Late Agenda

Ordinary Council Meeting

18 August 2014

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

not interested in any business recommended to be considered in

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

  commence consideration of all other business at 7pm.




Ordinary Council 18 August 2014



Officer Reports for Determination


1.      Proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement for 46-54 Gordon Crescent and 552 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North  






Ordinary Council Meeting 18 August 2014

Proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement for 46-54 Gordon Crescent and 552 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North



Subject:          Proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement for 46-54 Gordon Crescent and 552 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North    

Record No:     DA14/44-01 - 45949/14

Division:         Corporate Services Division

Author(s):       Craig Dalli 



Executive Summary


This report outlines a proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) relating to the subject development site and proposed benefits to the community and Council should it decide to enter into a VPA with the developer CE Concepts No 2 Pty Ltd in respect of the property 46-54 Gordon Crescent, Lane Cove North for the transfer of the land at 552 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North to Council for open space purposes in return for transferring the floor space for that site to the adjacent development at 46-54 Gordon Crescent.


The report will recommend that the proposed VPA be endorsed and placed on public exhibition for 28 days when the Development Application is advertised.




The objective of the Voluntary Planning Agreement system is to extend the means by which planning authorities such as Council may obtain development contributions to provide public amenities, services and other public purposes.


CE Concepts No 2 Pty Ltd (the proponent) seek to transfer the permitted floorspace ratio (FSR) applicable to 552 Mowbray Road to land and buildings at 46-54 Gordon Crescent to provide 14 additional residential dwellings. In return Council would receive the land free of costs for open space purposes. The land has an area of 697sqm and if not acquired by the Developer or Council direct, would result in a single dwelling being surrounded on three sides by multi unit apartment buildings. The proposed VPA provides the opportunity for a good planning outcome by removing an isolated dwelling and assists Council in meeting it’s objective of providing more open space in the Mowbray precinct. It is noted that Council would be responsible for the cost of developing the open space including removal of the single dwelling on the site. The contribution made via the VPA would be in addition to Council’s existing s.94 Contributions for the development site.


To assist Council in determining an appropriate value for the proposed VPA, HillPDA consultants were engaged to undertake an assessment as to the appropriate dollar value of the proposed VPA and community benefits.


The key findings of the above referenced approach are provided in the subsequent sections of this report.


Voluntary Planning Agreements and Public Purpose


Subdivision 2, Division 6 of Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 sets out the system of planning agreements in NSW. Section 93F(1) provides that “a planning agreement is a voluntary agreement or other arrangement between one or more planning authorities and a developer under which the developer agrees to make development contributions towards a public purpose”.


A public purpose is defined by Section 93F(2) of the EP&A Act 1979 to include: the provision of, or the recoupment of the cost of providing public amenities and public services (as defined in s93c), affordable housing, transport or other infrastructure. It also includes the funding of recurrent expenditure relating to such things as the monitoring of the planning impacts of development and the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment.


In keeping with the definition of public purpose, various VPA’s have secured the transfer of land to councils as a public benefit. Examples include the VPA in respect of 7-15 Centennial Avenue and 92-96 Gordon Crescent which provides for the transfer to Council of 15 Centennial Avenue to form part of Stringybark Creek Reserve and the VPA with Meriton for 150 Epping Road, provides in part for the transfer of 13,430sqm of land for a bushland reserve.


The Proposed Voluntary Planning Agreement


The developer of 46-54 Gordon Crescent, Lane Cove North is in the process of purchasing 552 Mowbray Road, Lane Cove North and is proposing to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) with Council. The VPA would involve transferring the permitted FSR (i.e. 1.6:1) applicable to the site to land proposed for a development at 46-54 Gordon Crescent.

As part of the VPA, the developer of 46 -54 Gordon Crescent proposes to dedicate the land at 552 Mowbray Road (total area of 697sqm) to Council for open space uses. It is estimated that 552 Mowbray Road could generate 1,115sqm of floor area on the development site at 46-54 Gordon Crescent. Council Planners advise that the majority of the floor area could be allowed for a 5th floor on 46-54 Gordon Crescent but this would breach the maximum height of 14.5 metres. Consideration of the impacts of the additional floor would be considered during a merits based assessment of the proposed development. The remaining floor area could be added to the lower floors of the proposed development at 46-54 Gordon Crescent.


Benefit to the Developer


The benefit to the developer would be the additional 14 apartments. Hill PDA estimate the value of the additional apartments to be $2.8m ($200,000 per additional unit) based on the resulting increased development site value. This surplus is offset by an additional land purchase cost of $1.98m and other consequent site acquisition costs of between $110,000 to $125,000 (including stamp duty, legal fees and due diligence). The net benefit to the developer is therefore in the range of $0.69m - $0.71m net of costs.


The additional 14 apartments are achievable within the permissible floor space capacity of the amalgamated sites but due to the building envelop constraints of 4 storeys and side boundary setbacks, Hill PDA estimate the amalgamation of 552 Mowbray Road would only achieve 7 to 8 additional units to the existing 50 unit application. It thus is unlikely the developer would acquire 552 Mowbray Road if the VPA was not available for the bonus 14 apartments.


Benefit to the Community and Council


The benefit to Council is 697sqm of open space for a park/community garden in an increasing higher density area. Council is desirous for more open space and it is considered that the location of this land is suitable for that requirement.

Hill PDA also advise that the benefit to Council is the saving in acquisition costs in the order of $2m plus for the purchase of 552 Mowbray Road and the likely asset value of $600,000 once the improvements are demolished and the site is rezoned and developed for open space.


Community Interest Test


Hill PDA consider the VPA passes the community interest test as the VPA value offer by the developer to Council is equal or greater than the benefit they seek. The benefit to Council is both in the saving of land acquisition costs for open space and for the social benefit such open space provides for the community, as well as a good planning outcome.

It is further noted the proposed development if it achieves a 5th level, will be similar in height to adjoining recent developments.


Community Consultation


Statement of Intent


The consultation is designed to permit public submissions on the proposed VPA for development of 46-54 Gordon Crescent.  Any comments received will be reviewed and evaluated as part of any determination as to whether or not to proceed with the VPA.




Level of Participation




Form of Participation




Target Audience

Lane Cove Community and community groups

Properties in the vicinity.

Mowbray Precinct Working Party and local community associations.

Lane Cove Community

Proposed Medium

Advertisement and



Notification Letters

Public Exhibition,

Website Exhibition and Online Survey

Indicative Timing

In conjunction with the Development Application Notification

In conjunction with the Development Application Notification

In conjunction with the Development Application Notification




The proposed VPA whilst benefiting the developer with potential for 14 additional apartments within the development site at 46-54 Gordon Crescent, provides greater benefits to the community through a good planning outcome and the provision of additional open space in the Mowbray Precinct and the last opportunity for removal of an isolated single dwelling surrounded by apartment dwellings, without Council having to acquire the site.


It is therefore recommended that Council exhibit the proposed VPA for public comment in conjunction with the notification of the Development Application for a period of 28 days as required by the legislation. Council will be the consent authority for the Development Application. However, prior to consideration of the application, Council will need to determine whether or not to accept the VPA following the consultation.






1.   Council receive and note the report;


2.   Council give notice of its intention to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement  as outlined in the report with the developer of the subject site in accordance with the consultation strategy outlined in the report; and


3.   Following the community consultation, a further report be submitted to Council for determination.







Craig Dalli

Executive Manager - Corporate Services

Corporate Services Division




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