Latest News

December 2019

Decision on Woolworths supermarket DA deferred

The people of Bronte have yet again stared down powerful interests with the Waverley Local Planning Panel deferring their decision on the Woolworths Bronte RSL DA. A very good result for us considering the council report recommended approval.

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We have always supported a complying redevelopment of the site and we continue to do so. We believe that the Woolworths application is contrary to the objectives for the B1 zoning of the site. We support our local businesses who will be adversely effected by this DA. We support the L&E Court ruling that approved 3 smaller commercial tenancies for the site. We do not support this DA.

Our objection letter is here: Objection Letter

April 2019

In late March 2019, Woolworths made arrangements to meet with Waverley Council to discuss their proposal for a supermarket to be built on the Bronte RSL site. The supermarket would replace the 3 approved cafe/restaurants on the Macpherson St level of the nearly completed building. No formal DA has yet been lodged.

September 2018

Scaffolding collapse at Bronte RSL site

On the night of 7 September 2018 there was a major collapse of scaffolding at the RSL site. Scaffolding at the site collapsed onto the residential apartment building to the east of the site. There were no injuries reported but the residential apartment building suffered significant damage.

See 7 News Sydney story here

scaffold collapse save bronte 2 2018scaffold collapse save bronte 3

scaffold collapse save bronte 2018

June 2018

On 19 June developers Avidan and Assouline lodged yet another DA (218/2018) with Waverley Council. This DA seeks to subdivide the site into two lots. A commercial one and a residential one.

The DA seeks to overturn a key condition imposed by the L&E Court in their 1 May ruling on the re-development of the site. L&E Court Comissioner Dixon SC ruled that the open space, where the pool used to be, on the ground Macpherson St level of the building must be used only by the residents of the building and not the retail tenants.

Now, contrary to the Court’s ruling, Avidan and Assouline have applied to have the large 300 m2 open space, where the pool used to be positioned, included in the retail part of the subdivision. Waverley Council do not have the authority to overturn the L&E Court’s very recent ruling. This DA must be rejected out of hand.

Lodge your objection here


L&E Court podium ruling 130 2018


startum subdivison drawing

October 2017 – L&E Court hearing for DA 571/2016

The L&E Court hearing began on site at the Bronte RSL on 4 Oct 2017 with Commissioner Danielle Dickson presiding. The hearing was moved to Macpherson Park to accomodate the 150 to 200 people in attendance.

There were 8 on-site submissions to the commissioner including one from Save Bronte and one from the Bronte Beach Precinct Committee. The Mayor and Deputy-Mayor of Waverley Council were present at the hearing.

The hearing continued on Thursday and Friday in the city at the L&E Court. We are now awaiting  the commissioner’s decision. It may take up to 5 months for the decision to be handed down.

August 2017 – Section 96 Modification application DA-264/2015/C

This modification application seeks:

  1. A commercial licensed precinct with 3 licensed premises operating 6 am to 11.30 pm SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. These hours are not permitted under the Waverley Development Control Plan (DCP). In fact, these opening hours are longer that what is allowed even in the heart of Bondi Junction.
  2. Permission to break the Waverley DCP shop frontage controls

Don’t let cashed-up developers ride roughshod over our community. Object strongly and loudly to developers Avidan and Assouline’s latest attempt to get more and more money at our community’s expense.

Wednesday 28 June 2017 – WDAP rejects Section 96 application

The Waverley Development Assessment Panel has rejected Avidan and Assouline’s Section 96 modification application for the approved 2015 DA. This comes after the Waverley Council planners recommended the WDAP outright refuse the request by Avidan and Assouline (RDA Property) to change the approved 2015 DA because, amongst other problems, it contained “significant undeclared modifications” and attempted to break the planning controls again.

Read the Waverley Council report here

Monday 29 May 2017 – 1st Court hearing.

Land & Environment Court Conciliation Conference (29/5/17) “terminated” with no agreement between developer and Waverley Council

Watch the Channel 7 News Story here:

Save Bronte court hearing 2017 we need you there black urgent 10002017 2 planning process figure


February 2017 – Off to the Land & Environment Court with the new bigger, taller non-complying DA

There are now 2 planning processes in play. The new non-complying taller and bigger DA (DA 571/2016) and the Section 96 Modification Application to the approved 2015 DA (DA 264/2015/B). These two applications are to be dealt with in different ways because the developer has appealed the DA to the Land & Environment Court. Below is a table explaining what is going on.


2 planning processes b&w 2017-02-21

23 December 2016 – Developer lodges new DA and new Section 96 modification application for the 2015 DA

On 23 December 2016 new developer Danny Avidan and Rafi Assouline lodged 2 new planning applications for the Bronte RSL site that will have a huge impact on our neighbourhood and take us back to the days of 2012. So whilst you were planning Christmas and/or holidays with family and friends they were planning to make even more money with a new Bronte RSL DA.

Despite publicly promising to build only the approved 2015 DA with its 21 apartments, Danny and Rafi put in a  new DA to build an extra storey, 7 extra apartments and a ‘commercial space’ in Chesterfield Lane.

If this passes and zoning limits are breached, other large scale developments can and will follow. The unique character of Bronte will be lost.

The two applications are:

  1. A new DA – DA 571/2016
  2. A Section 96 amendment application for the approved 2015 DA – this application is DA 264/2015/B

December 2016 – New developer moves to change DA

The new Bronte RSL developer recently lodged an application to change the planning controls attached to the approved 2015 Bronte RSL DA. The application was subsequently withdrawn but we are reliably informed that it will be resubmitted in the near future.

