Different responses to Morris St development decision
The two people who spoke at Central Coast Council's Residents' Forum before the council approved a five-storey development at the corner of West and Morris Sts in Umina have given very different responses to the decison.
Planning consultant Mr Matthew Wales spoke at the Forum on behalf of the owner Sans Filter Pty Ltd in favour the proposal and local resident Mr Bruce Illfield spoke against it.
Mr Bruce Illfield said afterwards that he was disappointed that Cr Richard Mehrtens and Cr Chris Holstein both spoke for the development to be approved, even though this development had 20 or 21 planning variations as well as over shadowing neighbouring properties.
"I would have thought 21 variations must be some sort of record for approval,'' Mr Illfield said.
"I find it hard to believe that they read the submissions as only one submission was in favour of it.
"It should have got you asking why.
"Pandora's Box has been opened.
"A different person has put in an application for another five-storey building in Alfred St within four days of the council approval of the West St one, the first of more to come.
"They will use the West St approval as a base to get their building approved.
"I don't know what the future holds but surely council must have known that once you approve the first one with so many planning variances more will follow down the same path.
"I would like to see council be proactive and raise a rescission motion on DA 52563 and make them follow the planning rules and stop what is about to follow, unless of course killing the character of Umina was what they had in mind.''
Mr Illfield said he was pleased the mayor Cr Jane Smith and Cr Louise Greenaway stuck to their guns on planning rules.
"Why have them if you're not going to follow them,'' he said.
Planning consultant Mr Matthew Wales spoke on behalf of the owner Sans Filter Pty Ltd after Mr Illfield at the residents' forum.
Afterwards, he welcomed the decision.
"The applicant has spent the last 18 months liaising with Central Coast Council planning staff leading up the Council meeting last night ensuring that they achieved the best possible urban outcome for the site", Mr Wales said.
"It was important that a high quality design outcome was obtained so that the development of the key corner site set a high benchmark for future development in the Umina Beach town centre.
"The development includes basement parking, ground level retail floor space and four levels of residential apartments consisting of 20 units.
"I was particularly pleased that the councillors acknowledged the need for good quality residential accommodation within our town centres where it is close to shops, services, medical facilities and public transport".
"The West St development achieves all these things and will be a catalyst for the ongoing urban revitalisation of the town centre.
"With the success of the Umina Beach retail strip, there has been increased demand for good quality residential accommodation close to the town centre.
"The design includes eight one-bedroom apartments aimed at single couples who want to live close to all the amenities that Umina Beach has to offer.
"The applicant acknowledged that the application had a number of variations to Council's development standards but as the Council highlighted, the variations have led to a much better design outcome than would otherwise have been the case had strict compliance been enforced," he said.
He said the owner of the property intended to proceed to the construction phase as quickly as possible with site works to commence by mid-year.
Media release, 12 Feb 2019
Matthew Wales, Wales and Associates
Media statement, 15 Feb 2019
Bruce Illfield, Umina