Sunday, 8 November 2020

A conversation on Collaborative Housing in our community.

This edition of The Chronicle has some grand plans for you to contemplate as the Progress Association considers its purpose, place and potential within our community. A facilitated forum is planned for Saturday 28 Nov (face to face) and Monday 30 Nov (online) to explore a local collaborative housing opportunity, Bush Blocks, and what we as a community can do to shape the place we call home. 

In 1946 our community purchased land and built a hall which has provided a shared space and common ground for locals for 74 years. We are hoping to mobilise the same community spirit to once again fashion our community for the future, by exploring a collaborative housing model to build homes where people share common ground, common spaces, common assets and a common attitude to treading lightly and minimising their impact on the local bushland and the planet.

The ridgeline of our peninsula is becoming an increasingly fragmented remnant wildlife/ecological community, as its connection to the wider bushland to the West is eroded by development. Looking at the DAs In Play and those in the pipeline it’s not hard to see that this trend is continuing, with local multi-dwelling development on the rise. The combination of our profit-driven economy and Council planning instruments is leading to large blocks with beautiful trees being transformed into dense concrete and brick constructions, with little consideration for the social aspects needed when people live in close proximity. 

The Progress Association would like to explore and implement an alternative multi-dwelling model that is founded on building community resilience, innovative community focussed design, and smart, small and sustainable housing, ideally built by local trades people from local suppliers, aiming to accommodate dwellings on existing bushland blocks - without unduly compromising the role of those blocks as a wildlife connection corridor along the peninsula for our threatened species and the common ones. 

“Collaborative housing is a movement that’s revolutionising the way homes are designed, built, lived in and valued. It encourages participation, sharing and community-building, while recognising that every household wants privacy, security and financial autonomy.”

Doing development differently, without a profit driven margin, reduces building costs and provides a community driven alternative to downsizing whilst supporting local construction businesses to take advantage of the growing sustainability/retrofitting sector and strengthening our community’s resilience against future shocks arising from climate change.

With interest rates at an all-time low and the Reserve Bank holding them there for at least the next three years, the Progress Association is keen to nurture the initiation of a community driven collaborative housing model to provide an additional housing option that respects the local community and protects the local environment. 

A parcel of land at 20 Laycock St, behind the Carey Bay preschool, is currently on the market. This provides a rare opportunity to enter the collaborative housing market, whilst also building a local knowledge bank and a transferable model to deliver a new housing option for our community. 

The land at 20 Laycock St site is on the market for $1.6million. It has an approved DA which can be modified to reflect the aspirations and intent of the people wanting to be involved in the collaborative housing project. 

The CPPA is seeking:
  • Ethical investors and philanthropists to support the project. Here’s a proposal document which outlines the idea. It will be updated as more detail develops.
  • Potential owners wanting to build and own a residence within the community. There’s a survey, Register of Interest, so we can keep in touch. 
  • Supporters willing to offer time and expertise in fields of architecture, legal, finance, trades, town planning etc. The Register of Interest survey will gather your offers.
  • Members and donors willing to support the community driven aspects of the proposal, such as the facilitated conversations, and an end of year fundraising campaign, there’s a donation page where you can make a contribution. 

Gatherings of Interest

A professionally facilitated forum by The Change Agency’s James Whelan will explore the collaborative housing model and gauge local interest in progressing the idea and what local support is available. Face to face and online meetings will be held.

Saturday 28 Nov. 1-4pm Face to face at Progress Hall The COVID capacity of the hall is 30, RSVPs are essential via the booking page

Online on Monday 30 Nov. 6:30-8pm Registrations essential to receive the meeting link invite. 

Anyone interested in learning a little more, connecting with like-minded people and exploring the concept is welcome. Attendance is a not a commitment to anything, merely interest in an innovative concept.

For more information or assistance in registering contact Suzanne 0438 596 741,

The CPPA is also applying for a grant to develop the local collaborative housing model. Information submitted in the The Register of Interest survey will greatly assist the application which is due on 16/11/20. If you have any interest at all please consider sharing your thoughts on the survey.

Where to go to find out more or get in touch ?

A Collaborative Housing - Bush Blocks webpage has been set up on the CPPA site as a place to share and update information and resources.