Quick Summary:
1. The amendment application sought significant changes to the DA traffic and noise conditions that will have a big impact on our entire neighbourhood.
2. The changes would lead to trucks permanently using more of our residential streets and driving past the Clovelly Public School, the Clovelly Scout Hall, the Clovelly Childcare Centre and the Bronte Early Education Childcare Centre.
3. Structural changes would be made to our streets including the loss of the pedestrian crossing at the St Thomas St – Macpherson St corner.
4. The safety of the Clovelly Public School children, Clovelly Childcare Centre and Bronte Early Education Childcare Centre children will be put needlessly at risk if the changes are accepted by Council.
5. There is a very real possibility that a large supermarket, with its traffic and truck implications, could be built on the site if the traffic controls are changed. Chaos on Macpherson St will ensue and surrounding streets will be parked out.
6. We will need you to make submissions to the Council and the Waverley Traffic Committee when the Section 96 is resubmitted.

Remember this is not just about what happens to our neighbourhood during the construction period. The requested changes would open up the possibility of a large supermarket serviced via Chesterfield Lane i.e. the exact development, with its traffic chaos, that WLB proposed in Oct 2012. After all our hard work over 4 years, we can’t let this happen.

After he bought the site, Mr Avidan told us all to ‘relax’ as his company would build as per the approved 2015 DA. We can all relax once he understands that he only bought the RSL site and not our suburb. Mr Avidan needs to stick to his word and stop trying to change the DA.

Keep up to date with the latest at our Facebook and Twitter sites.

For much more detail click here

September 2016 – WLB and Bronte RSL subbranch gone

The Bronte RSL site has been sold to the RDA Property Group. Director Danny Adivan is on the record in both the AFR and the Wentworth Courier saying that the RDA led redevelopment will stick to the 2015 DA which was approved in Dec 2015. If he sticks to his word, this is good news. The redevelopment is planned to begin in January 2017.

June 2016 – New higher bigger DA prepared

The Bronte RSL site is for sale. The developer has exchanged contracts for the site with the Bronte RSL subbranch but appears to be trying to sell the site before having to settle in December 2016.

We understand that a new DA has been prepared that asks for an additional 5th storey on approved building that is already 38% above the 13 m height limit for the site. The new day also requests an extra 733 m2 of floor area which is approximately 33% above the floor space ratio limit for the site.

Be prepared for another campaign to ensure that the re-development of the Bronte RSL site sticks to the rules.

December 2015 – Development Assessment Panel meeting

The Waverley Development Assessment Panel (DAP) will be the consent authority for the 2015 Bronte RSL DA. They are meeting on Wednesday December 16th at midday in the Council Chambers. The Panel will be assessing the DA that day. Please join us there. We need you with us to ensure the DAP will make the 2015 Bronte RSL DA truely complies with the planning controls for the site.Save Bronte DA day 2015 dec 1000

November 2015 – Notification Period (yes another one!)

Submission period on the revised Bronte RSL DA (DA 264/2015) has now commenced (4 November 2015). Make a submission here

After assessing the new DA, the council planners asked WLB to revise the DA. WLB has now submitted its ‘revised’ plans.

The major change with this non-complying DA is that the sole entrance to the site has been moved to Chesterfield Lane. This change is contrary to the Waverley Development Control Plan (DCP) controls for the site.

The large truck loading dock, with a 4.5 m clearance, remains in the plans. This large loading dock is not needed for the local shops shown on the plans so why is it still there? It must be removed from the plans.

The proposed building still does not comply with the height and floor space ratio controls for the site.

The Waverley DCP, that was implemented in 2013 after an extensive strategic planning process, must not be changed by stealth. The democratic and orderly strategic planning process of the last few years must be respected. This DA must comply with the existing Waverley DCP and LEP.

Click here for details on your submissions.

September 2015

New DA – we are awaiting the Waverley Council planners review of the new DA. See our analysis here

20th July 2015 – Notification Period

The notification (submission) period for the new Bronte RSL DA has commenced. It is a 30 day period meaning that submissions must be into the council by Friday 21 August. We will provide advice to our community over the coming days on appropriate submissions.

July 2015 – New DA lodged

The new DA for the Bronte RSL site was lodged at the end of June. The proposed building is much smaller than the previous plan. WLB developer, David Hynes, has publicly stated that he wants to work with the community for this DA. Save Bronte has some issues with the plans. We don’t believe the plans fully comply with the Waverley LEP. We will be raising these issues with WLB and Waverley Council in the near future.

See the Wentworth Courier story here:

June 2015 – New DA imminent

We are expecting a new DA to be lodged by Bronte RSL subbranch partner WLB some time in mid-June. Stay tuned for our analysis of the DA as soon as it is lodged.

11 March 2015

Save Bronte - saved

Read the Department of Planning & Environment determination here

Read the Wentworth Courier story here

March 2015

Still we wait…..

On 17 February Save Bronte wrote to Minister Goward asking her to follow the expert advice to dismiss the developer-written amendments to our LEP. We asked our local MP, Bruce Notley-Smith, to deliver the letter. Sadly we have not had even an acknowledgement of the letter from the Minister. [Addit: on 5/3/15 the Minister responded on our Facebook page here] Our community deserves better than this. Read our letter here:

We have now written to Premier Mike Baird to ask that his governments local planning policy (i.e. local planning by local people) be enacted at the Bronte RSL site. We will let you know if he replies.

