Monday, November 22, 2010

Notes from meeting held on 15 November, 2010

A summary note from the meeting attended by Councillors Conolly and Calvert.
Date 15th November 2010.
Location North Richmond Community Centre.

President Dave Perry introduced the Councillors.

RTA personnel advised the meeting of their willingness to present to the Community at a future date.

The Councillors presented their views of the Hawkesbury Residential Land Strategy (HRLS), Bells line of Road (BLoR), and Traffic congestion in and around North Richmond. They then answered a number of questions and comments from the attendees including:

Lack of infrastructure now, including water sewage roads and transport;
The need for appropriate funding to build and maintain infrastructure;
The continuing need for in depth consultation;
Identification and protection of Agricultural and Rural land including an Agricultural and Rural plan;
Should there be more support for farmers who rely solely on their products to earn a living within our Community?;
Lack of details with regards to Vineyards future growth opportunities in the HRLP;
Continuing over development within the North Richmond precinct particular high density housing, despite the Mayoral minute;
Excessive traffic congestion because of over development without appropriate infrastructure particularly roads and public transport;
There is extreme traffic and pedestrian congestion in and around North Richmond shopping centre, school and roads in that area. Councillors will follow up progress of report being prepared by Council Officers;
Target of 5000 dwellings North West Subregional strategy—the HRLS has 5000-- 6000 dwellings within HCLGA over the period 2006—2031 Why the difference?;
Need accurate details of D/A’s for dwellings since 2006. On going updates should be provided to the Community;
Concerns expressed with regard to identification of corridor by the RTA for an alternative to BLoR;

The meeting was advised of Council’s opposition to BLoR.
What was the Council’s submission to RTA with regards to vehicles turning right into Terrace Road off BLoR?

In closing the meeting the President thanked both Councillors for their attendance and requested both Councillors to push within Council that a Community Consultative Group be invited to have in depth consultation with Council with regards to HRLS as soon as possible and advise NRDCAA and other groups of their endeavours. Both Councillors supported the concept. Councillor Calvert was very strong in his response. Councillor Conolly was not as strong, although supportive of the proposal.

Meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Meet the Candidates

The NRDCAA is hosting a "meet the candidate" meeting on Thursday 17th of June at the North Richmond Community Centre at 7.30pm.

All the candidates have indicated they will participate except Nathan Zamprogno who has declined to present.

Would you kindly circulate the informatiom and encourage participation.

This is an opportunity for the community to test the credentials of Janice Hart, Danielle Wheeler, Tony Pettitt and Kim Ford.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Meeting with Bencorp regarding Kurrajong Village Development

Summary Notes of Meeting with Matthew Bennett (Bencorp)
Monday 10th May 11.00am (Kurrajong Village)

Present Matthew Bennett (Bencorp), Michael Want (NRDCAA), Mary Buckett (HCW), Lyn Griffith (Resident), Suzanne Smith and Barry Lester (KHAG).

It was acknowledged by all present, that this meeting was proposed to discuss the Bencorp Development issues arising from the Public Meeting, facilitated by Kurrajong Forum Inc., held on April 15th, CWA Hall, Kurrajong Village, Matthew Bennett from Bencorp was invited to discuss the proposal. Michael Want tabled an agenda with the group, who agreed that summary notes of the meeting be supported by all present and circulated to the wider community, Kurrajong FORUM, KHAG, NRDCAA, HCW, other relevant local interest groups and within the Kurrajong Village precinct itself, (shopfront window).

Matthew advised there had been a good response from the community with approx. 43 emails and other forms of communication from local residents, business and community organisations. He stated there were some great ideas regarding designs and possible uses. Matthew confirmed he would collate in a summarised form this information, without specific names. These would then be circulated to the community via the Kurrajong Forum Inc. and above group members. It was believed the Gazette had received approx 120 emails and letters re the proposed development.

The ownership of Bencorp was not addressed other than the proposed development is owned by Bencorp Property Developments. It was suggested Bencorp owner’s review the Kurrajong Community Survey 2005 taking into consideration the objectives presented, with specific references to Questions 2,3,6,8 and 10b, and acknowledge community concerns expressed.

