Statement from the Mayor regarding the DA for Eastwood Shopping Centre
Published on 30 October 2019
The City of Ryde Mayor, Clr Jerome Laxale, would like to make the following statement regarding the development application for the Eastwood Shopping Centre:
“The development application for the Eastwood Shopping Centre was determined by the State Government’s Sydney North Planning Panel, and not Ryde Council.
Councillors serving on Council have been unable to vote on Major Development applications since 2010. Further, we have not been able to vote on any development application in Council since March 2018.
The development application in question was approved by the State Government Sydney North Planning Panel on 7 August 2019. The panel’s decision was unanimous. The determination can be viewed here.
The Sydney North Planning Panel is chaired by former NSW Liberal leader Peter Debnam.
The article in the Australian Financial Review appears to confuse the Development Application with a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA). A VPA is not a development application, and a VPA has no bearing on the outcome of the development application determination.
A VPA is a common legal agreement legislated by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Under this specific Voluntary Planning Agreement, the developer will undertake a range of public benefits for the Eastwood community including a redevelopment of Eastwood Plaza as well as civic and urban improvements in streets surrounding the existing shopping centre.
The Sydney North Planning Panel was also a party to the Voluntary Planning Agreement.
The complete Voluntary Planning Agreement entered into can be viewed on Council’s Voluntary Planning register here.
Prior to consideration on the Voluntary Planning Agreement, Clr Simon Zhou made a Disclosure of Interest in relation to the matter, as required under Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.
He was not present for consideration or voting on this matter which is not unusual where interests are declared.
Regardless, I have asked the General Manager to review Councillors’ disclosures and to remind the Councillors of their obligations under the Code of Conduct and Code of Meeting Practice.
Again I stress that Ryde Council had no power to determine the development application, and the development application did not come before Council. These two misconceptions seem to be the basis of the article.”