PRESENT: Hon David Lloyd, Chairman, Mr Graham Brown, Planning Expert, Mr Eugene Sarich, Planning Expert and Ms Mary Rawlings, Community Representative
ALSO PRESENT: Mr Mark Brisby, Executive Manager, Environmental Services, Mr Christopher Pelcz, Co-ordinator Strategic Planning, Mr Terry Tredrea, Strategic Planner, Ms Lara Fusco, Strategic Planner, Mr Rajiv Shankar, Manager, Development Assessment
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: Nil
Pursuant to Section 9.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the Lane Cove Planning Panel at its meeting of 17 December 2020 is recommended to support Planning Proposal No. 38, only with the following amendments:
· to show a (reduced) numerical height control of RL 175.2 metres; and
· reduce the proposed floor space ratio (FSR) to 15:1.
The Panel is also recommended to advise Council to forward the amended Proposal (stated in point A.) to the Minister of Planning for a Gateway Determination, as it would pass the Strategic Merit Test and the Site-Specific Merit Test for the following reasons:
B. Amended Proposal - Passes Strategic Merit Test
1) Is consistent with A Metropolis of Three Cities, which identifies the St Leonards Strategic Centre as a major employment asset of the Eastern Economic Corridor for “attracting investment, business activity and jobs in strategic centres across Greater Sydney, increasing access to a wide range of jobs, goods and services close to people’s homes and supporting the 30-minute city.” (p 119)
2) Is consistent with the North District Plan's priorities or actions for the St Leonards Commercial area, which identifies “the importance of the precinct as a key employment centre in Greater Sydney”. Particularly as a health and education (employment) "super precinct". This Proposal would realise close to approximately 3,000 additional jobs of the total employment potential of the strategic centre of St Leonards Crows Nest.
3) Is consistent with the following aspects of the St Leonards/Crows Nest 2036 Plan:-
a. The Plan’s vision will be achieved with this proposal because it will be ‘a balance of commercial’ and contribute to the ‘sunny tree-lined public spaces’.
b. The relevant objectives of the Plan will be achieved as the preferred option has considered the cumulative impacts of overshadowing and view loss and altered the building’s design. The commercial offices will also ‘ensure new employment sites in the area cater to a range of business types and sizes’ while ‘protecting the site for future employment uses’. The design also incorporates street tree planting which will likely increase the tree canopy cover on the site to achieve the target.
c. Under Employment, (p 51) “The Plan supports jobs within the precinct through the identification of five (5) key employment areas including St Leonards requiring an extra 2,160 to 4,570 new jobs by 2036”. The amended proposal focus on over 3,000 new jobs supports this target.
d. The Plan seeks to “to encourage the renewal of St Leonards through the delivery of new A-grade commercial floor space…” (p 42). The amended proposal is for A-grade office space (and no residential floor space).
e. Under Movement (p 55), the Plan aims to “provide clear, continuous and direct pedestrian and cycle routes to priority destinations such as St Leonards Station and surrounding commercial core”. By activating ground floor links to Friedlander Place as well as providing colonnades along both street frontages, the amended proposal supports this action.
f. The amended proposal is consistent with the action (p 37) to minimise substantial overshadowing of Newlands Park.
g. Under Tree Canopy (p 29) the Plan aims to “retain and enhance the existing network of tree-lined streets”. This is supported by the proposed street trees and colonnade.
h. Under Built form, the Plan seeks to “consider cumulative impacts of new developments on existing areas, including overshadowing, wind impacts and view loss.” As addressed above, the proposal as amended gives careful consideration of the cumulative overshadowing and view impacts on the surrounding area.
i. The Plan seeks to “Limit the amount of car parking provided for new developments.” As addressed above, the reduced parking provision supports this Action.
4) Council’s preferred option is not inconsistent with the floor space ratio and building height of the St Leonards/Crows Nest 2036 Plan. The original proposal, by contrast, exceeds the 2036 Plan’s prescriptive measures.
5) Is consistent with the following aspects of Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement:-
a. Planning Priority 6: Through the creation of a ground floor public domain and through-site walkway, the proposal supports the creation of public spaces and facilities to improve our community’s quality of life;
b. Planning Priority 7: By meeting the precinct’s jobs target and provision of standalone commercial office space, the proposal facilitates location of a diverse range of retail, commercial and industrial businesses in Lane Cove; and
c. Planning Priority 11: The proposal is to comprise sustainable practice relating to water and energy use and to deliver a highly sustainable commercial tower, with a minimum target of a 6 Star Green rating, 5.5 Star NABERS Energy rating and 4 Star NABERS Water rating, the proposal would Improve the management of energy, water, and waste resources.
C. Amended Proposal - Passes Site-specific Merit Test
6) The proposal to develop a commercial premise in this location is consistent with recent development and leasing activity.
7) Due to the compliances with the 2036 Plan objectives, design criteria, design principles and actions, the proposal as amended has appropriately responded to any change in circumstances.
8) In response to the negative amenity impact of loss of district and iconic views for residential properties in the vicinity, Council's preferred option has provided a moderated building envelope of reduced height to mitigate concerns. It should be noted that some view sharing is to be expected from residential use in a central business district, where residential use is ancillary to the commercial function of the precinct.
9) The reduced provision of parking would result in reduced traffic impacts on the surrounding network which is consistent with the action of the St Leonards/Crows Nest 2036 Plan.
D. That the Council delegate to the General Manager to prepare a site specific DCP in conjunction with the proponent to support the Planning Proposal, to be exhibited with the Planning Proposal after Gateway Determination.
The decision of the Panel was unanimous
The meeting closed at 1.50 pm
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