Locals and Council Oppose Woolworths’ Neutral Bay Plans, Retailer Appealing

Major Australian retailer Woolworths is taking its proposed redevelopment of its Neutral Bay supermarket location to the NSW government for approval after facing rejection from North Sydney council and some local residents.

Read: Appeal Lodged for Ben Boyd Rd Apartment Development in Neutral Bay

The proposed multimillion-dollar project aims to redevelop the existing Woolworths store on Rangers Rd in Neutral Bay. However, it has faced opposition from North Sydney council, with a majority of councillors voting against supporting the redevelopment plans.

Key concerns raised by the council and neighbourhood locals have focused on the proposed building’s height and bulk, as well as potential traffic impacts on surrounding residential streets. Critics argue the large scale project is out of step with the mainly low-rise character of Neutral Bay.

Aerial view of the site (Photo credit: www.woolworthsneutralbay.com.au)

After the council rejected the development application, Woolworths filed an appeal with the Department of Planning for a rezoning review.


The proposed development by Woolworths involves a striking “organic architecture” complex designed by architect Koichi Takada. The underground supermarket would allow a public plaza above, creating a “town centre” with outdoor dining and public space.

Artist’s impression of Woolworths Neutral Bay redevelopment (Photo credit: www.woolworthsneutralbay.com.au)

It would comprise over 19,000 sqm of floor space including a full-line supermarket, retail, office space and 91 apartments. The public plaza aims to activate the site and provide a new heart for Neutral Bay.

Woolworths believes the proposal would deliver a new generation mixed-use building to support new jobs and strengthen the local economy, but locals and the council remain opposed over concerns about its scale and traffic impacts.

In its website, the company stated that they are committed to working with local communities as they adapt and change their stores to meet community needs and preferences.

Read: Smoking Ban in Neutral Bay, North Sydney LGA Public Areas Eyed

Regarding the Neutral Bay site, Woolworths claimed “there is an important opportunity for Rangers Road to be adapted to create a full-line supermarket, enhanced public domain and high-quality apartments separated from Military Road.”

Published 17-July-2023

Appeal Lodged for Ben Boyd Rd Apartment Development in Neutral Bay

An appeal was lodged for reconsideration of a proposed boutique apartment development on Ben Boyd Rd in Neutral Bay.

The proposed development seeks to establish 19 three-bedroom and 4 two-bedroom apartments across a six-storey building with two levels of basement car parking at 96-98 Ben Boyd Rd, Neutral Bay.

The planned development would be developer Podia’s second project in Neutral Bay following the 25-apartment “Premier Place” which is already nearing completion.

Artist’s impression
Artist’s impression | Photo Credit: North Sydney Council / northsydney.nsw.gov.au

The proposed development will replace the existing two-storey brick home and the four-storey apartment block that sit on the 1,699sqm site. The project is estimated to cost close to $20 million.

The proposal attracted 25 submissions with several concerns raised including overdevelopment, increased traffic, inadequate parking and loss of privacy.

“We believe that they have designed a building that is too large for the site, which is why they are breaching multiple planning controls as well as including car lifts to be able to meet parking requirements. We are also concerned about the design of the eastern facade, that it will impact our privacy, the current structure has significantly less windows facing our property.” A. F.

“There is not adequate parking. 19 x 3 bedroom apartment should have at least 2 parking spaces and the remaining 4 x 2 bedroom apartments need at least 1 parking space and then visitors parking. There is only 39 parking spaces, which isn’t enough. They should have 42 parking spaces, plus 6 visitor parking which one should be and Electric Vehicle Charging Station.” – M. A.

“This is a gross over development of the site provided as even the CGIs (provided as part of DA submission) show how this development will completely “overshadow” all surrounding developments even making the adjoining high-rise towers look insignificant.” – D.M.

The proposal under DA86/22 has not been determined since it was lodged on 25 March 2022. According to Land and Environment Court of NSW, a development application is taken to have been refused if:

  • the development application was lodged with the consent authority
  • a certain period of time has elapsed, and
  • there has been no determination.

Build a Terrarium with the New Little Succers Workshops in Neutral Bay

Have you ever wanted to build your own terrarium? Now you can, thanks to Little Succers, a succulent studio in Neutral Bay.

Neutral Bay has become the new home of a permanent Little Succers studio as of mid-March 2021, and recently, they’ve started hosting some exciting events. The studio sells a variety of succulents and succulent care products, however they also host workshops that allow customers to fill glass cases with all sorts of flora for prices as low as $20.

These workshops, dubbed “Build Your Own Terrarium Bar”, are available at select dates which typically take up the latter half of each month until the end of 2021. Through these workshops, visitors will be able to attend 90-minute sessions where they can learn how to construct their terrariums, selecting everything from their vase, soil, pebbles, succulents, and decorations. 

Photo credit: Instagram/Little Succers

For $20 per person, visitors can reserve a spot at the workshop, however prices will increase depending on the size of the vase, the decorations implemented, as well as the succulents chosen for their creations. 

