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State Significant Development


International Chinese School

Willoughby City

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Change of use to allow the relocation of the International Chinese School. The school would accommodate children from K-Y6. Minor associated works to facilitate the change of use including internal fit out, new vehicular access and landscaping works.

Consolidated Consent

Consolidated Consent ICS


Request for SEARs (1)

International Chinese School SEARs request 1Mar19_

SEARs (2)

Issued SEARs_18042019_101822
Issued SEARs Cover Letter_18042019_101818

EIS (26)

Appendix M_Stage 2 Detailed Site Investigation
Appendix J_Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment Report
Appendix F_Parking and Traffic Impact Assessment
Appendix L_Stage 1 Preliminary Site Assessment Report
Appendix I_Historical Archaeological Assessment and Impact
Appendix H_Heritage Impact Statement
Appendix A_Architectural Plans
Appendix K_Noise and Vibration Assessment
Appendix S_Tree Impact Assessment
Appendix R_Landscape Plans
Appendix N_Site Audit Report
Appendix C_Architectural design report
Appendix U_Disability Access Report
Appendix X_Gore Hill Oval and Car Park Data Collection
Appendix Y_Response to Willoughby Council Regarding Propos
Appendix Q_Waste Management Plan
211 Pacific Highway International Chinese School Environme
Appendix G_Green Traffic Plan
Appendix O_SIte Audit Statement
Appendix W_Structural Report
Appendix D_Letter of Support and Owners Consent
Appendix B_Secretarys Environmental Assessment Requirements
Appendix V_Survey Plan
Appendix P_Biodiversity Assessment Waiver
Appendix T_Section10.7(2) and (5) Planning Certificates
Appendix E_Operational Plan

Response to Submissions (13)

Reject RTS_10012020_024443
ICS Response to Submissions
Appendix A -Agency and Public Response
Appendix B - Amended Architectural Plans
Appendix C - Updated Traffic Impact Asssessment
Appendix D - Heritage Response
Appendix E - Acoustic Report
Appendix F - Civil Engineering_
Appendix G -Arborist Statement_
Appendix H - ICS Traffic Management Plan_
Appendix I - ICS Lunchtime play management plan_
Appendix J - Temporary Statement of Operations
SSD 10260 Request RTS

Agency Advice (4)

International Chinese School - SSD 10260 - EIS exhibition -
HC response to SSD 10260 – EIS DUE 24Oct19 - Gore Hill Mem
20191105 -RMS Response - 211 Pacific Highway - St Leonards
Scanned & signed letter - International Chinese School

Additional Information (11)

Sections & Signage Details
International Chinese School Interim Access Plan
Minibus access details
ICS Lunchtime play management plan V2_
International Chinese School RFI 1 letter_
RFI Request for Additional Information_22042020_045857
A_Traffic Information to TfNSW_
B_Amended Architectural Plans May 2020_
C_Additional site survey_
ICS - Updated Survey and Traffic - DPIE letter_
Deceleration Lane delay

Determination (4)

Approved Plans
SSD 10260 signed instrument of approval
SSD 10260 - Signed Assessment report
SSD 10260 - Notice of Decision

Approved Documents

Management Plans and Strategies (4)

C22 - Construction Traffic Pedestrian Management Plan, Issue D, 01/03/2021 - Approval Letter dated 09/03/21
C22 - Construction Traffic Pedestrian Management Plan, Issue D, 01/03/2021

Notifications (1)

Notification of commencment of Construction

Other Documents (2)

Item 33 - Condition 24 CTPMP 19-050-43
Extension Requests_10082021_123329

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.


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Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.


Showing 1 - 20 of 79 submissions
PARRAMATTA , New South Wales
Please find attached EES response
Name Withheld
ST IVES , New South Wales
Re: State Significant Development - International Chinese School SSD-10260
Date: 10/10/2019
Major Projects,

Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment,

NSW Government,

I write to express my support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's.

My daughter currently attend school at ICS. Our Daughter thoroughly enjoys attending ICS and have develop great bilingual communication skills in Mandarin and English. The value of the bilingual Mandarin educational program on offer through ICS bridge cultural heritage, opportunities for children's future with Australia's increasing economic ties with China, increased respect and tolerance for other cultures.

Proximity to public transport, the green and leafy setting with surrounding parklands, access to oval and parklands, service to significant local Chinese population, regional plans for educational precinct, projected urban growth.

The School has been searching for a suitable site for 5 years. Current premises cramped. Significant growth in student numbers next year. The future of school will be secured.

We strongly urge for the approval for the school to be relocated to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's soonest possible.

