The Marsfield Common proposal was submitted to Council on 18 May 2022, addressing all the matters raised by Council officers in pre-lodgement discussions and was supported and praised by Ryde Council officers in the original planning stages. While Council officers worked to meet the timeframes set out in the relevant legislation, Ryde Council did not meet the statutory deadlines it was required to meet to consider the planning proposal. The proposal was subsequently submitted to the NSW Government via the Department of Planning and Environment for consideration by the relevant Sydney District Planning Panel in December 2022. The Panel refused the application on the basis of advice from Council that the site was likely to be acquired for public open space purposes in the near future.
In October 2022, NRRSL also took the preliminary steps to prepare a State Significant Development Application for the redevelopment of the TG Millner site for seniors housing. As part of this process, the Department of Planning and Environment has issued Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs). This process provides for the seniors housing application to be assessed by the Department with a subsequent decision to be made by the Independent Planning Commission and/or the Land & Environment Court.
On 21 November 2022, Ryde Council initiated a non-exclusive negotiation process to purchase the TG Millner site from the North Ryde RSL. Both North Ryde RSL and Eastwood Rugby Club are open to Ryde Council acquiring the site for the community at fair market value. If, however, no agreement for Council to purchase the TG Millner site before 22 May 2023, Council may proceed with the compulsory acquisition process. The compulsory negotiation period has since ended without any agreement being reached.
At a Ryde Council meeting on 23 May 2023, Councillors approved a motion “to take any and all steps necessary” to protect TG Millner as green open space in perpetuity, a decision that was reinforced again by Council at its June 2023 Council meeting.
Following the 23 May 2023 meeting, Ryde Council has written to the Minister for Local Government seeking permission to issue a PAN (Property Acquisition Notice) and compulsorily acquire the site.
North Ryde RSL and Eastwood Rugby Club are comfortable with Ryde Council acquiring the site at fair market value for the surrounding community. Since the end of the non-exclusive negotiation period, Ryde Council has written to the Minister for Local Government seeking permission to issue a PAN and compulsorily acquire the site. To date, we are unaware if Council has received a response from the Minister in relation to its request.
A Council purchase would help Eastwood Rugby to build and maintain its new grounds, grow the game of rugby in Sydney and ensure the club a healthy future for years to come, while enabling North Ryde RSL to enhance its offering to its members at its current North Ryde location.