Author Archives: KumudB

UPDATE AS AT 20 JULY 2017

SAVEBERRYSBAY COMMITTEE CALLS FOR PROMPT ACTION TO TERMINATE THE AGREEMENT FOR LEASE OF BERRYS BAY MARINA PTY LTD (AKA MERIDIEN)

The community (both Precinct and political groups) have been persistently lobbying and engaging with members of the Government for the termination of the BBM (Meridien) Agreement  for Lease, which has always been on condition that BBM achieved a successful DA, The incumbent has had almost a decade to develop a compliant design concept and have it approved, and they have repeatedly failed. They have failed because they did not listen to the community and produce a concept which would fit with the character and scale of the Bay. Their right to continue the Agreement for Lease has therefore ceased.

At the site meeting in March the Premier indicated her office would take advice on termination. The reports below of use of Berrys Bay for the proposed tunnel must mean the Government has decided to terminate the Agreement for Lease. It is now time for action to terminate but this must not be conditional on any tunnel proposal or be delayed further while that process proceeds..

We now call on the NSW Government to ensure that taxpayer money is not handed over in this termination process. BBM should not be compensated for this decade-long display of commercial hubris. Rather, it has not been able to fulfill what must be the conditions of the Agreement to obtain a DA in order for a full lease then to follow. This should give the Government the right to cancel the Agreement without compensation. And even if compensation were to be considered it should merely reflect the value to the Government and community of any studies and surveys completed by the proponent which can be put to use in the future to achieve an outcome which is in harmony with this most important place.

RMS PLANS TO USE BERRYS BAY AS A WORKSITE FOR THE WESTERN HARBOUR TUNNEL REVEALED

Residents will be aware of plans for a new road tunnel, slated to travel under Waverton after crossing under the Harbour from Birchgrove Point. At the last Precinct meeting the RMS representative stated that all their planning is based on a concept line that starts at Rozelle (where it joins West Connex) and ends at Falcon Street/Warringah Expressway. From there another section of tunnel will cross under Middle Harbour, with links to the Burnt Creek Deviation and Warringah Road.

In a press release dated 18 July, the ABC issued a story based on leaked confidential Government briefing documents, about plans for this project, for which initial geotechnical investigations are currently under way in our area. Apart from the headline that the price tag for this project is estimated at $14b, the report also stated:

Much of the foreshore at Berrys Bay, Waverton, will close to become the home of a dredging operation, removing thousands of tonnes of sludge and mud from the harbour.”

The above story was followed up on the 20th with details that included:

The closure to the public of foreshore areas is flagged at White Bay, Berrys Bay, Balls Head and around Middle Harbour for the construction of large worksites, including heavy equipment sheds on land…

The plan considers the removal of the historic Balls Head Coal Loader Wharf to allow barge operations and a work-plant to operate from the foreshore….

Whilst these news releases might be regarded as speculative because RMS claims that no firm decision has been made on the alignment or form of harbour tunnel (buried tubes or deeper, drilled tunnel) to be used to cross from Birchgrove Point to Waverton, the community should be aware that this incursion would be likely if the whole project proceeds. The SaveBarrysBay Committee will be watching this closely to ensure the interests of the area are not trampled by this mega-project. As a first comment, we support the call by North Sydney Council for an investigation of public transport options including a metro line from Chatswood to Dee Why.

UPDATE AS AT 17 MAY 2017

SAVEBERRYSBAY COMMITTEE CALLS FOR CURRENT PROCESS TO BE SCRAPPED IN FAVOUR OF PROPER PLANNING

Despite several months passing since a new DA proposal by Berrys Bay Marina Company was mooted, there has been no application lodged. Based on the unsatisfactory scale of the mooted application (see below), the SaveBerrysBay committee has continued to lobby Government at Premier and Ministerial level for the current decade long and essentially failed process to be brought to an end; for the Greater Sydney Commission to be given the task of developing a new planning instrument for future development of the Peninsula and surrounding waters, with input from key stakeholders; and for this to inform a new tender process (if such is recommended). Both local branches of the Liberal Party, with the support of federal member Trent Zimmerman, recently passed resolutions for that course of action. Premier Berejiklian also visited the site but was non-committal about forcing the issue. A letter sent directly to the Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight also received a reply which failed to acknowledge the failure of RMS over the last decade to achieve a satisfactory outcome for the bay.