Yours Sincerely
Name Withheld
LANE COVE , New South Wales
We write to support the application for relocation of the International Chinese School to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards.

The International Chinese School offers a unique bilingual education in English and Chinese - something not offered anywhere else in NSW. It is underpinned by traditional Christian values. In its short existence, the school has already established a core of dedicated teachers, students and families who are all strongly supportive of the education and the learning environment provided. Most families reside on the Lower North Shore of Sydney and consist of hard-working professional couples with young children. For example, we are both medical professionals, working full time in major public hospitals, with two young children. The current campus has reached capacity, and the viability of the school depends on finding a new location.

Our daughter currently attends the school and has made impressive progress in her language development over a short period of time. She was mono-lingual prior to attending the school, and is becoming increasingly bilingual. The reputation of the school continues to grow via the personal and professional networks of existing families, and the projected growth in enrolment is likely to be exponential. The benefits of a bilingual education are significant and have wide ranging implications. Research shows that language acquisition assists with other aspects of learning and brain development. Like the other schools in NSW that offer education in a language other than English (eg French or German), there is a need for a school that offers tuition in both English and Chinese. Clearly with Australia's increasing economic relationship with China, there will be a need for Australians to be conversant with the language and culture. This school complements the existing options of both public and private schools available in the area.There is already a large Chinese community residing on the Lower North Shore of Sydney and the proposed new site is suitably located. It is on a major public transport route and close to surrounding sporting grounds. The Crows Nest precinct is undergoing huge growth due to NSW State Government planning, and it is likely that this school will provide an option for future residents, especially in the proposed new location.

The need for a new location is urgent given that the capacity of the current campus has been reached and there are already a number of enrolments for new students next year. The current school year is in the final term and finalising a new site is needed prior to the start of the 2020 school year. Our experience is that the International Chinese School provides an excellent education in a nurturing environment. We hope that the new location will be approved to enable this school to exist and grow in coming years.
Name Withheld
KILLARA , New South Wales
Hi there,

I am writing to express my support for the International Chinese School (ICS) relocation to 211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards.

My son has been going to ICS since he was in Kindergarten, he is now in Year 3. He has had 4 rich and rewarding years in the school, having benefited from a bi-lingual education. We made the decision to send him to this school as we felt it was important for him to learn a second language, Mandarin, due to Australia's close economic ties with China. China is Australia's largest trading partner, and being able to communicate in Mandarin will open up doors for him in the future. Learning a language is not just about the words, but also learning about the people, culture & history. It also allows us to see the world in another perspective, through the other culture's eyes.

During our time at the school, we have seen the school grow. However, with the growth we have seen the challenges the school has had in providing adequate space for its students. The playground is currently overcrowded, and the extra space at the new St Leonards facility would greatly benefit the children. The new location at St Leonards would also work well for us and many of the existing students at the school, as it is not too far away from the current location at Chatswood. This means that the school has a higher probability of keeping all current students with the new move. The proposed site at St Leonards is also close to parks and the train station, which is important to us.

As parents, we have seen first hand the challenges the school administration has had in securing a site, and this site has so far been the best option presented. Without a new site, it will be difficult for the school to sustain itself, and it will be a pity to have the school fold after such a big effort in getting the school off the ground. ICS is the only Mandarin bi-lingual school in the whole of Sydney region, and as our parents we feel that it is important that Sydney has a school like ICS.

We are also reaching the end of the academic year, it would be great to have the new school site ready in time for the start of the academic year. Anything that could be done to expedite the approval of this process would help in allowing parents to plan for the upcoming year.
Name Withheld
The international Chinese school is a great school for the children who has parents as Chinese background so they have opputunity to learn to speak, reading and writing as mother language. It's also a good option for parents whose came from different nationalities, who wish for their children to be able to speak Chinese as a third language.
Name Withheld
CROWS NEST , New South Wales
I write to express my support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway, St Leonards. International Chinese School provides a unique and important role in primary level education for families that wish to equip their children with Mandarin language and cultural skills. I am not aware of any other primary school in Sydney that offers a program such as this for Mandarin, and the importance of Chinese-Australian foreign relations will only increase as these children grow up. The move to St Leonards will facilitate expansion of the teaching program to year 6, and improve access to the school for students and their families.

Our family is one of many families at International Chinese School that has a Chinese cultural heritage, but do not speak Mandarin at home. The school has provided a unique environment in which our family's Australian-Chinese heritage is recognised and valued. My husband and I moved our son from our local public primary school to International Chinese School earlier this year, as we valued its emphasis on Chinese language and culture, and its Christian ethos. International Chinese School is a small school community and I have had the privilege of getting to know many of the teachers, students and parents at the school. Since transferring our son to ICS, we have seen many tangible benefits for him - a greater understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and culture, strong English language learning, and a closer relationship between staff and students across school grades compared to his previous school. He is valued as a member of the school community and the school has helped him adjust to bilingual immersion learning.

