Communication with Council

Gladesville Community

Group (Incorporated)


Below are:

  • a summary of the key attributes of the 2010 DCP's, referred below (extract from email update sent 3 December 2013, posted here on 11 December 2013),
  • an open letter calling for improvements to the Development Control Plan (DCP), which was sent to Hunters Hill Council,
  • responses which were received from Deputy Mayor Meredith Sheil, and Councillor Justine McLaughlin in their personal capacity - these are not an official response from the Council, and
  • information from Council clarifying the evolution of the 2010 DCP, and
  • the original version of the 2010 DCP (revised version accessible from


DCP's are written by Councils and establish much of the specific criteria against which any given DA will be assessed. It is a document which is given signficance by Section 79C (3A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.


Update 11 December: The 2010 DCP which could easily be found had some controls such as setbacks and landscaping requirements, which aimed to soften the impact of such a development on the streetscape. What we only discovered after writing to Council about improving the DCP, is that a second DCP was adopted in 2010, which favours the developer and removed some of these controls - thus allowing the situation (for example) where a 14m sheer wall (1 & /2 telegraph poles tall) could be built all the way to the footpath on the corner of Cowell and Flagstaff Streets, where the Timber Cottage currently stands. Below is a summary of key aspects of the two DCP's of 2010.



To the Mayor and Councillors of Hunters Hill Council,


We request your attention to the planning instruments which are under the control of Hunters Hill Council, to 'lift the bar' instead of dropping it lower - as occurred between the 2010 and 2013 DCPs.


Recent advice from Architectus confirms the relevance of a DCP adopted by council after the lodgement of a DA but prior to its determination. Our Council is not powerless to safeguard against poor design. We ask that you act immediately to prevent any DA for such poor quality as 2013-1036 from coming close to satisfying prescriptive provisions of our DCP.


Kind regards,

Russell Young and Richard Li




7 November 2013



To: Mayor Richard Quinn, Clr and Deputy Mayor Meredith Sheil,

Clr Justine McLaughin, Clr Zac Miles, Clr Peter Astridge, Clr Mark Bennett, Clr Gary Bird



Re: DCP for Gladesville Village Centre


We believe there is a clear call from the Community for our Council to protect the long-term interests of the residents and others with interest in this municipality.


The expectation that our Council should safeguard against poor quality development goes beyond the treatment of DA 2013-1036 for the redevelopment of Gladesville Shopping Village (lodged in June 2013), and extends to the planning instruments under the control of Council. Specifically, we believe Council can do more to safeguard the quality of design that could be approved for this site, by improving the Development Control Plan (DCP) for the Gladesville Village Centre.


Amongst other impacts, the 2013 DCP removed the requirement for setbacks to Cowell and Flagstaff Streets, previously required under the 2010 DCP to be 5 metres with landscaping requirements, and reduced the parking requirement expressed as spaces per sqm of retail floor area. The writing of option instruments that subject our Council to the will of a developer, enabling the developer to acquire and demolish 10 Cowell St, is highly controversial. Given Council’s financial interest being linked to the commercial viability of this development, such actions must be viewed with concern, as the actions are contrary to the Objectives of the DCP and LEP, and the commitment to Heritage, which is often expressed. Actions are what count, and the adoption of any given DCP is an action of significant consequence in the planning and approval process.


Accordingly, we ask that Councillors i) take immediate action to urgently adopt a DCP for the Gladesville Village Centre which restores the superior requirements of the 2010 DCP, removing any validity that the 2013 DCP (adopted AFTER the lodgement of this DA) may have in assessment for DA 2013-1036.


Further, we call for Councillors to ii) task Architectus with improving the DCP, as was undertaken in respect of Hunters Hill Village. Determining the expected quality of design and satisfaction of the Objectives of the DCP and the LEP should not be left to the subjective judgement of the Consent Authority of the day, but should be enshrined in planning instruments that codify and explicitly state the requirements, where possible. The preservation of Number 10 Cowell St is clearly an issue that receives great public support, and must be addressed adequately by Council given the previous failure to accept recommendation for Heritage Listing, or to formally refuse.


It is imperative that, at this time when the State Government is seeking to reduce the power of Local Governments in Planning, Hunters Hill Council demonstrates its relevance and value to the local Community.





From Deputy Mayor Meredith Sheil


Dear Russell and Richard,


Thank you for your open letter.


I have looked into the history of the DCP controls for this precinct and found that although a new Gladesville Village Centre DCP was initially adopted in February 2009 (including 5 meter setbacks with deep soil planting in Flagstaff street) it was soon thereafter (September 2010) amended to include a new "Section 4" which contained revised controls for the "Key Site" (the site bounded by Cowell, Flagstaff and Massey streets and Victoria Rd), in which these setback requirements were altered.


The amended controls for the "KEY SITE" were proposed following a review by Brett Newbold in 2009, undertaken in consultation with a workshop group including local residents, land owners and the Gladesville Chamber of Commerce.


His recommendations included nil setbacks for the basement and lower 2 storeys on on Flagstaff street (podium level), but increased setbacks of 10 meters for any upper storeys. This was in the setting of a conglomeration of other changes designed to deliver commercial scale development at Flagstaff street (2 storey plus basement) with much improved pedestrian amenity and a including reducing traffic to one way, widened footpaths, street tree plantings, shop frontages and a pedestrian entry court from Flagstaff street).


Following public exhibition, the amendments were adopted by council in September 2010 and incorporated into the Gladesville Village Centre DCP 2010 as a new "section 4".


DCP28 - (The "Gladesville Village Centre DCP2010 with amended section 4") is the document that was in force when the recent DA was submitted.


It is available at the following web address

(Please note that this document contains the superseded controls plus the new controls in SECTION 4)


The same (new) controls from section 4 of DCP28 now appear in the Consolidated DCP 2013, which was adopted in August 2013.


I understand that this is confusing people and I hope this history may help clear things up.


Regardless of this history, I do appreciate your concerns.


I will be requesting that council review the Gladesville Village DCP with regard to revisiting the adequacy of setbacks, transitions and buffering controls and landscaping provisions between the development precinct and surrounding residential areas.


I feel that this should be undertaken in conjunction with the new traffic and pedestrian flow plan, urban design plan and formation of the Main street committee, and will be putting this recommendation forward to council.


With Regards

Meredith Sheil

Councillor, Deputy Mayor, Hunters Hill Council


From Councillor Justine McLaughlin


I will be supporting Meredith in her recommendations, including the review of the status of the heritage items in the vicinity.



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