Question 1. In relation to the existing streetscape, would greater consideration be given in the design process to the scale, size, materials, and concept of the proposed development.

a) Design of building Current eco-design concepts are proposed in the construction of ‘The Market’. Matthew stated the ‘overall design would predominantly conform to the eastern side of the street’. He stated the ‘Sassafras’ building had been referred to by numerous members of the community, as an example of a suitable concept, style and design. The roof is proposed to be colorbond material and the pitch of the roof an ongoing discussion with the consultants and architect, to maximise the solar panels that are proposed, to capture east/west movement of the sun. Double-glazed glass could also be used at the rear of the building. At this stage a weatherboard style material, glass and timber is being considered for the balance of the building, with concrete foundation and stone face on the lower level if the theatre was to eventuate.

b) The scale and size of the building on the half acre site would be approx.700 to 800 square metres, with a frontage up to the Council corner triangle, at the intersection of Old Bells Line and Timms Hill Road. It was pointed out that HCC LEP states buildings in this residential zoning are not to exceed 200sqm per title for “neighbourhood shop” use. Matthew advised that the block was subdividable into a minimum of 4 lots, a total of 800sqm (4x200sqm) of ‘neighbourhood shop’ use. Or alternatively, 4 individual residential homes with no size limits, could be built on the site. It has been noted that the updated July, 2009 LEP, page 18, refers to specific objectives of the Hawkesbury Rural Village Zoning (a to g), with (c) enabling development for purposes other than residential, if they are compatible with the overall character of the village. It was pointed out that there is no overall design, size or consistency in style and or period within the village centre. Bencorp’s aim is to keep within the overall character of the eastern side of the street, being Seasons, Wrapt, Sassafras and the former Toque. (Refer to notes, Question 5. Zoning)

C) The façade should be in keeping with surrounding buildings and overall streetscape.
Matthew stated the façade will be designed based on the results of feedback received during the review process. The proposed plaza will incorporate an alfresco dining area and room for Hawkesbury Harvest. It is proposed that this area will retain the existing gum tree, and a children’s play area, with parental supervision. Suitable planting of the façade area would be undertaken.

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Design continued. Interesting design suggestions for the NE corner of the building would be welcome and to-date the community ideas have varied from sweeping outdoor terrace area for the restaurant to all glass and stone double storey feature revealing the bookstore and everything in between. A floor plan redesign was suggested by a number of respondents, to re-position the restaurant to the rear of the building. A double glazed glass area would allow for noise reduction, natural lighting and wonderful vista, from the main area of the building.

Question 2. How would the 7 proposed businesses be incorporated into the internal design structure.

a) Open Plan Market Layout. Matthew stated the internal structural design would be open plan, with possibly recycled steel or timber beams. Consistent with ‘The Market’ concept, the individual businesses would create a flow through effect, as opposed to individual boutique shops off an arcade.

b) Art House Theatre possibly seating 100, would offer viewings of classic and contemporary art movies. This would also incorporate a stage, suitable for live performances, musical events, local school presentations and plays, dance schools and theatricals, such as the Arcadian Performers, along with Workplace Training Presentations. The Theatrette if considered viable would be located at the rear of the building. The back wall is of concrete material with sandstone face. Bencorp are reviewing feasibility of this venue, along with the position in the building, although it has been deemed the most popular in feedback received to date. It is perceived as supporting, both proposed and existing businesses in Kurrajong.

c) The Restaurant is currently not designed to be at the rear of the building, but feedback after the community meeting, suggested the restaurant be positioned to take advantage of view potential. Sound acoustics including double glazed windows is being assessed and as stated above, this would also allow for natural lighting.

