Lots of planning, no PLAN

North Sydney needs more
voices, more vision

There is an abundance of information and documentation to show that a lot is happening in North Sydney, that the planners are planning, that expensive planning studies are being commissioned, and that the Council has ‘ideas’.

There is even more evidence that there’s a void in the heart of this activity: a sense of North Sydney as a whole, concrete ideas about long term futures, debates about regional directions…

The main documents like the community plan are mainly confined to statements impossible to disagree with (‘healthy community’) and express aspirations that do not have concrete meaning or actual locations — and in many cases are largely outside the Council’s control.

Specific plans seem like ends in themselves. Planning for the city centre focuses on commerce in the commercial zone; the St Leonards study was just about St Leonards; the Ward Street plan was just for Ward Street; the public domain study is about achieving an additional 16 000 square metres of public space wherever it can be found around the city centre.

Meanwhile, these plans are silent on the most important impacts on North Sydney — the Victoria Cross metro station and the Beaches Link, which funnels regional traffic onto Berry Street — and the Council has nothing to say to the NSW Government about these critical projects.

In Crows Nest, where the voice of the community has been loud, long and united, the Council’s silence, it’s refusal to represent the community, is even more striking.

The Committee for North Sydney was formed to work with the community, local stakeholders, the Council and the NSW Government to encourage many voices, big ideas, and a strategic focus on the future.

In the meantime, we offer constructive analysis of local urban development on this website. Some of our analyses – –

The (1) (2) (3) and (4) ‘quick tutorials on city planning’ (listed to the right) Report on the Lendlease site at the Victoria Cross metro station
Analysis of current plans for the city centre
Summary of the analysis of current plans for the city centre

— arrive at the same conclusions: that piecemeal, one-off plans are no response to the tsunami of overdevelopment rolling over us, that the obvious deficiencies of the city centre are getting worse, and that silence on the metro projects diminishes the legacy of the metro and fails to deliver its potential public benefits.