Member vote sought on Car park issue

As you are aware, Willoughby Council is seeking community feedback on solutions to repair and upgrade the Northbridge car park.

Your NPA Committee agrees with Council that the car park needs upgrading to address significant safety issues and capacity restraints.

The Committee of the NPA would like your indication of support to write to the Council in response to its request for submissions by 30th September, 2014.

Summary of Options

The Council has previously proposed three upgrade solutions as follows 1 :

Option 1:

Upgrade the car park surface, without addressing the slope issue, and undertake adjustments to ensure compliance with Australian Standards for parking.
This option would see the removal of 35 car spaces and cost $1.3M.

Option 2:

Upgrade to a split level car park to address the slope with special ramps, upgrade the surface and undertake adjustments to ensure compliance with Australian Standards for parking.
This option would require the removal of 30 – 50 car spaces and cost in the vicinity of $3 – $4M.

Option 3:

Allow the development of seniors living and residential apartments along Eastern Valley Way with the inclusion of a new car park as part of the development. The seniors living would provide alternative housing choice for ageing Northbridge residents offering proximity to amenities. The project would also enable the provision of a new Early Childhood Centre (replacing the existing centre on site) and a new café/open space area north of the Plaza. This option will see an increase of 60 parking spaces and could be cost neutral to council with the income generated from the development covering the cost of the car park.

Community Resolution of July 2007

In July 2007, the NPA members passed a resolution, details of which will be handed out to attendees at the meeting on Thursday evening – which:

RESOLVED that this meeting does not oppose the redevelopment of the Northbridge Plaza site with high-quality shopping centre and residential units (including seniors’ units) provided that:

  1. Ownership and control of the car park land will remain with the community;
  2. Retail space will expand by no more than about 10% compared with the current retail and other space in the centre;
  3. There will be minimal impact of the redevelopment on current traffic volumes or on local neighbourhood shops and businesses;
  4. Any residential units built on the site will be in keeping (that is, in height, bulk and quality) with existing residential units in Northbridge;
  5. Improvements will be made to access within the shopping centre for elderly and disabled members of the community;
  6. Improvements will be made to car park safety security and convenience, whether or not the car park is relocated underground;
  7. There will be minimal impact on the residents of Harden Avenue, Tenilba Rd, Northbridge Gardens Retirement Village and the St Pauls Residential Aged Care facility.

Current Position

As per the above, this previous resolution did not oppose a re-development of the Northbridge Plaza or car park site. Arguably, it was felt that some re-development would be necessary to pay for the upgrade and secure the Plaza’s owner’s consent to commit the land comprised in the car park which it owns. However, the parameters laid out in that resolution aimed to protect significant stakeholders and address traffic and amenity issues. The NPA Committee believes that those parameters are as relevant today as they were in 2007.

At its meeting on September 1st 2014, it was RESOLVED that –

  • the Committee asserts that something needs to be done to approve the amenity, accessibility and safety of the carpark;
  • The Committee will seek the support of this General Meeting to re-endorse the 2007 resolution;
  • The Committee acknowledges that Options 1 and 3 proposed by Council do not comply with the 2007 resolution.

It also agreed that the loss of car spaces under Option 2 would also be unacceptable.

At our Community meeting on Thursday, September 4th, we will be addressing attendee members on the above and seeking a show of hands in regard the Committee making a submission based on the parameters laid out in the 2007 resolution?