Monday, 22 August 2016

DA déjà vu- DA1243/2016- 2 Brighton Avenue, resubmitted

Will you miss the vegetated ridgeline?

A leaflet to sign or pass on is available here

If you submitted an objection in April you will need to put in another submission as this is a 'new' just looks like the other one, minus 1 house and a little more compacted.

The 'new' Development Application (DA 1243/2016) that has been lodged, if successful, would have great visual and community impact on residents of and visitors to (by water and land) the Toronto area, especially along the Coal Point peninsula.

This article provides a summary compiled by CPPA and TASNG on the proposed development based on documents provided on Lake Macquarie Council’s (LMCC’s) application tracking website.  Community comments posted on this webpage and Facebook page are welcome and will be included in the CPPA’s formal submission. 

DA 1243/2016 proposes to consolidate two existing lots to provide dual frontage from 2 Brighton Avenue to 133 Excelsior Parade covering 7,045m2 on the south-eastern edge of the medium density zone. Nineteen(19) two-storey, 3 bedroom dwellings would be constructed with ingress from Excelsior Parade and egress from Brighton Avenue.

To accommodate this development 215 of the 218 existing trees on the block (i.e. 99%) would be removed. These 218 trees currently form the highly visible, vegetated ridgeline above Ambrose Street, Carey Bay. The site is very visible from the Carey Bay Shopping Village, Aged Care facility and the surrounding hills of the Carey Bay catchment and adjacent streets, from the water and as far away as Belmont and Eleebana. The tree-lined ridge provides a movement corridor for bird life from the Carey Bay wetlands to the lake foreshore.

The almost total loss of tree cover would be devastating for visual impact, contrary to the developer’s claim that ‘visual impact will be acceptable’ (moderate to minor impact). LMCC’s Scenic Management Guidelines define ‘devastating’ as any development becoming ‘the dominant feature of the landscape to which other elements become subordinate and significantly affects and changes the character of the community’.

The lots proposed for development are at the most eastern boundary of the medium density residential zone (R3) and Toronto Scenic Management zone 5, adjacent to the the low density (R2) residential zoning of Carey Bay and the Scenic management zone 5 of Coal Point. We therefore argue consideration should be given to a transition zone between LMCC’s Scenic Management Zones 3 (Coal Point), and 5 (Toronto) and the medium and low density residential zones.

Indeed, we argue that this location could be seen as closer to Carey Bay/Coal Point than Toronto in both biophysical and social characteristics. Although this site is not on a major ridgeline, it is a high visibility ridgeline. The site is not characteristic of the retail/business/residential mix designed for the Toronto scenic zone 5 which aims for active street frontages and development appropriate for town centres.

Therefore, we urge consideration should also be given to the Zone 3 Scenic guidelines which state:

  • The height of building and structures does not extend above the physical ridgeline, not the tree-line 
  • Existing ridgeline vegetation which provides a dominant backdrop to views from the lake is retained. 
Even under Scenic Zone 5 guidelines it is stated that buildings should be of a scale that does not dominate views from the lake nor breach the tree-line of surrounding ridgelines. 

The proposed development has seven (7) dwellings extending above the physical ridgeline , 99% of the trees have been earmarked for removal, and limited consideration has been given to design the development to minimize vegetation clearance. The scale and context of the development is excessive for the site and the community in which it is situated.

In addition, qualities specific to the desired future character of Zone 3 include protecting key landscape elements including native vegetation, achieving a balance between built form and the natural landscape and providing ‘green breaks’ between areas of development. The proposed development shows scant regard for the existing vegetation. The density, scale and spacing of the development is inconsistent with the existing character of the bushland suburb community. There is virtually no balance between the proposed built form and the natural landscape. Hard surfaces will cover the majority of the site.

DA 1243/2016’s Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) claims the vegetation has ‘nominal habitat value’ yet identifies hollow-bearing trees, 10 bird species, an amphibian and the Little Bentwing Bat (a vulnerable species) as being present on the site. From local bird surveys that have been undertaken, the Carey Bay Wetlands is known to have more bird species that anywhere else on the Coal Point peninsula.

