EXCLUSIVE BY OUR CIVIC COUNCIL ROUNDSMAN
SECRET TALKS are being held by the State Government about the redevelopment of the Gladesville Village Shopping Centre but information about “who is talking to whom about what” is being withheld from the community, Hunters Hill Council was informed on Monday night.
The Council confirmed that talks in “commercial confidence” are being hosted by a State Government Joint Regional Planning Panel to progress a development application first put by Gladesville Shopping Village Developments Pty Ltd and councillors voted to host a public meeting by Christmas to try to explain what’s going on.
General Manager Barry Smith said he can’t shed any light on the secret talks at the moment.
“There is an application and the applicant has amended it again, we can have a meeting with residents but we can’t show them anything yet.”
Group Manager for Development and Regulatory Control Steve Kourepis speculated that the secret talks involve traffic management issues and proposed community benefits.
“We’re asking for plans but we’re not getting plans, it is very frustrating for us,” he said.
Russell Young from the local residents action group speculated that the secret discussions could be about an increased height of the proposed development, which has previously been mooted as ten storeys with around 180 apartments and a commercial centre.
“There is no suggestion anything illegal has been done but I think we should have a public meeting,” Mr Young told the council meeting.
Deputy Mayor Ross Williams agreed.
“The community is crying out for us to engage with it and even if it is about hypotheticals we still have to engage with the community, otherwise there will be nothing but a lot of secrecy.”
Liberal Clr Zac Miles voted in favour of the meeting.
“If there is a plan that is substantially different residents would at least like to know that much.”