Mandarin can be a difficult language to master as a second language, but immersion Mandarin teaching provides greater exposure to the language than ad hoc or weekly 'Saturday' school classes, and can foster greater comprehension and fluency at a young age. International Chinese School provides a unique 50:50 immersion program with English and Mandarin. From a baseline of nil Mandarin knowledge, I have seen my son's understanding of Mandarin flourish in the one term that he has been at the school. I believe that providing children with exposure to immersion language learning gives them a greater chance of gaining high level proficiency. It is this kind of proficiency and understanding of Chinese culture that will open up opportunities for children to engage with people from China and other Mandarin-speaking communities as they grow up and enter the workforce. This understanding of linguistic and cultural nuances will encourage sincere and authentic relationship building with the Mandarin-speaking community.

211 Pacific Highway is an ideal location for International Chinese School for a number of reasons:
- it is close to large green space in Gore Hill Oval
- it is close to St Leonards train station and bus interchange, which encourages the use of public transport for children commuting to school
- it is close to Chatswood and other lower north shore suburbs with a high population of families with Chinese heritage
- St Leonards is slated to be the site of a NSW Educational Precinct, with a new high school and primary school in the works. Having another specialist language school in the form of International Chinese School will complement the other educational offerings within this precinct.
- St Leonards, Greenwich, North Sydney and Crows Nest are experiencing a huge amount of residential development at present. The current public and private primary schools are heavily subscribed (if not oversubscribed) and the St Leonards Educational Precinct will still take some time to provide extra school facilities. International Chinese School wishes to commence at St Leonards at the start of the 2020 school year and will provide another excellent schooling option for local families.

The International Chinese School provides an innovative learning environment for children and helps equip them with language skills for the Asian Century. It has outgrown its current site and has been searching for suitable premises for five years. The building at 211 Pacific Highway would meet the needs of the school for the next few decades and secure its future as a K-6 primary school with specialist language offerings. I commend the staff of the International Chinese School for their pastoral care and the calibre of their teaching. I urge the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to promptly approve the application by International Chinese School to relocate to 211 Pacific Highway in St Leonards. Without this approval, the school and all its students will be without a site for the 2020 academic year and beyond. The approval of the 211 Pacific Highway site to educational zoning is a State Significant development as it would allow International Chinese School to promote positive Chinese-Australia cultural exchange, facilitate Mandarin language learning for young Australians, and promote innovative educational programming in NSW.

Many thanks.
Kevin Yeoh
Castlecrag , New South Wales
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express my strong support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to ‪‪211 Pacific Highway St‬‬ Leonards.

My children have been learning Mandarin Chinese since early childhood. The International Chinese School Sydney represents a unique opportunity for young Australians to gain a level of mastery over the Chinese language that simply does not exist elsewhere in the Sydney region.

Bilingual education is proven to have marked cognitive benefits and exposes children to new cultures. Particularly at a young age, children who learn a second language can reap lifelong benefits academically as well as building their communication skills and self confidence.

ICS offers immersive Chinese language learning providing an opportunity for students to gain native or near native fluency, unlike weekend language schools. In light of Australia’s increasing economic ties with China I believe it is all the more important that young Australians have the language and cultural skills to face the challenges ahead.

The proposed site for ICS is ideal for families with young children and working parents due to its proximity to St.Leonards train station and well serviced bus routes. Furthermore ICS fits in with the prioritisation of St. Leonards as a designated education precinct. The relocation of the school to St. Leonards will help ease the pressure on existing schools in the area. St. Leonards, Chatswood and surrounding suburbs are areas with highly visible Chinese communities. These communities will seek to ensure their children retain a cultural and linguistic link with their heritage, which ICS offers to a degree which other schools cannot.

After years of searching and negotiation the urgency of finalising the location for 2020 is paramount. Classrooms are getting cramped and enrolments  are rising. My family alone has three children enrolled at ICS.  Securing the location of the school will ensure that many families and children in the area can continue their unique education. I strongly urge that the school be allowed to open at the new location.

