          A relocated 15m wide path which is not contiguous with Council’s proposed Berry-to-Holdsworth 15m path;

 

·          6m on north boundary of Area 11.

 

Further, the 6m and 15m pathways are proposed to be the subject of a Voluntary Planning Agreement offer as suggested by the proponent.  The VPA offers to construct and dedicate the two through-site links. In return, payment of the normal Section 7.11 contributions for the entire development site are to be reduced by 30% of the value of the land dedicated and by 100% of the capital construction costs.

 

The reasons given for this offer are: -

 

·          “Delays in the rezoning and planning process of Lane Cove Council’s planning proposal to rezone the St Leonards South precinct.

 

·          Significant amount of land holding and land financing costs due to the delays in rezoning by Lane Cove Council of the St Leonards South precinct.

 

·          Significant drop in residential sales prices and take up rate since 2017.

 

·          Despite a drop in residential sales prices and take up rates, construction costs continue to increase due to infrastructure, health and education projects activity.

 

·          The Hill PDA report dated 2015 prepared for Council’s St Leonards South Planning Proposal predates the current downturn in the market, and more importantly predates the imposition of the SIC levy proposed by State Government. The impact of the SIC levy on project profitability and residual land value was therefore not considered by Hill PDA and subsequently not considered by Lane Cove Council in its planning proposal.”

 

Comment:

 

The offer of bonus FSR and HOB, especially in Areas 7 & 8, was calculated to provide a viable incentive for provision of the east-west links having regard to built form outcomes which were tested in 2015 and again in 2017. The extra costs of land holding and financing that may have been incurred by the landowner is a result of their decision to speculate and purchase land that may or may not be rezoned. Likewise, a result of their decision to purchase in a period of market buoyancy can only be at their risk.

 

The risks involved are taken by the landowner, and any consequent losses (or gains) cannot be charged to Council in the form of reduced Section 7.11 contributions.

 

Regarding the State Government Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) levy, no decision on such a levy on the St Leonards South precinct has as yet been made.

 

However, the St Leonards Crows Nest SIC – Feasibility Testing, 2018 acknowledges that Council’s Planning Proposal for St Leonards South pre-dates the announcement of this area as a Planned Precinct and potentially having a SIC levy. Council is seeking an exemption from the SIC levy on this basis. It also states that the St Leonards South precinct has “no capacity to pay” (page 26).

 

Council included these points as part of its submission to the Draft 2036 Plans and requested a formal exemption from the imposition of the SIC for the St Leonards South area only.

 

Green Spines & Building Separations

 

Fig 15: PP25 Green Spine & Building Separations    Fig 16: PP34 Green Spine & Building Separations

 

Proposal:

 

Figure 16 above, shows that the proponent’s building separation distances provided east-west (across the Green spine) vary between 12m, 19m & 24m.

 

Comment:

 

The rotation of the building in Area 7 pushes it closer towards Area 8, resulting in a significant reduction in separation distances (down to 12 metres at ground level). Even with upper level setbacks it would not be able to comply with the distances to habitable rooms described in the Apartment Design Guide.

 

The intent of these ground level separation distances (green spines) is not only to maximise solar access to units and comply with ADG separation distances but also to protect existing mature trees on-site.   

 

As illustrated by Figure 13, the Green Spines are generally intended to be a consistent 24m wide across the precinct (except in Areas 9 & 11), to facilitate the creation of integrated “communal” open spaces consistent throughout the precinct, with extensive (50+%) deep soil zones. This applies in order to provide the required landscape multi-purpose facilities including childcare play space and community facilities which is to be provided in Area 5 (see discussion below). Council’s consultant concludes that these shorter distances, particularly between Areas 7 – 8 and 9 - 10 are “not desirable”, as they “make the Green Spine width non-complaint” and does not achieve the intended planning outcome.

 

In short, the proposed amendment fails to comply with Council’s draft Landscape Master Plan, site amalgamation plans, the objectives and intended outcomes of PP 25, and should be rejected. The proposed building form could be considered at the D.A. stage if PP 25 is endorsed.

 

Building footprints

 

Proposal:

 

Earlier figures 4 & 5 indicate that proposed building footprints have been “slightly amended” to those proposed by Council’s Planning Proposal. They are “small scale forms of stepped and staggered” 7-to-11-storey residential flat buildings and townhouses.

 

Page 10 of the proponent’s Urban Design Report explains:

 

This stepped form presents a series of open corners to the Newlands Park frontage, a more outward looking expression than the more formal streetwalls within the masterplan street network.

 

In terms of the proposed two storey townhouses, the proponent argues:

 

At the base of the buildings, a two-storey townhouse expression provides activation and human scale to the street network and park frontage.

 

Also, the proposed footprints seeks to improve the percentage of apartments receiving solar access. 

 

Comment:

 

Generally, the footprints are designed to be orientated North-to-south. This aims to minimise overshadowing (and be able to comply with Apartment Design Guide provisions), provide for the green spine (which will be communal open space) and protect existing mature trees on site.

 

However, the rotation of the building in Area 7 (shown in Fig.16), the result of a reduced site area, would reduce sunlight to the adjoining buildings (Areas 8, 9 & 10) and to the communal open space.

 

For this reason, although Council accepts the value of the proposed “small scale forms of stepped and staggered” buildings, the proposed building footprint on Area 7 is inconsistent with the planning intent of Council’s Planning Proposal and supporting studies. These are more appropriately considered at the DA stage, rather than seeking amendment to PP 25 to prevent construction in isolation.

 


 

 

 

Landscape Plan

 

Fig 17: Council’s proposed Landscape Master Plan                                                Fig 18: Proponent’s proposed Landscape Master Plan

 

Proposal:

 

The proponent’s Landscape Report proposes a communal area with shelter, a waterfall, tiered open grass, floating steps + platforms, “nature play”, layered passive spaces and an accessibility ramp (Fig.18).

 

Comment:

 

The intent of Council’s Draft Landscape Master Plan is clearly stated in its ‘Plain English’ explanation. An ‘incentive’ clause and maps will control development, the maps will identify suitable locations where additional floor space and height can be achieved. However:

 

These eligible sites must meet preferred land amalgamation patterns and have a high level of landscaping (as defined in the Landscape Master Plan) in order to be considered for incentives.

 

Therefore, compliance with the Landscape Master Plan is essential as the plan details the requirements for both public and private open space typologies. As shown in figure 17 it details the landscape elements and continuous layout of the green spines and east-west connections. While the proponent’s plan provides attractive landscaping, apart from the waterfall and pond it fails to provide:

 

·          A continuous north-south and east-west accessibility link;

·          Children’s play areas;

·          Much formal seating for gathering.

 

These missing elements are considered fundamental to the communal open space that welcomes users of all ages and abilities. The proposed variation would create an undesirable precedent for the rest of the precinct and would prevent Council’s precinct vision from being achieved, and as such should be rejected.

 

Parking Intrusion under Green Spine

 

Fig 19: PP 25 Basements permitted under Green Spine (DCP)                    Fig 20: PP 34 proposed Basements under Green Spine

 

Proposal:

 

While Council’s draft Plans (shown in Figure 19) do partially allow basement parking structures to intrude into the Green Sine area, it is only after the first 2 levels are constructed within the building footprint. As shown in Figure 20, the proposed basement parking is mostly under the Green Spine. The mid-site section (shown in Figure 21) suggests that part of the basement is proposed to be 3m below ground surface. According to the proponent’s Urban Design Report:

 

The basement extent has been carefully considered to allow retention of existing significant trees and provide extensive deep soil, in particular alongside council’s pocket park and at the perimeter of the site.  (p16)

 

Fig 21: Mid-section of proponent’s basement parking levels

 

Comment:

 

Council’s draft Development Control Plan requires deep soil as a minimum of 50% of the Green Spine, however, this can be affected by the location of basement parking structures. As a result, Council’s plans require that the initial two (2) levels of basement parking (for any building) is to be contained within the ground level building footprint. Only after the second basement level, can the remaining levels be permitted to partially intrude. This maximum amount of intrusion is shown in Figure 19.

 

The intent of this control is to retain large areas for deep soil needed to support (and retain) existing mature trees.

 

Council’s consultant urban designer notes that in the proponent’s design:

 

“Basements are too extensive and intrude into deep soil and Green Spine areas. Consider reduction in provision, and restructure of basements to improve DCP deep soil compliance.”