The arborist’s report on the proposed development identified 15 trees of high retention value, including two with habitat values and one with numerous cavities providing nesting opportunities. The arborist’s report also stated that the development’s encroachment on the root zone of one of only four (4) ‘retained’ trees, plus the removal of the surrounding trees, may destabilize the retained tree in the long term. DA 1243/2016 ignores the advice of their arborist.

Vehicle access to the site is proposed to be one-way ingress from Excelsior Parade, one-way egress onto Brighton Ave and with 123.5 car movements a day projected. The Brighton Ave exit is a narrow, elevated service road with a difficult turn and with short sight lines from the Ambrose street corner. All residents in the proposed development would be subjected to all car movements within a few metres of their dwellings via the one-way meandering road. There has been no provision made to support pedestrian journeys to local shopping centres or Toronto by installing community footpaths.

The proposed development’s SEE states ‘No building exceeds the 10m height control. There are no significant impacts on the streetscape and the amenity and visual impact in considered acceptable’. The visual impact on privacy of the adjacent neighbours or the pre-school that is under construction is said to be minor or negligible, yet all adjacent neighbours will have their privacy compromised. The proposed side setbacks for many of the dwellings will compromise a reasonable level of privacy for adjoining neighbours, especially those on on Ambrose St and Brighton Ave.

Solar access is compromised, with four of the 19 proposed dwellings receiving less than 3hr of sunlight, which does not comply with the Development Control Standards. There is no discussion of the impact on the preschool which is under construction. The proposal makes no provision for community space and yet purports to be for family living. All public space is compromised by the vehicle access.

This proposal compromises core elements of the vision of the Lake Macquarie Strategic Lifestyle 2030 document, which has a vision for the city where the environment is protected and enhanced and where the scenic, ecological, recreational, and commercial values and opportunities of the Lake and coastline are promoted and protected. Strategic direction 1:13 states the ‘scenic natural beauty of the City is maintained and enhanced, and buildings or structures visible from the Lake and coast …exhibit high quality design sympathetic to their setting.’

We acknowledge that multi-dwelling housing is permissible in the R3 Medium Density zone however DA 1243/2016 is not meeting the objective of ‘maintain and enhance the residential amenity and character of the surrounding area’. On the contrary it detracts from the residential amenity of the existing residents and alters the character of the surrounding area.

The increasing development pressure for medium density housing over consolidated landholdings should provide an opportunity to construct development that is in character with and retains the values of the existing area. DA 1243/2016 states the block as being too narrow to retain the trees. We suggest that a more appropriately scaled development is the solution.

It is imperative that the community state their expectations regarding this and other proposed or planned developments between Jarrett and Ambrose Streets that will span the ridge between Brighton Avenue and Excelsior Parade. If accepted, this proposed development will set a precedent for significant loss of local tree cover, visual (scenic) amenity and community character.

The CPPA has sought and received an extension for the comment period to allow for community discussion and comments. Submissions are due on 8th September close of business.

A sample letter summarising the points above is available here to assist you in making a submission.

Submissions should be submitted by 8/9/16 and emailed to or  addressed to

General Manager
Lake Macquarie City Council
Box 1906
Re: DA 1243/2016-2 Brighton Avenue: Demolition of Existing Dwellings, Lot consolidation, Construction of 19 Multi Dwelling Housing & Associated Infrastructure and Services. 

Recreational Land Plan for Toronto open for comments

The long awaited Recreation Land Plan for Toronto was released on 30th July and there are proposals for upgrades, acquisitions and extensions of recreational land in our local area.

This plan aims to identify the recreational facilities needed to serve the increase in population till 2025, so please consider dropping Council a line or two about what they are proposing by 5pm Monday 12th Sept.

The following information has been summarised from some of the documents available on LMCC’s website.

The priority system for new works

  • High priority- short term upto 2020 
  • Medium priority - mid term up to 2025 
  • Low priority - long term 2025 and beyond 

There are new ideas for the ‘Pony Club land’ at Carey Bay- Hampton St Reserve

The land is categorised as sportsground but not used as such and so better use of the space is being proposed to include;
  • Dog exercise area upgraded to a fenced dog park. Dog exercise areas can have disposal bins, water supply, seating, shade and fencing- High priority 
  • Multi-purpose half court. These facilities contain a basketball hoop, netball ring and/or tennis hit up wall - Medium priority 
  • A new community garden, ‘a plot where herbs, fruits, flowers or vegetables are cultivated. They provide a range of social, physical and psychological benefits and a mechanism for people to interact with others- Medium priority 
  • A new BMX (Bicycle Motocross) track at Hampton St or Cooks St Toronto. The need for BMX is demonstrated by the number of unauthorised informal BMX tracks constructed in bushland areas and by the number of community requests for these facilities- Medium priority. 