Thank you,

Kevin Yeoh
Name Withheld
CHATSWOOD , New South Wales
To whom it may concern,
RE: Mai or Proiects, Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment, NSW
We write to express our support for the International Chinese School (ICS) proposed
relocation to 211, Pacific Highway, St Leonards.
We live in Chatswood and have 3 daughters, 2 of whom are attending ICS Kindergarten and
Year One commencing year 2020. Our youngest daughter will also be enrolled there in the
next few years. We are both doctors in NSW and we realise the significant need for a Chinese
bilingual school to meet the needs of the growing community. Even now in our clinic/
hospitals we noticed the importance of speaking Mandarin in order to communicate
effectively with the public and for foreign export /import and trade affairs. A quick look at
the recent 2016 census, of the 30,000 residents in the Chatswood and St Leonard area, 21 %
3 3 % are attending educational institutions, of which 21 % are attending primary schools. The
median age group of this population is in the 30's with growing families. Furthermore, 34%
of this population has a Chinese ancestry. The majority of this population was born in
Australia (32%), followed closely by 26% of people born in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The majority of the parents of these children (73%) were born in China and 76% of homes in
this area speak both English and Mandarin. With these staggering figures I hope you will not
take likely our plight. We fall into this category, we are both Malaysian Chinese and were
granted permanent residency here in Australia, our children are born into this country, we
want to offer them a place where they can be free to live as Australians and yet able to
express their language and culture in equal measures. We believe that this will be a great
opportunity for our future generation regardless of their native and cultural heritage. We want
to provide these opportunities to all Australians. We want them to be able to speak Mandarin
so that they are able to travel the globe as Mandarin is also the second most widely spoken
language in the world after English.
Despite stating all these facts and figures, we are the only Mandarin school in NSW. We
believe we are filling this much needed gap.
Naturally we should focus our investments into family and community building here with
access to greater educational institutions and healthcare. We as Chinese immigrants to
Austrzlia are considering our children's future as their heritage and language is important to
be preserved. We are grateful that we have been able to continue to blend into the wonderful
diversity of Australia and hope to further enhance it. This school is very unique in that the
teachers are well trained in their ability to create students that are both fluent in writing and
speaking Mandarin and English. This is led by a very dedicated and committed principal Mr
Peter Jamieson who has set high levels of excellence. We also have a strong parent and
teacher community. We enjoy bringing Chinese arts and culture to the community by
celebrating the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Mid-autumn Festival, Dragon Boat
Festival, etc. This is evident by seeing our high academic scores in examinations. The
students also ardently participate in other extra-curricular activities such as track, hurdles,
athletics, gymnastics, swimming, Chinese chess, Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese painting and
arts. We know that ICS will bring a positive impact in society growing strong young
academics who excel in arts, history, literature, culture, dance and sport to the glory of NSW
and Australia.
We believe we need alargu space and better facilities to enhance our children's growing
needs. Our school is expanding and we already have so many new recruits for the academic
year 2A2A already thus the longevity of our school is important as well as our ability to cater
for these expansions. Many current students including ourselves have younger siblings that
will continue to attend the school. Our current premise is much too small and cramp and
unsuitable. We have engaged in many fundraising efforts and are equipped to build a bigger
and better school. We have builders and many volunteers ready to make the building of ICS
at2ll Pacific Highway successful.
For the last 5 years we have been tirelessly searching for a perfect location to build ICS, we
have finally found this very good site that is the right size and close to public transport so that
the school is assessable to all students. As mentioned previously, ICS is the first bilingual
Mandarin school in NSW thus we have students who live quite a considerable distance away
commuting daily to attend. We need to be close to public transportation. We feel it is
important to make ICS an all inclusive school. The site at2ll Pacific Highway is easily
assessable by car, bus and train. These are all within walking distance. Also this site is green
and leafy with beautiful surrounding parklands which we feel will be a suitable learning
environment for our children. There is also a nearby access to the oval and parklands which
will make the school a more holistic establishment. These amenities will ensure that our
youth will be in a safe place where they can play, be relaxed and exercise fitness. As the
growing trends of Mandarin speaking families in this area, we will serve a greater purpose as
weil by easing new mandarin speaking immigrants to Australia into the wider community
enabling these newly arrived children a school that can bridge the cultural and language gap.
Please apslrove the building of IC$ at2ll, Pacific Highway as soon as possible so that we
can prepare for the morre we expect Sbr Sohool termZAZA. We urge you to be a part of our
mission bringrng bilingual Mandarin education to our communities. I[e know that this
project lvill be very worthwhile, we are very committedto it. We should investin the
education of our future generation.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely
Name Withheld
CARLINGFORD , New South Wales
22 Bellevue Drive


Re: State Significant Development - International Chinese School SSD-10260

Major Projects,
Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment,
NSW Government,

I write to express my support for the International Chinese School (ICS) proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's.

