New South Wales
OBJECTION TO PROPOSED TRINITY GRAMMAR MODIFICATION APPLICATION
SSD-10371 - Mod-1
We wish to lodge an objection to development application SSD-107 - Mod-1 from Trinity Grammar School.
We live only a block away from the School, and previously lodged an objection to the full Development Proposal SSD-10371. Our objection then was based on the proposal’s adverse impact on amenity in our residential area, particularly relating to increases in road traffic. We were pleased that, drawing on the many critical comments from our local community, Trinity Grammar was required to commission further work on some aspects of the proposal, and the final Consent included detailed arrangements for linking project development with enrolment growth.
The rationale of the modification proposal is again hard to grasp from the nature of the documents presented, prepared more for a professional audience literate in planning terminology and processes. Again there is no community-focused analysis that residents and others interested can readily access. The lack of a requirement to provide an independent analysis looks to be a serious flaw in current planning processes.
Our interpretation is that, because it is argued current traffic flow and drop-off/ parking arrangements have been working well, the School seeks ex post approval for exceeding the current limit of authorised student enrolments. This is not a trivial matter, the current enrolment of 1655 students being just over 10 per cent more than the approved ceiling of 1500. Staff numbers are also up by a similar percentage, from 251 to 277.
We struggle to see any principle underlying this modification. Trinity Grammar has clearly exceeded its approved student limit, and now wants a tick for that – the term ‘regularise’ appears throughout the Modification Application (document 2). What is the point of setting a maximum student number and then allowing Trinity to substantially exceed that maximum apparently without penalty? What faith can residents around the School have in the regulation of the School’s expansion under the full development proposal? Might student numbers start to creep up past 1655 without strong control mechanisms and associated completion of required works?
In our view, the correct course of action is to deny the proposal. Indeed Trinity Grammar could be requested to wind back total enrolments toward 1500 students until all relevant work is completed, consistent with the Determination. Expansion of the enrolment cap should then proceed in a phased manner against particular milestones being met, as the Development Consent sets out.