Coal Point Ridgeline

Tracks and Trails upgrade 1260m of track once all the land has been acquired. ‘Develop signposted and interpretative walking trails though the ridge line reserve accessible from Lorron Close, Coal Point- Low priority

Toronto Foreshore Park

Expansion and major upgrade of the park and playground equipment with new outdoor gym equipment. The upgrade of the Toronto Foreshore Park is one of the key recommendations of this plan and is High priority.
    Components of the plan include;
    • A promenade from Wharf Rd to the land acquisition area with exercise stations, seating, feature trees, solar lighting, al fresco dining 
    • A major playground with a sailing theme 
    • A public domain area extension along the foreshore 
    • A shared pathway from the Greenway along the entire length of the park to wharf Rd-High priority 
    • A park entry feature that connects the town centre to the park 
    • Large open areas for festivals, markets, bands and civic events 
    • Current car parks would be relocated back from the foreshore 
    • Toronto Lions Park- Upgrade. Relocate boat ramp and car park. -High priority 
    • Goffet Park upgrade -Medium priority

    A bit of background…

    To fund the delivery of public community infrastructure, local government is able to levy development contributions to fund new, or extend facilities that are required as a result of new development.

    The development contributions plan for the Toronto area is now on public exhibition until Sept 11th.  As a community we are being invited to input into the plan, written submissions can be posted to General Manager , LMCC Box 1906, HRMC, NSW 2310  or emailed by 5pm Monday 12th Sept.

    The Development Contributions Plan for the Toronto Catchment 2015-2030, covers 22 suburbs from Teralba to Wangi Wangi/Myuna Bay and out to Freemans Waterhole.

    In 2015 it was estimated that there were 31,487 people (15% of the City’s population) in this area which is expected to reach 36,899 by 2030. Most of the projected growth of 5,412 people will be located in and around the Toronto area which extends to Ambrose St.

    Some of the local demographics that are shaping the plan include
    • Carey Bay, Coal Point and Toronto having a higher than the City average of people aged 65 and over,
    • Coal Point has a higher proportion of couples without children than the city average.
    • Carey Bay and Toronto areas have a higher proportion of single person households which is indicative of the large number of seniors living complexes.
    • Coal Point has 99.2% of it’s dwellings as separate houses, whilst Carey Bay has a higher proportion (19.3%) of semi-detached house than the catchment average of 6.9%, and Toronto is the only suburb that has a higher proportion (10.5%) of apartments than the City average of 5.3%.
    • New residents are expected to be concentrated in 6 suburbs with Toronto expecting a 24% increase in total population, an additional 1,398 people.

    Estimated Residential population by suburb
    Existing dwellings
    Existing persons
    Projected extra  dwellings 2030
    Projected extra persons
    Total dwellings 2030
    Total persons 2030
    Growth %
    Carey Bay
    Coal Point
    Kilaben Bay

    The projected changing demographic will see the population age with people over 65 increasing from 20.7 to 23.7% and the population of people under 19 declining from 23.7 to 21.9%.
    Each suburb is expected to follow these trends with  “The infill development in Toronto’s town centre likely to attract a range of different lifecycle groups including young couples, couples starting families, singles and older couples.

    What’s in a Name? Killibinbin

    The CPPA is proposing to name the reserve at the southern end of Laycock Street as Killibinbin Reserve. 

    It means shinning , bright and beautiful in Awabakal, which certainly fits the Kilaben Bay outlook.

    If you have any other suggestions please let the CPPA committee know.

    Bushcare’s Major Day Out

    For this year’s Bioblitz event we’ll be admiring the benefits of a blaze and joining in with Bushcare’s Major Day Out at Stansfield Reserve.

    If you’ve never walked over this area some landcare locals will be happy to take you on a guided tour.

