Planning panel to make decision on contentious DA for flats with no parking next to Woolooware station

Strongly opposed: Residents in front of the proposed development site at 1 Panorama Avenue, next to Woolooware station. Picture: Chris Lane
Strongly opposed: Residents in front of the proposed development site at 1 Panorama Avenue, next to Woolooware station. Picture: Chris Lane

A proposal for a three-storey block of flats with no parking next to Woolooware train station is shaping as a test case in Sutherland Shire.

Local residents are strongly opposing the development application (DA) for 1 Panorama Avenue, which follows the state planning department issuing a site compatibility certificate under affordable rental housing laws a year ago.

The developer says the project is designed primarily for people on low to moderate incomes and is targeted towards those not owning cars.

DA lodged: The proposed three-storey building would include 12 flats. Picture: supplied

DA lodged: The proposed three-storey building would include 12 flats. Picture: supplied

Numerous submissions opposing the proposal, as well as a few in support, have been added to the DA documents on the Sutherland Shire Council online register.

Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel will determine the DA following an assessment and recommendation by council staff.

Last year, council staff opposed the issuing of a site compatibility certificate, with a report describing the proposal as "effectively a rezoning" in an area which was zoned R3 Medium Density Residential in the 2015 LEP.

The DA provides for 12 flats, six of which will be designated affordable housing units for a period of 10 years.

The number of flats has been reduced from 16 in the original proposal and a proposed cafe facing the station entrance has been removed, but the most contentious feature of no parking spaces remains.

Resident Maryanne Doueihi said parking and traffic congestion was already "a huge problem" with no designated commuter parking on the southern side of the station.

Streets and driveways were blocked during drop-off and pick-up periods, she said.

Ms Doueihisaid the proposal would also significantly impact on the amenity of other residents, who would experience a loss of privacy, views and overshadowing. Property values would also be affected.

Another resident who did not wish to be named said the proposal was "a significant overdevelopment" of a single dwelling allotment and a three-storey building would be out of scale with surrounding homes.

"While the site might have advantages for use for affordable housing due to its close proximity to the railway station, it does not have any other benefits - there are no significant retailing, employment, medical or other services close by," he said.

The DA said there was a strong need for a range of affordable housing options "and it is well recognised that government at all levels, private industry and the non-government sector must work in partnership towards finding innovative ways to provide more affordable housing".

"This development is targeted to residents [who] do not have cars," the DA said.

"Empirical evidence shows that those on lower incomes typically do not have access to private car ownership as the majority of their income is spent on other essential living costs.

"To encourage car ownership by disadvantaged people is not socially sustainable particularly when the convenience of other modes of cheaper and convenient subsidised transport is available."

The DA said, "Options to manage street parking impacts could be considered that seek to restrict long stay carparking, providing timed parking restrictions and promoting restricted residential parking schemes to address the issue".

"The application is seeking to as much as possible reduce project delivery costs so finite development costs are not spent on unrequired and significant labour, time and capital costs of excavation and construction required to build a basement.

"These captured costs are instead applied to enable lower rents in the economic model and provide the opportunity to deliver a higher quality scheme, fixtures, fittings across all dwellings and communal areas."

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