Welcome to the website for the Avalon Preservation Association, also known as Avalon Preservation Trust. We are a not for profit volunteer community group incorporated under the NSW Associations Act, established over 50 years ago. We are committed to protecting your interests – to keeping guard over our natural and built environment throughout the Avalon area.
Membership of the association is open to all those residents and/or ratepayers of Avalon Beach and adjacent areas who support the aims and objectives of our Association.
In APA, we care for Avalon because we live here.
Our latest Bulletin
Every two months APA circulates members with its latest Bulletin. A copy is also displayed on our notice board in fromt of Terry White Chemmart & there’s a QR link to the website on the community notice board outside the Avalon Recreation Centre. A copy is also kept in the Avalon Community Library.
Read Bulletin no. 116, featuring a report from the 2023 AGM, Conservation Zones, and Central Road parking changes.
Proposed NSW government housing rule changes
Recently the NSW Government proposed an initiative to change planning laws to allow more housing in the Six Cities region (Lower Hunter/Greater Newcastle; Central Coast; Illawarra-Shoalhaven; Western Parkland (western Sydney & Blue Mountains); Central River (western and north western Sydney) and Eastern Harbour (city, inner city & north shore/northern beaches).
These proposed changes will apply uniformly across these areas, which include the majority of the state’s population, with no allowance for local differences. APA strongly opposes this broad-brush treatment, as does NBC and most other councils.
Senior council planning officers briefed a meeting on Monday 19 February at the Avalon Recreation Centre. We look forward to receiving reports from the meeting.
For further information and to make a submission on the changes click here. APA will be making a submission opposing this policy and we encourage you to do so as well. If you wish to make an individual submission, the deadline is Friday 23 February 2024.
NBC gives geological heritage item the “treatment”
The images speak for themselves!
This recent use of bilious brown/orange sprayed concrete at a well-known and loved geological feature on the corner of Wanawong Road at north Avalon, presumably to stabilise steep banks, may be cheap but it is also hugely ugly and a blight on the landscape.
To see another example, this one from 2023, look right when travelling south from Kamikaze Corner.
A similar treatment is being proposed for the wall opposite 60 Park Road. APA is currently in discussions regarding that proposal.
APA is considering approaching NBC to query this terrible result in terms of aesthetics and look. After all, it is we who live here! When we receive a response from Council we will keep you advised.
New Council CEO speaks at AGM
Northern Beaches Council’s recently-appointed CEO, Scott Phillips (pictured), spoke at our 2023 Annual General Meeting on 23 November. Amongst other points he raised, Scott said that the current housing emergency affects all communities and LGAs, including the Northern Beaches.
However, Scott also said Council will not adopt a “cookie-cutter” planning approach, and that while there are areas which NBC has identified as suitable for additional dwellings, for example Frenchs Forest and Brookvale, Avalon Beach is not suitable for additional or higher density housing.
Scott also acknowledged that the Northern Beaches differed in many ways from Manly in the south to Avalon and Palm Beach in the north.
During the conversation with the audience, several other issues were canvassed, including the Avalon Place Plan and the Shared Space, especially the need for the setting of medium and longer term goals and a design study which takes in the distinctiveness of Avalon Beach.
The committee for 2024 includes:
President: Craig Boaden; Vice President: Dianne Ramsay; Secretary & Public Officer: Helena van de Linde; Treasurer: Ken Roberts, and Membership officer: Marita Macrae. See the full committee.
NBC customer service centre in Avalon Beach killed off
The staff proposal to terminate the Avalon Customer Contact Centre (ACCC) finally came to a head at the 22 August 2023 Council meeting. APA President Craig Boaden spoke in favour of retaining the Centre, but was not able to convince 12 of the 14 Councillors present (Cr Page is still away). Crs Korzy & Glanville voted to retain the ACCC; Cr Gensher and the other 13 Councillors voted to accept the staff recommendation. Another service lost to Avalon residents. The Centre closed at the end of November.
NBC is surveying residents to gain their impression and preliminary opinion on making the changes permanent. Council originally imposed a deadline for responses of 30 April, which APA advised does not allow sufficient time for consideration. NBC agreed to extend the deadline to 1st October 2023, and it has now extended this date to 28 February, 2024 to take account of the summer season. Please complete the survey here as soon as you can, including making comments where relevant, but certainly by the rapidly approaching deadline of 28 February, 2024. A community session with Council staff (on-site) is also scheduled was held on 21 September 2023.
APA queried council on how many parking spaces were finally lost due to relocation of the pedestrian crossings. APA was originally told by NBC that only 9 would go, but this is was due to the pedestrian crossings only. A further 9 spaces will be lost in the Village, plus those lost when Transport for NSW made unnanounced changes in Barrenjoey Road.
Draft Local character statements
NBC has sent APA a confidential copy of its draft Local character statement, covering the whole of Pittwater. At this stage we are constrained from making specific comments; however as a general comment, our submission to NBC opposed the draft LCS as extremely limited and recommended using the current statements in preference. We hope to gain Council’s permission to make the draft and our submission available to members. Stay tuned.
Trailers & boats parked on streets
In 2021 the NSW Government introduced new laws – the Public Spaces (Unattended Property) Act 2021 and regulations – that put accountability firmly on those responsible to do the right thing and remove their property quickly from public land. These reforms were developed following widespread consultation with Councils, the public, industry groups, retailers, peak bodies and government agencies. The Act includes caravans, boat & other trailers, whether or not attached to a vehicle. The law forces owners to take responsibility for their vehicles and provides councils with stronger powers to rid our roads, footpaths, parks, bushland and waterways of abandoned and unattended property.
