St Catherines’ community consultation on their $60million plans for redevelopment has been marred by poor notification of public meetings, using an inadequate leaflet drop around the school. The development includes a 500 seat theatre, a 256 seat multifunction space, a separate 2 level Research Center, and a new Aquatic Centre. Residents close to the school are concerned that others further away are unaware of the intensification of parking demand that will result from the development.
“Waverley Council regulations do not require schools to provide parking on site. So any plans for further development will increase the parking load that the community must bear in their local streets. This must have implications for reasonable limits on development of school sites like St Catherine’s” Danny Carretti convenor of Charing Cross precinct said.
According to St Catherine’s own commissioned parking survey, teachers, students and visitors to their premises will likely park in surrounding residential streets 5-7 minutes walk away from the school. However St Catherine’s survey did not include streets within that range such as Pine and Hooper streets to the west of Carrington Rd, and Douglas, Greville, Fern (beyond Varna) and Carey streets to the south.
Prior to a public meeting about their development plans, St Catherine’s organised a leaflet drop of invitations to residents within the survey area. However many residents within the area report that they did not receive the leaflet.
St. Catherine’s survey and leaflet area covers a radius of approximately 500m. Planning standards require parking impacts of a development to be assessed within an 800 metre radius.
“A much wider area around St Catherines should have been targeted to fully inform surrounding residents about the increased impact on residents’ parking by the proposed large development at the school” Mr Caretti said. “What they have done is tick-a-box public consultation.”
Cathy Davitt, a resident of Macpherson Street across from the school, has been following the St Catherines development plans closely.
“I know residents as far away as Market Street who already complain that car spaces in their street are occupied by St Catherines’ cars all day and often into the evening, right now. These residents were not informed of the public consultation meeting, and so they are unaware of the increased effect of the new development plans.
“More evening events at the school will have a bigger impact on people returning to their homes in the hope of getting a car parking space,” Ms Davitt said. “ People need to know so that they can respond to the plans when they are put on public exhibition very soon.”
(article from The Wentworth Courier Sept 22nd)