We will keep you informed on developments, noting that our response will be informed by the guiding principles agreed last year and published below.

UPDATE AS AT 13 SEPTEMBER 2016

THE NEXT  MARINA PROPOSAL FOR BERRYS BAY HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!

ANOTHER OVERDEVELOPMENT FOR OUR ICONIC BAY

An INCREASE in number of boats and in water area covered up in Woodleys Cove

The Meridien Marinas’ subsidiary Berrys Bay Marina Company, after losing its case before the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), has come back with another overdevelopment proposal. The new plan appears to accept the ruling and exclude the dolphin wharf, but now plans to cram 79 vessels up to 30m (100ft) in length into the western arm (Woodleys Cove) covering up an even  larger water area.

The JRPP unanimously rejected DA 260/2015 earlier this year, deciding that:

  • The principal reason for refusal was “the high intensity of the proposed use”, with the amount of marina proposed “too much for the character of the Bay”.
  • The dolphin wharf section should be excluded (13 superyacht berths to 45m long).
  • In the western arm of the Bay (Woodleys Cove) the marina water area and size of boats should be reduced (from the proposed 74 berths 15-30m long).

The developer could have appealed to the Land & Environment Court against that unanimous rejection. Instead it has requested the Department of Planning’s requirements for preparation of its detailed DA for a new project. North Sydney Council has summarised the new plan as including:-

  • construction of a 79 berth marina for vessels up to 30m (100ft) in length;
  • retention and refurbishment of existing boating and administration facilities;
  • two new two storey buildings with a combined gross floor area of approximately 1,900m² for a yacht club, ancillary commercial and retail maritime uses;
  • retain the significant part (approximately 85%) of the existing quay line;
  • provision of a large landscaped area (approximately 6,000m²) for passive and active recreation;
  • children’s play area (approximately 300m²);
  • kayak and small boat storage facility; and
  • parking for approximately 70 vehicles.

While the dolphin wharf appears to have been deleted from the marina proposal in line with the JRPP decision, the burden on Woodleys Cove has been increased, not reduced as sought by the JRPP, with 8 additional berths, taking total berths from 71 to 79, on three arms, the eastern-most being significantly increased in length.   The proposed boat lengths range from 12-30m – note that boats 25m> are defined as superyachts. The net result of removing the dolphin wharf is therefore a reduction of only 5 on-water berths in Berrys Bay as a whole, from 84 to 79, which falls well short of the reduction in marina size sought by the JRPP.  Nor do we yet know whether the dolphin wharf is to be removed from the developer’s agreement for lease for the future or perhaps turned into another project, to be leased out to another over-developer.

Waverton Precinct has decided to remain pro-active in relation to the project with the intention of finally achieving the right re-development of our long contested Bay. We have therefore reviewed and simplified our requirements for any proposal.

Guiding principles adopted by Precinct

Waverton Precinct Committee at its 6 September 2016 monthly public meeting adopted the following in principle requirements to guide its response to any new DA:

  1. Any development to be appropriate in character and scale to the special values of this iconic Bay on Sydney Harbour foreshore with its beautiful surrounding  bushland and public open space setting and rich maritime industrial heritage.
  2. Development to meet the letter and spirit of the principles of Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005:
    i.  Sydney Harbour is to be recognised as a public resource, owned by the public, to be protected for the public good,
    ii. the public good has precedence over the private good whenever and whatever change is proposed for Sydney Harbour or its foreshores,
    iii. protection of the natural assets of Sydney Harbour has precedence over all other interests.
  3. In accordance with the decision of the JRPP that the main section of the marina should be reduced and the size of boats further limited, the Water Area of the marina not to exceed the previous combined operational area of Woodleys and BP in the western bay, with all of the marina berthed vessels, moored vessels and on-water operations contained within that Water Area. Number, length and height conditions to be determined for vessels consistent with the amenity of the bay.
  4. The former BP land now proposed for public recreation to become part of Carradah Park within the Waverton Peninsula Reserve Trust under care and control of Council together with the access road and bushland west of the Woodleys site to preserve and optimise the foreshore walkway and connectivity.
  5. Marina operations not to impact on that public recreation land or inhibit establishment of public access to and from that land, including foreshore access and access to the water. Accordingly no access to marina pontoons from, and no vehicular access along, that public land.
  6. The marina design to leave an adequate access channel to the Quarantine Depot including for the possibility of future ferry services, weekend, hop-on/hop-off, or regular.
  7. No reduction in the number of private swing moorings in the Bay.
  8. The Woodleys Main Shed to remain as a heritage item, refurbished, and continue to be fully visible from land and water. No dry boat storage racks to be located outside the existing Woodleys boat shed.
  9. Car parking to be contained within the bund wall and preferably to be a public carpark operated by Council. No commercial uses over the bund wall-enclosed car park roof. Car park roof to be landscaped and be accessible to the public.
  10. Public kayak/dinghy launching facilities to be provided at no charge, and kayak/dinghy storage facilities to be provided at the same charges as currently applied by North Sydney Council elsewhere.
  11. Public café/restaurant to be provided on the site, with operating hours to be in accordance with Council zoning.

This list of in principle requirements has been sent to all Ministers, local members, public agencies, Council and Councillors and community groups with a role in the proper development of Berrys Bay. Precinct will continue to call for a round table meeting of all those parties to determine the appropriate criteria to be provided to any developer before a new DA is presented. This way we seek to avoid the years of expensive and time-consuming adversarial confrontation that has achieved nothing in the decade since the first tender was released.

The Bay is too important for the government yet again to allow the developer to drive the process and we will seek the intervention of the Premier if our proposed consultative approach is not immediately pursued.

When a DA is ultimately produced it will be assessed again by Council but determined now by the new Greater Sydney Commission (replacing the JRPP). With the introduction of this new authority, Precinct recently made a submission on the crucial importance of our Peninsula.

Submission to the Greater Sydney Commission on “A vision for Waverton Peninsula: A natural and historic Sydney Harbour icon

Precinct’s submission to the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) presents a vision of Waverton Peninsula as a unique natural and historic icon on the shores of Sydney Harbour for consideration by the GSC as it drafts the Sydney North District Plan.  This submission argues the case for Government to adopt a whole-of-peninsula approach to planning to address issues including the Berrys Bay marina, the dolphin wharf, the former quarantine depot, the coal loader wharf and foreshore access.  You can view Precinct’s submission at:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-xgN7fmX0nLS11dDFBWmR2LVE/view?usp=sharing

We will keep you informed on developments.

UPDATE AS AT 25 MAY 2016

‘SAVE BERRYS BAY’ SUPPORTERS GET-TOGETHER

FROM 3PM SUNDAY 29 MAY, THE LOOKOUT, LARKIN STREET, WAVERTON

Waverton Precinct Committee is holding a supporters get-together from 3pm Sunday 29 May at the lookout at the end of Larkin Street to recognise the invaluable support provided by the community to the ‘Save Berrys Bay’ campaign.

As you will now be aware on 5 May 2016 the Joint Regional Planning Panel refused the Berrys Bay Marina Development Application No.260/15.  You can read the reasons for refusal in the Panel’s “Determination and Statement of Reasons” document at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-xgN7fmX0nNzdGN0JtOEZrOWM/view?usp=sharing

Bring some refreshments, meet other supporters and toast the efforts of the community.

We do hope you will be able to join us.

UPDATE AS AT 7 MAY 2016

Great news! Berrys Bay Marina DA unanimously rejected!