February 2015

The independent and expert advice from the Waverley Council planners was received by the Department of Planning on 23 December 2014. The advice was clear and unequivocal. It said that the proposed developer-written planning rules had “no strategic merit and should be refused”.

The Department is supposed to be using this independent advice to make a decision, under delegation from the Minister, on the developer-written planning controls. You would expect the Department to follow the advice given to them and reject the developer-written rules. However, as at the time of writing, no decision has been made.

It is now over 8 weeks since the Department of Planning & Environment received the independent advice that the proposed developer-written planning rules have “no strategic merit and should be refused”. 8 weeks. Yet we have heard nothing. Zip. Last year when the Department received the developer-favourable advice from the PAC, the Department acted within hours to implement the advice. Why the delay this time? Is it because the advice is in favour of the position of our community and our elected representatives? What is going on here?


16th December 2014 – Councillors unanimously reject WLB planning proposal

At the December council meeting, the councillors unanimously endorsed the planners’ report and recommendation that the WLB planning proposal be refused. The council will now write to the Department of Planning & Environment recommending the developer-written rules be dismissed.

Liberal party policy dictates that the council’s recommendation must be followed. Minister Goward has the power to dismiss the proposed developer-written rules. The Minister must follow her own government’s local planning policy and dismiss the WLB planning proposal today.

slide picture lep process 2014-12-24

12 December – Waverley Council planners recommend refusal of developer’s planning proposal

The Waverley Council planners released their report on 12 December. The Council found that the WLB planning proposal has no strategic merit and recommend that it be refused.

The recommendation can be read here

The full report can be read here

The full Waverley Council will meet to consider the planners’ report at the Council meeting on Tuesday 16th December. This meeting will start at 6.30 pm in the Council Chambers on Bondi Road. Join us there!

Bronte RSL Club Ltd election meeting held 10th December:

The ‘Friends of the Bronte RSL’ ticket took a clean sweep of the director positions on the Bronte RSL Club Ltd board.

Many of the members of the Friends of Bronte RSL group have been active in the Save Bronte campaign. The new RSL Club Ltd board of directors is:

Brian O’Neill – Club President
Nick Wade – Vice President
Christine Newman – Secretary
Marjorie O’Neill – Treasurer
Julie Buchanan – Committee Member
Neil Buchanan – Committee Member
Sam Baxter – Committee Member

The Friends of Bronte RSL stand for:

  • Having the Club continue as a living part of the Bronte community as long as it is solvent.
  • Building new Club premises as part of a development that complies with planning rules and does not damage our community.

They are opposed to:

  • Allowing the Club to be hijacked by developers and their mates.
  • Allowing the Club to be used as an excuse for overdevelopment of our suburb.
  • Allowing the Club to be used as a weapon against the wishes of our local community.

Background to the election meeting held 10th December: There had been some confusion about who is in charge of the Bronte RSL Club. In June this year, the Club held a chaotic General Meeting where the board sought to wind the Club up and all of the board members resigned. After that meeting the immediate Past-President of the Club, Mr Duncan Horscroft, told the Wentworth Courier (2 July 2014) that the RSL sub-branch and its developer were trying to use the Club as a “marketing tool” to get their development plans approved. The NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing asked the Club to hold a General Meeting to elect directors. At the meeting the Friends of the RSL candidates were elected to all 7 board positions.

November – And now we wait…

During the consultation period we collected over 1500 objection letters and emails. We also collected over 2500 signatures on our petition for the NSW parliament. The letters/emails have been delivered to Waverley Council and the petitions delivered to our local MP Mr Bruce Notley-Smith. Read our media release about the consultation period here

The Waverley Council planners will now prepare a report that they intend to present to council at the December 16th council meeting. Please join us there in your Save Bronte t-shirts and with your Save Bronte signs. We need to show the Dept of Planning that its war of attrition against our community has not worked.

After the council meeting, the report will be sent to the Department for a final decision on the developer-writtten planning rules. The Dept has given itself until June 2015 to make that decision. So, now we wait…

October – Community consultation period

slide picture lep process 2014-10-13

See our submission page here

October 2014 – Objections open until 5pm Nov 5th

Waverley Council is conducting a 28 day long period of  ‘community consultation’ for the Department of Planning and Environment. This is the 5th time in 2 years that our community has been consulted on the proposed overdevelopment of the RSL site. We’ve said a loud NO every time. Why can’t the Department get the message?

To learn more about the consultation period and how we can together stop the Department re-zoning the RSL site for the developer, come to our rally and community meeting on Monday October 13th at the Clovelly School Hall (Inverness St).

In the meantime, read our latest media release here regarding the Dept of Planning misleading our community on the planning controls that will result from the WLB planning proposal for the Bronte RSL site.

And read our latest Newsletter here.

September 2014

There have been two significant events in early September:

  1. On Wednesday 3 September the Department of Planning finally endorsed most of the Waverley Council strategic plan for the Bronte RSL site. They signed into law the new ‘Bronte RSL Club’ only restriction for the site i.e. no other registered club or nightclub can be put on the site. They also put a shop size limitation on the site which is also great news. Unfortunately the Dept chose to raise the Council backed limit of 400 m2 (approximately the size of Maloney’s on Coogee Bay Road) to 500 m2.
  2. On Thursday 4 September the Department announced that it is supporting the developer’s request to raise the RSL site height limit to 150% of the current limit and to double the allowable floor area of any development built on the site. If these changes are made into law, against the wishes of our community and Waverley Council, the previously rejected oversized development could be approved and built. We cannot let this happen.

