Consultation with community and technical stakeholders is an important part of the planning process and is a requirement set by DPIE.
Consultation has provided clarity about the matters of importance for school communities, neighbours and other interested stakeholders and feedback has been shared with the design team to inform their planning.
What has changed since the last community consultation?
The design that has been submitted for the SSD application retains the Public School on the Pacific Highway and the High School on Centennial Avenue. This concept was presented to the community at information sessions in October 2019.
Refinements have been made to aspects of the design including, for example, landscaping, access pathways, vehicle access points and façade treatments.
Have teachers and students been involved in the design process?
Yes. Teachers and students have been consulted throughout the early planning phase in design user-group sessions. These sessions will continue as the project moves into detailed design planning.
What are you proposing?
The Department of Education is proposing to upgrade Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School.
The upgrades will retain both schools on their existing sites and support high-quality educational outcomes to meet the current and future needs of students within the local community.
What is the statutory planning approval process?
SINSW requires development approval to proceed with the upgrades to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School. The formal process of gaining approval is called the statutory planning approval process.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPI&E) is responsible for managing this process and will review the application with consideration of both local and state specific issues. This is because this project is a State Significant Development (SSD).
DPIE approves the SSD application with the Minister for Planning or their delegate as the consent authority.
Can the design be amended following the lodgement of the SSD application?
Yes. Before the SSD application is determined, amendments can be made to improve the design, reduce the impacts of the project, and/or respond to issues if required. Modifications can also be made following the SSD approval. Amendments and modifications may lead to an extended project completion date.
What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?
The SSD application for this project seeks approval for the concept design along with the location, scale and envelope of each building. The application will be accompanied by several supporting documents including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the Secretary of the DPIE Environmental Assessment Requirements.
The EIS provides a comprehensive description of the project's environmental, social and economic impacts and mitigation measures. It includes detailed information on the project scope and design plans.
How long was the public exhibition period?
The SSD application was placed on public exhibition for 28 days. There was an opportunity for the public to comment during this time.
Why is Building R being lodged separately as a complying development?
Building R will be lodged separately to the State Significant Development application under complying development in late-2020. Complying development applications are determined by council or an independent certifier and must meet a set of prescribed approval conditions. Building R is central to the staged delivery of the project and will accommodate students during construction of the main SSD works.
What is an 'artist impression'?
Artist impressions are used during the design phase of projects to help visualise the completed development and showcase its potential.
The images used in the SSD submission for the upgrades to Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School are abstract representations of the new buildings and surrounding areas and the completed buildings, structures and landscapes are subject to change.
When will construction start?
Construction of SSD works is anticipated to start in 2021 and be completed by late 2023, pending SSD approval.
Construction of Building R under complying development is expected to commence in late 2020.
How will you ensure public safety during construction?
The Department of Education is committed to ensuring that work is completed safely and efficiently and with minimal impact to the local community.
Rigorous safety and security measures would be in place for the duration of the works. This would include fencing off the construction area and installing surveillance systems. There would be no access to the construction area by staff or students; however, viewing panels may be installed to enable students to see what is going on in the area.
How will you manage the school operations and curriculum during construction?
The project team is working through available options to carefully consider a staged delivery approach. Although there will be increased temporary facilities and reduced open play space during the staged delivery, student and staff safety and continuity of learning and teaching, is paramount. Details of how the new facilities will be constructed while accommodating all students and staff on site will become clearer following lodgement of the State Significant Development application. The project team meets regularly with the school executive teams for their close input into any staging planning.
How will the construction impact traffic?
The Department of Education is aware of existing traffic congestion on Centennial Avenue and surrounding streets during peak times. A Construction Traffic Management Plan was prepared as part of the SSD application to outline measures to be taken during construction to ensure public safety. The plan includes, for example, consideration of the current pick-up and drop-off zones, construction vehicle movements, potential amendments to existing street signage and traffic control procedures.