    If you’ve never really appreciated the impact of Asparagus fern the burnt v’s non-burnt areas will amaze and inspire you into tackling one of our most prolific weeds.

    If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss is about with fire and the Australian bush, come along and see what can grow in 5 months after incineration.

    We’ll have an area with some tools for you to practice your Asparagus fern removal technique and morning tea will be provided.

    We’ll be walking and demonstrating weeding from the back of Progress Hall between 9-11am on Sunday 11th September. Morning tea will be provided.

    Do you want to be a Holiday Hollow Hunter?

    A Hollows as Homes September school holiday activity is being planned, looking for and measuring tree hollows. There’s no tree climbing, but lots of hands-on science, looking for, measuring and recording tree hollows.

    Hollows as Homes is a new national program run by the Australian Museum and Royal Botanic Gardens to see how many hollows are about and what animals are using them across Australia.

    The CPPA is keen to participate by taking measurements of the hollow-bearing trees and periodically conducting monitoring and reporting the wildlife using this important habitat.

    If you think you or your science-minded-student-child/adolescent would be interested please contact Suzanne Pritchard (CPPA Committee) to register your interest. Numbers will be limited to 7/day and there will be one outing each week of the holidays.

    Nestbox orders- Habitat enhancement for Biodiversity month…September

    As a Biodiversity month bonus The Toronto Men’s Shed will be building some nestboxes for local landholders for local wildlife and we need to know how many to build.
    The storms over the past few years have resulted in many hollow bearing trees being lost. Installing a nestbox provides a safe and dry refuge for many local animals.
    Spotted Pardalote

    The animals that we’ll be giving a helping hand to are Pardalotes, microbats and Squirrel gliders.

    Pardalotes (pic) are tiny birds that forage high in the eucalypt canopy and are also found in woodlands. They regularly are sighted in the Coal Point bird surveys. They forage for and eat insects, especially lerps which feed on tree sap and can cause dieback if their numbers get out of control. The Pardalotes play a key role in maintaining the health of the forest by controlling lerp numbers. Pardalotes naturally nest in tunnels they dig out of a bank but quite happily will nest in the right sized nestbox.

    Microbats are tiny insect eating machines, with a body length of 11cm and wingspan of about 25cm some are so small they can fit in a matchbox. They live locally and if you watch the canopy of the gum trees on dusk you might see them flitting about in a rapid, jerky flight path, they’ve been seen around the streetlights at the top of Whitelocke St. Their favourite foods are moths, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, termites and they can polish off over 1200 mosquitoes in an hour. This makes them an asset around any home and for any garden.

    Squirrel Glider nest boxes can also be built but are best for folk who live next to the West Ridge, Stansfield or Threlkeld Reserves

    The Animals in our Bigger backyard page on the CPPA website has links to information sheets and booklets to help you build your own nest boxes if you feel the urge.

    If you would like to order a nestbox please contact Suzanne from the Committee.

    Winter Bird Survey

    Wood ducks checking out nesting sites
    Some notable highlights from the Winter Bird Survey provided by Tom Clarke included
    • The brief sighting of a Spotted Harrier, a Vulnerable Species, at Threlkeld Reserve. 
    • A Pheasant Coucal was flushed out of the reeds and the Eastern Whipbird reappeared at Noorumba Reserve. Another whipbird was heard in a gully on the West Ridge 
    • A magpie aggregation of 25 individuals was experienced at the Pony club- Hampton St Reserve 
    • The Satin Bowerbird’s bower construction at Carey Bay Wetlands has taken on the medium density flavour with 3 bowers complete and active. Multiple bowers within a bird’s territory is not unusual and upto 10 may be constructed at varying levels of completeness. 
    The full Winter Bird Survey can be read online.

    Shape Your Future- Our Future forum @ Toronto

    Shape Your Future

    What do you like about living in lake Mac? Why?What would make Lake Mac City better in the future? Why?

    Easy questions to answer that will hold the key to how our City will look and operate in the future.

    Lake Mac has been spared the mystery of amalgamation because it was deemed fit for the future and we are part of that future.

    We can make a stand for what counts. Please consider making a submission and strengthening the community’s perspective on what matters most to us about where we live.

