Update November 2021 – Further Plan Changes again

‘The NRA is deeply disappointed with the lack of real change in the revised plans for 351 Barrenjoey Rd. There is still no side boundary top level 3m setback (overlooking the arcade at 353 Barrenjoey Rd, just a blank wall). Also the LEP breach encroaching into 8.5m height limit facing Robertson Rd is now greater!!! Ridiculous & unachievable deep soil planting on western side still not improved. The major issue is the carpark entry is in the same place at the western most end of the development in Robertson Rd. (and there are many examples in Newport where a carpark entrance is closer to a corner than contemplated here). The developer is happy to take the huge cost benefit of one less level of car parking (which does help traffic issues) but not prepared to reorganise an entrance closer to Barrenjoey Rd for the benefit of the community. Theses breaches contribute to the reason for the development being too intensive for the site. We are disappointed that council is allowing these breaches of the Newport Masterplan which again set precedents for the future.’

See the revised plans here

17th SEPTEMBER 2021 – FURTHER PLAN CHANGES

The architects for the developer have lodged a further set of varied plans which were outlined in our update below of the 18th August 2021, however we still have a serious problem with them. Please read our additional submission for the details here.

We have also issued the attached Media Release

UPDATE 18th AUGUST 2021

As a follow-up to the community meeting on the 28th July 2021 the NRA President and the convener of the SaveRoberstonRoad action group, Simon Barlow, have had further discussions with the NBC Director of Planning to update us on what has developed since then.

NBC have since had discussions with the representatives of the current DA for 351 & 353 Barrenjoey Road and the following was discussed/offered;

  • Agreed to move waste collection to Barrenjoey Rd
  • Willing to reduce car park to one level with one car per resident tenancy
  • Prepared to adjust car park so that in the future if they were able to get access to Foamcrest Ave. via the Auspost site they would close the Robertson Rd access (and convert to a shop) and then put through the access to Foamcrest Ave.

Our view on what has been offered is as follows;

Re the first dot point, we see this as logical.

Re the second dot point, the question is what is the trade-off? If it is to retain the vehicle entrance at the same location as envisaged in the DA then there is no benefit to the community. Also with the knowledge that a reduction in car spaces does not necessarily mean that there will be a reduction of cars, where will those cars park?

Re the third dot point this gives us some major concerns for the following reasons;

  1. There was no discussion about where the entrance on Robertson Rd was to be and we assume they still want to have it at the location noted on their DA. This location we would find unacceptable.
  2. The DA vehicle entrance location is still directly opposite where the Newport Masterplan has designated for a plaza and arcade and therefore completely inappropriate.
  3. With this location Robertson Road would still be unable to be closed for special events (and future permanent pedestrianisation).
  4. We would be concerned that the ‘future’ would never come and with the knowledge of the common practice of developers allowing their development companies to go into liquidation it would be unlikely that the body corporate of 351 Barrenjoey Rd would then be willing to pursue the cost involved in making the vehicle entrance change.

We understand that the developer has chosen the current planned vehicle entrance location for practical topography reasons (and presumably cost), however we do not see that as a reason to destroy Robertson Roads future.

We acknowledged that an alternative location entrance from Barrenjoey Road has a number of difficulties with the proximity of the traffic lights and pedestrian crossing (without some strategic thinking). Therefore we believe unless a solution can be found to obtain an entrance from Foamcrest Ave (via the Auspost site or the adjoining church site) we are only left with an entrance from Robertson Rd (as close as possible to Barrenjoey Road if this development was allowed to go ahead). We also acknowledged that NBC are still pursuing a discussion with Auspost at the appropriate level as to their plans for the future and that NBC were going to try and make contact with the church.

We also discussed amending the Masterplan (which NBC felt was unnecessary). We felt strongly that council should consider appointing an urban designer to create a plan to move forward with the Masterplan’s vision and create an urban, retail heart for Newport. NBC indicated that they did not see that as their role. This leaves the community without a solution leader/driver and the community and NBC being reactive not proactive to future DA’s which in turn will become very costly, the cost probably greater than the cost of an urban designer.

To summarise, we advised that we appreciated the updates but remain very concerned that our chance to pursue the evolution of Robertson Rd Newport for the community maybe lost very quickly.

COMMUNITY MEETING

On the 28th July a community meeting we and the Save Robertson Road campaign been advocating for, was hosted (via Zoom) by Northern Beaches Council (NBC) and an independent facilitator. Amongst the 40+ invitees were our local member and planning minister Rob Stokes, NBC Mayor Michael Regan, NBC Councillors, Senior NBC staff,  SaveRobertsonRoad organisers, Newport Residents Association members, and most importantly, landowners or their legal representatives.   

This was a great first step to get all the parties together and outline the community desires to protect the village ‘hub’ of Robertson Rd. Since that meeting Senior NBC staff have met with the developer and we understand have had progressive discussions (which we have a meeting scheduled with council later this week to get a debrief amongst other things).