My family has chosen to send our daughter to ICS because as Christians, we want our child to understand that God is at the centre of every pursuit of knowledge. ICS creates an educational atmosphere that we wish to provide for our child. It is a school with academic excellence, but more importantly, where God is acknowledged and honoured. Moreover, since my family has a Chinese background, we want our daughter to be proficient in both English and Chinese.

ICS offers a bilingual Mandarin educational program. Research has shown that a bilingual education can strengthen the executive function of the brain. Other benefits of a bilingual education include giving children more choices when it comes to choosing further education and broadening careers opportunities. Learning Mandarin is important as Australia has increasing economic ties with China.

211 Pacific Highway is a good site for the school because of its close proximity to public transport. It also provides easy access to ovals and parklands.

There is an urgent need for ICS to relocate in 2020. The School has been searching for a suitable site for 5 years, and the current premises is cramped. There is a significant growth in student numbers next year. If the school can move to 211 Pacific Highway, then the future of the school will be secured.

In conclusion, the speedy approval of 211 Pacific Highway as a school site for use by ICS is urgently needed in time for the 2020 academic year.

Yours Sincerely,

M Tsang
Peter Morgan
LINDFIELD , New South Wales
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to express my support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's.
Our Daughter Mianka has attended ICS on its current site in Chatswood for the last almost three years. We have found the school to be a very positive, academically educational and socially educating and inclusive environment encouraging both parental and community inclusion.
The only negative for the current Chatswood site is its small size and limited outdoor, sporting and recreational areas which would be greatly enhanced by moving to the new St. Leonard's site.
Our daughter comes from a multi-ethnic (non-Chinese) background and i believe she has benefited greatly from a bi-lingual education in the broadening of her life experiences, exposure to other cultures and the empowerment and building of self confidence that learning a new language and aspects of a new culture at a young age brings.
We believe with our daughter growing up in a world where an international outlook and understanding will be increasingly important, and with importance of Australia's ties with China, that her being able to speak Mandarin and understand more about Chinese and Asian culture with both benefit her, our community and Australia in general.
The St Leonard's site itself is a good location for the school as it is in a residential area, well connected by highway and all forms of public transport. That is is close to the oval and green outside areas is a huge plus and i believe the school being located here will benefit both the students and surrounding community, particularly noting plans for the area to become an educational precinct.
I would ask you to also consider that the current site is small, crowded and has a very small yard area and no space for proper sports. They need a new site. As a parent I would also appreciate this to be resolved quickly as the 2020 academic year will be soon upon us, and we need to make other practical arrangements including the placement of our other child in child care around our daughters school location.

Looking forward to a positive outcome and I am sure the ICS will be a very positive new addition to St Leonard's

Yours Sincerely

Peter Morgan
Sydney , New South Wales
Hi Dimitri,
Please find attached the EPA's comments on the EIS exhibition for the International Chinese School - SSD 10260.
Kind regards,
Mark Hanemann
Name Withheld
GREENWICH , New South Wales
I am writing as a local resident to express my support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's.
I am a long term resident of the above address bordering Greenwich and Artarmon. I live with my husband and young child; although we are not Chinese speakers, we are considering placing our child at ICS given the positive word of mouth feedback we have heard and the strong values they represent.
We feel having a bilingual school locally available to residents is very important, particularly as the area has been growing in density over the last few years. We believe it is important for children at a young age to understand that different people have different languages and cultures; and that they should be embraced and accepted.
We would love to have the International Chinese School nearby as we hope it would grow local business and amenities and make the neighbourhood a more walkable and family orientated area. This has been difficult with the extensive heavy industry in Artarmon. It would be lovely to have the site as a thriving community hub as at present the adjoining area including cemetery is somewhat neglected but has such potential as a connection between the TAFE and Bradfield College, hospital and new playing fields and playground.
Name Withheld
LINDFIELD , New South Wales
I fully support the ICS school and relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards.

Australian is a country that resides within the Asia pacific region and the fate of our future depends on how we integrate with this region. As an Australian citizen with English language only I believe it is very important for the next generation of young Australians to learn an Asian language and there is lots of evidence that shows children need to learn this language very young. It is a major failing of Australian governments that schools like ICS are not more prevalent or even mandatory.

The current premise at Chatswood is far too small and there is no area for the Children to play. thew new school at St Leonards will allow for much needed outdoor space and allow a larger cohort of students which means more friends.

It would be appreciated if the application can be approved by the council.

Alison Rozyn
LINDFIELD , New South Wales
I write to express my support for the International Chinese School proposed relocation to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonard's.

