Turramurra Community Hub

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As part of the Activate Turramurra program local residents have told us their vision for Turramurra, which includes:

  • a new local library
  • a new multi-purpose community centre
  • a new park
  • a new town square
  • improved streetscapes

Council has undertaken significant community consultation and commissioned numerous background studies to inform its decisions when planning for revitalisation of Turramurra.

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Turramurra Community Hub Masterplan

The Turramurra Community Hub will be a mix of community facilities, open space, residential uses and retail, designed to breathe new life into Turramurra Local Centre. The Hub site comprises land between the railway line, Ray Street and the Pacific Highway.

In consultation with the community, Council developed a masterplan for the site in 2016 and following public exhibition and several adjustments, Council resolved on 7 February 2017 to adopt the masterplan. Council also adopted a future Local Centre traffic and transport strategy and undertook rezoning and reclassification of the Council-owned land to support the masterplan.

The adopted masterplan involves land owned by both Council and private parties including the Coles Group. During 2015 and 2016 Council undertook consultation with Coles to investigate the possibility of entering into an Agreement with Coles.

Since the 7 February 2017 adoption of the masterplan Council has proceeded in preparing a detailed business case to support the masterplan.

Background information

Updates

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Questions and answers relating to item GB.9 of the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 7 February 2017

How much of the railway gardens is deep soil? 

The existing railway gardens comprise an area of approximately 1570sqm, all of which is deep soil planting. Council is currently in negotiations with Sydney Trains to re-align the existing fence and open up the gardens for public access.  

What proportion of existing, significant trees across the site are not affected by the proposed development?

The tree count on the Turramurra Park site is as follows:

  • Trees within the mixed use building footprint: 4
  • Trees outside the mixed use building: 6 (to be retained/protected)

There is a claim that the community were not aware during the consultation period (May 2016), that if the community facilities were to be located elsewhere, that the Village Park would not be retained as a park.

Extensive community consultation was undertaken on the master plan in May 2016, the findings of which were captured in the “Turramurra Community Hub - Community Engagement Output Report”, which was reported to Council on 28 June 2016. The majority of participants in the workshops supported the location of the community facilities on the Town Square site, with a number of people stating that a building on the Village Park site is more conductive to commercial uses fronting the Pacific Highway, that the opportunity for an iconic mixed use building on the park site is preferable and that the Village Park is largely underutilised and was better suited to residential uses on the basis that equivalent area of open space was provided elsewhere within the master plan.

The proposal to rezone 1275 Pacific Highway from RE1 Public Recreation to B2 Local Centre and relocate the open space is clearly stated throughout the Planning Proposal. The Planning Proposal has clearly and consistently indicated that the Turramurra Village Park, regardless of its end use – either as a community building, commercial or mixed use – was always intended to be reclassified and developed as part of the overall master plan. There is no statement or option contained within the Planning Proposal or master plan to indicate that if the site was not used for a community building, that it would revert to a public park. Throughout the process it has been clear that Council's intention is to remove the Community Land classification that currently applies to 1275 Pacific Highway, Turramurra.

The setting of and view lines to Hillview will be significantly compromised if the Village Park site is built on.

It is acknowledged that the Village Park is located within the vicinity of the locally heritage listed ‘Hillview’ and Hillview HCA. The listing of the HCA at the State level was not supported by the NSW Heritage Council. This does not mean the heritage conservation area is not of heritage significance. The difference between state and local listing is the threshold of significance. A place of local significance has importance to the history and development of the local Ku-ring-gai area, while a state listed place has significance to the development and history of NSW. The HCA continues to have local listing and Council has initiated a planning proposal to extend the HCA to include several properties on Kissing Point Road.

The Village Park site is not heritage listed or included within a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA). The rezoning and reclassification of the Village Park site will not have any direct impact on the heritage significance of Hillview or the HCA. Any potential heritage impacts associated with future development on the site would be considered in the design of any building proposed and assessed as part of a development application for the site against the controls within the Local Centres DCP Part 19F Development in the Vicinity of Heritage Items or Heritage Conservation Areas (HCAs).

Can Council make a decision contrary to a Chairperson’s recommendation?

Yes. Legal advice obtained by Council states that - “the function of the independent chair was to take submissions and prepare a report of the public hearing. The role then of the Council is to receive the furnished report of the public hearing and to make its own decision on whether or not to accept the recommendations of the report. Council is certainly not bound to accept such recommendations”. 

