Hurstville residents claim a win over the redevelopment of the former Australian Tax Office building

Opposition: Hurstville residents object to the redevelopment of the former Australian Tax Office building. Picture: Jane Dyson.
Opposition: Hurstville residents object to the redevelopment of the former Australian Tax Office building. Picture: Jane Dyson.

Hurstville residents are celebrating after a proposal to redevelop the former Australian Tax Office building failed to get the green light.

In September a development application was lodged for the site which includes two buildings of 18 and 11 storeys containing a community space, two commercial spaces and 384 residential units over a six level basement car park.

Local residents opposed the development because of concerns about the height and bulkiness of the building.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) met on Thursday where they deferred a decision on the proposal.

In a record of deferment the panel said they couldn’t accept the recommendation to approve the application because of the visual impact on the O’Brien Estate Heritage Conservation Area.

The panel said since there was no FSR or height controls for the site then the draft controls should be taken into account.

‘’The panel defers the determination of the application to allow the applicant to resubmit amended drawings that reduce the FSR to be closer to the draft control of 4.5:1,’’ the statement read.

‘’The panel accepts that a tower taller than 39 metres is acceptable but considers that the impact of the 63 metre high building is unacceptable.’’

Resident Theresa Kot was one of 40 locals to speak at the meeting and said she was surprised but happy with the decision.

‘’We went in with high hopes but we were expecting just to be a little voice,’’ she said.

‘’We were just stunned and then we though oh my god look at what we’ve achieved.

‘’It’s a win. It’s a win for overshadowing and it’s a win to reduce the bulkiness.’’

Ann Selle lives in O’Brien Estate and said she was thrilled about the decision.

‘’We just cheered when the decision was read out,’’ she said.

‘’If everyone had worked together from the beginning it wouldn’t have come to this.’’

She said that while it was a win residents were concerned that the applicants could appeal the decision.

‘’We are prepared to keep fighting this as long as it takes,’’ she said.