In November 2015, the NSW Premier announced plans to build a Metro station at Crows Nest. The Metro has the potential to be a catalyst for positive urban renewal that yields significant economic, social and environmental benefits. However, given the fine-grained, village nature of Crows Nest and the already built up form of St Leonards, this growth must be managed through a carefully thought out strategy.
In early 2016, Council ran a survey to understand the community’s aspirations for Crows Nest and surrounds once the Metro was operational in 2024. Of the 1,000+ responses received, the key messages are to protect Willoughby Road and the ‘village atmosphere’ of Crows Nest, revitalise buildings along the Pacific Highway, attract greater investment by local businesses, reduce car dependency and consolidate Crows Nest’s role as a hub for independent retail, restaurants and entertainment on the lower North Shore.
In July 2016, the Minister for Planning announced that the NSW Department of Planning and Environment would undertake a strategic planning investigation of Crows Nest, St Leonards and the Artarmon industrial precinct as a "Priority Precinct". The outcome of this work will be a strategy that directs future development and infrastructure provision in the area over the next 20 years.
The Crows Nest Placemaking and Principles Study, adopted by Council on 5 December 2016, follows several years of in-depth research and strategic planning for the area by Council. It articulates the community’s aspirations for the area and reinforces the current, community endorsed Placemaking Strategy for St Leonards/Crows Nest under the St Leonards/Crows Nest Planning Study (2012, 2015).
Given the State Government’s investigation, the Study deliberately excludes consideration of height limits associated with anticipated development and growth. Instead, it proposes a suite of principles and character statements that encourage well designed new buildings that realise the potential of the new public transport infrastructure whilst contributing towards the activity, amenity and character of Crows Nest, St Leonards centre and surrounds.
On 30 July 2018, Council resolved to amend the Study to state that there should be no additional overshadowing of Ernest Place year round. Afternoon sunlight to this highly valued community space is critical to the vibrancy of Crows Nest.
The Study will inform Council’s input into State Government’s investigation. It will also provide both the community and Council with a useful tool to review State Government’s draft proposals for Crows Nest, when exhibited.
Enquiries on the Crows Nest Placemaking and Principles Study may be directed to Emma Booth on 9936 8100.