Council commits to Chatswood CBD expansion



Willoughby Council is pursuing plans to expand Chatswood CBD, despite the Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment (DPIE) initially not supporting the strategy.

In a statement provided to North Shore Living, Council confirmed it is planning “a significant increase in mixed-use development around the commercial core with an expanded CBD”.

It revealed it is currently liaising with the DPIE to conduct analysis in areas outside the CBD to address the Department’s reasons for refusing the expansion.

Last year, the Department handed down conditional endorsement of Council’s Chatswood CBD Draft Planning and Urban Design Strategy, which focuses on jobs and housing growth in Chatswood to 2036.

The DPIE revealed it would outright not support increased development in the streets outside of the CBD core, citing concerns of traffic congestion and ‘hard front’ drop offs from the proposed 90m tall mixed-use buildings to surrounding low-density residential areas.

It also questioned the economic viability of Council’s proposed minimum commercial floor space for new developments in the expanded CBD.

As such, the Department recommended Council perform further built form studies and consult with Transport for NSW on traffic implications before it would consider a revised strategy.

The DPIE’s denial of the expansion plans sparked sighs of relief among Chatswood locals, many of whom live in the heritage areas that would front the new mixed-use zone.

However, as Council plans to begin work on a new local environment plan (LEP) for Willoughby, including Chatswood CBD, this year, it has reaffirmed its commitment to expansion.

“Willoughby City Council is committed to ensuring the continuing success of Chatswood as one of Sydney’s important CBDs,” a spokesperson says.

The new draft LEP is expected to be submitted for Council’s consideration by the end of the year and on exhibition to the public in 2021.


Stephanie Aikins, Journalist, North Shore Living Magazine

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