In an historic decision the Joint Regional Planning Panel on 5 May 2016 unanimously rejected the Berrys Bay Marina Company’s Development Application for a superyacht marina in Berrys Bay. The Panel  accepted the recommendation of North Sydney Council’s independent assessor that the DA be refused. The Panel’s principal reason for refusal of the application was “the high intensity of the proposed use”, with the amount of marina proposed “too much for the character of the Bay”.

Importantly, the Panel believes that the dolphin wharf should be excluded from any marina and that in the western part of the Bay, Woodley’s Cove, the water area and size of boats should be reduced, as we have been arguing for a very long time now.

To read the Panel’s Decision go tohttp://www.jrpp.nsw.gov.au/Meetings/tabid/82/ctl/view/JRPP_ID/2315/mid/460/a/1/language/en-AU/Default.aspx  and click on the link “Determination and Statement of Reasons (Panel Decision).

This is a great success for the Save Berrys Bay campaign to ensure that any re-development in beautiful Berrys Bay is of a character and scale appropriate to the natural and heritage values of this very special place.  The success results from the tireless work of many people over a very long time, and from the strong public support for this community campaign.   We thank all supporters for their fine submissions and strong attendance at the various extremely well-attended public meetings since the campaign commenced in 2009.

What happens next?  The applicant could choose to appeal to the Land and Environment Court against the determination of the Joint Regional Planning Panel any time within 6 months of this Panel decision.  We will have to wait and see on that.

Meanwhile we will seek to engage with government in an endeavour to achieve a speedy and proper outcome for the Bay consistent with its natural and heritage values as part of the restored Waverton Peninsula.

You can contact us for further information at wavertonprecinct@icloud.com

We will continue to keep you informed.

A section of 200 people at JRPP meeting 5 May 2016

A section of 200 people at JRPP meeting 5 May 2016

UPDATE AS AT 28 APRIL 2016

Please attend public meeting at which fate of Berrys Bay Marina DA will be determined

5pm Thursday 5 May at North Sydney Council Chambers

The fate of Berrys Bay Marina DA 260/15 will be ‘determined’ at this meeting.  The 7 April meeting of the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) was to have been the Determination Meeting.  However that ‘determination’ was did not occur because, as a result of a Council/JRPP administrative hiccup, the JRPP had failed to meet its statutory obligation to give all submitters on the DA a formal Notice one week ahead of the Determination Meeting.

As a result another meeting, to be the Determination Meeting, is scheduled for 5pm Thursday 5 May in the Hutley Hall at Council.   ThePanel will hear additional comments on the Assessment Report.  It will then adjourn to confer, before reconvening the public meeting to announce their decision – refusal or approval – and their reasons.

The external Assessor appointed by Council has recommended that the DA be refused on many grounds.  You can find the Assessment Report by clicking on the ‘Council Assessment Report’ link on the JRPP webpage: http://www.jrpp.nsw.gov.au/Meetings/tabid/82/ctl/view/JRPP_ID/2315/mid/460/a/1/language/en-US/Default.aspx  .

An interesting development – At the 7 April meeting a Panel member sought clarification from the DA proponent about whether the superyacht marina proposed for the dolphin wharf was to be serviced by a path that goes through part of Carradah Park, and whether that was a permitted use.  The proponent’s team undertook to report back to the JRPP.  However on 18 April the JRPP loaded a number of files on its website which show that following the 7 April meeting the proponent sought to lodge with Council amendments to the DA to provide a floating walkway to access the dolphin wharf (which would eliminate any need for access through Carradah Park).  The files also show that Council refused to accept those amendments to the DA – telling the proponent that those changes would necessitate another 30 day Exhibition and further assessment.  As a result the 5 May Determination Meeting will be determining the fate of DA 260/2015 as publicly exhibited in February this year.

There was a very large attendance of close to 200 at the 7 April meeting.  We strongly encourage you to also attend the 5 May meeting because another large attendance will reinforce to the JRPP the breadth of community concern at the excessive scale of the proposed development. (It is not necessary that you speak).

It is very important to note that this is a planning consent meeting and is not an occasion for public protest. Our behaviour must again be appropriate with no placards and no interjections from the floor.