We are a young working family with two children. Both my husband and I are engineers, I work for a top tier engineering consultant in the CBD, my husband works for a small engineering business in Western Sydney. We have lived on the North Shore for over 10 years and chose this area due to family ties, the leafy nature of the area and for the quality of schooling options available. We have two children; our son is due to start with International Chinese School (ICS) in Kindergarten next year and we intend to send our daughter when she reaches school age in 2023.

We have chosen to send our children to ICS primarily for the bilingual opportunity that it affords our children. We have no Chinese heritage, but we believe that a mandarin bilingual education will not only open opportunities for our children throughout their lives, but it will also help them to develop an understanding of Chinese culture and tolerance and interest in cultures other than their own. With China’s relentless economic growth and increased participation and influence on a global scale we believe that opportunities such as those offered by ICS will help to prepare our children, and our nation, for the future.

The proposed site at 211 Pacific Highway is a terrific site for the school. As a parent that works in the CBD I plan to utilise the ample public transport available to deliver my child to and from school and to travel into the CBD. The proposed site is uniquely located to allow me to do this. Additionally, the site is located close to public parklands that I understand could be utilised by the school on occasion. I see this as a great use of the new playground and oval space wich is likely to be underutilised by the public during school hours. I believe the parkland has ample capacity to accommodate the children from the school as well as the general public. The proximity of the Gore Hill Cemetery also provides additional greenery close to the site, which although it will not be directly used by the school it will provide a pleasant and healthy environment.

I understand that the site is within an area identified as an educational precinct. The establishment of Sydney’s first mandarin bilingual school on the site would seem to align perfectly with this strategic plan.

I urge the Department to approve the ICS proposal as soon as possible to allow works to be completed in time for the 2020 school year.
Anne-Marie Sirca
GREENWICH , New South Wales
Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to request that the change of use of 211 Pacific Hwy St Leonards from commercial offices to a school under Project 10661 be rejected. Although there is no objection to the site being used for commercial offices or medical purposes, this is not a suitable site for a school.

It is also asked that this rejection be considered with additional weight, in light of the fact that typical users of the public playground and those most impacted would not be on the DA notification list as they don’t live in the surrounding office properties e.g. local families in 5 Greenwich Rd approx. 200m up the road, were not directly notified of the DA.

The site itself is far too small to accommodate a school as the school footprint cannot even cater for basic essential school facilities that a functioning school demands. The site area is approx. 1500m and is effectively the equivalent of 2 house blocks. The change of use proposal wants 2 house blocks to cater for a capacity of 210 children plus approx. 15 adults. This is impractical and unrealistic and the school on a postage stamp cannot provide for basic school operations as it is only 2 storeys, not a self-contained high-rise. The site is so small, there is no space anywhere on the proposed site where the entire school can gather together for regular school life such as for daily assemblies and school activities. There is no provision for a school hall, nor is there sufficient outdoor space around the school building that could hold all 210 students and 15+ adults, nor on-site space for students to participate in essential PE classes. The proposed site does not even have enough toilets for its 210 students as required by school standards.

The proposed school would need to permanently rely on use of the adjoining public parklands, toilets and facilities which are public amenities for all. The school’s use of these facilities, particularly the public playground and toilets will prevent local families and businesses with young toddlers from using the playground on a daily basis. The students would dominate the playground near the start of the school day, every day during recess, every day during lunchtime and shortly after school ends, excluding others from using it. This is an inequitable restriction on the community. It must also be noted that the public playground is non-compliant for school use purposes as it contains equipment prohibited by Dept of Education playground rules. For this reason alone, the proposed site should not be used as a school. It will impose undue pressure and the real risk of unnecessary litigation on Willoughby Council when a child inevitably seriously injures themselves and the playground is non-compliant.

If the site used as a school, it would also dominate the limited local parking facilities during end of school and after school pick-up when the carpark is already filled by patrons from sports clubs, the local public and schools who have bookings for the newly upgraded sports oval facilities.

The traffic and parking statements in the report are somewhat inadequate as they do not cater for driver behaviour. The assumption that school drop off will take place over an hour’s duration is erroneous, hence all related calculations and conclusions based on this must be disregarded. It will instead take place over 15 minutes as students are not able to attend school until a teacher can supervise them. Excluding 25 before-school places, supervision of the remaining 185 students begins at 8:45am with the bell going at 9am. The kiss & drop zone only caters for 10 cars. These students are from out of area and cannot walk to school. This will result in a backlog queue of cars blocking the Pacific Hwy T3 transitway and buses, and will impede traffic flow on a major road. For this reason alone, the proposed site should not be approved for use as a school.