There will be yet another ‘community consultation’ period to be held in October. The community will have 28 days to provide submissions on the changes to the planning law sought by the developer. We must mobilise for the 5th time in 2 years to tell the Department together that we do not want inappropriate overdevelopment at the Bronte RSL site. We want an appropriate complying development.

4 September 2014

On 4 September the Department of Planning & Environment published its Gateway determination on the WLB planning proposal. The Dept has determined that the developer’s request to increase the height limit by 7 m and double the floor area allowed (FSR) “should proceed”. This came not 24 hours after the Dept endorsed the Waverley Council planning proposal for the site. The Council planning proposal concluded the current height and FSR limits were appropriate for the site. The Department accepted this on 3 September but with 24 hours changed its mind. Odd.

We need to work together to stop the Department of Planning approving new developer written planning controls that will allow the rejected Bronte RSL building to be revived, consented and imposed on our community.

We will now proceed to yet another period of community consultation that will occur in October 2014. Our community will need to object loudly and strongly to the developer’s proposed height increase to 150% of the current limit and a doubling of the floor area allowed on the site (FSR). If we don’t the Department of Planning with make the developer’s ‘spot rezoning’ request the new planning law. This will allow the previously rejected DA to be resubmitted with only minor modifications.

August 2014

As the state election draws ever closes, believe it or not we are still waiting for the Gateway Determination. We have been given no indication when Ms McNally will make the decision.

Remember this decision is crucial. McNally should follow state government policy and dismiss the WLB planning proposal. The developer’s proposal has no strategic merit and is basically a ‘spot rezoning’ for private profit with no public benefit. Our community and council have done exactly as the Liberal state government has asked. We have set the rules for development in our local area after a comprehensive strategic planning process. It is now up to the Department of Planning to implement the results of that process which is to formalise the council LEP amendments and dismiss the developer’s planning proposal.

July 2014

We are still waiting for the Gateway Determination on the developer’s planning proposal. This is where Minister Pru Goward or her delegate in NSW Planning and Environment decides whether the developer’s planning control changes are either dismissed or sent to the next stage on their way to being the new planning law. We have been told that Ms McNally, Acting Secretary of the Dept, will be the Minister’s Delegate. Ms McNally must follow government policy and allow our community, through our council, to set the rules for development in our local area. She must dismiss the developer’s planning proposal and sign into law the Waverley Council amendments to the LEP. Anything less would represent an a inversion of our democratic system where unelected bureaucrats are overruling the decisions and policy of our elected representatives.

The state of play (July 2014):

slide picture lep process 2014-06-11 500

June – Bronte RSL Club Liquidation meeting

In an interesting twist in the Bronte RSL tale, the Bronte RSL Club Ltd held their ‘liquidation meeting’ on Wednesday 11th June (read the notice of meeting here). This was very odd because the developer and the RSL subbranch have used the continuing viability of the club as a reason for their excessive overdevelopment. In any case, the ‘members’ present voted 29 to 7 against the director’s motion to wind up the club. It seems that the Bronte RSL subbranch has now stepped in and taken control of the Club. At the meeting the Bronte RSL subbranch secretary announced to those present that the RSL site DA was “close to approval”. We’d like to know how he has that information and why he is so sure the overdevelopment will be approved.

He also announced the intention of the subbranch to ask other clubs to run the RSL Club. In particular he mentioned the Easts club (who incidentally run the Waverley Bowling Club) as a possible partner.

Interestingly, the immediate past president of the Bronte RSL Club Ltd, Duncan Horscroft, said that the Bronte RSL Club Ltd did not have the funds to re-open the Bronte RSL Club in the new development.

The meeting itself was procedurally chaotic and no financial statements were presented to those present. Members at the meeting were questioning the validity of the decisions made including the decision to sell approximately $35000 worth of poker machine entitlements to pay off the Bronte RSL Club Ltd’s debts.

June 2014

Waverley Council has now submitted the developer’s planning proposal for the Bronte RSL site to the government for the Gateway determination by Minister Goward. There was pressure from the Dept to submit the document even though the RSL developer has not fulfilled its obligations to provide additional information and amendments to the planning proposal. Again this shows obvious bias against the community and council and in favour of the developer.

This whole situation is unbelievable. The current controls at the site allow a new building of 4 storeys that can be filled with apartments on a site that is currently 1.5 storeys with no apartments. The controls proposed by Waverley Council allow a decent sized shop where there are currently no shops. The council has done the strategic planning with community involvement. Waverley is the most densely populated LGA in australia. There is simply no reason, other than private profit, to change the rules.

Government policy, our council and our community are all in agreement about what should be done at Bronte. How can one developer be more powerful than all that? If we are to have any faith in democratic processes in Australia, Minister Goward needs to back her government’s policies, Waverley Council and our community. She needs to stop the WLB planning proposal immediately.

May 2014

Read our latest media release here

We are still in the “planning proposal preparation” stage (shown on figure below). There have been major changes in the political and bureaucratic hierarchy. We have a new Minister for Planning in Pru Goward. We have a new Assistant Minister for Planning in Rob Stokes. And we have a new head of a new department. Carolyn McNally is the acting secretary of the new Department of Planning and Environment.

