The planning proposal for a new shopping complex and residential development on the site of the present Gladesville Shopping Village has been rejected by Hunters Hill Council.

The exhibited proposal for a residential/business tower in the heart of Gladesville was refused by councillors on Monday night.

The unanimous council decision to refuse the proposed development in its current form comes in response to widespread resident concerns about increased traffic and heritage conservation, raised at a recent public meeting at the Hunters Hill Town Hall.

The NSW Department of Planning will be advised of council’s decision and will have final say on development for the site, presently occupied by  Gladesville Shopping Village.

Councillors and staff stressed that the refusal was for the exhibited planning proposal and no development application had been lodged.

“This could still be determined by the government by the end of the year,” the council’s Reporting Officer Philippa Hayes said.

“The applicant could come in tomorrow with a development application.”

A key reason for the refusal was  the impact on traffic.

“The burning issue is traffic and even at this planning proposal stage it is our belief the current planning proposal is unacceptable,” Deputy Mayor Ross Williams told the Council meeting.

Ms Hayes linked the traffic concerns to the amount of floor space sought.

“What the developer is actually asking for is for an increase in floor space and an increase in floor space is closely linked to an increase in traffic,” she said.

Heritage and the fate of the historic cottage at 10 Cowell Street is also an issue.

“The planning proposal fails to protect heritage, particularly the importance of the cottage, which needs to stay where it is,” the Deputy Mayor said.

Liberal Clr Zac Miles acknowledged community concerns.

“There is an angst out there that this large development is going to be plonked down there .. we are talking about a tectonic shift in what Gladesville is going to look like.”

Concerns were also raised about how compatible a development would be with other proposed developments in Gladesville, particularly with developments proposed on the City of Ryde administered side of Gladesville.

A lack of proposed community facilities was a further concern.

The proposed development has already gone before the state government – which sought amendments based on design excellence – and Hunters Hill Council has left room for further amendments, raised in Ms Hayes report.

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IN OTHER DEVELOPMENTS, Hunters Hill Council has proposed redeveloping Figtree Park at the Hunters Hill Shopping Village.

Councillor Zac Miles proposed an improvement of community and commercial facilities at the park alongside the provision of new facilities for visitors that include better parking and pedestrian access.

“This is something I am particularly passionate about,” he said.

“I want Figtree Park to become the show piece of the Village and patronage of the park has not been particularly great.

“We now have an opportunity to create something special.”

Community ideas are welcome and there is an opportunity to have the park developed to reflect environmental themes or to celebrate Hunters Hill’s eritage as a French Village.