Dear Mr. Woodhams
Re: DA-2014 / 417: 147-151 Sailors bay Road, Northbridge, NSW 2063
We wish to comment on the above proposal for the demolition of existing structures and construction of a new five (5) storey, twenty-four (24) units mixed use residential / commercial building, car parking, strata subdivision and associated works.
The subject development raises five areas of concern:
- Traffic impacts,
- Specific development Attributes,
- Operational aspects during construction
- Operational aspects when complete.
- Town Planning aspects
The commercial sites along Sailors Bay Road border a residential precinct where traffic, parking, and noise impacts need to be mitigated so that residential amenity is preserved.
This development raises concerns in regard the future traffic circulation impact within this area. The “Orana” development provides for 50 car spaces. The additional traffic generated needs to be considered in the context of the potential traffic from other yet undeveloped sites in the immediate surrounds that would also need to filter through Bellambie Street. When all these commercial sites in this area are considered, we anticipate that there could be potentially 150 or more extra car spaces added that will generate much more traffic in this small area. Council needs to plan now for the traffic impacts from 150 or more spaces to ensure that the residents in Bellambi, Kiola and Euroka Street are shielded from commercial activity. This could involve continuing Fred Roberts Lane East through to Bob Appleton Lane with a noise wall and traffic lights on the Bellambi Street leg of the junction, and potentially a partial closure of Bellambi Street. The cost of remedial traffic provisions should be factored into every development in this area.
Trucks will find it difficult to circulate in the residential roads.
Available on-street parking in and around this area is scarce, and roads tend to be single car width owing to cars parked on each side.
The safety aspect of pedestrians and other vehicular traffic need to be taken into consideration when planning truck movements, both entering and exiting the loading bay into Fred Roberts lane and onto Bellambi Street.
Specific Development Attributes
Council will need to verify the technical aspects of the development in respect height controls, floor space, overshadowing and other requirements in order to ensure that they comply with current legislation.
We appreciate the consideration taken in regard the stepped style at the rear of the development. This helps alleviate any concerns in respect neighbour privacy issues.
The acoustic fence along the northern property boundary next to Fred Roberts Lane is an important inclusion to help mitigate the noise from commercial activity annoying neighboring residences. We request that the height of the acoustic wall remain a constant 2.4 m and not step down to 2 m at the rear. This is particularly necessary as the adjoining area is shown as a commercial retail outdoor area. The effectiveness of vegetation shown on the plan as sound mitigation is questionable as it would only partially contribute when shrubs are mature and dense.
Waste collection from commercial sites is a very noisy activity in the night that disturbs residents. Having the collection location in Fred Roberts Lane is much better than from Bellambi Street. To control this noise we request that an acoustic fence of 2.4 m high be extended along Fred Roberts Lane as a condition to completely separate the commercial from residential.
There does not appear to be rain water collection, grey water recycling or solar panels being used to reduce its environmental impact. This is a lost opportunity irrespective of whether it meets current building standards.
Operational aspects during construction
This development will need a high level of vehicular management and cooperation from both Council and the Roads and Maritime Service. This proposed development on Northbridge Junction is located at a high pedestrian use area and on a major traffic intersection into and out of Northbridge. The shops and business here rely on parking in Bellambi Street and along Sailors Bay Road to operate and any disruption in this area will adversely affect trade. Residents in the area will also be negatively impacted by noise, dust and traffic during construction, and this needs to be minimized. As such, we urge Council to agree with the developer the following actions to minimize the project’s adverse impact on Northbridge people and traffic:
- Prohibit the movement of heavy vehicles during peak vehicular periods such as school drop-off (7:30 to 9.30am) and pick-up (2.30 to 4pm) times;
- Prevent heavy vehicles waiting outside schools or in residential areas, with engines running.
- Enforce through Council Rangers the “No Stopping” zones to ensure the fluid movement of traffic.
We recognize that the best location for construction vehicular access would be direct from Sailors Bay Road into Bellambie Street. This will require RMS permission and cooperation. This would mean that exiting laden trucks should not have to drive back into Northbridge but should exit Bellambi Street directly onto Sailors Bay Road and Strathallen Avenue.
The proper management and control of dust during construction is similarly essential, especially as the site is exposed to the wind on top of the ridge.
Other development controls should be discussed with the community and Northbridge Progress Association.
Operational aspects when complete.
Waste collection needs to be conducted at times that will not disturb the neighbours and not to use Bellambi Street.
The air conditioning units on the roof and other locations need to be quiet in operation and maintained that way to avoid disturbing neighbours.
The commercial areas will depend on the nature of the tenancy and will be subject to separate Council consent
Town Planning Aspects
Previous discussions during the formulation of the Northbridge Master plan and the draft Master plan for Northbridge Plaza recognised that the disjointed retail areas of Northbridge Junction and the Northbridge Plaza was a deficiency. There was a desire from the community to connect pedestrian access better between these two precincts instead of having to use the weather-beaten footpath next to the traffic laden Sailors Bay Road.
The concept of a covered pedestrian arcade connection near the corner of Bellambi Street at Northbridge Junction through to Harden Avenue and then through King Park to Northbridge Plaza has merit in achieving this pedestrian connection.
Currently, the ground floors fronting Sailors Bay Road between Harden Avenue and the proposed development – A W Edwards and Castle Gardens – have a set-back albeit blocked by the Persian Carpet Shop in Castle Gardens. The latter could conceivably be altered to provide the arcade type access and improve marketability of the commercial spaces.
However, this proposed commercial development has commercial spaces fronting Sailors Bay Road that will effectively block any future possibility for an arcade type connection. It continues the traditional entry off Sailors Bay Road from the south, which will be a wind tunnel into shops and the entrance lobby.
It is very disappointing that the remaining narrow blocks on the east that include 153 & 155 Sailors Bay Road do not form part of the proposed DA as their future prospect of development will be severely restricted. For example, car parking on site will be very limited, and a separate access to Fred Roberts Lane will be dangerous. These remaining buildings do not enhance the style at the entry into Northbridge, and it would be a great pity that they remain, owing to the inability to develop.
In summary, we ask that each of the above issues be taken into consideration when addressing this and future development application in this area.
Northbridge Progress Association Inc