    Our Future Forum - Toronto

    What is important to you? What vision do you have for your life in 20 or 30 years time? How do you want Lake Macquarie City to look, feel and function in 2050?

    Come along to hear what the future may hold and take part in a workshop aimed at developing the Lake Mac Community Vision and Values.

    When: Thursday, 22 September from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

    Where: Toronto Workers Club - 9 James Street, Toronto

    Here’s your chance to influence the future of an entire city and learn from leading local futurists.

    Be entertained and gain insight from leading local futurists as they talk about what influences our future and how we can shape it.

    Be part of a working party to help establish principles on which Council’s decision-making will be based – guiding Lake Mac City for the next 30 years. 

    Morning tea will be provided at each forum.

    Register through eventbrite

    Local Government Elections 10th September 8am-6pm

    Local government elections are compulsory and there are a few ways to vote. You can
    • apply for a postal vote 
    • vote before election day at the Toronto Library from 29/8/16 to 8/9/16 between 8:30am-5pm
    • or vote on 10/9/16 at the closest booths to Coal Point-Carey Bay which are 
      • Kilaben Bay Hall-Kilaben Rd, 
      • Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre-80 Haydenbrook Drive, 
      • Fassifern Public School-9 Miller St, 
      • Biraban Public School-Beckley St

    DA’s In Play

    You can keep up to date with developments in the area through Council’s online tracking system.

    The list below has been abridged from Lake Macquarie City Council’s Application Tracking system. It has been compiled to support community understanding of developments in our area. Please consult LMCC’s website for details and a complete listing. New listings were from the period 18/7/16 to 22/8/16

    • 6 Ambrose Street: Dwelling House Alterations & Addition: Awaiting Information requested 
    • 58 Amelia Street :Dwelling Additions/Alterations Decision Pending 
    • 2 Angela Close: B149 - Part - Deck: Awaiting Information Requested 
    • 2 Brighton Avenue: Demolition Structures, 2 into 1 lots & 19 Dwellings (multi dwelling houses)
    • On Notification/Advertising 
    • 57 Brighton Avenue: Dwelling Additions, Alterations and Deck: Under Assessment 
    • 93A Brighton Avenue: Demolition of Existing Structures, Dwelling House, Swimming Pool with Associated Safety Barriers and Garaging: On Notification/Advertising 
    • 43 Coal Point Road: Dwelling House: Awaiting Information requested 
    • 55 Coal Point Road: Swimming Pool Compliance: Under Assessment 
    • Coal Point Public School: Removal Seven (7) Trees: Withdrawn 
    • 49 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling Additions and Alterations – Under Assessment 
    • 75 Excelsior Parade: Dwelling House, Swimming Pool, Workshop and Demolition of existing Dwelling: Approved 
    • 139B Excelsior Parade Carport. Approved 
    • 181 Excelsior Parade: Storage Shed: Under Assessment 
    • 19 Jabiru Street: Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance Awaiting Allocation 
    • 46 Jarrett Street Shed: Approved 
    • 65 Jarrett Street: Secondary Dwelling: Under Assessment 
    • 1/17 Laycock Street: Child Care Centre: Under Assessment 
    • 18/37 Laycock Street. Patio Cover: Awaiting Allocation 
    • 14 Lorron Close: Dwelling House & Retaining Walls: Awaiting information requested 
    • 106 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions and Pool with Associated Safety Barriers. Amendment-Under Assessment 
    • 124 Skye Point Road: Water Recreation Structure (Proposed Slipway): Approved 
    • 176 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House: Scanning of Application Documents 
    • 184 Skye Point Road: Dwelling Alterations and Additions (Internal), Carport and Deck Extension- Under Assessment 
    • 202 Skye Point Road: Alterations/Additions to Boatshed: Awaiting Information requested 
    • 206 Skye Point Road: Garage Scanning of Application Documents 
    • 264 Skye Point Road: Dwelling House Alterations & Additions - Deck/Pergola: Under Assessment 
    • 268 Skye Point Road: Alterations and Additions - Amendment Verandah, ramp, setback: Approved 
    • 14A Whitelocke Street: Residence & retaining walls: Approved 
    • 6 Wyera Dwelling Additions & Alterations: Approved