Although the Assessor’s recommendation is for refusal the JRPP makes up its own mind. It is very important to remember that for the Clontarf Marina DA in 2014 the Manly Council Assessment Report recommended ‘refusal’ but the JRPP approved that DA with conditions.

You can contact us for further information at wavertonprecinct@icloud.com .

UPDATE AS AT 3 APRIL 2016

THURSDAY 7 APRIL AT 5PM AT NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

PUBLIC MEETING OF JOINT REGIONAL PLANNING PANEL

TO BEGIN DETERMINATION OF THE BERRYS BAY MARINA DA

The decision process on whether the Berrys Bay Marina Development Application should be approved or refused has begun following the long phase of submissions and assessment. This decision will NOT be a Council decision but is made by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, JRPP, for Sydney East, consisting of three Government appointees and two North Sydney Councillors. The Chair is Dr John Roseth, a respected senior planner.

The public are invited to attend the public meeting and we encourage you to attend on Thursday.

The JRPP has now received the detailed Assessment Report commissioned by Council from the external planning assessor. The JRPP has also received the hundreds of submissions lodged by the community and interested parties. The purpose of the public meeting is for the JRPP to hear additional information commenting on that report before making its decision.

You can find the Assessment Report by clicking on the ‘Council Assessment Report’ link on the webpage: http://www.jrpp.nsw.gov.au/Meetings/tabid/82/ctl/view/JRPP_ID/2315/mid/460/a/1/language/en-US/Default.aspx  .

The Assessor has recommended that the DA be refused on many grounds and despite its length is very worth reading.

We strongly encourage you to attend the meeting because a large attendance will reinforce to the JRPP the breadth of community concern at the excessive scale of the proposed development.  Precinct representatives and others will address the meeting.  It is not necessary that you speak.

If you wish to address the 7 April meeting you must register with the Regional Panels Secretariat by 4pm Wednesday 6 April 2016 on 9228 2060 or by email to jrppenquiry@jrpp.nsw.gov.au.

It is very important to note that this is a planning consent meeting and is not an occasion for public protest. Our behaviour must be appropriate with no interjections from the floor.

Although the Assessor’s recommendation is for refusal the JRPP makes up its own mind. It is very important to remember that for the Clontarf Marina DA the Manly Council Assessment Report in 2014 recommended ‘refusal’ but that JRPP approved that DA with conditions. So, as ever, we must keep our firm representations on the excessive scale and nature of this proposal.

There will be a further public meeting because of a procedural issue with public notification of the first meeting date. The date of this further meeting is yet to be announced but if you cannot attend on Thursday this will be another opportunity to attend and speak. However we recommend a strong attendance at the Thurs 7th April meeting.

Contact us for further information at wavertonprecinct@icloud.com.

UPDATE AS AT 13 DECEMBER 2015

Council engaged an external town planning consultant to assess the DA.  In an initial assessment the consultant identified a large number of  issues, leading to Council writing to the applicant requesting further information and changes.  The applicant has now submitted supplementary material, which Council is checking for adequacy before handing it over to the external consultant to complete assessment of the DA.

At this stage Council expects to “re-notify” the DA in late January, which means it would go on public exhibition again for 30 days (approximately the month of February), during which time members of the public can make written submissions on the amended DA.  Council expects to lodge the DA and the external consultant’s assessment with a Planning Panel for determination of the fate of the application in April.  (The expectation had been that the determining authority would be a Joint Regional Planning Panel, but it now appears that it might be the Sydney Planning Panel within the new Greater Sydney Commission which the Government has established in recent weeks).

Although the public exhibition is a number of weeks away, you can already now view revised and additional material on North Sydney Council’s website by going to the DA Tracking page and searching for DA number 260/2015.

The applicant still proposes an unacceptably large over-development, with no reduction in the number and size of boats proposed: 84 big boats berthed on-water (including 34 superyachts over 25m long, two which up to 45m long), with up to another 70 boats in dry stack storage, making up to 154 additional boats in Berrys Bay.

