Reforming planning — we’re all for it!
Problem is… it’s not so easy, and when governments say the planning system will be “quick and simple” they may be avoiding the core issues.
Historians have failed to explain to us that NSW’s only coup was when Governor Bligh was arrested because he insisted on adherence to a town plan! Ever since, the arm-wrestle between government and landowners has followed a predictable course.
The latest installment is to make approvals “quick and simple”. Despite (or because of?) the recent reforms, we are told that approvals are still slow, and nimbys still have too much influence. So, if investors still lack certainty, let’s make approvals quick and simple.
Busting congestion? Try planning
Spot rezoning, deals, fast tracking, OVERdevelopment… Is congestion and loss of urban quality inevitable? Yes, on present indications. But not if transparency, probity and expertise is restored to the planning system.
Developers wake from dreams in St Leonards
The residents said OVERdevelopment – we’re OVER it!
The Independent Planning Commission agreed!
Is this the turning point?
Read about the details of this important decision here.
Have you heard about ‘value capture’?
It must sound good — Sydney Metro and Ministers are beginning to talk about ‘value capture’ a lot — but is it good for the North Sydney city centre? The answer to that question is here.
So nothing has changed
In February the Mayor wrote to the Committee for North Sydney. To ask us to contribute to important discussions? To invite us to meet with the planners or Councillors? No. The letter accused the Committee of ‘constant negative dialogue and distribution of misinformation’ and, in effect, demanded that we prove we are not a ‘political activist group’. In short, ‘Go away!’ The Committee issued a statement in response: see the next item.
It is time for the Mayor to genuinely welcome informed and considered contributions to the long term planning and development of the city centre.
The Committee for North Sydney responds to recent comments by the Mayor of North Sydney.
Read the Committee’s STATEMENT of 20 February 2019
The Committee for North Sydney has analysed two planning reports from the North Sydney Council.
They had clear objectives — and proved exactly the opposite.
They avoided key topics — only to draw attention to them.
Read our analysis here.
On behalf of the “OVERdevelopment — we’re OVER it!” organisers:
On 10 November 2018
800 people told the NSW Government:
OVERdevelopment- we’re OVER it!
SAY IT AGAIN! – ON 23 FebruaryDownload the flyer here
WARNING: Tsunami headed for North Sydney and Crows Nest!
Download the flyer here
What is behind the tsunami? Sydney Metro!
Download the Sydney Metro information sheet here.
The North Sydney city centre is at a turning point
The North Sydney city centre is growing rapidly – but at what cost?
It’s a convenient location for accommodating regional jobs and denser housing – but is this at the expense of being a good local city centre?
All of the challenges facing the city centre – leading to windy, sunless, congested streets and footpaths – are becoming greater.
All of the recognised deficiencies – lack of public spaces, lack of civic functions, lack of things to do and places to be in – seem to be more pronounced.
The Committee for North Sydney has produced a summary of the challenges and possibilities:
The Committee for North Sydney’s most recent submission to Sydney Metro exposes drastic flaws in planning and consultation for the Metro stations at North Sydney city centre and Crows Nest:
“Nobody has ever cared much about the North Sydney CBD and it’s always been a very deficient CBD in terms of public amenities and open space, public facilities, out-of-hours activities… What you’re hearing about improving the North Sydney CBD is basically just spin, and it’s minor, fiddly little improvements to what is basically a pretty appalling CBD… “
That’s not the Committee for North Sydney!
And it wasn’t said yesterday.
Jeremy Bingham, lawyer and one-time Lord Mayor of Sydney, made that statement in 2000, in an interview for the Council’s published history of North Sydney planning, marking 35 years after the adoption of the 1963 planning scheme. He went on:
“It has no heart. It has no central point. It has no civic spaces. It has no style. It’s a mish-mash. It’s a conglomerate of all sorts of things… You’ve got a whole series of half-baked things. And the flow of morning and evening peak hour traffic through there makes it a very difficult area… It just hasn’t had anything remotely like the level of planning and care and attention over the decades that it should have had…
“I don’t see the concern for the proper growth of a city, commercially, as being contrary to a concern for the residents as well. I think they go hand in hand.”
The full interview – ‘Jeremy Bingham’ in Margaret Park (Editor). Voices of a landscape: planning North Sydney. North Sydney Council, 2001, pages 14-17 – is available here (and in the North Sydney Council’s Stanton Library).
We are doing something about this
The Committee for North Sydney has been launched (see below).
Members are working on planning documents, and meeting with many of the key decision makers.
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You are very welcome to join us in the Association for the Committee for North Sydney, to support the Committee for North Sydney.
Please use the menu above to find out what’s happening and what is being planned.
The Sydney Morning Herald covered the launch of the Committee for North Sydney
His insightful article was published online on Thursday 12 July 2018, and on pages 1 and 4 of the next day’s edition of the paper.
Here’s the link to the online story.
North Sydney Council called for alternative design options and community engagement
In a major move, the North Sydney Council has written to the Minister for Transport, calling for alternative design options for the over station development at Victoria Cross station, and further community engagement. The resolution adopted all-but-unanimously by the Council can be seen here.
How the Committee for North Sydney sees the future city centre
Thanks, Greg Hyde
The image at the top of the page — used in various forms on our publications — is a modified detail from ‘Sydney’, a large work by onetime-North-Sydney artist Greg Hyde. Thanks Greg for your support.
Ralf Alpert, Waverton Precinct member and Founder and MD of Waverton’s well-named Friendlyware, has been instrumental in getting us online. Friendlyware is a top-rated IT support company for Sydney’s small and medium businesses. Thanks Ralf!