What is collaborative living? The Collaborative Housing Guide says
Collaborative living is a new way of thinking about home, work, community and how we live our daily lives. Inspired by demographic and social change, it is also a response to rising living costs, the housing affordability crisis, the ‘loneliness epidemic’ and the growing ecological footprint of cities. 
Collaborative living is about building stronger communities by emphasising social connection and looking for beneficial ways to share resources and pool skills. The sharing economy is one example of collaborative living, collaborative housing is another.

A CPPA ‘Bush Blocks’ sub-committee has been formed to explore and scope the concept of a sustainable collaborative housing project, if you’d like to get involved please get in touch.

A personal declaration of interest in collaborative housing- Suzanne Pritchard

I moved into my house on Amelia Street 30 years ago. The bushland over the back fence belonged to several neighbours who owned 120m long blocks, with an intermittent creek crossing them and eventually flowing into a pipe under the preschool at the corner of our mutual back fence. Back then this land was zoned for low density. Around 2005 the zoning was changed to allow for medium density housing because of the proximity to the Carey Bay shops. 

Over the years I’ve watched on as the preschool sold their bushy backyard to expand their preschooler capacity and three more neighbouring blocks were sold and the long bushland backyards subdivided off to create what is now the 20 Laycock St site.

I’ve met the owner on several occasions as various development plans were put forward and I started planting out my backyard to buffer the inevitable, but as the trees next door were felled my heart broke and I began to question if there was another way of doing development. I started buying lottery tickets.

Thinking about alternatives to density dominated development is something I do every time I wash the dishes and gaze out my window, every day when I’m in my garden, wondering how an individual can make a difference. Every month when I write the Chronicle and compile the ever-expanding list of DAs in Play I think about how can we do development differently, every time I put pen to paper to comment on behalf of the CPPA on the next multi-dwelling DA creating community concern. It’s really no surprise that eventually a solution popped into my head.

I’ve been the president of the Progress Association for 25 years. I joined up to protect the awe-inspiring bushland that I had the good fortune to live amongst, and in doing so learned that you can’t care for trees without caring for people. The skills I’ve learned and the knowledge I’ve gained has significantly shaped my personal and professional life, and my outlook on the community.

It would appear that perhaps everything I’ve done has put me in the right place at the right time to do something, to make a difference, beyond my back fence, for the benefit of many and the beautiful bushland that I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience and enjoy for so many years.

As the President of the CPPA I’ve been forced to assess the organisation’s relevance within the community and the untapped potential of the asset it owns. As a daughter of ageing parents I see the need for living arrangements that support and connect people to friends and provide security of accommodation. As a neighbour to a community changing development I have the motivation to contribute to a different vision.

I realise some people may think that personal interest is at play. Rest assured the collaborative housing proposal can be applied anywhere, it’s just that my place in the community and the roles I serve have allowed me to see there are other options out there. With everything that has happened locally and globally this year, and with 20 Laycock St up for sale, now seems like a really good time to do something about making a lasting positive change.

My personal plan is to this this through, I’m looking forward to ensuring the relevance of the Progress Association within our community. I want to be part of the solution. I want to make the highly improbable possible or at least give it my best shot. I do believe the world is changing, there’s growing recognition we have to do things differently and collaborative housing appears to be a step in the right direction.

I hope you can join me on Saturday Nov 28 or Monday 30 Nov to talk it through and see if we’ve got what it takes to make our community thrive into the future.

Footpaths where people are please.



Or P.O. box1906 Hunter Regional Mail Centre 2310

Here are some ideas, but your own words are best, plus a photo if you can.

From the south and east of Toronto, only two streets feed into town.

1. Brighton Ave leads to the lower end of town and has a footpath its full length.

2. The upper end of town, including the library, post office, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, doctors and dentists, etc. is accessed via Excelsior Pde, where pedestrian thoroughfare is fragmented, rough and, in some places dangerous or non-existent.

The south side of Excelsior Pde is impassable because of the terrain.

The north side, at both eastern and western ends of the block between Jarrett and Pemmel Sts, has lengths of paving, some concrete, some bitumen, and very patchy, but navigable on foot.

The 200m long middle stretch, however, is navigable only with the greatest care and has no footpath at all. It is the missing link and demands attention.

Trip hazards are caused by the edge of driveways and exposed tree roots.

Eroded areas are uneven, rough and loose underfoot.

Space for walking narrows to 30-40cms, a real risk, especially on bin collection


When forced onto the road, the shoulder is narrow to non-existent and traffic is frequent.

This section is totally unsuited to prams or strollers, dangerous for parents with little ones, and challenging for dog-walkers.