Thank you again for your interest and support to Save Berrys Bay from massive over-development. We will continue to keep you informed on the status of the DA.

UPDATE AS AT 18 SEPTEMBER 2015

Our thanks to so many who have supported our campaign to ensure that development of the waterfront industrial land in Berrys Bay is of a scale and style consistent with the special natural and heritage values of this iconic gem of Sydney Harbour.  Your support has been very strong:

  • Over 400 attended the public meeting at the Coal Loader on Sunday 30 August.
  • Over 400 submissions were received by Council by the close of the 30-day Exhibition period on 7th September.   We expect most submissions were against the scale of the proposed overdevelopment. We have asked Council for a precise count.
  • Over 400 signed our paper petition and, as of today, 440 have signed our online petition (which is still open – go to www.change.org and search for Berrys Bay).  The petitions state:

We oppose a massive superyacht marina in iconic Berrys Bay, an historic and beautiful bay in world renowned Sydney Harbour surrounded by public reserves. This 154 boat, 120 car overdevelopment of the Bay proposes 34 superyachts 25-45 metres, 50 large yachts 15-25 metres and 70 more boats in the dry stack on land. It will overwhelm Berrys Bay and destroy the charm of the quiet bay and magnificent views to and from the foreshore parklands. We support sensitive development of the former maritime facility but only at a scale and style consistent with the values of this rare place.

For your information and encouragement, the following are links to the two main submission reports lodged by the Precinct:

  1. DA Submission report of our expert planners, Ann Pugh, Margaret Petrykowski and Kevin Alker:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-xgN7fmX0nRXVKWElOQ2pFeWc/view?usp=sharing

  1. Visual Impact report by the eminent architect and planner David Chesterman AM:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw-xgN7fmX0nUW94cEtGWG4xdE0/view?usp=sharing

We think these Submissions make a powerful case against the scale of the proposal.  Do look at the photomontages of the visual impact at the conclusion of the Chesterman report.   Feel free to share these submissions with your own networksof friends, relatives, colleagues etc.

This Development Application (DA) will not be decided by Council itself. Being a matter of state significance, under the planning system the outcome will be determined by a Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) of 5 members including two Councillors, under the auspices of the State Department of Planning.

The process now is for Council to assess the DA and all submissions, which it has advised will be out-sourced to an independent assessor. The elected Council may also express a position to the JRPP.  We will be recommending they do so.

The JRPP deliberations will include a public hearing.  We will be encouraging a strong attendance from supporters at that public hearing to reinforce the strength and breadth of community interest and concern.  We are seeking answers to a number of questions about the JRPP process, including an indication of the timing of the public hearing.  We will keep you informed as we learn more.  At this stage we expect the public hearing will be some months away.

At the same time we are continuing the political opposition to this over-development because for many years we have pursued a negotiated outcome with government, not a confrontation. We think it is long overdue for the Premier to step in and bring sense to bear in both protecting the unique harbour values of the Bay while facilitating an appropriate redevelopment of the maritime facilities. For this to happen government has to dramatically change its thinking about the financial return from this iconic place, so valued by the wider public.

REPORT ON PUBLIC MEETING 30 AUGUST 2015

An excellent crowd of 400 people attended a very successful rally on Sunday 30 August  protesting the scale of the proposed superyacht marina in Berrys Bay.  Speakers included Genia McCaffery (former North Sydney Mayor), Ian Kiernan AO (Founder & Chairman of Clean-Up Australia, Patron of Friends of Sydney Harbour),  Zoe Baker (North Sydney Councillor), Bruce Donald AM (Waverton Precinct  spokesman) and Jilly Gibson (North Sydney Mayor).

The message from all speakers was that it is up to members of the community to make their individual submissions to North Sydney Council by 7 September so that the decision makers understand the breadth of community feeling  against losing such a large proportion of the scarce resource of open water which is available on Sydney Harbour, and in particular in Berrys Bay.

If you value this wonderful public asset please lodge a submission by Monday 7th September – details on www.saveberrysbay.org.au/how can you help?

Meeting at Coal Loader