We have been told that all planning proposals are on hold until the new minister is fully briefed. We do not know how long the briefing period will last.

We continue to call for the state government, through the new minister, to implement their own planning policy at Bronte. i.e. let local communities, through local councils, set the rules and vision for development in their local area. We have helped Waverley Council set the rules and vision for development on Macpherson St. Minister Goward needs to instruct her department to implement those rules and vision today. She needs to formalise the council’s draft LEP amendments to restrict shop size to 400 m2 and restrict any licensed premises to the Bronte RSL social club only.

April 2014

Representatives from Save Bronte, local MP Bruce Notley-Smith and Waverley Mayor Sally Betts met with former Dept Planning Director-General Mr Sam Haddad on 10 April. The message we gave him was that at Bronte his department has overseen ‘Bad planning and bad process’. Read the summary of our meeting here.

March 2014

Save Bronte hosted a very successful rally and meeting on 26th Feb with over 200 of our community in attendance. Channel 7 did a live cross from our rally to their Sydney news. You can see the story here:

We ran a campaign to have Minister Hazzard stop the WLB planning proposal (i.e. the developer’s request to change the planning rules at the RSL site to match the currently non-complying building).

Download our form letter to Minister Hazzard here

18 February 2014

Breaking news: the Waverley Councillors have unanimously voted to ask Minister Hazzard to stop the WLB planning proposal at the Gateway! (The Gateway is a place in the process where the Minister can stop the proposal dead in its tracks or wave it through on its way to becoming the law). Are you listening to the Council and the community Department of Planning? If the Minister and the Dept continue to back the developer’s planning proposal, the Council voted to accept the role of ‘Relevant Planning Authority’ i.e. the council will run the process. This is the best outcome for the community in what is a bad situation. We can still beat this thing but we need to work together. Working together as a community united we can succeed in our campaign for appropriate development at the RSL site. Will you now stand up, speak up and turn up for Bronte?

3 February 2014

After meeting behind closed doors with the developer and council the PAC ignores and patronises Bronte community by recommending the developer’s proposal proceed on its way to what seems like an inevitable approval. The PAC has also treated Waverley Council with contempt and ignored all its work over many years. Read the report here

24 January 2014

The PAC met behind closed doors on Wednesday so we don’t know what happened at the meeting. The developer was in the room. The community was shut out of the room. We have been told that it will take about 2 to 4 weeks before the PAC has prepared its advice for the Minister. We’ll let you know their advice as soon as we hear. So stay tuned to Save Bronte!

January 2014

This Wednesday morning (22nd Jan) the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) will meet to examine the planning proposal of RSL development partner Winston Langley Burlington (WLB – directed by David Hynes and Sam El-Rahim). This proposal seeks to have the planning controls changed to match the currently non-complying development application (DA 72/2013) that was refused consent by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) in July 2013.

The WLB planning proposal seeks to have the height limit raised to 20 metres and the floor area (floor space ratio) doubled. It also seeks to have Waverley Council’s new controls for the RSL site overturned ie the 400 m2 shop size restriction and the the ‘Bronte RSL club only’ restriction.

The community is not allowed to address, nor even attend, the meeting. Instead, the PAC will hear directly from the developer and Waverley Council behind closed doors.

After the meeting the PAC will make a recommendation to the Minister regarding the future of the developer’s request to change the planning controls to match WLB’s currently non-complying building.

In the lead up to Christmas, the Department of Planning (DoPI) issued an assessment report on the WLB planning proposal. We found the report to be biased against the community and in favour of large scale development in our neighbourhood centre. It ignored our community’s significant input into the strategic planning processes and sidelined Waverley Council’s own planning proposal which contains the new Council-drafted planning controls. The DoPI assessment report was written for the PAC and by writing such a biased report, the DoPI has distorted due process.

Save Bronte took the following actions in response to the biased DoPI report:

1) issued an analysis of the report highlighting errors, omission and bias – read it here

2) wrote to the Director General of the DoPI and Minister Hazzard asking for the report to be rescinded and the WLB pre-gateway review to be dismissed – read our letter to the Minister here

3) wrote to PAC to inform them of the community’s input and views, and to highlight the issues with the DoPI report. We also requested the right to address the commission directly – read our letter here

We have again been treated with contempt by the DoPI who have ignored our letter. We have not heard back from the Minister but have been assured that he will reply to our letter before Wednesday.

The PAC replied but refused our request for community representatives to even attend the meeting on Wednesday.

If the PAC advises the Minister that the developer’s planning proposal should progress to the next stage ie through the ‘gateway’, then it is likely that the developer will get the building it wants. A building that has been rejected by our community, Waverley Councillors, Waverley Council planners and the JRPP. If this happens, our community’s views and vision will be ignored in favour of an outside developer’s views. Our elected Council will have been overruled by the unelected DoPI bureaucrats. It is just not right.

December 2013

Read local resident Simon Lewis’s heart felt piece about how the planning system stinks and is stacked against residents in favour of developers. He also notes how we have been completely ignored by the state government despite their promises to prioritise community input into planning. He first posted it on our Facebook page. We have a copy here.

Read our report (The Right Vision for Bronte) on the WLB planning proposal pre-Gateway review request here.