A workshop was held with the school P&C to work through proposed project staging and seek their input into planning.
Once construction is complete, how will the increase in student population impact peak traffic times?
A survey of parents and students identified that close to 70% of Chatswood Public School students walk or catch public transport to and from school, with more than 80% of Chatswood High School students walking or using public transport.
This reflects the accessibility of the Chatswood Interchange and the school’s encouragement of sustainable modes of travel.
Traffic assessments anticipate that the increase in student population will not have a noticeable impact on surrounding streets.
How will on street parking be impacted during construction?
The Department understands the need for safe and effective traffic management. We will work to minimise impacts of construction, notify the community of any expected impacts and be available to respond to queries and complaints. A transport and accessibility impact assessment report was prepared as part of the State Significant Development application.
Will there be changes to pick up and drop off zones?
The Department of Education understands the need for safe and consistent pick-up and drop-off zones. As part of the Traffic Management Plan, the location of the current zones will be reviewed. School communities and neighbours will be notified prior to any changes to these zones to allow for alternative arrangements to be made.
Will any heritage buildings be removed?
No. A Heritage Impact Statement (HIS) and assessment will be undertaken as part of the State Significant Development (SSD) application, and heritage buildings will be carefully and respectfully maintained across both school sites.
What will you do to minimise noise and dust during construction?
Noise would be kept to a minimum as best as possible during the construction period and dust as a result of demolition and construction works will be hosed down as required.
Will the removal of asbestos be required?
Yes. The health, safety and well-being of students, staff, contractors and our neighbours is our highest priority. We know asbestos containing material is present on the site. All known and suspected asbestos is recorded in the school’s asbestos registers.
The removal of asbestos would be completed prior to the commencement of works. The removal of asbestos is managed in accordance with the Department of Education’s Asbestos Management Plan and Safe Work NSW by licensed and accredited asbestos removalists and occupational hygienists. It would be managed in strict accordance with all applicable legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines.
Chatswood High School
Does the IEC need to relocate?
Yes. The IEC, located at Chatswood High School, operates as a separate education facility and provides services to the wider Northern Sydney area, including the Central Coast. Developed by the Department of Education’s Multicultural Program Unit, IECs provide intensive English tuition to high school aged students from non-English speaking backgrounds to prepare them for entry to a local NSW Government high school.
The IEC at Chatswood High School will relocate to temporary facilities at St Ives High School in coordination with the staged delivery of the Chatswood Public School and Chatswood High School upgrades.
The move to St Ives High School, a high performing high school about 15 minutes north of Chatswood, will ensure a permanent home for the IEC, enable the retention of important local connections and contacts, and foster a place of belonging within a school community.
How many staff car spaces will be available during construction and once the project is complete?
The Department promotes their Green Travel Plan and encourages staff and students to make sustainable transport choices. For those who are driving to work, during construction, most car spaces will be unavailable due to the nature of the site and work being undertaken. Upon project completion the same number of existing car spaces will be reinstated and will be available for staff use.
What space is available for performing arts in the design of the new High School?
A key theme from the community consultation was the requirement for adequate performing arts facilities.
Chatswood High School will be provided with a new free-standing hall and fixed stage.
Will the High School hall and annex be retained?
The High School annex will be retained to provide teaching and learning support during construction. The current proposed design shows the High School hall being retained upon completion of the upgrade. What is the size of the new High School Hall?
The size of the High School Hall will be 1,500m2.
What is the size of the High School stage?
The size of the new High School stage will be 100m2. In addition, the existing hall and stage will remain in place.
Chatswood Public School
How long will the Bush Campus remain in place?
The Bush Campus will be utilised while the Chatswood Public School upgrade is underway and will continue to operate for as long as required.
How are you addressing capacity at Chatswood Public School?
Chatswood continues to experience significant residential growth placing increased enrolment pressure on both schools, and in particular Chatswood Public School.
The upgrade will accommodate current Public School enrolment numbers in 60 learning spaces.
