“The College proactively works with the local council on an ongoing basis to identify and implement appropriate and safe traffic-calming solutions,” she said.
However, the building plans attracted many objections from residents – some of whom provided detailed submissions written by town planners – and Ku-ring-gai Council, which prompted the school to change aspects of the proposal’s design.
“Traffic is stopped for up to 30 minutes in both directions on Avon Road by vehicles that queue to enter and leave PLC grounds.”
Ray Barbero, local resident
“Council has received complaints in past years about activities at Pymble Ladies College relating to noise and lighting,” its submission said.
A council spokeswoman said the suburban private school’s amended plans had not resolved concerns about the height and bulk of the proposed building and its impact on nearby residents.
She said the council was also concerned about traffic and parking, landscape design and whether the development was ecologically sustainable.
The council was also opposed to the school’s plan to use Pymble Avenue for student drop-off and pick-up instead of a designated car park within the school grounds.
Sydney’s private schools continue to attract concern from residents and councils worried that extravagant new facilities will negatively impact their neighbourhoods with traffic congestion, parking problems and oversized buildings.
Japan’s consul-general complained about Cranbrook School’s new sporting facilities, while police will be deployed to supervise parents dropping off and picking up kids at SCEGGS Darlinghurst after complaints.
PLC was overfunded by $1,915,901 in 2021 by the NSW government, according to a report by education economist Adam Rorris commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation – one of more than 200 private schools given extra state government money.
Resident Ray Barbero said Avon Road became gridlocked on school days – particularly between 8am to 9am and 2.30pm to 3.30pm – with vehicles dropping off or collecting some of the school’s 2200 students.
“Invariably, the traffic is stopped for up to 30 minutes in both directions on Avon Road by vehicles that queue to enter and leave PLC grounds,” he said.
Another resident said the site chosen for the Grey House precinct was “very disappointing”.
“For such a large building and one that contains a multitude of high-noise-producing activities … to be sited so close to neighbours seemingly demonstrates very little concern for the welfare of the residents it shares a boundary with.”
State Liberal MP for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens acknowledged local traffic concerns in his submission and said residents felt the five-storey building was “out of keeping” with surrounding one- and two-storey homes. “Moreover they find that the contemporary building does not respect the heritage streetscape.”
The Planning Department also criticised the building’s design, saying its bulk and scale was incompatible with the low-density character of nearby homes.
“The Department is concerned that the level 3 classroom windows and level 2 balcony of the proposed building may directly overlook onto the swimming pool and courtyards of the residential properties to the south,” its submission said.