Ryde Council backs Gladesville overdevelopment protest

A recent article in The Weekly Times which Clr Maggio said has galvanised community support for his campaign against overdevelopment

A PROTEST rally against overdevelopment in Gladesville backed by the City of Ryde will be held this month.

Ryde councillors voted unanimously during last Tuesday night’s council meeting to back demands by Clr Roy Maggio and angry residents for the protest meeting, which will be held at a civic venue to be advertised next week.

The protest meeting will target property developers and our local politicians with the City of Ryde also expected release an official statement on overdevelopment in Gladesville.

A public gallery of angry residents was at the council meeting to back Clr Maggio’s demand for the protest, many in response to a recent article on Gladesville’s overdevelopment in The Weekly Times.

Local Scott MacKenzie called on councillors to show some guts.

“Why do we find this council continuing to pander to property developers in this already overdeveloped suburb with another 300 new apartment expected to go up at the sawdust site,” he said at the council meeting.

“Does this council have their eyes shut, are you not aware of what is happening just over the border in Hunters Hill?

“I could go on and on about every development which exceeds the local environment plan over the wellbeing of residents.

Resident Fletcher Simpkins spoke of the loss of small business and local industry in Gladesville.

“Local jobs are going as business goes to be replaced by apartments,” he said.

“These ugly apartments tower over poor access, significant traffic congestion and no parking with Gladesville right in the centre of four development zones.”

Of particular concern to residents is the Gladesville shopping precinct which has a number of proposed residential and commercial development applications pending as well as a proposed new shopping centre with up to 14 stories of residential apartments awaiting Gateway consideration by the state government.

Councillor Maggio is demanding Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts – who is also NSW Planning Minister – to attend the protest rally, intervene and freeze these developments.

“I’ve kept quiet for too long and now we’ve all had enough,” Clr Maggio said at the council meeting.

“Now we have to force Anthony Roberts and Ryde MP Victor Dominello to attend the protest rally and let them know that there is an election coming up and if they don’t act we’ll boot them out of office.”

For resident Glen Jones the overdevelopment of Gladesville has put children at risk and he urged immediate action to be taken outside Our Lady Queen Of Peace Catholic School in Gladesville.

“We are just after pedestrian lights on the corner of Westminster and Victoria Roads, for the safety of our children, for the safety of older people and for the safety of young mums pushing prams,” he said.

Councillors agreed to hold urgent talks with representatives from the school and a separate meeting with residents in nearby Eltham Street who say they can’t get out of their driveways due to congestion caused by overdevelopment.

Liberal and Green councillors are sceptical about our local politicians resolve to act.

“This has got nothing to do with politics,” Liberal Clr Sarkis Yedelian OAM said.

“This is about big developers trying to make big bucks.

Deputy Mayor Christopher Gordon (The Greens) agreed.

“I entirely agree with everything Clr Maggio has said but if we no longer have power (to stop overdevelopment) we still have the power of protest,” he said.

Hunters Hill Council recently held a public meeting at the Town Hall to discuss the Gladesville Shopping Centre development and of the estimated two hundred residents who attended, not one spoke in favour of the proposed development.

Save Hunters Hill Municipality spokesman Phil Jenkyn OAM described the Gateway process as a scam.

Not everyone in Gladesville is opposed to development and some business owners see the “revitalisation” of Gladesville as a long overdue with a growing population a boost to retail sales.