If you submitted an objection in April you will need to put in another submission as this is a 'new' DA...it just looks like the other one, minus 1 house and a little more compacted.
The 'new' Development Application (DA 1243/2016) that has been lodged, if successful, would have great visual and community impact on residents of and visitors to (by water and land) the Toronto area, especially along the Coal Point peninsula.
This article provides a summary compiled by CPPA and TASNG on the proposed development based on documents provided on Lake Macquarie Council’s (LMCC’s) application tracking website. Community comments posted on this webpage and Facebook page are welcome and will be included in the CPPA’s formal submission.
DA 1243/2016 proposes to consolidate two existing lots to provide dual frontage from 2 Brighton Avenue to 133 Excelsior Parade covering 7,045m2 on the south-eastern edge of the medium density zone. Nineteen(19) two-storey, 3 bedroom dwellings would be constructed with ingress from Excelsior Parade and egress from Brighton Avenue.
To accommodate this development 215 of the 218 existing trees on the block (i.e. 99%) would be removed. These 218 trees currently form the highly visible, vegetated ridgeline above Ambrose Street, Carey Bay. The site is very visible from the Carey Bay Shopping Village, Aged Care facility and the surrounding hills of the Carey Bay catchment and adjacent streets, from the water and as far away as Belmont and Eleebana. The tree-lined ridge provides a movement corridor for bird life from the Carey Bay wetlands to the lake foreshore.
The almost total loss of tree cover would be devastating for visual impact, contrary to the developer’s claim that ‘visual impact will be acceptable’ (moderate to minor impact). LMCC’s Scenic Management Guidelines define ‘devastating’ as any development becoming ‘the dominant feature of the landscape to which other elements become subordinate and significantly affects and changes the character of the community’.
The lots proposed for development are at the most eastern boundary of the medium density residential zone (R3) and Toronto Scenic Management zone 5, adjacent to the the low density (R2) residential zoning of Carey Bay and the Scenic management zone 5 of Coal Point. We therefore argue consideration should be given to a transition zone between LMCC’s Scenic Management Zones 3 (Coal Point), and 5 (Toronto) and the medium and low density residential zones.
Indeed, we argue that this location could be seen as closer to Carey Bay/Coal Point than Toronto in both biophysical and social characteristics. Although this site is not on a major ridgeline, it is a high visibility ridgeline. The site is not characteristic of the retail/business/residential mix designed for the Toronto scenic zone 5 which aims for active street frontages and development appropriate for town centres.
Therefore, we urge consideration should also be given to the Zone 3 Scenic guidelines which state:
- The height of building and structures does not extend above the physical ridgeline, not the tree-line
- Existing ridgeline vegetation which provides a dominant backdrop to views from the lake is retained.
The proposed development has seven (7) dwellings extending above the physical ridgeline , 99% of the trees have been earmarked for removal, and limited consideration has been given to design the development to minimize vegetation clearance. The scale and context of the development is excessive for the site and the community in which it is situated.
In addition, qualities specific to the desired future character of Zone 3 include protecting key landscape elements including native vegetation, achieving a balance between built form and the natural landscape and providing ‘green breaks’ between areas of development. The proposed development shows scant regard for the existing vegetation. The density, scale and spacing of the development is inconsistent with the existing character of the bushland suburb community. There is virtually no balance between the proposed built form and the natural landscape. Hard surfaces will cover the majority of the site.
DA 1243/2016’s Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) claims the vegetation has ‘nominal habitat value’ yet identifies hollow-bearing trees, 10 bird species, an amphibian and the Little Bentwing Bat (a vulnerable species) as being present on the site. From local bird surveys that have been undertaken, the Carey Bay Wetlands is known to have more bird species that anywhere else on the Coal Point peninsula.
The arborist’s report on the proposed development identified 15 trees of high retention value, including two with habitat values and one with numerous cavities providing nesting opportunities. The arborist’s report also stated that the development’s encroachment on the root zone of one of only four (4) ‘retained’ trees, plus the removal of the surrounding trees, may destabilize the retained tree in the long term. DA 1243/2016 ignores the advice of their arborist.
Vehicle access to the site is proposed to be one-way ingress from Excelsior Parade, one-way egress onto Brighton Ave and with 123.5 car movements a day projected. The Brighton Ave exit is a narrow, elevated service road with a difficult turn and with short sight lines from the Ambrose street corner. All residents in the proposed development would be subjected to all car movements within a few metres of their dwellings via the one-way meandering road. There has been no provision made to support pedestrian journeys to local shopping centres or Toronto by installing community footpaths.
The proposed development’s SEE states ‘No building exceeds the 10m height control. There are no significant impacts on the streetscape and the amenity and visual impact in considered acceptable’. The visual impact on privacy of the adjacent neighbours or the pre-school that is under construction is said to be minor or negligible, yet all adjacent neighbours will have their privacy compromised. The proposed side setbacks for many of the dwellings will compromise a reasonable level of privacy for adjoining neighbours, especially those on on Ambrose St and Brighton Ave.
Solar access is compromised, with four of the 19 proposed dwellings receiving less than 3hr of sunlight, which does not comply with the Development Control Standards. There is no discussion of the impact on the preschool which is under construction. The proposal makes no provision for community space and yet purports to be for family living. All public space is compromised by the vehicle access.
This proposal compromises core elements of the vision of the Lake Macquarie Strategic Lifestyle 2030 document, which has a vision for the city where the environment is protected and enhanced and where the scenic, ecological, recreational, and commercial values and opportunities of the Lake and coastline are promoted and protected. Strategic direction 1:13 states the ‘scenic natural beauty of the City is maintained and enhanced, and buildings or structures visible from the Lake and coast …exhibit high quality design sympathetic to their setting.’
We acknowledge that multi-dwelling housing is permissible in the R3 Medium Density zone however DA 1243/2016 is not meeting the objective of ‘maintain and enhance the residential amenity and character of the surrounding area’. On the contrary it detracts from the residential amenity of the existing residents and alters the character of the surrounding area.
The increasing development pressure for medium density housing over consolidated landholdings should provide an opportunity to construct development that is in character with and retains the values of the existing area. DA 1243/2016 states the block as being too narrow to retain the trees. We suggest that a more appropriately scaled development is the solution.
It is imperative that the community state their expectations regarding this and other proposed or planned developments between Jarrett and Ambrose Streets that will span the ridge between Brighton Avenue and Excelsior Parade. If accepted, this proposed development will set a precedent for significant loss of local tree cover, visual (scenic) amenity and community character.
The CPPA has sought and received an extension for the comment period to allow for community discussion and comments. Submissions are due on 8th September close of business.
A sample letter summarising the points above is available here to assist you in making a submission.
Submissions should be submitted by 8/9/16 and emailed to email@example.com or addressed to
Lake Macquarie City Council
HRMC NSW 2310Re: DA 1243/2016-2 Brighton Avenue: Demolition of Existing Dwellings, Lot consolidation, Construction of 19 Multi Dwelling Housing & Associated Infrastructure and Services.