Saturday, 9 October 2021

DA In Play 1/9/21 to 8/10/21 & Two different DAs

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
List of DAs

Two very different DAs on our doorstep

A DA with a difference to comment on
 163-167 Excelsior Parade - DA/2459/2021

Demolition, Multi Dwelling housing and a 3 into 26 lot Strata Subdivision.

A development application with a difference, one that has attempted to retain some of the vegetation! On page 17 of the Statement of Environment Effects the proponent states in regards to Landscape and Tree Planting – "We highlight that the design is specifically derived around retention of existing significant vegetation on site and within the road verge. The designer has taken great care to ensure significant stands of vegetation are retained at the front, centre and mid-block interface portions on the allotment."

Some images of the proposal's location and context  follow:

DA/2075/2021 (44-46 Brighton Avenue, Toronto)

Aggressive encroachment and dangerous precedents:

In contrast to the vegetation retention approach proposed above, local residents have recently been commenting on a DA which not only proposed clearing of all vegetation on the block but also vegetation on adjacent blocks.

Those of us who live around or travel along Brighton Avenue and Excelsior Parade have noticed the increasing loss of vegetation and birdsong as developers have moved into the ‘medium density’ rezoning between Pemell and Ambrose Streets, combined blocks and turned them into tightly packed units.

DA/2075/2021 (44-46 Brighton Avenue, Toronto), now being assessed by Council staff, pushes the limits even further in seeking to squeeze nine units into two former house blocks just along from Jarrett Street (one of them with the spreading liquid amber that is so glorious in autumn).

The developer seeks to build right up to the side and back fences with a gun-barrel drive/watercourse up the middle.

That involves not only the removal of all trees on the site but also the removal of adjacent mature trees on the southern side and at the back. It constitutes a drastic encroachment upon those neighbouring properties.

Obviously it is not practical to slice off half a tree, branches and roots, along a fenceline and expect the other half to remain intact. Such aggressive action would create a hazard. Either the other half must be viciously trimmed in the hope of eventual re-growth, or it must be removed.

Of course there is a legal right to seek removal of encroaching hazards, but is not reasonable to submit create potential hazards and demand encroachment rights without prior consent. There is no ‘right’ to cause collateral damage.

Neighbours have objected. Council’s Streetscape/Landscape Referral Response addresses some of the harmful impacts but downplays or ignores others.

If Council were to approve this DA, it would set an appalling precedent. The whole ridgeline from Pemell St to Ambrose St would become a clearfell zone and be turned into a hard-surface, bird-free, built environment with massive stormwater run-off into the lake and no outdoor residential amenity.

Building codes are belatedly addressing the worsening heat-island effects of rising temperatures (climate change) combined with urban densification and wide expanses of unshaded heat-absorbent surfaces. Science has established that vegetated neighbourhoods can be at least 10% cooler than exposed built environments, thereby providing more comfortable and more healthy residential amenity.

Some Sydney Councils have become pro-active in addressing heat-island effects. LMCC should also address this worsening problem as part of its strategy for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The developer will clear, build, sell and leave. LMCC and ratepayers will own the problem in perpetuity, so we need foresight and good planning now. This DA is the clearest possible example of poor practice not only in precinct planning but also in climate mitigation and adaptation.

Let us hope Council does proper due diligence and holds its nerve.

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