THE former Commonwealth Bank building at Arncliffe will be demolished and replaced with a six-storey mixed-use development.
Rockdale Council approved the development last Wednesday despite receiving eight letters and a petition opposing the complex because of heritage, traffic, parking and loss of views.
Residents complained the demolition of the bank's art deco facade at Belmore Street would result in the loss of the "natural heritage of Arncliffe".
The bank will be replaced by 21 residential units, a ground floor commercial area and 31 car parking spaces.
More than 60 people protested against the bank's closure last August. At the time, the bank cited "security concerns" resulting from attempted robberies.
The site, which is owned by Zapphire Investments Pty, has been amalgamated with a neighbouring building.
The application for the new proposal was lodged on December 3, 2010.
The council's report said the applicant amended the plans on several occasions to retain the bank's facade, improve vehicle access from Belmore Street and minimise any adverse impacts on the amenity of nearby residences.
Objector Bruce Jackson said it was a large development that would have a significant impact on the community.
He said the provision of only one commercial unit was a "token".
"It does not fit the purpose of what the land is zoned for — general business."
Another objector, William Watson, said the proposal was "just too big" and council should only permit flexibility in flouting development codes where there were "special and unavoidable constraints".
Architect Anthony Betros said the proposal was consistent with the desired future character of Arncliffe town centre and the degree of commercial space was "appropriate and compliant".
"Traffic can be easily accommodated. The retention of the art deco facade is a positive result of amendments over time."
Liberal councillor Jan Brennan said the proposal had been "vastly improved" and would "go well in the immediate area".
Greens councillor Lesa de Leau said it was an "overdevelopment" of the site.
The development was approved eight votes to two.
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