November 2013

We’ve been hearing a lot lately from the state government about its new planning system. The state government is spruiking its commitment to community participation and how it is putting the community first in strategic planning decisions. The government says that communities will be given the ability to set the vision for their local area. Well, the appeal by the RSL development partner (WLB) to overturn our Council’s rejection of the WLB planning proposal (a ‘spot rezoning’ in the old terms) is a test of this stated commitment to communities. It has a chance to show the people of NSW that it means what it says.

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has the power to dismiss the developer’s review request. They should dismiss it today. They should stop talking about giving the community priority and just do it. They should give the Bronte community priority right here, right now.

What you can do today:

Write to the Minister for Planning & Infrastructure and the Director-General of the Department of Planning & Infrastructure (hyperlinked addresses below).

Mr Brad Hazzard, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

Mr Sam Haddad, Director-General, Department of Planning and Infrastructure

Ask them to:

  • Immediately dismiss the WLB planning proposal “Pre-Gateway Review” request for 109-113 Macpherson St.
  • Put their policy of community participation into practice by listening to our community on this issue.

Tell them that:

  • Our community has been involved in the strategic planning for the RSL site and we do not want the height limit raised or the FSR ratio increased.
  • We want a development with small shops that complies with our Council’s planning controls.
  • Our community supports Waverley Council’s restriction on shop size and the “Bronte Returned Services Club only” limitation on the RSL site.
  • Failure to heed our community and dismiss the WLB appeal will cause our community to lose faith in the new planning system which prioritises community participation in strategic planning.


Our community has stepped up and been involved in strategic planning for our Neighbourhood Centre for over a year now and we have developed a vision for the centre. Our Council took our community’s views into account when they developed their new planning controls for the Centre and the Bronte RSL site. Now a developer is trying to get the planning controls changed to facilitate an unwanted currently non-complying development at the Bronte RSL site.

The Right Vision for Bronte – A Community Participates

Read our report (The Right Vision for Bronte) on the WLB planning proposal pre-Gateway review request here. Some of the money you have donated and that we have raised in the raffle, helped to pay for the advice in the report. We have given a copy to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.

This is what we are struggling against:

3D model rsl proposal council web

Halloween comes to Bronte!!!!

Save Bronte halloween 500

September 2013

We are calling on the Minister for Planning to honour the government’s planning policy by dismissing the WLB appeal. It is government policy, as outlined in the NSW planning white paper, that community views and input are prioritised in strategic planning decisions.

RSL development partner WLB (directed by David Hynes and Sam El-Rahim), has asked the state government to overrule our Council’s decision to reject the WLB planning proposal. This was the WLB request to increase the height limit to 20 metres and double the floor space ratio (floor area allowed) to 2:1. They have also asked that the state government overturn Waverley Council’s decision to limit the shop size on the site and to limit licensed premises on the site to the ‘Bronte Returned Services Club only’. This appeal process is called a “Pre-Gateway review” request.

We are asking the state government to give priority to the views of our community over requests from outsider developers by dismissing this appeal immediately.

29 August 2013 – media release here

Bronte RSL development partner WLB (directed by David Hynes and Sam El-Rahim) has lodged an appeal with the NSW government after Waverley Council rejected the developer’s request to change the Bronte RSL planning controls. Despite all the community’s efforts, if the appeal is successful the proposed “monolithic” building of “excessive scale” would then almost certainly be approved.

Waverley Council has just completed their own planning proposal that involved extensive community and expert consultation about the strategic planning issues at the Bronte RSL site. Council concluded that the existing height and FSR limits for the site are appropriate. Save Bronte believes that the DoPI should dismiss the WLB appeal without referring the matter to the JRPP as it would be a waste of taxpayer funds and Council resources to repeat a process just completed.

Save Bronte is calling on the state government to show the community that they truly do support community input into the strategic planning process by listening to the Bronte community in this planning matter. We see our case as a test of the O’Farrell government’s commitment to community engagement which is outlined as a priority in the NSW planning white paper.

The appeal documents can be accessed here

Breaking news 27/8/13 – it is believed that RSL developer David Hynes of WLB has lodged an appeal with the state government over the rejection of his planning proposal to increase the height limit and floor area (FSR) limit for the RSL site. More details to follow but get ready to fight again to stop an outside developer imposing, against the will of our community, an oversized building in our neighbourhood centre. 

9 August 2013

Today reps from Save Bronte had a meeting with officials from the Department of Infrastructure and Planning. We presented to them the views of the community on the future of our Neighbourhood Centre and the Bronte RSL site. We told them of the community’s desire for a complying development at the RSL site. A development that is in keeping with the existing scale of our neighbourhood centre. We reiterated the community’s strong opposition to the WLB planning proposal that requests raising the height limit to 20 m and doubling the floor area allowed. We now wait the developers next move which could be an appeal on his refused DA, an appeal on his rejected planning proposal or indeed a new DA. We’ll keep you posted.

Aug update: Developer’s Planning Proposal the Key

On 16 July Waverley Council refused a planning proposal submitted by the RSL’s development partner (David Hynes’ WLB). A planning proposal is a request to change the planning controls on an area of land. The WLB planning proposal asks for the height limit to be raised to 20 metres (from 13 m) and floor space ratio limits to be doubled to 2:1 at the Bronte RSL site. We believe that WLB will appeal this decision to the state government. Despite all the community’s efforts, if the appeal is successful the proposed “monolithic” building of “excessive scale” would then be approved.

On appeal, the state government can order a new period of community consultation on the WLB planning proposal. The state planning panel (the JRPP) can then approve the changes to the planning controls. So at the stroke of a pen, unelected officials can overturn the unanimous decision of our elected councillors to refuse the planning proposal.

