Residents highlight new issue in fight against developments at Sylvania and Caringbah

Attics in proposed developments at Sylvania and Caringbah evade the 60/40 privacy rule, residents claim.

Whereas attics were once normally used for storage, in modern homes they can provide a bedroom, ensuite and walk-in wardrobe.

A  development application (DA) for two blocks at 51-53 Melrose Avenue, Sylvania, provides for 12 homes, comprising nine four-bedroom townhouses and three three-bedroom villas.

Each villa has an attic, designed as a living area.

A large number of objections have been lodged with Sutherland Shire Council, highlighting privacy, traffic and parking impacts.

Residents say, if the development proceeds, the new homes will all effectively be two storeys and look over the backyards of about a dozen existing houses.

Katherine Huang is among residents who said adding an attic to villas would evade the 60/40 rule, which confines double storey to the front 60 per cent of a property.

​Ms Huang said the plans also showed storm water being piped through her family’s property without any approval being given.

Another resident said in a submission, “Allowing this development will also impact our privacy as Block D has a second story bedroom and on-suite looking onto our yard, directly over our entertaining area”.

“The new occupants will potentially be complaining to the council when we have any social gatherings as their bedroom will be close to that entertaining area,” the resident wrote.

Submissions also said there was already traffic congestion and parking problems in the street, which is close to Southgate shopping centre.

Residents of another proposed development in Gannons Road, Caringbah, say revised plans show attics, which “disguise” two storey buildings.

In September 2018, the Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel gave the developer four months to come up with “a more skillful design” for the project to minimise adverse impacts on adjoining properties.

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

Cr Provan said this week the amended plans for the Gannons Road proposal had done little to address the concerns of adjoining residents.

She said the use of attics in the plans for both the Caringbah and Sylvania projects needed close investigation.