Sample letter for downzoning

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Filed under: Announcements, Current Issues, Mowbray Precinct

We have developed a sample letter which you can use as a basis for writing your own letters to support the downzoning of the Mowbray Precinct.

Please feel free to add further points or amend it to tailor it to your situation.
Please write to all contacts listed on our website.

Insert name of official


Dear insert name


I am writing to seek your urgent support for Lane Cove Council’s submission for the down zoning of the residential area north of Stringybark Creek (known as the Mowbray Precinct) bounded by Willandra Street East, Mowbray Rd West, Centennial Avenue, and Batten Reserve Lane Cove North, to the Department of Planning’s LEP Gateway.

I was one of the 900 residents who signed the Stringy Bark Creek Resident’s Association petition asking for a review of the rezoning north of Stringybark Creek and [if you signed the petition  if not start par 2 here]  I am very concerned about the impacts of high density development in this area on resident safety, our bushland, our streets, our schools, our infrastructure and our community.

I understand that the high density zoning of this area has the potential for up to 2,500 residential flat dwellings within a confined area and could result in more than an additional 6,000 car trips per day on Mowbray Rd and the surrounding road network.

I also understand that the LEP high density zoning of this area was not an initiative of Lane Cove Council, but a directive under the Section 65 Certificate by the Department of Planning and that no impact studies were undertaken prior to this rezoning.  

High density zoning is completely inappropriate for this area and my concerns include the following:

  1. It contrary to the Metro Strategy and Integrating Land Use and Transport policy being a significant distant from main shopping centres, transport nodes and services.
  2. The roadways in this area are inadequate to cope with a substantially increased population and resident safety will be compromised. The narrow, steep, winding nature of the streets in this precinct cause difficult sightlines that could result in serious accidents with increased traffic on these roads.
  3. Resident safety will be threatened if these roads need to be used for emergency evacuations, such as in the event of a major bushfire. There is a real risk of bushfire as 92% of this rezoned area falls within Bushfire Prone Land. The evacuation will be further complicated as both elderly and disabled persons live in the area.  The process of this large evacuation will hinder the access of fire fighting personal.
  4. Mowbray Rd and the surrounding streets are already stretched during peak traffic periods and it would become untenable if this level of high density development is allowed to occur.
  5. Impact of high density development on the Batten Reserve bushland and the native wildlife. The high density zoning includes streets directly adjacent to the Batten Reserve, which is contrary to SEPP 19 -Bushland in Urban Areas (State Environmental Planning Policy 19) designed to protect bushland from impacts of development, not destroy it.  This bushland contains Endangered and Threatened species of fauna and rare flora.  They will be at risk if high density is allowed to progress. Impacts such as an increase in stormwater, and clearing of the Batten Reserve’s canopy (as suggested in the Department of Planning’s Urbanhorizon’s report) will decimate this significant bushland and wildlife corridor.
  6. Large excavations on the steep landform are likely to have hydrological consequences with potential for water drainage problems and underground water flow issues. The loss of wet areas within the bushland will affect the habitat of the declared Threatened species of the Red Crown Toadlet.
  7. The rezoned area is located on a southern escarpment which will result in greater overshadowing on properties below and increased need for use of energy sources. At least 30% of the new units proposed will never see a ray of direct sunlight and this could result in health problems for residents.
  8. The rezoning provided no additional recreational open space (parks for children to play).  Only two very small parks exist in the precinct. The lack of recreational facilities in the area is contrary to the provisions of the Metro Strategy.
  9. We understand there is no capacity in the local schools to take the potential large influx of children.  The local Mowbray Public School currently has approximately 300 students and the potential large increase in population will result in the need to provide many extra school facilities, if not another school.

The rezoning of the area to R4 High Density is totally inappropriate for all of the reasons stated above.  Concerns have consistently been raised by Lane Cove Council and the majority of the community for the area to be down zoned.  A petition of 900 signatures was delivered to the Director General, Department of Planning in November 2010, calling for a review of the LEP 2009 and the down zoning of the area.

We appeal to you to support Lane Cove Council’s submission to down zone this area north of Stringybark Creek, to ensure we safeguard the lives and welfare of our local residents and protect the ecologically significant Batten Reserve now and for future generations.

Yours sincerely
Insert your signature and name