March 23 - 29, 2014: Issue 155 

People Power Triumphs In  Warriewood Over-Development

 PEOPLE POWER WINS IN WARRIEWOOD – by Warriewood Residents Association

The Warriewood Residents Association (WRA) has applauded today's announcement by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure that the rezoning proposal of land at 2 &18 Macpherson Street and 23, 25 & 27 Warriewood Rd, Warriewood has been rejected for Gateway Review.

The community has been awaiting a final decision since the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) rejected the proposal on 5th February 2014.

The WRA thanks the Premier Hon Barry O'Farrell and the Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Hon Brad Hazzard for their intervention in telling the bureaucrats in the department to listen to the community which along with Pittwater Council overwhelmingly rejected the proposal in 2012.

Chris Hornsby, President of the WRA said, "This decision is an acknowledgement by the Minister that the findings of the Joint Strategic Review of up to 32 dwellings per hectare must be adhered to in any future development proposals for Warriewood Valley. The community was extremely disappointed that the Council's rejection of this proposed development last September was even eligible for review in this so called Pre-Gateway process, introduced by the new Liberal Government," he continued.

The WRA now calls on the Minister to abolish what is fast becoming the hated Pre-Gateway process which has replaced the former Labor Governments notorious and failed Part 3A process.

"The Premier and Minister must honour their recent commitments to restore planning powers to local councils and return trust and certainty to the planning process. I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister to secure assurances that another massive overdevelopment for Warriewood Valley (known as the Southern Buffer) will not be considered eligible for review under the Pre-Gateway process and that the community and Council's rejection of the proposal will be upheld." He demanded.

The WRA also expressed their thanks to the local member Hon Rob Stokes and Pittwater Council for their support of the community in getting this proposal rejected.

The Warriewood Residents Association is organising a protest outside the NSW Parliament to ask the O’Farrell Govt to get rid of Pre-Gateway Reviews altogether 

Please join us for this important protest on Wednesday 26 March at 9.00am in front of the NSW Parliament (Macquarie St). The focus of the protest will be to call on the O’Farrell Government to abolish the Pre-Gateway Review process and it has been timed to coincide with the 2nd last sitting day before Parliament rises for Easter (April) before returning in May.

This is not just about Warriewood, it’s about every single community and neighbourhood in NSW. It’s also about fairness, transparency and respecting the outcomes of strategic planning, rather than promoting ad-hoc development decisions that have nothing to do with good strategic planning. The protest is on Wednesday, March 26 at 9:00am - 10:30am at Parliament of NSW, 6 Macquarie Street, Sydney, Australia 2000. More HERE

Meriton Planning Proposal Refused

The Director-General of the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure has supported a recommendation by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) to refuse a planning proposal submitted by the Meriton Group in Warriewood.

The planning proposal was for a rezoning of Meriton-owned land in McPherson Street and Warriewood Road Warriewood. It proposed a development of more than double the density agreed by the Strategic Review of undeveloped land in the Warriewood Valley.

The Warriewood Strategic Review was jointly conducted by Pittwater Council and the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure in 2011. After an 18-month consultation period with the local community, a new development standard of 32 dwellings per hectare was agreed upon and adopted by the Council.

The Meriton proposal for the McPherson Street and Warriewood Road sites put forward a dwelling density of over 90 dwellings a hectare.

The Director-General Sam Haddad wrote to the Council this week advising them of that he had decided the proposal should not proceed to a ‘gateway review’. The gateway review process is where a planning proposal is determined by the Minister and the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure instead of the local council.

General Manager Mark Ferguson said the decision underlined the importance of consistency and certainty for future development in Warriewood.

“We are pleased that the Department has upheld the JRPP’s view that this development – coming less than 12 months after the Warriewood Strategic Review had been adopted – was inappropriate and an overdevelopment of the site.”

Mr Ferguson said the decision sent a clear message to developers that planning standards jointly agreed by the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure and the Council would be supported in the future.


Warriewood Valley Rezoning Proposal Rejected – 18th of March, 2014 
Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes today welcomed a decision by the NSW Department of Planning to respect the Warriewood Valley Strategic Review and reject a controversial proposal to rezone key areas of the Warriewood Valley.
The Department has agreed that an application to increase the allowable residential density of land at 2 and 18 Macpherson Street and 23, 25 and 27 Warriewood Road is inconsistent with the Strategic Review agreed to as part of a joint initiative between Pittwater Council and the NSW Government.
“This decision respects the strategic review and the clear wishes of our community,” Rob Stokes said today.
“The densities proposed in the application were completely outside the review’s boundaries and sought to make a mockery of the entire process.
“Our community has expressed its desire for any future development in the Warriewood Valley to be undertaken methodically and not in a speculative manner.
“There’s always going to be proposals that will seek to push the boundaries - but the system has held firm and this should send a very strong message to developers.
“While development will continue to take place in the Warriewood Valley - it’s essential the wishes and views of our community are used to help guide how this occurs.
“I join our community in welcoming this very sensible decision,” Rob Stokes said.

Pictures of Fern Creek, Warriewood Valley courtesy of Mia Dalby-Ball - Dragonfly Environmental