Have Your Say Rose Bay Village. Open Letter to Woollahra Council Part 2
So we get another chance to voice our objection and give feedback for the Woollahra Council development of the local Wilberforce Car Park in Rose Bay. DEADLINE 4.00 PM FRIDAY 26 MAY 2023. We don’t object to the Development, we object to their current proposal. We want proper planning and preparation to ensure that locals can still shop and businesses can trade through the building. Click here for the first part.
Basically the issue is the structure they are pushing through the process
- reflect the look and feel the beachside suburb
- is very overpriced – especially in this climate
- will take double the time they say it will (at least!)
- is not maximising the number of car spaces possible in the space
- reflect sustainable ecological design and materials that are so important to us all
The council say they have ‘consulted’ with the community on this massive development that they say they have been working on for 10 years. The ‘consultation’ we have had is:
- Zoom call February 2022 – lots of questions asked – no answers given
- Meeting in the car park at 10.30 am during the week – on what turned out to be a rainy day. This totally excludes local business owners attending and contributing.
- 200 letters going out to residents – we asked Eastern Suburbs Connect, local group of over 2000 people, who received the letter notice, only 1 resident & 1 building owner had received it. It would not be hard for the council to have a letter posted or dropped into to every business. They should also post these notifications on their site and socials.
- I also know that council has gone to meet with the larger retailers for one on one meetings but don’t know the details.
Following the objections and petitions signed in February, the council agreed to have a meeting with local business owners and locals. Sadly they talked at us more than to us. Our questions are still unanswered. Disappointingly, the council then told people that they had met with business owners and they were fully on board. This was not the case at all.
We would love you to have your say and support Rose Bay Village. Below is the letter we are sending with our submissions for the development with more information.
If you would like to send this letter as well you can:
1. Download it here and email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Download it here and hand into one of the stores below and we will send it
3. Go into one of the stores below and fill out the letter with your details and we will send it
These stores have the blank letters + will accept the filled out letters.
- Made on Earth
- Mea & Ame
- Merrett’s Liquor
- Art Store at Rose Bay
- By Kim
- Meca Cuts
Re: DA 598/2022/1: Mr Aleidzans:ahu Wilberforce Ave Car Park Development
I am not objecting to the development of the current car park at Wilberforce Ave. I am objecting to the current DA submitted by council.
I am immediately lodging an objection to the proposal and would like the period extended and project put on hold, so that we can collectively submit feedback. ask questions and then analyze the answers and more information that will be presented following these questions.
We need a forward thinking plan that will accommodate the growing population, support local businesses and therefore the community and the area, build in the fastest possible time at the least possible cost. We know that if preparation is not done, parking will not be available during the 3 – 4 years of building which will result in businesses closing as locals cannot shop there. These businesses have traded through covid and have not properly recovered and now have to deal with this!
My reasons are outlines as follows:
1. There isn’t a defined plan to replace 97 spots, in current car park, in the surrounding area as was discussed with the Mayor and council representatives 22 March 2023. In fact, we were told that we would have to simply put up with less spaces for the duration of the build.
Without these replacement spaces, businesses and locals will lose.
These additional spots can be found by:
- Adding 90 degree parking in wider surrounding streets
- Converting current loading zone spaces to parking & moving the loading zones to less high traffic areas
- Changing long parking to shorter parking, eg: 2 hour parking to 30 mins and 4 – 12 hour parking to 2 hour and 30 mins spaces
2. We don’t believe that the submitted drawings will take 18 months, it will be much longer.
We would like to see more detail in the actual timeline and details from a certified builder.
Builders and engineers have been consulted and said that this is a 3-4 year build IF materials and labour are readily available. Currently, there is a supply issue with both.
3. We would like to see a smarter more cohesive design, more reflective of Rose Bay’s unique seaside position, for the multi-level car park that is :
- Faster to build
- Reasonably priced to maintain and clean
- Maximizes additional car spaces by only having car spaces and public amenities
- The current plan shows a lot of space taken for infrastructure around ventilation, retail and waste not related to car spaces / car park.
An open-air multi-level car park is the optimal design for the following reasons:
- Pollution won’t be expelled in one / two concentrated outlet (s)
- It won’t block air flow in the village It won’t be enclosed and won’t need to be ventilated and air conditioned
- External can be vertical gardens and add to the ecology of the area
- Current design is a light coloured concrete and glass external and needs constant cleaning and maintenance, all of which cost money
4. The proposed cost of this development, $28,826,432.00 for 112 car spot, seems very high. What other options have been investigated? We will be requesting this under the Freedom of Information Act as we have not has a response to this question despite asking it since 2022.
5. Commercial costs of the car park can be covered by paid parking: Early Bird parking on top level and paid parking over 3 hours which will also meet an urgent need in the area for all day accessible parking.
The current plan of small retail spaces are obviously designed to fund the maintenance cost of the building. The cost to run this is also much higher than simple Early Bird / Daily parking or similar.
6. Community Centre is not needed in the car park. The majority of people don’t feel there is a need for community space beyond what is currently available: Scout Hall, Council owned Bowling Clubs in Vaucluse & Diamond Bay. The State Government gave council a grant for community space at a local public school – all of these can be developed further.
Over 2,000 locals surveyed: 56% don’t think a space is needed. 15 % not in the middle of the village. 12% on Ian St space. 9% in the carpark. 7% elsewhere, 1% upgrade the Scout Hall.
7. Surrounding traffic flow must be addressed before building. Currently traffic is in constant gridlock and 112 additional cars + in the area will simply add to this. Where’s the plan?
8. Updated infrastructure needs to be upgraded over and above traffic flow. To date there hasn’t been any development in local infrastructure. Better local buses / people movers are needed as an option to vehicles.
9. Business Support is needed in the lead up to building and certainly during building:
- Financial support to build their digital presence so customers can stay connected when village isn’t easily accessible.
- 2 click and collect zones during building so we can quickly collect pre-placed orders
- Local delivery service: 11 am & 3pm that pick up in the village & deliver 5km zone
10. The land was given to council on the basis it is used as a car park, not retail and community space. This plan is a direct violation of this agreement.
11. What other designs and locations were considered. These questions have been asked many times and no answer given. We will be requesting this under the Freedom of Information Act.
12. There is also conversation that Ian St Car Park will be sold to fund the DA. This will mean a loss of about 60 spaces which means the $28,000,000 will only yield an additional 62 spaces in Wilberforce Ave. Wilberforce Ave site must accommodate more spaces.
13. Tradie parking: all trades to pay for a local pass that covers parking for a day that defines where they can park: NOT IN THE VILLAGE TAKING SPOTS FROM LOCALS. This must be enforced by parking officers. The Mayor told us that tradies will be parking onsite which is not possible once work starts.
Plumer Road is an example of a job causing issues for businesses and locals when council doesn’t consider them. It is now in the 3rd month & only after business owner action, was signage & support rolled out. We don’t want the same in Rose Bay Village. We don’t want to be fixing issues, we want to be prepared.
To date, council has not consulted or supported locals and local businesses as we collectively would expect. We would like to see this development be the first of a more consultative activity that benefits the community and not just developers and council.”