It is forbidding and dangerous for the elderly or less able, and totally impossible for wheel chairs.

In the interests of pedestrian amenity for shoppers and commuters, cleaner air, sustainability, thoroughfare for the less able, and the physical well-being of all our residents, a safe footpath in Excelsior Pde is essential.

Join in and Join Up - TASNG News

CPPA membership aligns with the calendar year and the annual renewal process will soon get underway with members receiving an update on their membership status in November. 

The December Chronicle will include a membership application so everyone can have the opportunity to support your local progress association and TASNG and early in the year we’ll be reminding you of the amazing things we’re hoping to achieve to inspire your support.

There is a membership form permanently available on the website.

Kilaben Bay gets The Chronicle...but for how long?

At the request of community members and to support the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group (TASNG) the distribution of The Chronicle has been temporarily extended to include all of Kilaben Bay.

To continue the expanded distribution into 2021 Kilaben Bay members are needed along with supporters willing to letterbox the newsletter. If you’re interested in exploring what your membership supports and what ‘The Chronicle’ typically covers please explore this website or you can sign up to receive an email version of the newsletter. C
ontact Tony (4959 4533) if you’re interested in hand delivering 50-100 newsletters.

Notice of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group
Annual General Meeting

Members of the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhood Group are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 11th November, 2020
5.00pm – 6.00pm

Toronto Community Centenary Hub
97 The Boulevard
Toronto NSW 2283

RSVPS essential to: Tricia Eldridge

For additional enquiries email Secretary

Follow us on FaceBook
Another way to keep up to date with Toronto Area Sustainable
Neighbourhood events and activities


Council considered a report from staff at its meeting held 28th September, 2020, regarding the Bath Street site. The report recommended that Council now proceed with design, and obtaining Development Consent, for the previously mooted “boutique café” (with potential for some hire facilities) but still retain the site as commercial Operational Land. Obviously, most people thought that this café was a much better outcome than the original proposal of a commercial building of up to six storeys high. 

The details on the actual size and extent of the café building with a large deck, were very generalised and vague, with the Mayor at one point in the meeting referring to it as a restaurant. Councillor Wendy Harrison moved to both define the size of the development and to reclassify the site as Community Land, that would become part of the adjoining Foreshore Park.

Council adopted that part of Cr Harrison’s motion defining the size and extent of the development, but not the other part to reclassify this Council owned property to Community Land. The only argument presented for this position was the claim that commercial Operational Land classification provides staff with more business opportunities and easier leasing arrangements. This was disappointing given that the legislation really only provides for very minimal controls to protect basic community interests or standards, when leases are granted for private businesses to operate on Community Park Land.

Council’s own planning documents show that Toronto needs more park land to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and the increasing number and size of apartment blocks in the nearby area. The decision not to incorporate the Bath Street site into the Foreshore Park therefore seems very short-sighted.

Earlier this year Council purchased a privately owned property at Swansea that adjoins a foreshore park so that the park could be expanded. At Toronto, Council already owns the land and there is a demonstrated need for parkland. The community is entitled to ask why there is such differential treatment between the two suburbs?

DA In Play to 5/11/20

The CPPA endeavours to provide a summary of active applications in our area as outlined in the table.

Please consult LMCC’s website for a full listing:

  • DA = Development Application
  • BC = Building Information Certificate
  • TA = Tree Assessment
  • CC = Construction Certificate,
  • CDC = Complying Development Certificate,
  • REF = Review Environmental Factors
  • SC = Subdivision Certificate.
  • MU = Mixed use
  • RFB = Residential flat Building

Pre-DA to ponder

There’s a new tool available to see what council’s plans for housing supply within our community are prior to the DAs being lodged, it’s the LMCC Urban Development Program (UDP). It monitors our City’s residential development pipeline in both greenfield and infill areas. A link to the UDP is on our website.

On the map you can see pre-development applications are in process at
  • 2 Brighton Ave for 18 small lot dwellings
  • 149 Excelsior Pde for 20 small lot dwellings
  • 163-167 Excelsior Pde for 28 small lot dwellings
  • 44 Brighton Ave for 10 small lot dwellings
  • 114 Carey St has 129 RBF MU dwellings
  • The Carey Bay Squash Courts has 23 RBF MU dwellings

Also shown are the approved 5 lot subdivision at 25-27 Kilaben Rd and 22 dwellings at 20 Laycock St.

Where are the community spaces and footpaths to support this growth?