Recognising Councils high achievers - This month from North Sydney Council, NSW
North Sydney’s Strategic Planning Team was nominated by Councillor Zoe Baker for their innovative precinct strategic planning undertaken over the last four years.
North Sydney Council manages an area of 10km2 on the north side of the harbour foreshore.
The area has a major CBD (Sydney’s 2nd largest), seven village shopping centres, a mix of low and high density housing, and more than 40 parks, ranging from extensive bushland reserves to pocket parks.
The Strategic Planning Team at North Sydney Council is responsible for the development of strategies that guide Council’s role as a regulator of development and manager of public land.
Our division was recently renamed City Strategy during an organisational restructure to reflect our core focus.
Areas of responsibility include land use planning, urban design, transport planning, sustainability, economic development and heritage conservation.
“The most rewarding part of my job is delivering on-the-ground outcomes that have wide-spread support and make North Sydney a more vibrant, enjoyable and sustainable place to live, work and visit,” said Director City Strategy and then acting manager of strategic planning Joseph Hill.
“Team wise it is having staff who want to come to work, ask questions and will challenge the status quo to get better results.
“I’m very proud to have led a team that has delivered high quality corporate strategies in an area that has a complex and challenging planning environment.
“More specifically, we have changed the way Council uses some of its key assets to make them more beneficial to the public.
“My team are key contributors and drivers at Council and that’s something I’m proud of.”
The team was announced as a finalist in the 2014 Local Government Excellence in Environment Awards.
They were selected for their Ecological Sustainable Development (ESD) Best Practice Project, which has been implemented at North Sydney Council since 2013.
It functions as a comprehensive green audit test.
The aim is to improve the sustainable performance of new developments by applying best practice planning provisions.
The process can be used by other councils to assist in their drive towards sustainability, making the project significant on a regional and statewide scale.
Councillor Baker specifically nominated the team based on their work with the St Leonards / Crows Nest planning study.
The project is the leading initiative in a broader effort by North Sydney Council to improve planning and development outcomes in the St Leonards / Crows Nest area.
The finalised study presents an Open Space and Pedestrian Masterplan and a Built Form Masterplan that together provide a holistic approach to planning and development in the precinct.
Community and key stakeholder engagement were critical to the development of the study which enjoys broad scale support.
The team have developed a robust implementation plan that will facilitate an innovative ‘trade-off’ between increases in building height and the provision of predetermined public benefit and design excellence.
Council’s Open Space division is now in the process of significantly expanding a local park and upgrading the public domain to better cater for the needs of future residents, workers and visitors.
These on-the-ground outcomes are a direct result of the adopted planning study.