Developer quashes resident concerns

Locals are demanding urgent action on the proposed $67.5 million redevelopment of the Quadrangle Shopping Village in Castlecrag.

Over 40 Castlecrag residents signed a petition over concerns about a ‘decline in community services and a sense of identity’ during the ‘long drawn-out process’ surrounding the Edinburgh Road redevelopment. The petition was to be presented at Willoughby Council’s meeting on 25 March and comes after 400 submissions were lodged about the development application (DA), first mooted in 2018 by developer Luxcon. Less than 20 per cent of the 400 submissions received in March supported the development without any changes.

Local residents were concerned about the loss of their social hub, with restaurants and cafes missing from the DA.

Paul Stokes, acting president of the Castlecrag Progress Association (CPA), told North Shore Living (NL) that the CPA supports the petition.

“We completely support the petition seeking to expedite the redevelopment of the old Quadrangle site,” said Mr Stokes. “However, we do have some concerns. (We) want the developer to commit to at least two cafes and a restaurant.” The original proposal had included restaurants and cafes and the supermarket is now significantly larger than previously planned. “Castlecrag always had a thriving cafe community, particularly on weekends,” Mr Stokes said. “We believe that the developer needs to commit to maintaining that social hub.”

General manager of Luxcon Matthew Nesbitt told NL that the developer had committed to a dining precinct and was concerned about a ‘letterbox scare campaign run by a group of Castlecrag residents’. Mr Nesbitt explained that in an effort to build the shopping village ‘as quickly as possible,’ Luxcon had put in two DAs – one for demolition and one for the retail build. “The size and use of each of those proposed retail areas is subject to change as tenants come on board,” Mr Nesbitt said. “This is because outdoor dining and seating will be part of a future use application when an operator of a cafe or restaurant is found.

“Provisions have already been designed for mechanical ventilation and exhaust systems to those retail shops which are discharged to the roof. Council does not require these items to be shown on the plans as they are a requirement of the building code and will be signed off as compliant by the associated mechanical consultant and builder.”

Plans for the three, four and five-storey build at 100 Edinburgh Road also include 38 residential apartments and three levels of basement parking.