What distinguishes succulents from other plants is their natural hardiness, which stems from their ability to store water in leaves, steams, or roots in order to withstand droughts. This makes them completely sustainable in households as they are low-maintenance and don’t need to be watered as often as other common house plants. 

Photo credit: Instagram/Little Succers

Aside from these workshops, those who visit the new studio can also purchase a variety of plant-based products such as boxes filled with a variety of succulents, pots and paints to help decorate and liven up plant containers, and build-your-own terrarium take-home kits. 

Other products such as tote bags, wall planners, gift vouchers, and even succulent care kits which contain useful equipment that assist with keeping these potted plants alive are also available for purchase at the studio.

Photo credit: Little Succers

Those interested in booking a spot at their workshops can do so via this link, but hurry! Slots in May are only available between the 15th and the 23rd. For more information, visit their website. Follow their social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates on deals, dates, and other special announcements. 

Little Succers can be found at 81-91 Military Rd, Neutral Bay, just opposite The Oaks. 

Smoking Ban in Neutral Bay, North Sydney LGA Public Areas Eyed

Smoking in public areas in Neutral Bay, including parks and footpaths, could soon be banned if North Sydney Council succeeds in passing an ordinance that will impact all public places governed by the local government area (LGA).

Mayor Jilly Gibson plans to introduce the blanket initiative at the Council meeting in April. However, all residents in this LGA will have a chance to vote on the ban at the council elections in September 2021. Ms Gibson said that the smoking ban could be included in the referendum questions that will need the inputs of the voters on the ballot.

In 2019, North Sydney Council voted to ban smoking in the CBD but Gibson now wants to expand this law across various suburbs like Neutral Bay, Cammeray, Milsons Point, Crows Nest, St Leonards and the rest of North Sydney. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps

If this proceeds, this LGA will be the first in all of Australia to impose a smoking ban in all public places. However, some suburbs whose areas are partly under the Willoughby Council will not be fully covered by the ban, such as Crows Nest and St Leonards. 

Ms Gibson is anticipating the criticisms from the public but she stands firm in the belief that streets and public places should be smoke-free. She also doesn’t want the city streets to be riddled with cigarette butts. The mayor said that there are street workers who leave traces of their cigarettes on the ground and this initiative is one way to make public places cleaner.

Businesses in Neutral Bay, on the other hand, wonder how this rule will be enforced when there are plenty of venues with spacious outdoor areas that people use to pop a ciggie break.

Meanwhile, rangers across the LGA are not yet issuing smoking fines despite the smoking ban in the CBD. A spokesperson said this will be enforced in the second stage of the ordinance’s rollout, which will likely already include the other suburbs. 

Forsyth Park in Neutral Bay Receives Council Grant to Fix Flooding Problems

Forsyth Park in Neutral Bay will undergo a much-needed upgrade as the North Sydney Council committed to funding the project to fix its flooding problems.

MP Trent Zimmerman confirmed in a Facebook post that the Council will provide $135,000 for the drainage overhaul of Forsyth Park. Part of the money will also be used to upgrade the upper oval to “competition standard.”

The upper oval, one of two sporting and recreational grounds at Forsyth Park, is a popular area where plenty of Neutral Bay sporting clubs and other school or recreational activities take place. In recent years, however, the site has been limitedly used because of the flooding even during light rain.

“[The upgrade] will mean it can be used more often and with less risk of injury,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Photo Credit: Last Man Stands Sydney/Facebook

North Sydney Junior District Cricket Club president Karl Riseborough welcomed the good news.

“Better use of the current facilities will take the pressure off the grounds in general and that means better schools and facilities for the children, and a safer playing environment,” Mr Riseborough said.

Details to the construction and drainage upgrade, however, have not yet been laid out as of press time.

Neutral Bay Club To Host Wine Tasting & Gourmet Cheese Night

Neutral Bay Club on Westleigh Street is hosting another wine tasting and gourmet cheese night on Tuesday, the 26th of March. The event will be a two-hour treat for wine lovers who would like to sample different flavours, meet new people, and learn about wines from others who share a common interest

The event will feature Ben Tolstoshev, the owner of The Lane Vineyard from Adelaide Hills. Mr Tolstoshev will be discussing how his family established the business, as well as talk about his insights on the industry in South Australia, where there are over 700 wineries.

The Lane Vineyard enjoys a reputation of being in the top 10 percent of the best wine producers in Australia.  Mr Tolstoshev’s Hahndorf farm is also a restaurant frequented not just by local wine lovers but also tourists who want to enjoy a great drink with good food.

Photo Credit: Neutral Bay Club/Facebook

The Neutral Bay Club Bistro will be serving delicious gourmet cheese platters during the wine tasting event. After the party, guests may purchase any wine bottles they fancy for a discounted price.

Tickets to the Wine Tasting & Gourmet Cheese Night at the Neutral Bay Club is for $45 per person. The last event was apparently sold out due to its limited slots hence interested parties are encouraged to book earlier.

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