Question 3. Any proposed new businesses should as far as possible be different but complimentary to, existing village businesses.

a) Specialty shops such as a Artisan Bakery, Gourmet Deli/Provedore, Specialty Bookstore, Alfresco Licensed Restaurant with small bar area, Specialty High Tea House, Theatrette, Bank and Hawkesbury Harvest Markets are proposed at this stage. Fresh local produce shall be sought where and when possible.

b) Duplication of businesses. It was agreed by those at the meeting, that businesses under consideration for ‘The Market’, are complimentary and not a duplication of current business operations within the Village. Matthew on behalf of Bencorp, was asked to guarantee the type of business, within the development for a period of 10 years. Some members present at the meeting felt that this was not realistic or appropriate, as other businesses and/or landlords in town do not have the same constraints. Matthew confirmed Bencorp would be seeking complimentary business ventures at this stage. There is no proposal for supermarket, tavern, butcher, bottle shop, chemist, hardware, newsagent, hairdresser, nursery or video store in the development.

Question 4. Drainage issue, in particular properties below the development

a) Eco-design & New Technology resolutions to recycle and retain most water on site. The site steepness, rainwater catchment, with such a large roof area and water usage requirements, are all under consideration with Bencorp’s consultant and eco-design resolutions are being sought. Matthew stated that ‘The Market’ would use rainwater and current best practice re-cycling processes, to assist in water retention. Tanks for this purpose would be installed, with access to town water top up, once on site storage drops below a certain level during drought times. Appropriate tree plantings at lower edge of property would also be considered. The initial consultant’s reports are positive in handling all potable water and wastewater issues. Matthew noted that any DA submitted will address these issues adequately and within Council guidelines.

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Question 5. Zoning anomalies and design compatibilities, both physical and economic

a) Zoning/DA As stated in Question 1b) it is noted that the property is subdividable into a minimum of 4 lots. The LEP document was referred to and a DA maybe sought, if the development is considered in keeping with and maintains the rural character of the village, ensuring the buildings are designed in sympathy with the overall streetscape. Design compatibility, choice of materials, position and style of the building, colour, access roads, landscaping and on site water catchment are taken into account. The LEP document states new development should not create unreasonable economic demands for the provision or extension of public amenities or services. Matthew stated that Seasons, Wrapt, Alexanders, Sassafras, former Toque and Crazy Daisy all operate under a residential zone. Matthew confirmed that any DA that Bencorp eventually submit will be considered approvable under the relevant planning instruments.

b) Options Matthew stated Bencorp had looked at a number of development options available to them, including, 4 individual homes, town house development, shop top housing, professional chambers, cafes, motel, B&B etc. A recent visit to America has prompted the Oxbow Discovery Market concept, with businesses all under one roof and a flow of customers from one to the other. Both local and tourist patronage is envisaged in the long term.

c) Anomalies Matthew stated Council have noted there are anomalies in the zoning within Kurrajong Village, with the eastern side operating commercial enterprises in a residential zone.

d) Easement / Carriageway A question was raised in relation to a carriageway or easement on the proposed development site, appearing on old maps. Matthew stated that the easement had been erased sometime ago. A request was made that Matthew forward correspondence confirming this. This information has now been provided and the easement confirmed non-existent.

Question 6. Noise

a) Acoustic expert Questions were raised by members of the group in relation to noise emanating from ‘The Market’ Centre, including air conditioning and refrigeration, restaurant patronage, external balconies and eating areas, theatre, car park and delivery services. Matthew advised that an acoustic expert was examining all aspects of noise. He confirmed the use of double glazed glass where necessary and any other insulation requirements to reduce noise from within the complex, as recommended by the consultant in the design stage, will be implemented.

Question 7. Traffic and parking is of significant importance to the project and within the Village

a) Proposed on site parking Matthew stated a parking and traffic consultant was advising Bencorp and is of the opinion they can manage most of their delivery and patronage parking on site. An under-building car park is incorporated into the development plan and this will comply with current council requirements. Discussions with the consultant are on going and will be modified to suit the end design and uses.

b) Current Parking and Traffic within the village A member of the group suggested that business owner’s and residents through the Kurrajong Forum, seek further advise from council in relation to existing parking and traffic issues for the benefit of the town, as it is a council responsibility. It was noted there are areas within the village that should be reviewed and up-graded, facilitating extra parking and loading area compliance, required to meet current operational business needs. An area sited as suitable for up-grade was Timms Hill Road to Drummond Road, which would provide more parking for businesses on the weekend and additional parking for the school, during their peak times. Matthew confirmed that if the town were to approach him with alternative parking options that were of benefit to all businesses and residents, he would consider a funding contribution as part of the development proposal.

