Stop high rise apartments towering over Wahroonga Adventist School on Fox Valley Road.
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We the undersigned, respectfully call on the General Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Australasian Conference Association Limited and the South Pacific Division of the Seventh Day Adventist Church to rescind their proposal to build 200 apartments and 363 car park spaces on Fox Valley Road, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia.
We, as concerned members of the church, school, residents and the community call on the above groups to work collaboratively with the local Church, the Wahroonga Adventist School (WAS) and members of the broader community to achieve sustainable use of this land. It must be in the best interests of all parties and guided by the beliefs, values and mission of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Specifically, we believe a substantial portion of this land directly adjoining the school site should be used to offer green space and sporting fields that benefit the school, church, hospital and broader community. This land needs to be developed as green space so it can be enjoyed by future generations.
We are aware that there are financial demands in the mission of a large church, but we respectfully ask that these funds be raised in more appropriate and sustainable ways. The current development proposal for high rise apartments on this site would not only devastate the school and community, but, importantly, would undermine the high regard and influence of the Adventist Church.
We, the undersigned, object to the high rise apartments for the following reasons:
o Units towering 6 metres/2 storeys above the Wahroonga Adventist School, with only 6 metres set back from the school boundary is an unconscionable breach of privacy and is a threat to child protection. Unknown adults residing in or visiting these units are positioned to watch down on, and even record, vulnerable children in their play and this falls short of the duty of care to these children. This design directly contravenes the Adventist Church's Official Statement 'Nurture and Protection of Children' (24 June 2010) which states: "The Seventh-day Adventist Church reaffirms and extends its longstanding efforts to nurture and safeguard children and youth from persons - known and unknown - whose actions perpetrate any form of abuse and violence against them... practical measures toward making church a safe place for children include attention to the safety of the church facility and its surroundings" with the school being an extension of the church facilities.
o Overshadowing by apartment blocks robs students of green views, all natural light and will significantly impact their health and wellbeing. Deprived of direct sunlight and Vitamin D, students are left to play in the shadow of high rise apartments.
o Wahroonga Adventist School has inadequate facilities for play, sport and green space, which are so critical for healthy development. The students are limited to two patches of astroturf, basement carpark without natural light and distant playing fields surrounded by construction works.
o The proposal for 800 (increasing to 1050) students, some as young as 4 years old, to weave through residential apartment blocks, walk alongside an extremely busy road and next to a commercial driveway to access a playing field at lunch breaks and sport is unsafe and further breaches the duty of care for students, and places unreasonable supervision demands on their teachers.
o The Wahroonga Adventist Playing field that is proposed has no vehicle access which is needed so that the playing fields can actually be maintained, or for an ambulance to access in the event of an emergency.
o Young children will be exposed to dust, pollution, construction noise and significant disruption to their studies. For some the proposed works will be for the duration of their schooling and cramped spaces, dust and noise will be all they remember of their school play time. Parents have stated they will not tolerate this learning impact and enrollment numbers will decline if development proceeds, damaging the reputation of the School and the Adventist church.
o This design landlocks the school and cuts short it’s huge potential for expansion of quality education which is in demand and can further the mission of the Church.
o Providing playing fields suitable for competition sport like cricket and rugby would enable the space to be enjoyed by the community and provide opportunities for outreach for the Church.
o The traffic congestion resulting from this overdevelopment will cause a bottleneck for the 3000+ employees and visitors to the hospital, 800+ students and their families and 350+ existing local residents, who have limited public transport options to this area and rely on private cars.
o The land is at high risk of bushfire, and overdevelopment would lead to unconscionable and preventable threat to life in event of evacuation for fire. The SAN Hospital and Wahroonga Adventist School are designated special fire protection developments.
o The development is unsuitable for this leafy community, bordered by Sydney Turpentine – Iron Bark forest behind the school, which is protected as an Endangered Ecological Community, and Coups Creek which flows into Lane Cove River.
We, the undersigned concerned Church members, community members and families in the School community, ask that you prayerfully consider the mission of the Adventist Church and how it relates to this land. We call on you to partner with us to uphold the high regard for the Adventist church, to use this land in the best interests of the school, the Church and this community, to benefit not only the children now enrolled but the generations to come.
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