 

Therefore, the proponent’s Proposal does not comply with the intent of Council’s PP 25 provisions nor does it appear to result in a better planning outcome.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Overall, the proponent’s Planning Proposal is not consistent with the Strategic or Site-specific merit test as it is not consistent with the recommendations of the Draft 2036 Plan nor does it respond to any change in circumstance. However, it also fails to adequately consider the likely impacts of its proposed changes on the PP 25 amalgamation and landscape patterns, DCP generally and the uses of surrounding sites as envisaged by Council’s Planning Proposal and supporting documents.

 

Notwithstanding this, Council’s Planning Proposal has Gateway endorsement to proceed and been the subject of public consultation which gives it legislative status, further the proponent also seeks to use Council’s Planning Proposal as part of its justification. Therefore it is must be considered in an assessment of a proposal.

 

The resultant non-compliances of PP34 would have unintended negative consequences for both the subject site and the entire precinct, including setting an undesirable precedent for further relocated public amenities, modified built form which would not deliver quality urban design & planning outcomes.

 

PP34 would place at risk the fundamental principles, objectives and desired outcomes of Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for St Leonards South which are to achieve a liveable precinct by implementing site-specific controls which would coordinate development in predetermined and appropriate locations and deliver community infrastructure.

 

A number of the other provisions of the proponent’s Planning Proposal are relatively minor in nature and can be addressed at the Development Application stage and should be proposed at the DA stage if PP 25 is adopted.

 

Having regard to the above it is recommended that the Top Springs Planning Proposal not be supported and not proceed to Gateway Determination.

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Pursuant to Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Lane Cove Planning Panel at its meeting of 7 May 2019 recommends against forwarding Planning Proposal No. 34 to the Minister of Planning for a Gateway Determination as it:

 

1)         Fails strategic merit test

 

Reason

 

Not consistent with the findings of the Draft 2036 Plan which recommends that the St Leonards South Planning Proposal be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for review. Further, Council’s Planning Proposal and its supporting documents already responds to a change in circumstances.

 

2)         Fails site-specific merit test

 

Reason

 

Council’s Planning Proposal 25 has been done on a precinct-wide basis and the proponent’s Planning Proposal does not consider the potential impacts (i.e. relocating the central east-west connection) it will have on the proposed future uses of Areas 5 & 6. 

 

3)         Council’s legal advice confirms that Planning Proposal 25 has the status of a ‘proposed instrument’ and has been the subject of public consultation under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act. The proponent also uses Council’s Planning Proposal as justification yet fails to comply with Planning Proposal 25.

 

4)         The proposed relocation of the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link fails to satisfy the planning reasons for the original location being:

 

a)         a contiguous straight line of travel from Newlands Park to the new park between Berry & Park Roads;

b)         a connected accessible link, including people with a disability, involving ramps and lifts which connect in with other community facilities and infrastructure (in Areas 5 and 17);

c)         a coherent east-west visual corridor and central ‘pedestrian boulevard’.

 

The bonus FSR and Height is an incentive for Areas 7 & 8 to provide the 15m wide east-west pedestrian link in that location, as justified by points above. The applicant seeks the bonuses without seeking to satisfy the intent.

 

5)         Based on Council’s Urban Design advice, the proponent’s re-design of Areas 7 & 8 would not only have an adverse impact on its adjoining sites (i.e. Areas 5 & 6) but also adversely affect Areas 9, 10 & 11 in terms of potential solar access to units, and compliance with ADG requirements.

 

In addition, by reducing Areas 7 & 8, the building on Area 7 has been rotated 90 degrees, adversely affecting sunlight to the already narrowed Green Spine in Areas 9 & 10.

 

6)         In particular, Planning Proposal 34 is inconsistent with the following objectives of Planning Proposal 25:

 

·          Amalgamations patterns

 

Reason

 

These were designed and based on achieving specific urban design & planning outcomes while the proposed variations are designed to suit the proponent’s landholdings.

 

·          Green Spines

 

Reason

 

These are to be generally 24m wide, but are shown as between 12m and 24m. The planning reason for requiring a generally uniform 24m width is to facilitate the creation of integrated “communal” open space with extensive (50+%) deep soil zones, consistent throughout the precinct.

 

·          Landscape Master Plan

 

Reason

 

The intent of the Landscape Master Plan is to ensure a consistently high level of landscaping is provided throughout the precinct.

 

While the proponent provides some elements the missing elements (a continuous north-south and east-west accessibility link, children’s play areas, much formal seating for gathering) are essential to the vision of a communal open space that welcomes users of all ages and abilities.

 

·          Bonus Heights and Floor Space Ratios

 

Reason

 

The intent of Council’s site-specific incentive heights and FSRs is to prevent development in areas identified for public parks, communal open spaces (Green Spines), walkways and roads and provide bonus heights and FSRs in return for identified outcomes. Most of the proponent’s proposed changes are not consistent with overall amenity outcomes.

 

7)         All other matters raised in the proponent’s Planning Proposal are relatively minor in nature and can be addressed at the Development Application stage. However, Council’s urban design advice makes the following comments:

 

·          Proposed parking basements are inconsistent with Council’s Draft Development Control Plan which requires deep soil as a minimum of 50% of the Green Spine. Council’s Urban Design advice states that proponent’s basements are too extensive and intrude into deep soil and Green Spine areas.

·          It is noted that the proposed park extension on Holdsworth Avenue (in Area 11) could be acceptable subject to other considerations.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Compliance report on Planning Proposal 34 and Planning Proposal 35

21 Pages

 

AT‑2View

Council's Planning Proposal 25

24 Pages

 

AT‑3View

Council's Draft DCP - Part A

30 Pages

 

AT‑4View

Council's Draft DCP - Part B

35 Pages

 

AT‑5View

Council's Draft Landscape Master Plan

76 Pages

Available Electronically

AT‑6View

Plain English version of Council's Planning Proposal

1 Page

 

 

 


ATTACHMENT 1

Compliance report on Planning Proposal 34 and Planning Proposal 35

 

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ATTACHMENT 2

Council's Planning Proposal 25

 

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ATTACHMENT 3

Council's Draft DCP - Part A

 

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ATTACHMENT 4

Council's Draft DCP - Part B

 

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ATTACHMENT 6

Plain English version of Council's Planning Proposal

 

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Lane Cove Local Planning Panel Meeting 7 May 2019

Planning Proposal 35 - Sites within St Leonards South Residential Precinct Area

 

 

Subject:          Planning Proposal 35 - Sites within St Leonards South Residential Precinct Area    

Record No:    SU7348 - 20075/19

Division:         Environmental Services Division

Author(s):      Anthony Crichton; Christopher Pelcz 

 

 

 

Properties:

24-34 Berry Road, 23-31 Holdsworth Avenue and 42-46 River Road, St Leonards (East Quarter); and

26-36 Park Road and 27-39 Berry Road, St Leonards (West Quarter).

PP No:

Planning Proposal No. 35

Date Lodged:

8 February 2019

Owner (Proponent):

Greaton Pty Ltd

Applicant:                                 

MG Planning

 

Site Area

13,248 m² in total (however, only 12,005 m² is developable)

Description of Proposal

Greaton Pty Ltd seeks to:

·          Rezone the site from R2 Low Density Residential to R4 High Density Residential Zone.

·          Insert new LEP incentive Clause and maps to: –

o    Amend the Height of Building within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Amend the FSR within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Dedicate a proposed public road being 12 m in width between Park Road and Berry Road and incorporate a (relocated) 6m wide public east-west through site link between Berry Road and Holdsworth Ave.

·          Not permit any variation to a development standard (height of buildings or FSR) through an exclusion from Clause 4.6.

·          Amend Council’s Planning Proposal 25 amalgamation patterns to reflect the Greaton Pty Ltd Landholdings.

·          Insert satisfactory arrangement for provision of a Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) levy.

·          Remove existing 550 m2 minimum lot size and replacing it with no minimum lot size.

Planning Proposal documents

Links to all the proponent’s documents are provided in the ‘Executive Summary’ section of this report.

List of Relevant Strategic Planning Documents

A Metropolis of Three Cities

North District Plan
Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009

Council’s Draft St Leonards South Planning Proposal (incl. draft Development Control Plan, Landscape Master Plan, Section 7.11 Contributions Plan).

Note: The Draft St Leonards/Crows Nest 2036 Plan has completed public exhibition and is awaiting IPC comments (as required by the Draft 2036 Plan) before being reported to Council for final consideration. However, it still can be taken account as part of the Strategic Merit test in the ‘Discussion’ section of this report.

Recommendation

That the Planning Proposal No. 35 be rejected in full and not be forwarded to the Minister for a Gateway Determination.

 

PURPOSE OF REPORT

 

The Lane Cove Local Planning Panel is requested to provide advice on Planning Proposal No.35.

