Updated | Caringbah townhouse project DA decision deferred for four months


A developer has been given four months to come up with “a more skilful design” for a contentious townhouse development at Caringbah.

The Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel said changes would need to “significantly minimise adverse impacts on adjoining properties”.

If amended plans were not submitted within that time, it intended to refuse the development application (DA), the panel said..

The proposed complex of seven two-storey townhouses in Gannons Road outraged local residents and was described by Cr Carol Provan as “the worst case of medium density overdevelopment I have seen” during 18 years on Sutherland Shire Council.

The council’s assessment report supported the DA, saying the application “will not result in any significant impact on the environment or the amenity of nearby residents”.

However, the panel’s view was that “it will result in significant impact on the amenity of nearby residents”.

The panel said it had “formed the view that insufficient consideration has been given in the design of the proposed development with regard to the constraints of the site, in particular its narrow frontage, and elongated nature, the effects of flooding and its contextual relationship with adjoining development”.

”Given these constraints of the site, the panel considers that the applicant cannot expect to maximise development of the site, and a more sensitive design is required, as opposed to numerical compliance.”

The panel said it could not support the DA in its present form but considered the applicants should be afforded the opportunity to submit amended plans within four months “with a more skilful design to significantly minimise adverse impacts on adjoining properties”.


Carol Provan says a proposed townhouse project at Caringbah is the worst case of medium density overdevelopment she has seen during 18 years on Sutherland Shire Council.

Although we cannot give neighbours complete privacy, this DA gives them no privacy,.

Councillor Carol Provan

Under the plans, seven two-storey townhouses would extend the full length of two narrow, back-to-back blocks and overlook the backyards of five adjoining homes.

There are also traffic concerns about the site in Gannons Road, about 100 metres from the Captain Cook Drive roundabout.

Cr Provan and Cr Michael Forshaw are supporting residents who are appealing for the development application (DA) to be refused by the Sutherland Planning Panel at its September 18 meeting.

They believe the DA was rushed to beat the impending reintroduction of the 60/40 rule, which aims to protect the privacy of neighbouring backyards by restricting the second storey in such developments to the front 60 per cent of the block.

The council decided in November, 2016, to reintroduce the rule, which did not become law until early August, 2017. The DA was lodged in March, 2017.

Written submissions to the panel said the DA lacked shadow diagrams and other important information, while including “basic errors” about matters such as boundaries, street names and bedroom numbers.

The applicant’s name had also been changed at a late stage in the process.

Cr Provan said in her submission, “Although we cannot give neighbours complete privacy, this DA gives them no privacy”,.

“This is definitely an overdevelopment of the site and the worst case I have seen as a councillor.”

​A council spokeswoman said the DA was submitted before the 60/40 rule took effect and was assessed under the standards applying at the time.

Requesting further information or clarification was common practice after DAs were submitted, and the applicant’s name could be changed without the need for resubmission, she said.

The spokeswoman said a DA could be rejected within 14 days only under specific circumstances.