Proposal for nine flats approved without debate
A proposal for nine residential flats at Woy Woy was approved by Central Coast Council without debate despite it being a non-complying development under planning regulations.
There was a crowd of people in the gallery opposing the development.
Mr Trevor Walker spoke on their behalf in the Public Forum before the meeting.
Property owner, S Gardner, proposed to build nine units at 145 Blackwall Rd, Woy Woy, at an estimated value of $1.074 million.
The three-storey building would comprise five one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units and 13 car parking spaces.
Council staff reported the development was permissible in the R1 general residential zone under the Gosford Local Environmental Plan, but acknowledged that the proposal was non-compliant.
It had an inadequate floor space ratio, which equated to a 9.8 per cent variation, and the required setbacks could not be achieved because the block was only 12 metres wide.
At 743 square metres, the block was smaller than the required 750 square metres for a residential flat building under the planning provisions.
There were 26 submissions objecting to the proposal, mainly because it was non-compliant on several counts under both the LEP and the Gosford Development Control Plan (DCP) 2013.
Council's own report from the Environment and Planning department stated the development was non-compliant on several issues.
Mr Walker said in Public Forum at Council's December 9 meeting that there was a simple reason this development was non-compliant - the block is too small for the building proposed.
"None of the required set backs are adhered to," he said.
"The proposed development is not in keeping with the surrounding area which are mainly single storey villas," he said.
"The shading effect on St Luke's Anglican Church will have major impact, particularly in winter."
Mr Walker said the reduction of natural light within the church would adversely affect the internal viewing of the newly-installed, faceted, coloured glass windows - "of which much was made in the media during the opening day".
He said he thought the shadowing from the proposal would restrict the effectiveness of any future solar panel installation at the church and would cause higher heating costs.
"We're also worried about the general impact on the Memorial Garden area," Mr Walker said.
"The many additional vehicles that will now be required to use the deteriorating laneway and the intersection on Victoria Rd will create a major ingress and egress problem - to say nothing of parking issues.
"The development doesn't have the required number of parking spaces and there's the potential for 18 to 20 cars looking for somewhere to park.
"There is no room for parking in the laneway behind or on Blackwall Rd," he said.
"This small block of land originally housed two people and this proposal is for 18 people which is an 800 percent increase in population.
"Nearby existing developments have only increased by 200 to 300 percent.
"If this and future developments are allowed, the village charm of Woy Woy and the Peninsula will disappear forever, and the infrastructure, which is already stretched to its limits, will fail completely."
Mr Walker urged councillors to view the property personally so they could understand why the residents thought this development was so inappropriate.
In the event, the proposal was approved without debate together with a number of other planning proposals recommended by council staff.
The council staff report stated that non-compliance to the minimum setback standards was offset by the building design having "architectural interest".
The proposal had only eight percent open space, compared a recommendation of 25 percent under the Apartment Design Guide.
The report said that the variation was compensated by adequate boundary landscaping, with each unit having a larger than required balcony, and public recreational space was about 550m away on the Brisbane Water foreshore.
Car parking fell short of the required number by one space, according to the report.
The report said there was no significant impact with over-shadowing of neighbouring properties, given the church was a non-residential use and no detailed controls specifically applied.
Staff believed there was "a reasonable amount of solar access" to the communal open spaces and to the interiors of the church which was deemed to be appropriate for a non-residential property.
Their report defended the bulk and scale of the development, which was not considered to adversely affect the scenic quality of the area and the landscaping at the development improved on that.
It said the area was undergoing a transition from primarily single-storey detached dwellings and villas to residential units and a variety of building heights.
There was already a significant number of two and three storey multi unit housing development in the immediate locality, the report said.
Council's traffic engineer reported that no significant change in traffic was anticipated and the Roads and Maritime Service had not raised any objections.
Central Coast Council agenda 3.2, 9 Dec 2019