 

Note: Two Concept Development Applications have also been submitted with this Proposal under Division 3.5 of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Act (EP & A Act), however the Panel’s advice is not requested on these matters.

 

REASON FOR REFERRAL

 

The Planning Proposal is referred to Council’s Local Planning Panel under Section 9.1 of the EP & A Act. This Section requires referral of any Planning Proposal to the Local Planning Panel for advice with an assessment report which sets out recommendations in relation to the Proposal and whether or not to the Proposal should be forwarded to the Minister under Section 3.34.

 

Due to the nature of the Planning Proposal it does not meet any of the following matters for exemption from referral:

 

a)         the correction of an obvious error in a local environmental plan,

b)         matters that are of a consequential, transitional, machinery or other minor nature, or

c)         matters that Council’s General Manager considers will not have any significant adverse impact on the environment or adjoining land.

 

Therefore the Planning Proposal must be referred to the Local Planning Panel for advice prior to Council making any determination on the matter.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

As shown in Figure 1, this Planning Proposal is covered by Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for the St Leonards South Precinct which was granted a Gateway Determination in September 2016, has been publicly exhibited and is awaiting review by the Independent Planning Commission. It is yet to be reported to Council for final determination.

 

On 8 February 2019, Council received draft Planning Proposal 35 from Greaton Pty Ltd (with an addendum) to amend Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 (LCLEP 2009) as it relates to certain land located within the St Leonards South precinct at 24-34 Berry Road, 23-31 Holdsworth Avenue and 42-46 River Road, St Leonards (East Quarter) and 26-36 Park Road and 27-39 Berry Road, St Leonards (West Quarter) by adopting the Council-sponsored draft PP 25 with amendments detailed in draft PP35.

 

Planning Proposal 35 is also accompanied by:

 

·          Design Report & Concept Scheme plans;

·          Voluntary Planning Agreement letter of offer;

·          Proposed LEP maps;

·          Draft Development Control Plan compliance table;

·          Traffic & Transport Assessment;

·          Heritage Impact Statement;

·          Landscape Design Report;

·          Economic Impact Assessment;

·          Site Surveys; and

·          East Quarter Shadow study.

 

Two separate Concept Development Applications for the East and West Quarters were also submitted at the same time along with a Voluntary Planning Agreement letter of offer, but none of these documents are the subject of this referral. Council’s adopted policy is that any VPA would be assessed separately by Council at a later stage to ensure that any Planning Proposal is considered on its own merits.

 

As Council’s Planning Proposal 25 has received Gateway Determination and been publicly exhibited it has the status of being a ‘proposed instrument’ and can be considered in any development assessment under Clause 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The proponent acknowledges this status in their documents and assesses their Proposal to be “generally consistent” with the intent and objectives of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

Council’s urban design consultant has also reviewed (see AT-1) the proponent’s Planning Proposal against Council’s Proposal (AT-2), associated Draft DCP (AT-3 & AT-4) and Landscape Master Plan (AT-5).

 

Council’s consultant, is of the view that the proponent-led PP35 fails to comply with Council’s draft PP25 and places at risk the fundamental principles, objectives and desired outcomes proposed by draft PP25’s LEP amendments, DCP and related documents. However, there may be some non-compliances with Council’s draft DCP, which should be addressed at the appropriate DA stage.

 

The Panel is requested to review and consider issues and amendments proposed by the proponent along with the views and concerns raised in this report. In particular, the Planning Proposal No 35 is not supported and should not proceed to the Gateway Determination for the following reasons:

 

·          Fails the strategic and site-specific merit test because it is not consistent with the findings of the Draft 2036 Plan and does not consider the potential impacts of relocating the east-west connection;

 

·          Is contrary to PP25 which has the status of a ‘proposed instrument’;

 

·          Is inconsistent with the objectives of PP25 in regard to –

 

o    amalgamations patterns,

o    pedestrian links,

o    bonus FSR and height incentives,

o    green spines and minimum building separations,

o    deep soil and basement parking, and

o    Landscape Master Plan requirements.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

SITE


Figure 1 shows the proponent has broken the site into two separate Quarters as follows:

 

·          East Quarter (total site area 7,643 m2)

o    24-34 Berry Road,

o    23-31 Holdsworth Avenue and

o    42-46 River Road, St Leonards.

 

·          West Quarter (total site area 5,605 m2)

o    26-36 Park Road and

o    27-39 Berry Road, St Leonards.

 

Fig 1: Location of Proponent’s sites within the St Leonards South Residential Precinct area

 

It is important to note that only 4,362 m2 of the West Quarter is proposed for development due to the presence of the existing Berry Lane and proposed new east-west road (this road is not subject to any incentive heights and floor space ratios in Council’s proposal).

 

Figure 2 shows that these sites form most but not all of “Areas” 18, 19, 20 & 22 as defined in Council’s St Leonards South Planning Proposal.

 

Fig 2: Subject sites, showing both East and West Quarters against Council’s required amalgamations

 

BACKGROUND

 

The proponents Proposal seeks to amend the Council sponsored PP 25 and as such the following background forms an important context to any consideration to override this advanced proposal.

 

In 2012, Council resolved to undertake a master planning process for the precinct in St Leonards bounded by the Pacific Highway to the north, the railway line to the east, River Road to the south and Greenwich Road to the west. A Community Liaison Committee was formed by Council resolution which sought to undertake a St Leonards Strategy in two parts:

 

·          Stage 1 – existing conditions and issues report; and

·          Stage 2 – Growth Scenarios report.

 

Stage 1 (2012 – 2014)

 

Consultants David Lock and Associates (DLA) were engaged to complete Stage 1 of the St Leonards Strategy which included:-

 

·          Consideration of the current State, metropolitan and local strategic planning context;

·          A summary of existing conditions such as land use, demographic profile, urban structure and built form, public domain and natural features, vehicular and pedestrian access and movement, and physical infrastructure;

·          A summary of the community consultation undertaken as part of Stage 1; and

·          An analysis of issues and opportunities for the precinct, including that the area “is well located for potential urban consolidation opportunities”.

 


 

 

 

Stage 2 (2014 – 2015)

 

A draft St Leonards South Master Plan and supporting documents were prepared by urban planning consultants in 2014, in response to initial technical and community feedback received through a series of community sessions and workshops. It was endorsed by Council for further public consultation on 8 December 2014, this included additional community drop-in and information sessions in 2015.

 

The Draft Plan discussed potential changes to the zoning and scale of areas in the precinct as well as the provision of community facilities, open space and other matters.

 

Principles

 

The draft Master Plan was based on the principles of Transit-Orientated development (TOD) and were informed by the community consultation described above. The principles are:

 

1)         Liveability

2)         Housing for all stages of life

3)         Maximise walkability/cycling/access

4)         Amenity

5)         Public domain, Open space and Streetscape

6)         Efficient traffic flow

7)         Community facilities

8)         Appropriate lot sizes for amalgamation

9)         Appropriate infrastructure & controlled stormwater

10)       Financial viability & Options for increased growth

 

Planning Proposal 25

 

On 13 July 2015, Council resolved to amend and adopt the St Leonards South Master Plan. It also resolved to amend the Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan to permit the rezoning of a portion of the precinct up to Park Road (east-side) for the purposes of higher density residential development. Council’s Planning Proposal 25 was submitted in May 2016 and approved by the State Government's 'Gateway' process in September 2016, subject to a number of supporting studies being undertaken.

 

From 19 May 2016 to September 2017, the amended Planning Proposal was being refined and Gateway Conditions addressed. The LEP amendment is supported by studies that informed a DCP, Landscape Master Plan, and S94 Contributions Plan. Further studies included an Urban Design Report, shadow analysis, traffic studies, accessibility, and various economic reviews (open space, key worker housing, land values, etc). The amendments were completed, and NSW Department of Planning and Environment authorised the public exhibition of Council’s Proposal in October 2017.

 

Between 30 October 2017 and 5 January 2018, Council sought community's feedback in relation to draft Local Environmental Plan (LEP) amendments and other supporting documents for the St Leonards South Residential Precinct. Two (2) Community Drop-In sessions were held on in November and December 2017.

 

Intent of Council’s Planning Proposal

 

The intent of Council’s Planning Proposal is largely explained in the Planning Proposal document and in a ‘Plain English’ explanation (see AT-6):

 

“Council’s vision for St Leonards South is to create a liveable precinct by ensuring a holistic approach to housing while having regard to urban design, open space, pedestrian and traffic movements. This Planning Proposal is the next step in the process of achieving this vision by implementing site-specific planning controls which will coordinate development”.