If these changes were made, at the request of the developer, then the WLB-RSL DA (DA 72-2103) would comply and be approved.

As difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact that the community is overwhelmingly opposed to the proposed “monolithic” building of “excessive scale” would mean nothing. It is a sad reflection on our system of democracy that this is the case but we must play with the cards dealt to us by the state government.

We believe that the state government should dismiss any appeal by WLB without moving to a period of community consultation. This is because Waverley Council has just completed their own planning proposal involving extensive community consultation and expert review. They concluded that the existing height limit and FSR are appropriate for the site. Why do it all again? What has changed in the last week that would change this conclusion?

Below is an updated table about the 3 different planning processes involving the Bronte RSL site that are currently underway:

3 planning processes 2013-08-04


DA-Day July 25: JRPP unanimously accepts the recommendation of the Waverley Council Planners and refuses consent to the Bronte RSL DA

Here is the moment we Saved Bronte together. Check it out and feel your spine tingle!!!!!!! 3 Cheers for Bronte   (a big thanks to Lou for recording this moment in Bronte’s history)

This is a victory for the people of Bronte and its surrounds. A victory for anyone who loves Bronte. A victory for us all!

A huge thanks to everyone who has helped our campaign up till now. Thanks to all our supporters for turning up in numbers last night. What a night. What a feeling when the decision was read out. Who could ever forget that noise as we erupted as one with joy!!! A deafening noise. A noise that makes you feel alive!

However, we need to remember that the developer will most likely appeal to the Land and Environment Court and the state government is reviewing his planning proposal request to raise the height limit and FSR limit on the RSL site right now. We will keep you updated on this issues.

But for now, enjoy Bronte’s win!

Listen to our 26 July 2SER FM radio interview here

Newsletter 7 now available! – click here

3 planning processes are currently underway for the RSL site.

This table explains what they are and where each process stands at the present time:

3 planning processes

Update 17th June: Developer lodges his own planning proposal for the RSL site

Last week the RSL’s development partner, WLB, lodged their own planning proposal for the RSL site. They have, in effect, said they don’t like the Council’s planning proposal and have paid over $20,000 to submit their own. This opens up a third planning process involving the RSL site. The first is the DA (DA 72-2013). The second is the Council’s planning proposal to amend the LEP/DCP for the Macpherson St neighbourhood centre. The third is the developer’s planning proposal to amend the LEP for the RSL site. The council planners must deliver reports on all three processes to our Councillors and the state government. These reports will be presented to the Councillors at the Tuesday July 16th Waverley Council meeting. This will be the most important Council meeting in Bronte’s history. Decisions made there will effect Bronte’s future. All of us must attend this council meeting so together we can control Bronte’s future. Please lock it in your diaries now.


New submissions on the future of the Bronte RSL site needed

And now for the next stage in the continuing Bronte RSL saga….

The deadline has passed for objections to the Development Application by WLB/Bronte RSL and it is now with the Council planners.

Meanwhile and separately, you may recall that Council has also drafted a series of proposed amendments to the existing planning controls governing the Macpherson and St Thomas Street Neighbourhood Centre (including the Bronte RSL site). These are also known as the draft LEP and DCP amendments and the process of change is called a ‘Planning proposal’.

It’s important that we now respond to Council on their proposed amendments. We have until 5pm on Friday 17 May to submit our comments. And be certain that the developer will be submitting his own!

Click here to see our newsletter which explains the issues


See our Bronte RSL DA related drawings here

Download the presentations from the community meeting about the RSL DA here (NB this is a 15 MB file)

Save Bronte has engaged an urban planner

We have engaged Mr David Ryan of City Plan Services to prepare our submission to the JRPP (and Land and Environment Court). Mr Ryan is an experienced town planner whose profile can be seen here.


Here it is. It is massive. Bronte will become the new Bondi Junction:

rsl plans north b

DA Lodged 7/3/13:  Application No: DA-72/2013

Yesterday, 7/3/13, the developer and the RSL lodged their DA. We have not seen it yet but have been told that it is in accordance with the concept plans that we had seen previously. ie an inappropriately sized mixed shopping centre/club/residential 6 storey building that will cause traffic chaos in our residential streets and change our peaceful seaside suburb into a busy shopping precinct that aims to service a catchment of 30000 shoppers. Trucks and traffic will stream past the Clovelly Public School and the Bronte Child Care Centre.

The details of the DA are scant at present. We do know that the developer has estimated the development is worth $24,768,810.00. This is his trick to bypass the councillors (our elected representatives) as the consent authority. As the development is worth more than $20 million, the consent authority will be the state body know as the JRPP. Next week the Council planners will start the process rolling. The DA will be available for the public to see and the timeframe for submissions will be published.

To see follow official events search for application 72/ year 2013 at the Waverley Council website here. You will need to click on ‘i agree’ and then put ’72’ in the application box and ‘2013’ in the year box.

We are going to need every single one of our over 1600 supporters to write a submission to the JRPP objecting to this monstrosity. We will need to object against the development in very dispassionate legal language. SBV will provide templates for you to use once we have seen and analysed the DA.


Now is the time when we really need the help of all the planning experts who live in our neighbourhood. If you are a lawyer, a town planner, or work in any development related job, please contact us as soon as possible. We need your help today.