Bencorp is considering all feedback received to date, with some group consultations on-going. A further Kurrrajong Village Community Meeting is proposed before final DA submission in June/July.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

702 ABC Sydney - Land for Houses or Land for Food?

702 ABC Sydney are also concerned out the selling of farmland for housing. Have your say in part one in our series on land use conflicts on Sydney's fringe and beyond, Click here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Hawkesbury – urban playground or developer’s dream?

Sydney’s breathing space or Sydney’s urban sprawl – what is the future for the Hawkesbury?

On Friday evening, February 26, the local community will put state and local politicians on the spot to explain their vision for the future of the rural lands surrounding the historic townships of Kurrajong, North Richmond, Pitt Town, Richmond, Wilberforce and Windsor.

“Hawkesbury residents are fed up with Council not supporting the wishes of the community,” local resident and spokesperson for the North Richmond & Districts Community Action Association, Dave Perry, said.

“Our major concern is to make sure any development within the Hawkesbury local government area is in keeping with the district’s heritage, and protects our farmlands and beautiful rural scenery.

“We have requested our political representatives actually come clean about what sort of development they see for our area and what infrastructure they feel will be needed here over the next five years.”

Mr Perry said the Hawkesbury’s history stretched back to the earliest days of the colony when Governor Macquarie personally located and named what are today still known as the five Macquarie towns.

“The fertile lands alongside the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system saved Sydney Town from starvation,” Mr Perry said.

“The Hawkesbury still feeds Sydney, and it’s still Sydney’s playground – just over an hour’s drive away. Here you can visit farms, buy local produce, go bushwalking, water-skiing, or just enjoy our beautiful rural scenery and historical buildings.”

The NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has been invited to attend the public meeting, and Opposition leader Barry O’Farrell will be represented by Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams.

Hawkesbury City Councillors will also attend, including representatives of the major parties.

A new umbrella community group will also be launched on the night.

“Local community groups will keep their autonomy, but if an issue is a community wide one, we’ll all band together to have strength in numbers,” Mr Perry said.

“We’re facing major problems like the prospect of a ‘superhighway’ through our mountain towns, daily traffic jams between Richmond and North Richmond, lack of infrastructure, medical facilities and river / water issues and poor public transport.

“Meanwhile our Council turns a deaf ear to the community and keeps on supporting urban sprawl over our rural lands.

“This will be the chance for politicians to be honest with the community. It promises to be a great night.”

The Hawkesbury Community Forum will be held at Panthers North Richmond, Beaumont Avenue, North Richmond, from 7pm sharp on Friday, February 26.

Media contact: Dave Perry, mobile 0421 985 162

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Public Meeting on Friday 26th February

Please be advised that our normal monthly meeting due this Monday 15th February is being replaced by the Public Meeting on Friday 26th February at the North Richmond Panthers at 7pm sharp.

We will revert back to our regular Monday night meetings commencing Monday 15th March at 7pm.

Come along to the Public Meeting and hear about the Hawkesbury. Hear what the pollies have to say about:

* Sustainable future
* Appropriate infrastructure
* Protecting of the rural environment
* Heritage
* Tourism and history of the area.

Your attendance would show support for community members in the region in expressing your concerns for this major issue affecting the Hawkesbury. Together we can make a difference.

We wish to remind members that we require membership renewals (form attached) by end February 2010.

We value your continued support in our endeavour to protect our rural lifestyle. See you there . . and bring your family and neighbours!

Membership Renewal

To renew your membership for North Richmond & Districts Community Action Association Inc. you can download your membership from here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

ABC 7.30 Report link

The 7.30 Report aired a story on the North Richmond Yeomans Keyline Dam on 18/12/09. For those who were unable to view it on the night here is a link to the transcript and video of the story.