 

An ‘incentive’ clause and maps will control development; the maps will identify suitable locations where additional floor space and height can be achieved. However:

 

“These eligible sites must meet preferred land amalgamation patterns and have a high level of landscaping (as defined in the Landscape Master Plan) in order to be considered for incentives.

 

Further incentives are available to select sites closest to the St Leonards Station if they provide open space, multi-purpose facilities (child-care centres and community halls), key worker housing, and efficient pedestrian and traffic circulation. These incentives are designed to promote appropriately located built form that transitions down from the St Leonards Station to River Road”.

 

It is also important to note that the floor space ratios and heights (shown in metres) in Council’s Proposal will be maximums and a new clause will prevent the use of a clause 4.6 variation.

 

Additional Council resolutions

 

At its meeting held on the 19 March 2018, Council resolved to:-

 

"Write to the Anthony Roberts MP, Minister for Planning, the Minister for Housing, and the Special Minister of State, requesting: - An extension of time for Council to complete the St Leonards South Planning Proposal to allow for the public release and consideration of the St Leonards / Crows Nest Planned Precinct Draft Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan".

 

This was “to allow the community and Councillors to understand the Government's plans for the whole area, particularly in relation to the provision of infrastructure, prior to further considering the Planning Proposal”. A 12-month extension was subsequently granted. In addition, at Council’s meeting held on the 20 August 2018, it was resolved that Council: -

 

“As the planning proposal authority for the Lane Cove LGA, resolve to seek a moratorium on any new planning proposals involving a residential use as per the Minister’s initiative, until the earlier of 1 July 2020 or the completion of any gazetted amendments to the Lane Cove LEP in respect of any Land Use Infrastructure and Implementation Plan produced by the Department of Planning’s Priority Precinct planning process”.

 

Draft St Leonards and Crows Nest 2036 Plan

 

The St Leonards/Crows Nest Planned Precinct is identified by the North District Plan (NDP) as “a mixed-use centre with high-rise offices, and high-density residential development”. Action 34 of the NDP focuses growth subject to “growing jobs in the centre”. Additional capacity for housing supply is a secondary but important function of the precinct. It is from these two purposes of the North District Plan that the 2036 Plan has emerged.

 

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment released the draft plans and supporting documents for the St Leonards and Crows Nest Planned Precinct for community consultation from October 2018 to 8 February 2019. When it is finalised, areas identified for change will be implemented by Councils through changes to their Local Environment Plans.

 

As part of the 2036 Plan, feedback in response to the Local Character Statement consultation undertaken by the Department in March 2018 “included a range of differing and sometimes opposing views on the proposal.” As a result,

 

The draft Plan recommends referral of the proposal to an independent panel for review to ensure consistency with conditions of the Gateway Determination and this draft Plan. (p 63)

 

At this time, Council’s Planning Proposal is yet to be reviewed by the Independent Planning Panel (now known to be the Independent Planning Commission).

 

Advice on status of Council’s Planning Proposal

 

Council has sought advice on the legal status of its current Planning Proposal and to what degree Council’s Planning Proposal can be taken into account as part of the assessment of the proponent’s Proposal.

 

That advice confirms that Council’s Proposal has received a Gateway Determination it is a ‘proposed instrument’ and because it has been the subject of public consultation under the EP&A Act, it must be considered when assessing any development application within the subject area. Under section 4.15(1)(a)(ii) of the EP&A Act such a planning proposal must be considered in determining any development application in respect of land to which the planning proposal relates.

 

It is also important to note that the proponent’s Planning Proposal acknowledges this status and provides an assessment against the objectives of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

As a result, because Council’s Planning Proposal No 25, has “received a gateway determination to proceed and has been the subject of public consultation” it is further advanced than the Proponent’s Planning Proposal, and needs to be addressed and considered in any assessment. By reason of being less advanced in the process of becoming a ‘proposed instrument’, the proponent’s Proposal should be assessed against the objectives and provisions of Council’s Planning Proposal.

 

Against this background, two recent planning proposals initiated by developers within the St Leonards South precinct are to be assessed.

 

PROPOSAL

 

The proponent-led Planning Proposal seeks to amend Lane Cove Local Environmental Plan 2009 as follows:

 

·          Rezone the site from R2 Low Density Residential to R4 High Density Residential Zone.

·          Insert new LEP incentive Clause and maps to: –

o    Amend the Height of Building within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Amend the FSR within the subject area to be “generally consistent” with Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

o    Dedicate a proposed public road being 12 m in width between Park Road and Berry Road.

o    Incorporate a (relocated) 6m wide public east-west through site link between Berry Road and Holdsworth Ave.

·          Not permit any variation to a development standard (height of buildings or FSR) through an exclusion from Clause 4.6.

·          Amend Council’s Planning Proposal 25 amalgamation patterns to reflect the Greaton Pty Ltd Landholdings.

·          Insert satisfactory arrangement for provision of a Special Infrastructure Contributions (SIC) levy.

·          Remove existing 550 m2 minimum lot size and replacing it with no minimum lot size.

 

The proposed development in the East Quarter would comprise a series of apartment buildings in two rows ranging from 4 storeys on River Road to 9 and 10 storeys further up the site to the north. It would consist of two building blocks which are virtually contiguous. Only one part of this site is proposing to increase the draft height limit by 1 metre (up to 32m). While the proposed development in the West Quarter would comprise two buildings each of 8 storey height, with part of the eastern building being 10 storeys in height. These buildings appear to be consistent with all draft LEP height limits in Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

 

The resulting building envelopes in the East Quarter are continuous with one part of the building being 93m x 20m and the other being 85m x 20m. This is contrary to Council’s Planning Proposal 25 which are generally for individual envelopes of 40 m x 20 m. However, the building envelope for the West Quarter are generally consistent.

 

In terms of these sites, Council’s Proposal is offering incentive height & FSR for each site, but only in return for the following public benefits:-

 

·          meet preferred amalgamation patterns (for equitable development);

·          compliance with Landscape Masterplan, incl. Green Spines;

·          provide the prescribed Public Infrastructure (6m path from Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue).

 

However, Greaton has elected to omit two lots from their proposed amalgamation pattern (in the West Quarter) and has purchased the two lots that Council had proposed to acquire for the proposed new road.  In return for providing and dedicating the new road, they have sought to omit the two lots that were not acquired while still seeking the incentive bonuses.

 

Similarly in the East Quarter, the proposal states that the landowner has been unable to negotiate the purchase of the two northernmost lots, however no evidence has been provided to demonstrate this. Further, the proposed 6m wide pathway from Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue in Area 20 (see figure 2) has been relocated to suit the proponent’s landholdings.

 

All of these amalgamation patterns were specifically designed to achieve best practice urban design, planning & built form outcomes – namely maximising solar access, creating directly aligned through-site connections to existing and proposed open spaces, universal accessibility and delivers community infrastructure in appropriate locations. Many of the other matters raised in the proponent’s proposal do not relate to the draft LEP controls and can be addressed at the Development Application stage.

 


 

 

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

This section examines the provisions of the proponent’s Planning Proposal against the strategic and site-specific merit test as well as consistency against Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

 

When considering a Planning Proposal, A guide to preparing Local Environmental Plans (prepared by NSW Department of Planning & Environment) applies to the following strategic and site-specific merit test to assess proposals.

 

Strategic Merit test

 

Is the Planning Proposal:

 

·          Consistent with the relevant regional plan outside of the Greater Sydney Region, the relevant district plan within the Greater Sydney Region, or corridor/precinct plans applying to the site, including any draft regional, district or corridor/precinct plans released for public comment?

 

While the proponent’s Planning Proposal does demonstrate general consistency with the Greater Sydney Region Plan and North District Plan it does not exhibit consistency with the Draft 2036 Plan document which was released for public comment from October 2018 till 8 February 2019.

 

The Draft 2036 Plan recommends that Council’s Planning Proposal for St Leonards South be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for review (see Figure 3 below).

 

Fig 3: Draft 2036 Plan – Proposed Changes

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal falls within the same area as Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for St Leonards South and has been referred to the Independent Planning Commission by the proponent.

 

 

 

·          Consistent with a relevant local strategy that has been endorsed by the Department?

 

Comment:

 

Not relevant, as only two (2) Local Government Areas in all of Sydney have strategies that have been endorsed (fully or in part) by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

 

·          Responding to a change in circumstances, such as the investment in new infrastructure or changing demographic trends that have not been recognized by existing planning controls?