The Public Spaces Unattended Property laws commenced on 1 November 2022 and repeal and replace the outdated Impounding Act 1993.
Any parking issues relating to these matters should therefore be reported to Council’s Rangers (via Customer Service on 1300 434 434) for investigation and enforcement in accordance with the new Act.
Several years ago NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) proposed a commercialisation of the Barrenjoey Headland with a boutique hotel occupying the main building. Pittwater Community Alliance, including APA, held a delegation with NPWS hosted by the former MP Rob Stokes at which we presented the reasons against such an alienation of public facilities. The proposal was put on hold, but has now resurfaced in a draft Plan of Management.
At a meeting with Rob Stokes MP in January 2023, Rob said he was in favour of limited short term accommodation being offered to not-for-profit charities but didn’t see such accommodation being commercially viable. At a further PCA meeting in May 2023, incumbent MP Rory Amon supported Robs’ comments. For more information you can visit the Palm Beach Whale Beach Association or Pittwater Online News.
The Lizard Rock development saga
The Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) was granted land at Belrose, including a site known as Lizard Rock. On 23 December 2022, the Sydney North Planning Panel approved “further consideration” of 450 home sites at Lizard Rock (Patyegarang). Bushland Guardians organised a petition opposing the devement which was tabled in Parliament by Michael Regan MP and debated on 29 June 2023. The Department of Planning exhibited the proposal for public comment from 26 September until 7 November 2023. The submissions are now being considered by the Department. The proposal in its present form is opposed by politicans at all levels and by Northern Beaches Council.
Public path between 32 and 34 Watkins road
APA wrote to Council to ask for signage for the site, and Louise Kerr Acting CEO agreed (May 2023). We were advised that “installation of this sign is expected by the end of August 2023.”
The latest news is that the sign is finally up!
Conservation Zones will form an integral part of the new Northern Beaches Council Local Environment Plan (LEP). APA made a submission regarding Council’s draft Conservation Zone review. NBC referred submissions to the Dept of Planning which has (belatedly) replied that these zones should stay substantially as they are, so a victory for common sense!
Conservation Zones C3 and C4, are important as they give local government and residents control over residential development in sensitive areas. In contrast, areas zoned ‘Residential’ allow ‘Complying Developments’ to be built. A ‘Complying Development’ does not need to be notified to the community and could compromise environmental values. Use the Councils online search tool to find out how the new zoning may affect you and your neighbours.
CONCERNS with Council’s original draft review included:
– the large number of properties to be transferred from Conservation Zones 4 and 3 (C4 and C3) zoning to ‘Residential’ zoning;
– the low value or lack of value given to Biodiversity, Tree Canopy, Scenic Location, Cultural/Heritage and Risk (eg fire, flood, steepness); and
– the lack of definition of ‘Residential’ zone.
APA understands that the NBC has revisited its methodology and is reworking the draft to take account of the 935 submissions, especially relating to wholesale rezonings from C4 to R2. NBC advises that it is in discussion with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment regarding the methodology. See the NBC update here. See also the informative Pittwater online News articles here and here.
Avalon place plan
NBC approved the Avalon Place Plan on 26 July 2022. The proposed terracing of Avalon Beach southern headland [draft p.74], which is currently a pleasant grassy headland behind the bus stop, will be revisited in the future with another “community consultation”. This item is designated for implementation in the 5-10 year timeframe and will be investigated again prior to then. This overdesigned intrusion still has almost zero support in the community. The Council has deleted any cycle path, but plans to revisit the issue in the next year. In an article in the SMH of 25 July 2022 labels the APA Alternate Bike Plan as “undafe”, with no reasons or evidence given.
NBC required the applicant to submit a new DA rather than relying on the original 2014 DA and the subsequent Modification (Mod2021/0203). This was the recommendation of Council’s Design + Sustainability Advisory Panel in its report.
APA opposed this DA and has made a submission to Council. Our reasons are: the differences between the 2014 DA & the new application are too great to be treated just as a modification, a new DA is required; the proposed building would be completely incompatible with the required “seaside character” and would grossly breach the permitted height limit; it would completely overwhelm the adjoining heritage-listed Barrenjoey House; the proposed on-site parking is below the required minimum. Click here for more information. See the new DA. The DA was referred to Northern Beaches Local Planning Panel (NBLPP) and the Panel recommended the DA be refused. On 20 April 2023 NBC formally refused the DA – see the Determination here. An appeal has been lodged.
Avoid COVID-19 but stay connected to your friends and relations
Avalon Preservation Association advises members that COVID-19 is still with us. To help resist its spread, please wash your hands regularly, wear facemarks at indoor venues and maintain physical distancing. It’s more important than ever to maintain your connection with friends and relatives – whether face-to-face or via technology.
The APA notice board
APA has a notice board in Avalon Beach Village. It is currently located on the southern wall between Terry White Chemmart (Herforts) and Belle Real Estate at 56 Old Barrenjoey Road (our thanks to both). There is also a notice on the community noticeboard in Dunbar Park with a QR code to the website. Check the notice boards regularly to catch up with APA news in the Village, as we will change the contents regularly. We hope to have news re moving the noticeboard to a better location shortly.
Visit Current Issues & click on the Recent tab.
Check out our latest APA Bulletin here.
If you’re not an APA member already, why not make today the day you join the APA?
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Current Avalon Issues
We are continually vigilant about issues that impact on the environment and heritage of Avalon.