Sunday, June 30, 2013

NWRL Plans for Cheltenham Oval

The Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust is having a walk from Cheltenham Oval on Sunday 18th August and it would be timely if we can know a bit more about their plans. We have invited one of the NWRL staff to attend the walk.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DA545/2013 Petition

A petition opposing the present DA is being raised at ZalmHair, on Hannah Street directly opposite the Module.  Apparently some 60 signatures have been raised already.

DA 545/2013 Letter of Objection

This excellently expressed letter to General Manager HSC was copied to the Trust:

Dear Sir,
Re:  DA545/2013  Beecroft Module Development

We wish to lodge our objection to the proposed redevelopment of the Beecroft Module site as outlined in DA545/2013. We consider the development is unacceptable in its present form for the following reasons.

1.       The building is not in keeping with the heritage nature of the Beecroft village in style and amenity. To allow loss of heritage is a disservice and insult to the residents of Beecroft who are the rate payers of the area. All councils have a responsibility to serve the wishes of the residents of particular areas. There is no place for a “one size fits all” attitude in any suburb.

2.       The building appears to be a “grab” for dwelling space. 144 units are excessive by any measure in such a small space. This should be halved. In addition there should be a variety of unit sizes to allow equally for singles, families and retirees. This would fit with the diversity of the suburb.

3.       Car exit and entry to the proposed building is plainly inadequate and dangerous. This must be resolved to protect the many pedestrians that frequent the village precinct be they aged (many), young (many school aged), or family. The Hannah street frontage is steep, has poor vision for drivers and is already crowded. The Beecroft Road frontage, whilst better, has significant peak hour traffic jams.

4.       There is no allowance for the expected Village Square and public access is unacceptably limited. Beecroft residents consistently state they want a village atmosphere with comfortable open space in keeping with the heritage and social composition of the suburb. This building does not meet these essential criteria.

5.       As the village precinct is also a train and bus area, commuters and shoppers are part of the day to day mixture. The building does not provide for shelter from the weather along its frontages. This should be a fundamental requirement.

6.       Current commuter parking in Beecroft is inadequate. This building will exacerbate an already difficult situation. New planning should overcome inadequacies not the opposite. There is a great danger of loss of commuter parking adjacent to the station due to the third track that State Rail is constructing. This must be allowed for in all building proposals for the Beecroft Village precinct.

 7.       A five storey frontage is not in keeping with Beecroft. There should be a set back and stepped design that will maintain the beauty of the area and enhance the village character.
Finally, we would like to say that the current Module building is an inadequate, crumbling eyesore and should never have been built. We demand that this disaster is NOT replicated by another disaster and urge Hornsby Council to apply the most stringent standards so that the Beecroft Village is enhanced in keeping with the needs and expectations of the residents and rate payers.

Yours sincerely, (etc)

Monday, June 24, 2013

NWRL Controversy

A rather fine observation received from a Beecroft resident:

In the editorial in yesterday's Herald, headed 'Monorail should be a lesson to all transport ministers', Gladys is quoted as saying that "the monorail is not integrated with Sydney's wider public transport network and has never been truly embraced by the community, and we can't justify the costly upgrades required to keep it running".

Why then are she and her Cabinet colleagues so hell-bent on imposing the NWRL on us, when exactly the same comment can be made about it? We have only vague promises that the NWRL Metro will be extended at some time in the future, but with no timetable or indication as to cost. Talk about double standards!

DA 545/2013 Extension of time to Make Submissions

There has been an extension of time for submissions on the Module development of the Beecroft Shopping Village, until 10 July. The Trust is keen that all residents of Beecroft and Cheltenham take this one last opportunity to have their say on the proposed development. Write to the General Manager, Hornsby Shire Council, PO Box 37 Hornsby NSW 1630, quoting DA 545/2013. 
One reason the UnitingCare development was approved by the JRPP was that there had "not been many complaints".  Don't let the Module development get through without having your say!

DA 545/2013 development of The Module at Beecroft Shopping Centre

The following is a copy of a letter sent to HSC on this topic, and copied to the Trust:

General Manager Beecroft 2119
Hornsby Shire Council

24th June 2013

Dear Sir

I am writing to comment on DA545/2013 which is a major redevelopment for Beecroft Village.

I have lived in Beecroft for 45 years now and have always enjoyed its village atmosphere. I was hoping that the rezoning would be an opportunity to improve the amenity of the area with well designed development. However is this what Council had in mind when it rezoned this area? Surely Beecroft deserves better than this.