This is because Council is the nominated RPA (relevant planning authority) for the Planning Proposal and the chairperson as an independent party cannot fetter Council’s authority in making a decision on whether the reclassification should proceed.  

Why are Council staff making a recommendation different from the Chairperson?

Council staff do not believe that the chairperson’s recommendation to not proceed with the reclassification at this stage is justified. The Chairperson has confused the link between the Planning Proposal and the Masterplan. The objective of the Planning Proposal is to rezone and reclassify Council owned land within the Ray Street Precinct (5 Ray Street, 12 William Street and 1275 Pacific Highway) so as to provide flexibility to implement the future master plan for the Ray Street Precinct. At no stage does the Planning Proposal seek to rezone and reclassify the Council land to facilitate the implementation of a particular version of the master plan – but rather to provide the flexibility for the masterplan to evolve within the context of the proposed zoning and LEP provisions.

What are the implications for the master plan if Council resolves to not proceed with the reclassification of the Village Park site?

Councillors were briefed on this matter on the 2 August 2016 and the details were reported to Council on 6 September 2016. Should the Village Park site not be reclassified and utilised as a development site within the master plan, there would be implications to the overall viability of the project. If Council were to leave the Village Park site undeveloped, Council would be required to contribute additional funds (which are currently not available) to account for the financial shortfall. No decisions have yet been made by Council about the ownership of various elements of the project or the delivery method. Retaining some elements of the site as Community Classified land may impede delivery of all or parts of the project by a private sector partner.

Can Council wait until after the amendment is made to the DCP to decide whether to proceed with the reclassification of the Village Park site?

An amendment is required to the DCP to make it consistent with the master plan with regards to the location of the community facilities. The current DCP outlines a new Turramurra Branch Library and community centre on the site of the Village Park, which is inconsistent with the Council resolution of 20 September which adopted the Town Square site as the location of the community facilities. 

This approach of aligning the DCP to a master plan is consistent with what Council has done for other major project sites, including the Lindfield Village Green, Lindfield Hub and Lindfield Library site. 

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 require that draft DCPs are to be publically exhibited for a period of 28 days. Should Council wait until after the drafting, exhibition and reporting of the outcomes from the public exhibition of the DCP amendment to make a determination on whether to proceed with the reclassification of the Village Park site, it would be unlikely that planning proposal would be finalised prior to the Gateway Determination applying to the Planning Proposal expires. The Planning Proposal for the reclassification and rezoning of 1275 Pacific Highway, Turramurra has undergone all the necessary statutory consultation and additional public engagement prior to making a decision on the reclassification of 1275 Pacific Highway, Turramurra is not considered necessary.

To what height will "significant trees" grow over the concrete areas of the Hub?

The mature height of trees grown on the podium areas will depend on the selected species. When the project progresses to a more detailed design phase, tree species will be selected and the appropriate soil volumes will be designed to allow for maximum potential growth. Trees in excess of 15m in height will be achievable in such an environment.

The purchase of additional land in Gilroy Road, Turramurra for addition to Cameron Park has been used to justify the recommendation to rezone and reclassify Turramurra Village Park. Please demonstrate that this additional land provides an oversupply of open-space in Turramurra and in particular that this purchase will eventually lead to the sale of the Turramurra Village Park? 

Council recently acquired over 2,500sqm of land on Gilroy Road, Turramurra to expand an existing park, known as Cameron Park to over 5,000sqm; this park is within a 5 minute walk of the subject site. The purchase of land on Gilroy Road for open space is part of council’s ongoing obligation to utilise S94 funds collected by Council from developments specifically for the purpose of creating new areas of local parkland in areas where the population is increasing.
The decision in relation to the Turramurra Village Park is not related to whether there is an oversupply of open-space in Turramurra. The Community Hub master plan proposes a new linear park with an area of 2780sqm which is over three times the size of the existing park; in addition the master plan proposes a town square with a total area of 2300sqm. The total area proposed is 5,080sqm-combined it is almost 6 times the size of the existing park. 

The master plan proposes to relocate the Turramurra Village Park to a quieter location away from the Highway in a location where the park will be flat and universally accessible – one of the major constraints for the current park is that it does not meet current accessibility standards.

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Contact us

If you have any other enquiries about Activate Turramurra not answered by this web page please contact Bill Royal, Team Leader Urban Design, 9424 0000.