September 13 - 19, 2020: Issue 466


Council welcomes expert urban built environment panel

An expert panel of renowned architects, urban designers, landscape planners and sustainability experts has been appointed to guide the design quality of the built environment across the Northern Beaches Council area.

Mayor Michael Regan said he was delighted to welcome the 13-member panel Chaired by urban design and sustainability expert Roderick Simpson.

Roderick Simpson was appointed the Environment Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission in 2015, and prior to this he was the Director of the Urban Design and Master of Urbanism programs at the University of Sydney.

“We are very privileged to have high-calibre specialists guiding Council’s vision for innovative urban design for its Northern Beaches Design and Sustainability Advisory Panel (DSAP),” Cr Regan said.

“The members have been selected for their vast experience and knowledge of urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability and SEPP 65.

“They are highly respected in their profession, with significant local and international experience.”

The new panel will review SEPP 65 applications, other residential development such as multi-unit housing, boarding houses, and seniors living developments as well as large commercial and industrial applications, and provide advice to Council.

“The panel will help council to recognise outstanding and innovative design, and provide practical means of understanding when improvements should be made,” Cr Regan said.

Council is committed to improving the design quality of buildings in the Local Government Area and establishing a ‘design excellence’ system that ensure buildings and the public domain are well designed, and that a process is put in place during the development application process to achieve design excellence as an outcome. As part of this, Northern Beaches Council is establishing a Design and Sustainability Advisory Panel to provide high level independent expert advice on urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and sustainability for significant applications and planning proposals.

  • DA Pre-Lodgement & DSAP Meeting Application Form: Development Application (DA) Pre-Lodgement meetings provide the applicant an opportunity to obtain preliminary advice on development proposals prior to lodgement of a formal DA.  Meetings are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays remotely. Where a development proposal is for a boarding house, multi-unit housing, SEPP 65, or a large commercial or industrial application, Council recommend applicants attend a Design & Sustainability Advisory Panel (DSAP) meeting.  DSAP Meetings are held on the last Thursday of every month. Note: the fee includes a DA Pre-Lodgement Meeting.


The Charter outlines the role of the Panel, the process and types of proposals that will be dealt with by the Panel and how the Panel members will be selected.

Panel Structure

Each panel will consist of five members and will include:

  • The Chair
  • 2 Architects/Urban Design experts
  • A Sustainability expert
  • A Landscape expert
  • Panel Members

The following persons have been appointed to the Design and Sustainability pool of panel members:


Roderick Simpson - Roderick is the inaugural Environment Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. Roderick Simpson is an architect and urban designer, and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at University of Technology Sydney and Trustee of Sydney Living Museums. He has worked for the Commonwealth and provided consultancy services to state and local governments in planning and urban design.

Mr Simpson led the urban design for the City of Sydney Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy with the SGS consortium. He is a member of various housing, transport and architectural design review panels including the Landcom Design Advisory Panel.

Prior to his appointment to the Commission was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture Design and Planning at the University of Sydney where he was director of the Urban Design and Urbanism Programs from 2012-2016 and was instrumental in the development of the Urbanism Program that commenced in 2015.

For almost thirty years he has been an active advocate of ecologically sustainable design principles. He was instrumental in the formulation of BASIX, the NSW Building Sustainability Index and more recently worked with Kinesis on the development of a precinct wide sustainability assessment tool for Landcom: PRECINX which has received both state and national planning awards.

Roderick Simpson

Architects/Urban Design Experts

Stephen Collier – Stephen has 30+ years of experience in architecture and urban design and currently sits on both Bayside and Hornsby Shire’s design review panels. He has worked in both the public and private sectors including several years with the NSW Government’s Urban Design Advisory Service (UDAS).

Kerry Hunter – Kerry is an honours graduate in architecture from UNSW having previously completed a Diploma in (Fine) Art. She has design review experience as a current member of the ACT National Capital Design Review Panel and the Ku-ring-gai Council urban design panel.

Ed Lipmann – Ed has been a registered Architect from almost 40 years. He has chaired design and award juries for the AIA as well as Design Excellence Competitions for Sydney City Council. He also teaches regularly at Sydney University, University of New South Wales and UTS, and lectures at Newcastle and Melbourne Universities.

Jim Koopman – Jim has been the Director of architecture at Allen Jack + Cottier for the past 12 years. Jim’s experience ranges from a wide variety of master planning and urban design projects for public and private sector clients. He recently worked on the Linfield Village Hub for Ku-ring-gai Council and currently sits on the Bayside Council Design Review Panel. Jim is also a member of the Northern Beaches Strategic Reference Group Places for People.

Conrad Johnston – Conrad graduated with honours from the University of Sydney. He has worked with leading architectural firms in Sydney and London before co-founding Fox Johnston Architects. He currently sits on the Canada Bay and Strathfield Design Review Panels.

Russell Olssen – Russell is the director of OLSSON Architecture and Urban Projects. He specialises in urban design, urban housing and community buildings. Russell was a member of the City of Sydney Planning team that won the Royal Australian Planning Institute’s Presidents Award and the National Planning Ministers Award. Russell is a member of the Parramatta Council Design Review Panel.

Simon Mather – Simon has a Masters in Architecture from the University of Technology Sydney and is the founder of MAKO Architecture. He has contributed to a range of large scale projects including the Sunnyfield Masterplan, Sustainable Sydney 2050 and the Montpellier Place Terraces.

Landscape Experts

Esther Dickins – Esther is a registered landscape architect and urban designer with over 20 years’ experience. She has worked with clients in both the public and private sectors on projects including Coffs Harbour Hospital and The Canopy, Lane Cove. In 2019, she was appointed as a member of the Government Architect of NSW State Design Review Panel as part of the pilot program initiative for Landscape Architecture.

Guy Sturt – Guy has worked as a Landscape Architect since completing his degree in 1985. Throughout his career he has held positions in some of Australia's major Landscape Architectural firms. He has been principal since 1992 and both managed and designed on a range of projects including residential, public open space, environmental rehabilitation, commercial, industrial, tourism and seniors living development in various forms.

Garth Paterson – Garth is an Urban Designer and registered Landscape Architect with over thirty years’ experience throughout Australia and the United States. In 2000, Garth was awarded the Lifetime award of Distinguished Alumni for his contribution to the profession of Landscape Architecture and the education of students from The University of Canberra.

Sustainability Experts

Caroline Pidcock – Caroline has been running her own architectural practice for the past 28 years. In addition to her own practice, she is a Spokesperson for Australian Architects Declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency; Chair of 1 Million Women; member of the Beyond Zero Emissions Advisory Committee; a Member of the AIA Climate Action and Sustainability Taskgroup and is the Chair of the AIA Environment Design Guide Advisory Group. She is also teaching at a range of universities in NSW.

Katie Fallowfield – Katie holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Design and is a Green Star Accredited Professional, NatHERS accredited Assessor and a LEED Accredited Professional. She has over 14 years’ experience in the Property Industry, and has worked as a Sustainable Design Consultant for WSP for over 12 years, providing design advice on major and minor developments ranging from precinct master planning and design, through to single dwelling or shop fit-out scale.