A traffic nightmare is predicted for Blakehurst and Baldface residents if separate, unrelated proposals for an eight-storey development and a road closure go ahead.
A development application (DA) has been lodged for the $20.5 million development comprising apartments above shops on the corner of Princes Highway and Water Street.
At the same time, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) proposes to stop motorists accessing the highway from Stuart Street, which is at the end of the block where the development would be located.
A resident, who did not wish to be named, said, if both proposals went ahead as planned, “traffic will bank up for hundreds of metres during peak periods”.
“You have to wonder if RMS even knows about this DA,” he said.
‘”There will be all the cars coming out of the new development on to Water Street, joining traffic that can no longer use Stuart Street to get on to the highway.”
The development site, part of which was previously occupied by a service station, is on a strip that was upzoned in Kogarah’s New City Plan from B1 – Neighbourhood Centre to B2 – Local Centre.
However, the developer is not satisfied with the 21 metre building, which is already higher than the 18 metres Georges River Council requested of the Department of Planning.
The DA seeks heights up to 27.4 metres for the building, which would have ground level shops, 55 apartments and 121 parking spaces,
“The proposed building height varies due to the topographical characteristics of the site and the proposed arrangement of building mass,” the DA stated.
A traffic study submitted as part of the DA said the extra vehicle movements resulting from the development would be almost half of that generated by the existing use and former service station on the site.
It could be “assumed that the proposed development will have no traffic implications in terms of road network capacity or traffic related environmental effect”, the study said.
“Furthermore, the removal of existing access driveways off the Princes Highway will improve traffic flows on the higher order road and will reduce the likelihood of a rear-end type accident on the Highway.”
RMS released its proposed road changes for the area in September, and invited feedback until October 20.
Under the plans, Stuart Street would be partially blocked off so motorists cannot enter Princes Highway.
Traffic would still be allowed to enter Stuart Street from the highway.
RMS had to withdraw an earlier proposal after a public backlash.
A spokeswoman said, following comprehensive feedback from the community in December 2015 and January, 2016, RMS “went back to the drawing board”.
“The proposed improvements include building a concrete median which will change access for vehicles travelling out of Stuart Street on to the Princes Highway and King Georges Road,” she said.
“Access will be maintained for vehicles travelling from the Princes Highway and King Georges Road on to Stuart Street.
“Vehicles exiting Stuart Street will be redirected via alternative routes to provide a number of benefits for motorists travelling through the busy area.”