Yesterday I went to Stocklands mall in Cammeray and had lunch in a restaurant in this new development which seemed a very sympathetic balance of residential, retail and public space including low rise shops and cafes around a public square. It had a nice inviting atmosphere for customers and I am sure residents too.

This Beecroft proposal is all about making the most profit out of the space available and has little to do with good design and improving the amenity of the site as it is now.

Some of the issues are:-

To attract a good mix of residents the apartments should predominantly be two and three bedroom apartments with more floor space which would be suitable for families and retirees. There could be some smaller one bedroom apartments but not the majority as in the current proposal.

This proposal has very limited public open space for people who live and shop in Beecroft or room for public landscaping and dare I say a few trees.

The design should be more sympathetic to the heritage feel of the suburb and there should be a mix of building heights to fit in with the topography of the site.

Parking and access and egress will be a major problem if this development goes ahead.

I am not sure just what influence Council can have on getting well integrated and sympathetically designed development but it can be done as I saw yesterday in Cammeray.

I hope Council will be able to influence the new development in Beecroft to compliment and enhance this heritage area.

Yours faithfully

DA 545/2013 - The Module development proposal

One evaluation of the DA concludes with:
"At multiple Council meetings when residents expressed concern about the implications of 5 storey development at Beecroft, Council stated that residents need not worry as only quality developments that were sympathetic to the village nature of the area would occur at Beecroft.  This was because of the rigorous DCP and that potential customers for both accommodation and shops would be from the local area.  Another claim was that local residents were keen to have enhanced shopping facilities.  The DA will deliver none of these."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

UnitingCare Copeland Rd build starting

Locals have been advised that construction of the UnitingCare Seniors Living development at 7-11 Hannah Street and 129-131 Copeland Road in Beecroft will commence shortly.  Construction is expected to take twelve months with scheduled completion October 2014.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

DA 545 Residential Plans for The Module

It is difficult and time consuming to download the details of the DA off the HSC website, so here are a few extracts.

The proposed residences are 144 units comprising 2 studios, 69 1 bedroom units, 61 2 bedroom units, and 12 3 bedroom units.

Total parking for residential, shop staff, and shoppers comprises 299 spaces, of which at least 150 will be for the residents and visitors, leaving 140 spaces for a much larger supermarket and many more shops.  The module currently has 100 spaces for the small supermarket and few shops and has been criticised for having insufficient spaces.  As HSC policy, each unit is only allowed one parking space although nowadays most 2 bedroom units would probably have two cars.  The parking plan appears to be silent on how residents and commuters will be prevented from parking in the shopping park areas, an issue which needs to be clarified.

Weekday traffic flow on Hannah street at the moment is monitored at 375 cars an hour (sum of both directions) with 90 cars an hour using the Module Car Park exit onto Hannah Street.  The traffic management plan does not discuss how residents will egress the building in the morning, concentrating on afternoon traffic management.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beecroft Shopping Village Development DA 545/2013

The DA for five storey development of The Module is now on the council website as DA 545/2013.  The application proposes four levels of residential units for a total of 144 units.  As predicted at the recent open meeting, access to the multi-level parking and shops will be through a single two lane entry onto Hannah Street, roughly the same as now but with a huge increase in traffic.

If you want to contact the Council’s Planning Division on the issued, their telephone number is 9847 6760.  However if you are protesting any aspect of the DA make sure you do it in writing so it is recorded.

To assist you in this matter, the development application and any documentation accompanying the application are available for inspection at the Customer Service Centre, first floor of Council's Administration building, during business hours.

Alternatively, Council has an Application Enquiry system which can be accessed via the Council’s Website, under the drop-down menus of ‘Building & Development’ and ‘Services & Facilities’.  The Application Enquiry system allows applicants and residents to check the details and progress of an application online and includes all documentation i.e. plans, statement of environmental effects, etc. associated with the assessment of an application.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Module Beecroft Shopping Center - 21 Days to Object

The DA to develop The Module was submitted last Friday and the deadline for submissions will be 21 days after that, ie Friday 21 June. 

We understand that the DA goes counter to the HSC Development Control Plan, proposing four levels of residential units with 144 total units (a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms) whereas the DCP had stipulated only three levels.  No improvement has been proposed for vehicle access over what was proposed in the Open Meeting last week.

If you are concerned about these issues, write to HSC Planning Department.

If you feel strongly, then also write to The Mayor and all three C Ward Councillors, addresses available on the HSC website at  If you feel really strongly write to all the other Councillors as well.

When the DA appears on the Council website, this blog will provide full details of how to respond.  But meanwhile get your pens or email fingers going!