 

Comment:

 

A draft Section 7.11 Contributions Plan, Cumulative Transport and Accessibility Study and Cumulative Traffic Study was exhibited as part of Council’s Planning Proposal 25. These plans propose a range of infrastructure upgrades and take into account changing demographic trends.

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal 35 and supporting studies do not refute these findings nor do they propose any additional infrastructure envisaged by either Council’s Planning Proposal or the State Government’s Draft 2036 Plans.

 

Council’s Planning Proposal 25 has directly responded to a change in circumstance i.e. investment in new infrastructure which will improve accessibility, primarily to the existing St Leonards train station. Council’s draft Transport and Accessibility Study also recommended a range of infrastructure upgrades that would not only improve connectivity for the residential precinct but improve it more broadly, and provide for better connections to the new Crows Nest Metro Station as well.

 

Site-specific merit test

 

If the Planning Proposal has demonstrated strategic merit, then the site-specific merit must have regard to:

 

·          the natural environment (including known significant environmental values, resources or hazards)

 

Comment:

 

Significant environmental values or resources are not likely to be impacted as a result of the proponent’s Proposal, nor is the land affected by any known hazards.

 

·          the existing uses, approved uses and likely future uses of land in the vicinity of the land subject to a proposal

 

Comment:

 

In the East Quarter, due to the proponent’s relocation of the 6m wide east-west link between Berry Road and Holdsworth Avenue (in Area 20) it would significantly impact on the likely future uses of land in vicinity. 

 

By relocating this east-west link to suit the proponent’s current landholdings it would directly impact on the potential built form of the sites located above (Areas 16 & 17) and their ability to provide community infrastructure in predetermined locations. Under Council’s Planning Proposal, Area 16 (see figure 2) is required to provide one-half of the central east-west link (in Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue), while Area 17 is required to deliver the multi-purpose community facility and lift access.

 

While no community infrastructure is proposed to be delivered in the West Quarter, the proponent’s Planning Proposal does not amalgamate lots in Park Road and proposes to uses Council’s proposed new road (in their ownership) to meet their minimum site area requirements. Apart from significantly disadvantaging the Park Road lots and not achieving desired built form outcomes, it does not comply with the principles/standards of the Master Plan to ‘avoid isolating sites from development potential’. Under Council’s Planning Proposal 25, the new road was never proposed to be used as part of any site area or delivered by the LEP incentive mechanisms.

 

Therefore, it is considered that the proponent has not adequately considered the impacts of their proposal nor is it consistent with the planning intent of Council’s Master Plan or Planning Proposal.

 

·          the services and infrastructure that are or will be available to meet the demands arising from the proposal and any proposed financial arrangements for infrastructure provision.

 

Comment:

 

Not relevant as Council’s Planning Proposal already addresses these matters.

 

The proponent’s plan seeks to take advantage of the Council’s sponsored PP 25 provisions.

 

Consistency with Council’s Planning Proposal

 

The following assessment of the proponent’s Planning Proposal 35 is provided in tables below against the relevant LEP & DCP provisions and planning intent of Council’s Planning Proposal 25. Following this, the reason for each of the major non-compliances is addressed. For a more detailed assessment of all the prescriptive measures of PP35, refer to Council’s consultant report (AT-1).

 

Matters for consideration

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 35)

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Complies with Planning intent

1.Amalgamation Patterns (see Figs 4 & 5)

Areas 18, 19 & 20 missing 2 lots & not fully amalgamated. (7,643 m2.)

 

 

 

Area 22 missing 2 lots & not fully amalgamated.    (3,490 m2. Excluding non-amalgamated properties in Park Road, lane and new E-W road)

Areas 18, 19 & 20 (East Qtr) (all 16 lots) to be fully amalgamated, with a total minimum area of 8,200 m2.

 

Area 22 (West Qtr) to be fully amalgamated, with a total minimum area of 4,200 m2.

No, see discussion below

2.Incentive FSR

(see Figs 6 & 7)

Areas 18,19, 20 & 22 = 2.75:1

Areas 18,19, 20 & 22 = 2.75:1

No, see discussion below

3.Incentive HOB Building Heights

(see Figs 8 & 9)

Areas 18,19 & 20 = 32m & 15m

 

Area 22 = 31m 

 

Lift overruns are shown for West Quarter buildings but. no evidence of lift overruns included in heights in East Quarter

Areas 18,19 & 20 = 31m & 15m

 

Area 22 = 31m

 

Lift overruns must be included as well.

No, see discussion below

 

No, see discussion below

4.Public benefits (see Figs 10 & 11)

East-west pedestrian connections:

 

* 12m wide public road in correct position;

 

* 6m wide path has been moved further north in PP35 & now does not align with E-W connection from Holdsworth Avenue to Canberra Avenue

East-west pedestrian connections:

 

* 12m wide public road;

 

* 6m wide E-W path from Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue (directly aligning with E-W link from Holdsworth Avenue to Canberra Avenue)

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

No, see discussion below

North-south pedestrian paths:

Ramps & lifts not proposed

North-south pedestrian paths:

Ramps & lifts sought by Council

No

VPA to provide pathway & public road in return for reduction in all S7.11 contributions

Provide pathway in return for bonus FSR/HOB (LEP incentive mechanisms)

No

5.Green Spines & Building separations (see Figs 12 & 13)

Across the Green spine =

 

East Quarter – 24m

West Quarter – 18m

Across the Green spine =

 

East Quarter – 24m

West Quarter – 24m

No, see discussion below

North-south = 9m & 12m

North-south = ADG (= 6m between non-habitable rooms)

Yes

6.Building footprints (see Figs 14 & 15)

East Quarter

 

East Building – 93m x 20m

 

 

 

West Building – 85m x 20m

 

 

 

 

West Quarter

 

East Building – 55m x 18m

West Building – 55m x 20m

 

 

East Building – 90m x 20m (includes Areas 18 & 20) but should be 40m x 20m

 

West Building – 80m x 20m (includes Areas 19 & 20) but should generally be 40m x 20m

 

Area 22

 

East Building – 55m x 20m

West Building – 55m x 20m

 

 

No, see discussion below

 

 

 

No, see discussion below

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

Consistency with Draft Development Control Plan & Landscape Master Plan

 

Matters for consideration

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 35)

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Complies with Planning intent

7.Landscape plan (see Figs 16, 17, 18 & 19)

No contiguous north-south or east-west accessibility.                                                                                        No children's play areas.                                                                                            Shortage of formal seating.

List of required landscape features (Landscape Master Plan)

No, see discussion below

8.Setbacks

East Quarter

 

Holdsworth Avenue:

- 4m street level

- No upper level setbacks

 

Berry Road:

- 10m street level

- No upper level setbacks

 

River Road:

- 10m street level

- + 7m at & above Level 5

- + extra 5m at & above Level 6

 

 

Holdsworth Ave:

- 4m at street level

- +3m at & above level 6

 

Berry Road:

- 4m at street level

- +3m at & above level 6

 

River Road:

- 10m street level

- + 7m at & above Level 4

- + extra 7m at & above Level 6

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Yes

Yes

 

Yes

West Quarter

 

Berry Road:

- 4m at street level

- No upper level setbacks

 

Park Road:

-           10m at streel level

-           +2m at & above Level 3

No other setback

 

 

Berry Road:

- 4m at street level

- +3m at & above level 6

 

Park Road:

-           10m at street level

-           +3m at and above Level 3

+3m at and above Level 6

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Yes

No

 

No

9.Parking Intrusion under Green Spine (see Figs 20 & 21)

West Quarter

 

Deep soil = only 33%.

Deep soil = min of 50% of Green Spine.

 

Basement only permitted into deep-soil Green Spine after two levels of basement parking has been provided under the building footprint

No, see discussion below

10.Solar access onsite and beyond

East Quarter - Onsite

Complies for 71%

 

West Quarter - Onsite

Complies for 92% (claimed)

 

Neighbours = 2 hrs sunlight midwinter preserved for neighbours west, south & east

Onsite = ADG (70% of units)

 

 

 

 

 

Neighbours = 2 hrs sunlight midwinter

Yes

11.Incentive DCP Building Heights (storeys)

East Quarter

 

Area 18 & 19 = 9 & 10 storeys

 

Areas 20 = 4 to 9 storeys

 

 

West Quarter

 

Area 22 = 8 & 10 storeys

 

 

Area 18 & 19 = 8 storeys

 

Area 20 = 6 & 4 storeys

 

 

 

Area 22 = 8 & 10 storeys

 

DCP 6.4.6: “Part storeys resulting from excavation of steep slopes and as activating frontages for basement or semi basement parking will not count as storeys.”