However, the owner/developer of 351 Barrenjoey Road  (the old grocers on the corner of Robertson Road) has lodged an amended Development Application (DA) for the previously submitted plans just prior to the community meeting.  These new plans vary little from the original. The fundamental problem is still the vehicle entrance on Robertson Road.  It is extremely important that we respond to this latest event as a sign of our firm intent and the desire of the community.

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Simon Barlow had created a separate website to bring you up to date with the SAVE ROBERTSON ROAD Campaign – well worth visiting (Click here)

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May 2021 Update re Mayoral Minute Workshop

NBC 23rd March 2021 Council Meeting Forum Presentation

Mayoral Minute moved and passed at 23rd March 2021 Council meeting

7.3 MAYORAL MINUTE NO 04/2021 – NEWPORT VILLAGE COMMERCIAL CENTRE
062/21 RESOLVED

Cr Regan
That Council write to land owners in the Newport Village Commercial Centre and local community groups inviting them to participate in a meeting/workshop with Council representatives to discuss the realisation of the vision to revitalise the Newport Village Commercial Centre as documented in the Masterplan prepared by Pittwater Council (and which forms part of Pittwater 21 Development Control Plan (21DCP) – including opportunities for site amalgamations.
VOTING
FOR: Cr White, Cr Daley, Cr Philpott, Cr Grattan, Cr Heins, Cr McTaggart, Cr Bingham, Cr Ferguson, Cr Walton, Cr Sprott, Cr Harrison and Cr Regan
ABSENT: Cr De Luca
CARRIED

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Facebook Page – Save Robertson Road (created by Simon Barlow)

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Another DA with no improvement – Click below to view all submissions

(Submissions)

NRA Latest submission

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 A History and the issues ;

Since the drafting stages of Pittwater Council’s “Newport Village Masterplan” and community consultation c2007/8, the NRA has been a champion of the concept and a promoter of adherence to it, in an effort to evolve a village that is what the community has endorsed as its desired direction.  This is core to the reason that the NRA was a strong opponent to the Woolworths proposal to dump a 3,200sqm boundary-to-boundary supermarket-plus-3-storey-carpark onto the Barrenjoey/Foamcrest site, which almost abuts the southern Robertson Rd property. It totally contradicts the concept and the specifics of the Masterplan. 

                The Masterplan sets down – and offers inducements to do – a number of things which are totally ignored in all of the current and recent DAs lodged for the Robertson Rd environs (northern and southern sides). These factors include: 

                                – Robertson Rd is to evolve to become a community-centric pedestrian plaza; – increased height is allowed with site amalgamation, so defined setbacks can protect sun access and aesthetic streetscape; 

                                – site amalgamation also effects underground parking integration, further enhancing pedestrian movement by pushing entries/exits away from Barrenjoey and Robertson Rds;

                                – existing arcades are to be retained and new arcades are to be integrated, to enhance the casual shopping and community nature of the village; 

                                – shopfront design and construction is to foster the table-service flow of cafes, restaurants, etc from within to the community areas outside.

One of the NRA members Simon Barlow has created a Facebook page to garner interest (and has over 700 likes) and created a campaign which solidly addresses these and other aspects of the Masterplan, by proposing a cooperation by owners of Robertson Rd (and adjacent properties) with an ability to deliver win:wins for owner/developers and both the resident and visitor communities.

We think that NBC should leverage off this campaign and become more actively involved and work on a plan for the total area, which includes the Foamcrest Avenue carpark, where the provision of a council owned carpark under the total area opens up lots of great possibilities.

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The NRA has a serious concern regarding the vision for Robertson Road Newport & its Plaza use, as expressed in the Newport Masterplan, if the proposed planning proposal for 351 & 353 Barrenjoey Rd (Cnr Barrenjoey & Robertson Rds) and similar applications were to be approved without serious changes.

This planning proposal brings into question whether our Local Village Masterplans have a value or a future if the above planning proposal goes ahead. Currently both Avalon & Mona Vale are preparing their own Place Plans (name change from Masterplan) and so the outcome of this proposal should be of immense interest to all villages in the Northern Beaches Council area.

We have been working closely with Council staff since mid last year, on an activation plan for Newport.
Robertson Road is the centre of many community activities and is regularly closed off for such events including one last November which was the launch.

We think there should be greater emphasis on the requirements of the Newport Masterplan, that the Robertson Rd zone is dedicated to form a key component of a pedestrian plaza, which is to become the community hub of Newport village. Any new development proposed for Robertson Rd should divert daily vehicular traffic to another street access. This is why a basic town planning philosophy of this Masterplan is to reward consolidation of sites, which in turn will optimise community accessibility rather than compromising and constraining it.

For further detail click on the following links;

Councils initial response regarding the above concerns

The Newport Masterplan