Apartments to rise 11-12 storeys behind Saywell's terrace houses at Brighton-Le-Sands

The historic Saywell terrace houses at Brighton-Le-Sands will be retained and restored in a mixed-use development in which apartments will rise 11-12 storeys.

After years of negotiations over development of the site near the Novotel, the rezoning of 64-68 The Grand Parade was gazetted on June 25.

While the process was being finalised, Bayside Council officers inspected the heritage-listed building and saw loose masonry and cracks on the facade.

A council spokesman said a court order was served on the owner, who “very promptly undertook the necessary works to stabilise the heritage façade”.

Thomas Saywell, the developer of Brighton-Le-Sands, built the terraces and lived there until his death in 1928.

Amendments to the Rockdale Local Environmental Plan 2011 increased the maximum building height from 13 metres to 36 metes and maximum floor space ratio from 1:1 to 4:1.

Bayside Council approved the amendments, following a Gateway determination, under delegation from the Minister for Planning and Environment.

The council is organising a design excellence competition, to be funded by the developer.

“Three architects will be invited to prepare design concepts for the site which address heritage considerations as well as amenity impacts on surrounding areas,” a council spokesman said.

“A panel of five architects will be appointed to review the design concepts. 

“Two members of the panel will be nominated by council, two by the proponent and one by the Government Architect’s office.  

“The first session will be held on August 24.

“The winning design will form part of the detailed documentation for any future development application (DA).”

Seventeen submissions opposed the rezoning, raising matters ranging from heritage impact to overshadowing.

A council report said the main part of the terrace building and southern boundary wall would be retained and restored. The rear building additions will be demolished.

“It is proposed to ensure [the terrace houses] future maintenance by bringing them into active use for retail and / or commercial premises,” the report said.

“Any future DA would therefore need to achieve an appropriate built form outcome to provide a suitable backdrop to the heritage listed terrace.

“An updated heritage impact statement would also need to be submitted in support of any DA.”

A structural engineer advised a “vibration-free” construction process would be used for the basement of the new building, which would minimise disturbance to the retained parts of the terrace.

The report said comments from the community also raised significant concerns about overshadowing of adjacent properties, particularly the Novotel, and public areas, particularly Lady Robinsons Beach. 

Shadow diagrams showed the biggest impact would be in mid-winter when “the proposed building envelope has the potential to cast long, narrow shadows” over part of the beach and parts of the Novotel.

The report said a DA would be “subject to detailed analysis of the impact of overshadowing”.