Mayor slams Allambie Heights boarding house court decision

 

Source: Manly Daily

Northern Beaches Council mayor slams Allambie Heights boarding house court decision

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan has hit out at a court decision to allow the building of a 32-room boarding house in a low-density residential area.

The Land and Environment Court approved the plans on appeal. Picture: Walsh² Architects.

 

The Land and Environment Court approved the plans on appeal. Picture: Walsh² Architects.

Northern Beaches Council Mayor Michael Regan has slammed a court decision to allow the building of 32-room boarding house in a low-density residential area.

Both council officers and the Sydney North Planning Panel rejected the proposal for Binalong Ave, Allambie Heights, stating it was too big and out of character with its surroundings.

However, the Land and Environment Court upheld an appeal lodged by the developers despite it contravening planning laws.

Mr Regan described it as a “disappointing” and “unfair” result for the community.

Plans for the two-storey boarding house were submitted back in February 2018.

The developer proposed building a structure comprising 35 rooms for lodgers along with two communal spaces and garden.

Northern Beaches Council mayor Michael Regan didn’t pull his punches in criticising the decision. Picture: Adam Yip

There would also be a basement level with nine car spaces, seven motorbike spaces and seven bicycle spaces.

The council was inundated with complaints from concerned residents and officers recommended the proposal was rejected. The planning panel rejected the proposal in August last year.

The developer appealed the decision and reduced the number of rooms to 32 before submitting its case to the Land and Environment Court with a hearing set for early June.

In the lead up to the court hearing, early March, the state government brought in a 12 room cap for boarding houses planned for R2 low density zones.

Building work is set to start shortly on the development. Pictures: Walsh² Architects.

R2 zones, of which Binalong Ave is in, are comprised of low density housing usually made up of single dwellings.

However, the cap is not retrospective, meaning it does not apply to plans lodged before March.

Therefore the Land and Environment Court upheld the appeal, declaring the application “lawful and appropriate”.

“Both council officers and the independent planning panel rejected this development originally and yet state government rules mean that amendments can be made and it can be approved in court,” Mayor Regan said.

The developers reduced the plans from 35 to 32 rooms. Picture: Walsh² Architects.

“It’s not fair to residents. If it had been resubmitted as a new DA, it would not get through as the new 12-room cap would apply.

“We need the state government to urgently apply the new 12-room cap retrospectively so we don’t see any more of these getting through.”


 

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