Recently the Society lodged a submission with Hunters Hill Council to express our concerns about the Gladesville Town Centre Master Plan. The Master Plan provides for towers rising to 19 storeys in the area now occupied by the Gladesville Village Centre between Victoria Road and Massey, Flagstaff and Cowell Streets.
We do not support the Master Plan; it is not consistent with key aspects of Council’s strategic plans and key documents supporting the proposals are not available for public scrutiny and assessment.
Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) provides for development proposals to fit with the established character (p19) of the local area and Council’s Local Housing Strategy states Council will facilitate new housing that is consistent with local character and will ensure that local character is an important consideration in the assessment and regulation of new development, including on sites dedicated to seniors living, affordable housing and mixed-use development (p5).
The proposal for towers to 19 storeys in the Gladesville town centre does not fit with the established character of the local area and will radically and detrimentally change its character.
The proposal for removal and/or re-location of the heritage item on Cowell Street (the cottage at No. 10) is completely at odds with the statement in the LSPS that Council is
dedicated to preserving the heritage of the area as it is fundamental to the local character of the area (p34).
The Society does not support removal or relocation of this building.
In respect of the natural environment the Community Strategic Plan (P32) states, Ensure that future land use planning and management enhances and protects biodiversity and natural heritage.
The documents attached to the Council report of 19 July 2021 make no reference to enhancing vegetation biodiversity and bushland. The open spaces mentioned in the documents do not provide for a mix of native vegetation which would support the local native fauna and enhance the urban amenity.
Urban renewal projects should create the opportunity to enhance native vegetation and mitigate for changing climate conditions. The Gladesville Master Plan should provide for this.
The economic feasibility analysis by Atlas Urban Economics is not published on Council’s website. Council has now advised that the economic feasibility analysis is subject to “commercial in confidence” and will not be published. Without publication of the analysis it is not reasonable to conclude that the proposals are economically feasible or justified.
Council should withdraw the current draft plan and present proposals that meet the key aspects of its strategic planning strategies. The proposals should be consistent with the existing character and heritage values of the local area and contribute to enhanced native vegetation and amenity.
Frank Breen, President
The Society has been active in local conservation issues since 1966 and is well networked with the broader conservation movement across NSW.
The Society's Constitution states its Aims and Objectives as:
a. The education of the members and the community, particularly in the local area, in nature conservation and protection of the environment;
b. To promote ecologically sustainable land use and development;
c. To promote nature conservation including an adequate system of national parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves, wildlife refuges and corridors and urban bushland reserves; adequate protection measures for native wildlife;
d. Achieving satisfactory measures to safeguard the environment from all forms of pollution to ensure clean air, clean water and a healthy environment;
e. To work for the permanent retention and conservation of all natural areas in the local district and an increase in the area set aside for nature conservation and
f. To undertake the management of the Field of Mars Reserve with Ryde City Council as a major conservation project
We have a regular newsletter Wallumetta which is issued six times a year which attempts to update members on both local environmental issues and issues of wider impact. Our volunteer members keep the Visitors Centre open each weekend. Please contact us if you have concerns about threats to our local natural areas and the precious native fauna which depend on our sensitive bushland areas and waterways.
In the mid 1960s, with an increasing amount of waste needing disposal, Ryde Council looked to an expansion of the small tip in the Field of Mars Reserve. Council proposed to pipe Buffalo and Stranger's Creeks to facilitate a landfill area to a depth of up to 15m feet which could then be re-developed into playing fields. Local residents united to form the Anti-tip Action Group and lobbied to reverse Council's plans for a tip at the Field of Mars. The tip was moved to Porter's Creek which to this day still requires substantial funds to control the environmental damage arising from past use as a tipsite. With the Field of Mars saved the Society was established in January 1966.
In September 1966, Ryde Council advised the Society that it agreed to their proposal to development of the Field of Mars Reserve as a flora and fauna sanctuary. Hard work over following decades has seen restoration of old degraded areas of the Field of Mars and protection of the area as a Wildlife Refuge. A Visitors Centre was built and then the Environmental Education Centre which is visited by about 10,000 students each year.
Over recent months, no Society events have been held owing to lockdown restrictions.
(subject to current Covid-19 restrictions)
Sadly, the Kelly’s Bush celebration, previously postponed, is now to be an invitation-only event.
October is Bird Month, but our Society is not scheduling any special events until restrictions ease.
Depending on health orders, we plan to hold our usual members’ end-of-year get-together on the afternoon of Sunday 5 December, starting at 12 noon. We may organise an event in November too.
As always, members will receive special prior notification of any events not in Wallumetta.
*Rug hand-knitted and kindly donated to RHHFFPS by the Holy Spirit Yarnknit Group of North Ryde.