 

 

No, see discussion below

 

No, see discussion below

 

 

 

Yes

 


 

 

 

Schedule of Figures

 

Council’s Planning Proposal (No. 25)

Proponent’s Planning Proposal (No. 35)

Fig 4 – Council’s proposed amalgamation patterns

Fig 5 – Proponent’s proposed amalgamation patterns

Fig 6 - Council’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratios

Fig 7 – Proponent’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratios

Fig 8 - Council’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings

Fig 9 – Proponent’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings

Fig 10 – Diagram showing Council’s proposed 6 metre wide East-West path

Fig 11- Diagram showing Proponent’s proposed (relocated) 6 metre wide East-West path

Fig 12 - Council’s proposed Green Spines in Area 22

Fig 13 – Proponent’s proposed Green Spines in Area 22

Fig 14 - Council’s proposed Building Footprints and Floors

Fig 15 – Proponent’s proposed Building Footprints and Floors

 

Fig 16 – Proponent’s proposed Landscape Plan for Area 22

 

Fig 17 – Proponent’s proposed Landscape Plan for Areas 18, 19 and 20

Fig 18 – Council’s proposed Landscape Plan for Area 22

 

Fig 19 – Council’s proposed Landscape Plan for Areas 18, 19 and 20

 

Fig 20 – Council’s proposed Basements permitted under Green Spines

Fig 21 – Proponent’s proposed Basement intrusion under Green Spines

 

Amalgamation Patterns

 

Fig 4: Council’s proposed amalgamation patterns                      Fig 5: Proponent’s proposed amalgamation patterns


 

 

Proposal:

 

The proponent acknowledges that there are 4 lots which they have not acquired, in Areas 18, 19 and 22. A letter has been provided by the applicant that indicates that the owner of a Park Road property (in the West Quarter) on 28 December 2017 did not intend to sell their property at that time.  No evidence has been provided by Greaton that any of the remaining three owners have been contacted, nor that offers of purchase have been negotiated.

 

In the West Quarter, the two residential lots, being in Park Road, are proposed to be concurrently rezoned with the Greaton lands adjacent to ensure the future viability of the sites for redevelopment at a scale and density consistent with their adjacent development.

 

In the East Quarter, the applicant Greaton has reduced the proposed Areas 18 & 19 by two lots, and has proposed to relocate the east-west pathway further north on their site in the East Quarter, as an alternative to Council’s nominated location.

 

Comment:

 

Council’s Planning for this entire area is designed and proposed on a precinct-wide basis while having regard to the site-specific merits of each site.

 

The proposed West Quarter amalgamation is not considered acceptable as Council’s proposal requires all of Area 22 to be amalgamated into a single site. This Area is designed to accommodate a reduced transitional scale with greater than usual street setback to Park Road (10m at street level; +3m at Level 3; +3m at Level 6) having regard to the adjacent lower density buildings and heritage items. By fully amalgamating the site area (as shown in figure 4) building massing can be transferred to the building on Berry Road where heights (in storeys) are relatively similar and consistent based on Figure 5.

 

The proponent is seeking the LEP incentives without achieving the planning intent. The applicant has not provided evidence that both owners at Park Road have been contacted or that genuine offers to purchase have been made.  Furthermore, the remaining two lots would become isolated which is not consistent with the principles of the Master Plan or Planning Proposal. The new pattern and built form in the West Quarter would not only prevent the desired urban design, planning and built form outcomes from being achieved but also directly adversely impact the owners of the Park Road properties.

 

In the East Quarter, the proponent has not provided evidence of attempts to purchase the remaining two lots (located in Areas 18 & 19), which forms part of their required amalgamation pattern, nor is there evidence that they have approached that owner. It is not clear why the proponent has proposed the relocation of the 6m wide east-west connection from Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue.

 

The particular location required by Council’s PP25 for the 6m wide east-west pedestrian link between Newlands Park, Canberra Avenue and Berry Road aims to create a:

 

a)         contiguous straight line of travel from Berry Road to Newlands Park;

b)         direct east-west pedestrian link to facilitate and encourage a walkable and healthy community;

c)         safe, legible, and coherent east-west corridor.

 

The proposed relocation is not appropriate or justified on planning grounds places of risk a primary element of PP25 and fails all three criteria for location.

 

Secondly, as discussed below, the bonus FSR and Height is an incentive for Area 20 to provide the 6m wide east-west pedestrian link in that location. By relocating it to conform to the proponent’s landholdings the applicant seeks to claim bonuses without fully satisfying the need to provide a link where it is located in the Incentives Height map.

 

Thirdly, under the provisions of PP25, all FSR/Height bonuses are based on careful consideration of urban design and planning outcomes (i.e. transit-orientated development principles, transitional building scale, maximising solar access to proposed units, surrounding dwellings and existing tree canopy cover) as well as calculation of viable yield for each site area within the entire St Leonards South precinct. This alternative consolidated lot pattern and built form would not only adversely affect Areas 18 & 19 but also the urban design, planning outcomes and the bonus/yield calculations for Areas 16 & 17, which are currently required to provide one half of the east-west link between Berry Road and Holdsworth Avenue and a multi-purpose community facility (with connecting lift access) respectively.

 

To permit the proposed amendment to the endorsed Gateway amalgamation pattern would set an unacceptable precedent for other Areas, with corresponding disruption of urban design and planning outcomes as well as viable benefit/bonus calculations it would put at risk the fundamental master plan approach adopted by PP No. 25.

 

Incentive FSR

 

Fig 6: Council’s Proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratio              Fig 7: Proponent’s proposed Incentive Floor Space Ratio

 

Proposal:

 

The proposal is to claim the bonus FSRs for Areas 18, 19, 20 & 22 is 2.75:1 (as shown in figures 6 & 7) in return for public benefits:

 

a)         A 6m wide path linking Holdsworth Avenue and Berry Road (relocated to go through Areas 18 & 19);

b)         Consolidate into a minimum of single lots of a minimum area which suits their landholding patterns

 

 

Comment:

 

The proponent has inappropriately applied the intent of the FSR incentives scheme in a manner that would not allow it to function properly for surrounding owners.

 

Figure 7 shows that the intent of the incentives scheme is not being achieved given:

 

a)         In the West Quarter, the proposed new road between Park and Berry Roads was to be achieved by land acquisition separately and not to be developed for higher density.

b)         In the East Quarter, a 6m wide path is offered but in a different location that compromises Council’s proposed east-west pedestrian link from Berry Road to Holdsworth Avenue linking to the other east-west connection in Area 11 to Newlands Park;

c)         Area 18, 19 & 20 is required to be a minimum of 8,200m2.  However, with the omission of two lots the proposed Area 18, 19 & 20 is reduced to 7,643m2, which does not meet the incentives scheme prerequisite;

d)         Area 22 is required to be a minimum of 4,200m2.  However, with the omission of the two lots in Park Road, proposed Area 22 is reduced to 3,490m2, which does not meet the incentives scheme prerequisite;

 

In terms of the West Quarter, the proposed new road is not subject to any bonus floor space incentives (as seen in Figure 6) as it was never intended to be developed. This is clearly stated in the objectives and intent of Council’s Planning Proposal 25 (and Plain English version) that this road would be achieved by land acquisition:

 

Identified lands to be acquired will be valued as if it was able to be developed at the same scale as adjacent lots (i.e. with a floor space ratio of 2.75:1).

 

Using the proposed road as part of a development site is not consistent with the objectives or intent of Council’s Planning Proposal 25.

 

The proponent may argue that the public benefits are being provided, albeit in a slightly different location for the 6m path, and therefore the “Incentive” FSR is earned. However, as stated above under Amalgamation Patterns, the 6m path (in the East Quarter) is being offered in an inappropriate location.

 

For these reasons the public benefits do not match the intent of the bonus offer and impacts on the ability of other sites to achieve and deliver community benefits and infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Incentive Height of Building

 

Fig 8: Council’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings             Fig 9: Proponent’s proposed Incentive Height of Buildings

 

Proposal:

 

The proposal seeks to claim the bonus Height of Building for:

 

East Quarter

 

·          Areas 18 & 19 & Part Area 20 = 31 & 32 m

 

·          Remaining part of Area 20 (facing River Road) = 15m

 

West Quarter

 

·          Portion of Area 22 (facing Park Road) = 2.5 m and 31m

 

·          Portion of Area 22 (facing Berry Road) = 37m

 

in return for public benefits:

 

a)         A 6m wide path linking Holdsworth Avenue and Berry Road (relocated through Areas 18 and 19);

 

b)         Consolidate into a minimum of single lots of a minimum area which suits their landholding patterns.

