A contentious, $33 million development in the Engadine Town Centre is set to go ahead after approval by the Land and Environment Court.
Sutherland Shire Council recommended in June the development application (DA) for 116 apartments in three buildings of five to six storeys be rejected.
A council report said the the applicant, Regent Pacific Capital, had failed to demonstrate the site could sustain a development of the bulk and mass proposed.
The developer did not wait for the matter to be considered by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP), opting instead to go straight to court.
A conciliation process in the court led to agreement between the developer and council.
The developer agreed to make several changes, but there was no alteration to the proposed building heights of 22.3 metres to 22.9 metres, which are above the 20 metres limit in the shire’s local environmental plan.
The council welcomed the outcome of the court proceedings.
”The mediation process led to the applicant making significant changes to the proposal originally presented to council and the JRPP,” a council spokesman said.
”Council raised concerns with building height, density, presentation to the street, non-compliance with the Apartment Design Guide, land contamination and issues raised by the community.
“This process led to the applicant making significant changes to the proposal, resulting in a much improved outcome and council supporting the court’s decision."
DA approval came as Regent Pacific Capital was in the process of trying to sell the property.
Commercial real estate company Colliers advertised in August for expressions of interest for the “sought after Sutherland Shire location”.
Colliers agent Ryan Bennetts said after DA approval, “We are in the process of talking to certain parties, who are looking to take it over. It’s an ongoing process”.
Several shops that are in the development site, which stretches from 1081 to 1091B Old Princes Highway, will have to be demolished.
When the proposal was first unveiled, there were mixed reactions from residents interviewed by the Leader.
Some thought Engadine needed the renewal, while others said the development was too big.
The buildings, in an L-shape, will back on to the Coles supermarket car park, with a public walkway to the main street of Engadine.
Most of the 116 apartments will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with only a small number having one or three bedrooms.
Originally, 121 apartments were proposed, but the developer cut the number and made other changes after discussions with council officers.
The building fronting Old Princes Highway will have six storeys, including retail / commercial podium space at ground level, while the other two buildings will each have five storeys.