The Bush Campus at Chatswood High School will be retained for use by the Public School for as long as required.
The Department is pleased to confirm that separate to this development application, planning is underway for a new primary school in the Chatswood area.
A catchment-wide strategy has been developed with planned adjustments to the boundaries of surrounding schools, including the Lindfield Learning Village.
How many staff car spaces will be available during construction and once the project is complete?
The Department promotes their Green Travel Plan and encourages staff and students to make sustainable transport choices. For those who are driving to work, during construction, most car spaces will be unavailable due to the nature of the site and work being undertaken. Upon project completion the existing number of car spaces will be reinstated and will be available for staff use.
Where are the delivery and emergency access points?
Support Unit drop off will be from the Jenkins Street carpark with accessible paths of travel provided throughout the school. Delivery and emergency access will be from Centennial Avenue.
What play space will be available on the Public School site during construction?
Consultations and discussions are ongoing between the project team, school executive and P&C to deliver maximum play space during construction. Staging details will be shared shortly.
What play space will be available for Public School students once construction is complete?
Public School students will benefit from access to quality play space, to contribute to their learning and overall health and well-being.
Play space will include but not be limited to a purpose-built Covered Outdoor Learning Area (COLA), multi-use indoor and outdoor sports courts, and rooftop play area.
Play space will be improved, with the project team aiming to at least double the space students currently have access to.
What heritage registers are Buildings A & B on?
Chatswood Public School is listed in the Willoughby Council Local Environmental Plan. The site includes two locally listed heritage items, buildings A & B.
What works are proposed to the heritage buildings at Chatswood Public School?
A new, larger library will be built in Building P2 and the administrative spaces expanded and improved in Building A. There are no major works proposed for Building B.
Will there be lifts in buildings P1 and P2?
Yes. Multi-storey buildings P1 and P2 will be fitted with lifts to safely and efficiently transition students between floors.
What is the emergency evacuation plan for Buildings P1 and P2?
The school executive and project team will design an emergency evacuation plan in accordance with the Department of Education’s standards and guidelines.
Has the Department considered purchasing 688-692 Pacific Highway?
In 2018, the Department conducted a detailed feasibility assessment of the 688-692 Pacific Highway site for Public School use.
The site did not achieve a value for money outcome for the state investment and was deemed unsuitable.
The Department will continue to work within the existing land ownership boundaries to deliver the best educational outcome for students and staff.
Why is the Public School Hall only one storey high?
Currently, the new hall is proposed as a single storey building for the most efficient construction solution and to allow for safe and secure shared use outside of school hours.
What is the size of the Public School stage?
The Public School stage will be approximately 50m2.
If the Public School multi-purpose hall is to be used for both indoor sports and performing arts, how will this accommodate student and staff demand?
The use of the multi-purpose hall will be directed by the Public School executive team and staff to ensure both sports and performing arts activities are accommodated.
Where will the Out of School Hours (OOSH) care facility for primary school students be located?
The Out of School Hours (OOSH) care facility will be housed in the existing Public School hall during construction. Once construction is complete, the primary school OOSH program will be accommodated in the new hall facilities onsite.
Will the Out of School Hours (OOSH) care facility continue throughout the construction phase and once the development is complete?
Yes. The OOSH program will continue during construction and once construction is complete.
Where will the demountables be placed during construction on the Pacific Highway site?
The revised masterplan delivers a more cohesive staging plan with minimal impact on school operations at both sites.
The project team are continuing to explore possible demountable locations on the Pacific Highway site to provide students with maximum active outdoor space during construction.
These locations will be confirmed after appointment of the contractor.
We are committed to working together with our school communities to deliver the best possible learning facilities for students.
Opportunities for school communities to get involved in the project will be shared on this page.
Get in contact
Your feedback on this project is important to us. For more information, questions or to make a comment please email us at email@example.com or complete the contact form.
Everything you need to know about your new or upgraded school.