 

Comment:

 

Figure 9 shows that the intent of the incentives scheme is not being achieved given:

 

a)         In the West Quarter, the intent of applying a 2.5m height limit on the new proposed road site (seen in Figure 8) was to “prevent development in areas identified for public parks, communal open space, walkways and roads” (this is discussed in more detail later). 

 

b)         A 6m wide path is offered but in a different location that compromises Council’s proposed east-west pedestrian link from Newlands Park and Canberra Avenue to Berry Road.

 

Further, the proposed changes in height (and built form) in the East Quarter appear to be the result of non-compliance with Council’s proposed amalgamation pattern. As seen in figure 9, there is an increase in proposed building height to 32 metres and part of the building in Area 20 has also been removed.

 

Council’s urban design advice notes that this would create a long continuous building in the East Quarter with no visual break (or separation) in the buildings. It would increase visual bulk to Holdsworth Avenue and Berry Road substantially (as seen in figure 15) and does not appear to improve solar access outcomes.

 

Given the above, these proposed height changes provide no obvious benefits, do not improve the built form or amenity of the area and appears to only suits the current landholdings of the proponent without providing any additional public benefits.

 

 

Public Benefits

 

Fig 10: Council 6 metre wide E-W path (shown in yellow)              Fig 11: Proponent relocated 6 metre wide E-W path

 

Proposal:

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal seeks to provide the following public benefits:

 

a)         6m wide proposed pathway Berry-to-Holdsworth pathway (as seen in figure 11);

b)         A proposal to construct and dedicate a 12m wide public road in the specified location.

 

Both the pathway and road would be the subject of a Voluntary Planning Agreement offer.  The VPA offers to construct and dedicate the two through-site links. In return, payment of the normal S7.11 contributions for the entire development site are to be reduced.

 

Further, in its Planning Proposal, Greaton has stated that:

 

 “this proponent initiated Planning Proposal seeks to unlock the development of the Greaton owned St Leonards South sites and de-couple them from the draft 2036 Plan process.  Existing delays are causing significant holding costs to the landowner and appear to be unwarranted.”


 

 

Comment:

 

The offer of bonus FSR and building height in Area 20, was calculated to provide a viable incentive for the provision of the east-west links having regard to built form outcomes and appropriate locations. The proposed relocated 6m wide pathway Berry-to-Holdsworth Avenue is not contiguous with Council’s proposed Holdsworth-to-Canberra pathway (as seen in figures 10 & 11). The purpose of having these contiguous links is to provide a safe, legible and coherent east-west corridor. Another reason the relocation of the proponent’s section is not considered acceptable is it helps reduce the visual bulk and scale of the buildings. As such, the proponent would not achieve the intent of the incentive.

 

As stated earlier, the proposed new road in the West Quarter is to be acquired and constructed by Council and not delivered through any LEP incentive mechanism.

 

The extra costs of land holding and financing that have been incurred by the landowner is a result of their decision to purchase lands at an early time in the non-guaranteed rezoning process. Likewise, a result of their decision to purchase in a period of market buoyancy can only be at their risk. Any risk is born by the landowner, and any consequent losses or gains cannot be now charged to Council in the form of reduced S7.11.

 

In conclusion, the proponent seeks to make decisions in isolation of Planning Proposal 25 for the precinct and the inter-relationship between this PP and other adjoining owners and PPs.  This would undermine the integrity and the intent of Council’s precinct approach.

 

Green Spines & Building Separations

 

Fig 12: Council’s proposed Green Spine in Area 22                                      Fig 13: Proponent’s proposed Green Spine in Area 22

 

Proposal:

 

In the East Quarter, the proponent has complied with a “Green Spine” width of 24m as required by Council’s draft plans. However, figure 13 above, shows that the distances proposed east-west across the Green Spine for the West Quarter are approximately 18m.

 


 

 

Comment:

 

The Area within the West Quarter is designed to accommodate a reduced transitional scale with greater than usual street setback to Park Road (10m at street level; +3m at Level 3; +3m at Level 6) having regard to the adjacent lower density buildings and heritage items. However, despite the increased front setbacks in Park Road, these buildings can still provide a 24 metre wide Green Spine.

 

The applicant’s proposal for 18m wide ‘green spines’ is contrary to Council’s Draft Landscape Master Plan (shown in figure 12) and therefore threatens the underlying planning intent and principles of the plan and the amenity and privacy of future residents.

 

The planning intent of the Green Spines is not only to achieve compliance with the Apartment Design Guide building separation but also to use best practice urban design principles to create a liveable precinct which maximises solar access to lower level apartment, maximise retention of existing on-site tree canopy cover and a high level of landscaping consistent with the Lane Cove Landscape context. The Green Spines are generally intended to be a consistent 24m wide, to facilitate the creation of integrated “communal” open spaces consistent throughout the precinct, with extensive (50+%) deep soil zones.

 

These controls apply in order to provide the required landscape multi-purpose facilities including childcare play space and community facilities (see Landscape Plan section). Council’s consultant concludes that these shorter distances are “not desirable”, as they reduce building widths and privacy, make communal areas less useable and “make the Green Spine width non-compliant.”

 

Building Footprints

 

Fig 14: Council’s Draft Building Footprints and Floors                   Fig 15: Proponent’s Building footprints and floors

 

Proposal:

 

Figures 14 and 15 indicate that proposed building footprints for the East Quarter have been significantly amended from Council’s proposal (refer to Figures 4 and 5 also). The proponent has proposed a staggered series of apartments running from north to south down the block in two parallel rows, with 10 storeys at the top and reducing to 4 storeys at the bottom. A minimum separation distance of 24m is proposed while the east-west pathway has been relocated further north (in Areas 18 & 19) in order to accommodate their landholdings. This would result in two very long building blocks from that pathway south to River Road. The block length would increase from approximately 40m long in Council’s Proposal to approximately 90m under the proponent’s scheme.

 

While the two West Quarter buildings comply with the 55m length there is only a minimum separation distance of 18m.

 

Comment:

 

East Quarter

 

A re-location northwards of the east-west pedestrian link by approximately 35m would result in a number of undesirable outcomes.  Firstly, the creation of two very long building blocks in the East Quarter would result in an undesirable building length of 90m significantly increasing visual bulk and scale, which is unlikely to be resolved by articulation. No justification for this proposed variation has been given.

 

The East Quarter should be re-designed to reduce block lengths and to re-instate the original pathway locations – which were so located with good planning intent.

 

Secondly, the proposed relocation of the east-west pathway has not been justified.  The proposed new northern location of the pathway is not contiguous with Council’s proposed Holdsworth-to-Canberra pathway and therefore does not provide an overall east-west pedestrian link required by the precinct planning and future resident community.

 

West Quarter

 

The proposed building separation and minimum green spine width of only 18m is contrary to the planning intent of the Green Spines. It would represent an unacceptable planning and community outcome, for which no explanation or justification has been given.

 

Further, no explanation has been provided for the variation proposed in the Park Road building. Council’s urban design consultant notes the proposed variation decreases capacity for gentle transition to the adjoining lower density area in Park Road.

 

Overall, it can again be concluded that Council’s planning intent, both in regard to block length and circulation for East Quarter and in regard to building separation and ‘green spine’ width for West Quarter has not been achieved. Notwithstanding the above, the proposed variations do not provide an acceptable or better planning outcome and would result in unintended and undesirable consequences throughout the entire precinct.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Landscape Plan

 

Fig 16: Proponent’s Landscape Plan for Area 22                                     Fig 17: Proponent’s Landscape Plan for Areas 18, 19 & 20

 

Fig 18: Council’s Landscape Master Plan for Area 22

 

Fig 19: Council’s Landscape Master Plan for Areas 18, 19 & 20

 

Proposal:

 

Planning Proposal 35 proposes screen planting to private terraces, a tiered landscaped area, stepped terraces to provide informal access/seating, natural stone paving, ‘floating’ stairs integrated into a floating landscape, ground cover and mature tree planting, meandering paths creating smaller outdoor spaces, Water Sensitive Urban Design planting and planted roof terraces.

 

Comment:

 

While the Landscape Design Report is strong on landscape elements it fails to address ‘human’ elements such as play areas, seating areas and facilities and accessibility issues.

 

As seen in figures 18 and 19, Council’s Draft Landscape Master Plan requires each Area to provide all these general elements but also ensure that each site provides individual elements to encourage interaction within the communal Green Spines, A series of other desirable outcomes for the Green Spines are also included in Council’s Draft Landscape Master Plan (on page 32) and Development Control Plan.