This application should not be deemed a new school for the purposes of SSD, as it does not open up new enrolment placements for the local families in St Leonards/Greenwich as children of local families will not be able to enrol their children at this school because it is affiliated to a specific church with a very specific demographic with out of area students from 5kms away.

This site is suited to commercial type offices as there would be minimal additional traffic, and adult workers use local public transport options and have no significant impact on the very limited local parking. Commercial office users casually use the park facilities for exercise etc but they would not be dominating public facilities it to the exclusion of others like hundreds of school kids will.

Points expanding on the summary above are outlined below, with fuller substantiation of these points as an attachment to this response:
1. It’s a nationally historic cemetery site and a school is not appropriate for the dignity of its solemn heritage
2. Kiss & drop zone use disrupts consistency of The Avenue and depletes the heritage experience
3. It is not a new school, it is an existing school just relocating and does not provide new placements to local families
4. The site is too small for a school – insufficient space for basic school operational facilities
5. The site is too small for a school – not enough toilets as per school standards for 210 children
6. The park playground is not compliant with school playground rules and cannot not be used
7. School children will dominate the park to the unfair exclusion of others
8. Environmental impact to over-utilisation of Gore Oval around the carpark area closest to the school
9. Safety risk to students accessing the school from the playground as it crosses a traffic thoroughfare
10. School traffic through the carpark hinders disabled users
11. Traffic issues – school drop-off and pick-up congestion overview & comparison
12. Queueing on the Pacific Hwy blocking a T3 transit lane and the public buses
13. Cars queuing up block left-hand lane into Herbert St to return to Chatswood
14. Increase in dangerous U-turns on Greenwich Rd, near cnr Pacific Hwy
15. Carpark capacity & usage
16. Parents parking in visitor parking at 5 Greenwich Rd, Greenwich
17. Vehicles parked in The Avenue drop-off/pick-up area may block service vehicles
18. School excursions – where will buses park and wait to pick-up and drop-off?
19. School users take away parking accessibility from ill & elderly patients
20. Further lack of street parking and strain due to simultaneous residential developments
21. Vegetation plan – risk to historic tree

In summary:
This is not a new school as it does not deliver additional school enrolment places to local residents. This site is far too small to sustain a self-contained, functioning school. The proposed site cannot provide for a school hall/major assembly area, or rehearsal spaces for bands, choirs or string ensembles. There is insufficient on-site amenity to properly cater for 210 children with a proper school library or break out spaces. It cannot provide safe traffic management where children in the playground have to cross traffic zones to enter the school. It degrades the emotional experience of a very widely important, nationally significant cemetery – the noise of bells and shrieks from children will ruin what our community holds dear as respectful solemness for reflection and history of our dead. It’s not just a school being located to an historic heritage building. It’s a cemetery.

There is no on-site space for the students to all play outside. If approved for school use, it permanently relies a non-school compliant public playground, and puts the local Council at high litigation risk. Local residents will be restricted from utilising their local facilities as the playground and toilets would be dominated by the school’s daily use. If the school doesn’t use it daily, they will be cooped up in classrooms during playtimes.

The concentration and volume of traffic at drop-off and pick-up times for the proposed school will block traffic and buses in the Pacific Hwy T3 transit lane, risk accidents for buses coming around the blind corner at speed, is likely to cause additional dangerous u-turns in Greenwich Rd, and will unnecessarily impede on an already strained public parking situation increasing the likelihood of parents using the visitor parking at 5 Greenwich Rd.

The location is unique in that it borders 3 LGAs (Willoughby, Lane Cove, North Sydney) but only serves to benefit existing students of a school 5kms away.

I fully support the establishment of new schools for local residents, but the negative impacts of the proposed school being shifted from Chatswood to this particular site far outweigh any merit it could deliver to our local community. How do local residents and business benefit from this proposal? In every way, they don’t. In fact there are no demonstrated merits, only domination and over-utilisation of local public facilities. The change of use proposal to a school for this site not enhance the local community, it just serves to exclude it.

What makes a school? Creating a school from an office block design involves more than just refitting the insides of the building. A school has very different needs, amenities and learning facilities to an office block! There is no practical “fit out conversion” solution to make a small 2 storey office block on a postage stamp into a school for 210 students.

No on-site playground, non-school compliant off-site playground, no on-site school assembly area, not enough toilets, blocked traffic on Pacific Hwy? No school.