Rescission Motion on draft LEP amendments, Council Meeting March 9th, 12.30

Councillors Masselos, Strewe and Kanak have submitted a rescission motion re the LEP amendments. The purpose of the motion is to rescind the LEP amendment decision that was made at the Feb 19 Council meeting. We believe these councillors are concerned about some inconsistencies and errors in the draft LEP amendments that were passed by Council.

We have now been told that the Councillors will debate the rescission motion at their meeting this Saturday (March 9) commencing at 12.30 pm in the Council Chambers on Bondi Road (cnr Paul St). The motion may be presented at 12.30 pm or may be presented after the Councillors have completed an offsite inspection. Please bring your i-device, book, game etc in case we are forced to wait.

If the rescission motion is passed then the draft LEP amendments that were adopted at the February 19th Council meeting will no longer be put to the state government for approval. What happens after that will be up to the Councillors.

If the rescission motion is defeated, the draft LEP amendments will be submitted to the state government next week. The Department of Planning and Infrastructure will examine the draft LEP amendments and, if they approve of them, will send them back to Council for a period of community consultation. After this consultation the Council will submit the final LEP amendments for approval by the state government. Once approved they will become the new LEP for Waverley. We will be encouraging you all to put in submissions during this consultation phase, asking for the shop size to be limited to 80 m2 and the height limit to be put back to 9 m.

We think that it is important for as many of us as possible to attend the Council meeting on Saturday to show that we still have a strong interest in the Macpherson and St Thomas St neighbourhood centre planning control issue. If we do not attend, the Councillors may be left with the impression that we are happy with the draft LEP amendments which we are not.

We will be meeting at the coffee shop in the new pavilion in the Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre in Waverley Park next to the Council chambers. Please be there between 12 noon and 12.15 pm. We will then make our way to the chambers as a group. If you can’t make that time, please be in the Council Chambers by 12.30 pm. Although this is not a protest, bring your SBV signs and wear your t-shirts.

Report on Council meeting Tuesday 19th Feb

The draft LEP changes are complicated but in essence what the council has done is:

1) Put a limit of 400 m2 on individual retail spaces in the WHOLE neighbourhood centre. This allows more than one of such shop on the RSL site and more to the east in the rest of the Macpherson and St Thomas streets Neighbourhood Centre.

2) Retained the new height limit of 13 m (raised from 9 metres on Oct 26th 2012)

3) Made some positive changes to the commercial traffic flow which should reduce truck movements past Clovelly Public School and the Bronte Child Care Centre. NB: rat runs will still develop through our streets.

After careful consideration of the draft LEP amendments we are very disappointed with the outcome that the Liberal councillors ensured was passed. To their credit, the Labor and Green Councillors attempted to have the retail space limited to 80 m2 and 100 m2 but the Liberal Councillors refused to accept this and voted for the much larger 400 m2 limit. 400 m2 is still a large shop and if multiple 400 m2 shops open throughout the Neighbourhood Centre we will have a massive and permanent change to our suburb. Macpherson St will become like Bondi Rd, Coogee Bay Rd and Charing Cross.

It is notable that the height limit was left, for no apparent good reason, at 13 m. Just this week, the development at the Swiss Grand in Bondi was approved with a height of 17 m in a 15 m height limit zone. Make no mistake, a 13 m height limit at the Bronte RSL site will allow a developer to go above 15 m which is over 4 stories.

Please download and read ‘The Real Facts‘ fact sheet which is a response to the Councils ‘Fact Sheet’. We will be strongly opposing the 13 metre height limit and the 400 m2 retail space limit during the LEP amendment consultation phase which will take place soon. We will inform you when it is time to write your submissions.

Council meeting Tuesday 19th Feb

The council planners have presented their report to the Councillors. Tonight, the Councillors will vote on the new planning regulations for the Macpherson St neighbourhood centre. The planners are recommending some changes that shows they have listened to the community but they do not go far enough to protect our neighbourhood from a major new shopping centre. Please come to the council chambers on bondi road at 6.45pm. Bring a sign to show your opposition to overdevelopment at the RSL site. Bring a sign to say No Harris Farm in Bronte. There will be a TV camera crew present so let’s give them some good pictures!

Council review of planning regulations at Bronte RSL site

The council planners are preparing a report for the Councillors about the planning regulations at the Bronte RSL site. The councillors will receive the report in February. Please write to the Councillors and Mr Peter Monks at the Council to ask that the site be rezoned residential (with existing use rights for the RSL). This will ensure no supermarket can be built on the site and will reduce the height limit back to the 9 metres it was prior to October 26th.

Developer to meet community

WLB Developer David Hynes to front the Bronte Beach Precinct Committee meeting Wednesday 5/12/12 at the Lugar Brae Church Hall, Lugar Brae Lane from 8pm. All welcome. Let’s show him together that the community is saying NO to this WLB-RSL shopping mall proposal.

Check out our latest Newsletter by clicking here

Bronte Rally

Don’t forget to put Saturday 8th December in your diary as that’s the day we will be having our rally to protest against the shopping mall development. Meet outside the Bronte RSL in McPherson Street at 10:00am.

More details coming soon.

Tell your friends and neighbours about the campaign

If we are going to be successful in our campaign it’s going to be really important to have as many supporters as possible and to have their email addresses so that we can keep everyone informed of progress. If you are already a supporter, we would encourage you to try and get at least three of your friends on board and to provide their email addresses. In this way we will be able to swell our numbers from the already growing ranks supporters and provide even more impetus to our campaign.

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