 

Apart from achieving the amalgamation patterns, compliance with the provisions of Council’s Draft Landscape Master Plan is essential in order to achieve LEP incentives. This intent is clearly stated in its ‘Plain English’ explanation. An ‘incentive’ clause and maps will control development, the maps will identify suitable locations where additional floor space and height can be achieved. However:

 

These eligible sites must meet preferred land amalgamation patterns and have a high level of landscaping (as defined in the Landscape Master Plan) in order to be considered for incentives.

 

Considering the above, compliance with the Landscape Master Plan is essential as the plan details the requirements for both public and private open space typologies as well as other landscaping requirements. As shown in figures 18 and 19 it details preferred landscape elements and continuous layout of the green spines and east-west connections. 

 

Importantly, the proponent fails to provide:

 

·          A continuous north-south and east-west accessibility link;

·          Children’s play areas;

·          Adequate formal seating;

·          BBQ/shelter area;

·          Kickabout lawn.

 

These missing elements are considered essential to a communal open space that welcomes users of all ages and abilities. The proposed variations would create an undesirable precedent for the rest of the precinct and would prevent Council’s vision from being achieved.

 

Parking Intrusion under Green Spines

 

Proposal:

 

As illustrated in figures 20 and 21, the proposed basement parking is under most of the Green Spine, particularly in the East Quarter. The mid-site section suggests that part of the basement is proposed to be 3m below ground surface.

 

Fig 20: PP 25 Basements permitted under Green Spine (DCP)              Fig 21: PP 35 proposed Basement intrusion into Green Spine

 

The proponent’s Urban Design Report states:

 

The basement extent has been carefully considered to allow retention of existing significant trees and provide extensive deep soil, in particular alongside council’s pocket park and at the perimeter of the site.  (p16)

 

Comment:

 

The Draft Development Control Plan accompanying Council’s proposal requires deep soil as a minimum of 50% of the Green Spine. Any basement is only permitted under the Green Spine after two levels of basement parking has been provided under the building footprint.

 

Council’s consultant urban designer provided the following comments with regard to both the East and West Quarter:

 

Parking basement areas intrude into deep soil zones of the ‘Green Spine’. This could however be redesigned to comply (50% absolute deep soil).

 

Furthermore, Council’s consultant urban designer believes that a redesign of both East and West Quarter parking basements can achieve the 50% requirement and should be sought. Again, this is a fundamental requirement of Council’s Planning Proposal and supporting studies which showed that this is not a difficult requirement to meet.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Overall, the proponent’s Planning Proposal is not consistent with the Strategic or Site-specific merit test as it is not consistent with the recommendations of the Draft 2036 Plan nor does it respond adequately to any change in circumstance. However, it also fails to adequately consider the impacts of its proposed changes on the likely uses of surrounding sites as envisaged by Council’s Planning Proposal and supporting documents. It is inconsistent with the PP25 objectives and fundamental urban design elements such as amalgamation patterns, minimum width of green spines, east-west connections, landscape master plan, site specific incentive heights and FSRs and therefore does not and cannot deliver the required inter-connected elements of PP25 to enable the operation of a workable planned precinct.

 

Notwithstanding this, Council’s Planning Proposal has Gateway endorsement to proceed and been the subject of public consultation which gives it legislative status, further the proponent seeks to use Council’s Planning Proposal as part of its justification and foundation. Therefore the Council sponsored PP 25 must be considered in an assessment of a proposal.

 

The resultant non-compliances of PP35 would have unintended negative consequences for both the subject site and the entire precinct, including setting an undesirable precedent for further relocated public amenities, modified built form which would place at risk the delivery of quality urban design & planning outcomes.

 

PP35 would place at risk the fundamental principles, objectives and desired outcomes of Council’s Planning Proposal 25 for St Leonards South which are to achieve a liveable precinct by implementing site-specific controls which will coordinate development in predetermined and appropriate locations and deliver community infrastructure.

 

A number of the other provisions of the proponent’s Planning Proposal are relatively minor in nature and should be addressed at the more appropriate Development Application stage and should be proposed at the DA stage if PP 25 is adopted.

 

Having regard to the above it is recommended that the Greaton Planning Proposal not be supported and not proceed to Gateway Determination.

 


 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Pursuant to Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Lane Cove Local Planning Panel at its meeting of 7 May 2019 recommends against forwarding Planning Proposal No. 35 to the Minister of Planning for a Gateway Determination as it:

 

1)         Fails strategic merit test

 

Reason

 

Not consistent with the findings of the Draft 2036 Plan which recommends that the St Leonards South Planning Proposal be referred to the Independent Planning Commission for review. Further, Council’s Planning Proposal and its supporting documents already responds to a change in circumstances.

 

2)         Fails site-specific merit test

 

Reason

 

The proponent’s Planning Proposal does not consider the potential impacts (i.e. relocating the east-west connection) it will have on the proposed future uses of Areas 18 & 19. It will also significantly disadvantage the owners of properties in Park Road. 

 

3)         Council’s legal advice confirms that Planning Proposal 25 has the status of a ‘proposed instrument’ and has been the subject of public consultation under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act. The proponent also uses Council’s Planning Proposal as justification yet fails to comply with Planning Proposal 25.

 

4)         The proposed relocation of the 6m wide east-west connection in the East Quarter is not appropriate.

 

Reason

 

The original location of Council’s 6m wide east-west pedestrian pathway is intended to provide a contiguous straight-line pedestrian link and a safe, legible and coherent east-west corridor from Newlands Park to Canberra Avenue and Berry Road.

 

The bonus FSR and Height is an incentive for Areas 18-20 & 22 to provide site amalgamation and provide the 6m wide east-west pedestrian link in that location. The applicant seeks the bonuses without seeking to satisfy the intent.

 

5)         In particular, Planning Proposal 35 is inconsistent with the following objectives of Planning Proposal 25:

 

·          Amalgamation patterns

 

Reason

 

These were designed and based on achieving specific urban design & planning outcomes while the proposed variations are designed to suit the proponent’s landholdings.

 

           

·         Proposes to use a site protected from development (i.e. proposed new road between Park and Berry Roads) in order to achieve its development potential in the West Quarter.

 

·          Green Spines

 

Reason

 

These are to be 24m wide, but are 18m wide in the West Quarter.  The 24m width is to facilitate the creation of integrated “communal” open space with extensive (50+%) deep soil zones, consistent throughout the precinct.  The resultant Green Spines in the West Quarter are inadequate.

 

·          Landscape Master Plan

 

Reason

 

The intent of the Landscape Master Plan is to ensure a consistently high level of landscaping is provided throughout the precinct. While the proponent does provide some elements the missing elements (a continuous north-south and east-west link, children’s play areas, adequate formal seating, BBQ/shelter area and Kickabout lawn) are essential to the vision of a communal open space that welcomes users of all ages and abilities.

 

·          Bonus Heights and Floor Space Ratios

 

Reason

 

The intent of Council’s site-specific incentive heights and FSRs is to prevent development in areas identified for public parks, communal open spaces (Green Spines), walkways and roads and provide bonus heights and FSRs in return for identified outcomes. Most of the proponent’s proposed changes are not consistent with overall amenity outcomes.

 

6)         All other matters raised in the proponent’s Planning Proposal are relatively minor in nature and can be addressed at the Development Application stage. However, Council’s urban design advice makes the following comments:

 

·          Proposed parking basements are inconsistent with Council’s Draft Development Control Plan which requires deep soil as a minimum of 50% of the Green Spine. Council’s Urban Design advice states that proponent’s basements are too extensive and intrude into deep soil and Green Spine areas, particularly in the East Quarter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mason

Executive Manager

Environmental Services Division


 

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

AT‑1View

Compliance report on Planning Proposal 34 and Planning Proposal 35

21 Pages

 

AT‑2View

Council's Planning Proposal 25

24 Pages

 

AT‑3View

Council's Draft DCP - Part A

30 Pages

 

AT‑4View

Council's Draft DCP - Part B

35 Pages

 

AT‑5View

Council's Draft Landscape Master Plan

76 Pages

Available Electronically

AT‑6View

Plain English version of Council's Planning Proposal

1 Page

 

 

 


ATTACHMENT 1

Compliance report on Planning Proposal 34 and Planning Proposal 35

 

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ATTACHMENT 2

Council's Planning Proposal 25

 

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ATTACHMENT 3

Council's Draft DCP - Part A

 

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ATTACHMENT 4

Council's Draft DCP - Part B

 

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ATTACHMENT 6

Plain English version of Council's Planning Proposal

 

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