I request that this proposal be fully rejected, and the site remains as per the current commercial office use.
Valerie Le Bihan
GREENWICH , New South Wales
Sir, Madam
I am objecting to the establishment of the International Chinese school at 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards located within the grounds of the Gore Hill cemetery.
Main reasons:
Access and traffic
The proposal is rather confusing.
Alluding on one hand to the projected use of The Avenue, carriageway through the cemetery as one way in to the school (off Pacific Highway via Westbourne Rd) and the Council Carpark and access to the East side of the site as the egress way for school traffic after drop off and pick up.
I do not agree with this plan.
The Avenue goes right through the middle of the cemetery and should not be turned into a thoroughfare or parking commodity for that matter.
(It appears it may already be used for parking more than it should with resulting littering and pollution)
The cemetery grounds deserve some respect.
This option also requires 2 new "roads" to link to the school. Overall a lot of disturbance to a nice green site though the proposal assures us all trees will be retained!

The second proposal of using the Willoughby Council Carpark and remodelling part of it to facilitate turn around for drop offs and pick ups could end up causing a traffic issue for other users of the public carpark and on the Highway as cars drive in and out at peak times.

I am not opposed to a school in that location but a primary school of 210 students is perhaps a little too big and will generate a noticeable increase in traffic.

Open space
It is said that schools are not required to provide outdoor space (something I find rather astonishing!) but they all wish to use public outdoor facilities putting more pressure on Gore Hill oval and playground which will soon reach capacity with the large increase in the local population!!
Lyndon Wheeler
MOSMAN , New South Wales
My two children are enrolled for 2020 and we really want the project to be in St Leonards per the attached letter of support.
Name Withheld
GREENWICH , New South Wales
Attached PDF file.
Balmoral Australia
St Leonards , New South Wales
See attached, thank you
Peter Jamieson
WARRIMOO , New South Wales
Re: State Significant Development - International Chinese School SSD-10260

I write to stress the need for the proposed relocation of the International Chinese School to 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards. Further, to highlight the importance of a positive and expedient outcome to the approval process.

The International Chinese School offers a dual language program through a two-way immersion model with 50% of the curriculum delivered in Mandarin. The significance and effectiveness of the program has been recognised by the NSW Education Standards Authority, with the School being the first in NSW granted permission to deliver a 50% Mandarin bilingual immersion educational program.
The International Chinese School is ideally situated to serve the needs of families of the Lower North Shore of Sydney. The significant percentage of residents with Chinese heritage in Chatswood (34%) and surrounding suburbs, coupled with the significant growth forecast (17.39%: 2011-2026) across the Willoughby Council area, testifies to the value of the bilingual Mandarin program offered through the School.

I have been amazed at how quickly students learn Mandarin, especially considering the majority come to the School with no background in the language. From the first day of Kindergarten they are immersed in the language with a focus not only on spoken language, but also reading and writing. Our Mandarin teachers, all native speakers who have been trained and accredited as teachers in Australia, provide excellent models of the language. Student proficiency in Mandarin has been acknowledged at public events such as the Sydney Chinese Language Schools’ Spectacular.

The education provided through the International Chinese School prepares students for the future where the relationship between China and Australia continues to assume wider and deeper importance on economic, political and social levels. Subsequently, China literacy is going to be vital to our nation’s young people. Young people will need broad insight into the history of China, including its shared history with Australia, its complex and diverse cultures and an understanding of the contemporary challenges and opportunities that exist. An education with such an emphasis prepares students for successful contribution to
our increasingly globalised society. This will not only benefit graduates of the School, but our nation as a whole.

Securing a permanent site for the School has presented ongoing challenges. The present temporary site is already cramped and has approval for only 49 students, a number that will be exceeded next year. Serious consideration has been given to over 20 possible sites, and after nine years of searching the only viable remaining site is 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards. The location is well situated to serve the community of the Lower North Shore. The building is ample in size to cater for eight classrooms, staff and study facilities.
Further, the proposed St Leonards site is located in an area identified in the Greater Sydney Region plan, North District Plan and Draft St Leonards Crows Nest 2036 Plan as a ‘Health and Education Precinct’, with direct actions under the plan that encourage provision of new school infrastructure. Therefore, there is strong strategic alignment between the proposed location of the School and the highest order Strategic plans for Sydney.

It should be highlighted that the International Chinese School is a Christian school of the Anglican tradition. The School does not have a political agenda and has no ties to, and has not received any support from, the Chinese government.

Despite an extensive search for sites over previous years, 211 Pacific Highway St Leonards is the only remaining feasible site. The School cannot extend the lease at its present temporary site beyond this year, and the reality is that if the St Leonards site is not approved for 2020, the School will face closure. This would be a shame, especially considering the surge in enrolment interest with the School Board deciding to add an additional Kindergarten class in 2020.

Peter Jamieson
International Chinese School


Project Details

Application Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Educational establishments
Local Government Areas
Willoughby City
Determination Date
Executive Director
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