Panel questions shadow impacts
Woy Woy resident, Erin Kelly, addressed the Local Planning Panel on Thursday, June 8, outlining concerns about a proposed development at 75 Brick Wharf Rd.
The three storey, six-unit proposal is non compliant with guidelines on density, setback and height limits.
At first, Ms Kelly was denied access to address the panel because she was late in applying but, in the end, she got her chance.
However, technical difficulties meant the meeting was not live on youtube but it became available after the meeting.
“Brick Wharf Rd is a historic and one of the most unique streets on the central coast,” Ms Kelly said.
“It is home to the historic war memorial, which was unveiled in 1925, heritage pines, 1920’s cottages and it is made up of unique block sizes.
“Because of this uniqueness there are blocks a mere 6.5m wide and the average single dwelling block width is between 10m -12m.
“These properties have been held in families for decades and any recent redevelopments or renovations have all been single dwellings.
“I would like to again raise my concerns and voice the concerns of other residents who opposed this development.
“Since the 1980’s, larger blocks have been re-developed with units.
“These developments have taken into consideration the uniqueness of the street with the majority keeping the iconic pitch in the roof
line and have provided ample green spaces that go along with the beautiful waterfront of Woy Woy.
“This development does not meet design quality principles 1 & 2 as the design has not considered the local context or reflect the current or future state of brick wharf road, which will remain single
dwellings due to narrow allotments and the current units are not held under 1 title so there will be little to no redevelopment of these units in the near future.
“The application compares this development to the units on Oval Rd, Blackwall Road and Railway Street.
“These areas are not unique and do not have the historic significance or community draw card that Brick Wharf Rd has.
“This unit complex will not be leading the way in the redevelopment of this street as they suggest in their application.
“Instead it will be a large concrete box that will stand out like a sore
thumb and dwarf our historic war memorial, heritage listed pines, it will also overshadow the 6.5m wide neighboring allotment (77 BWR) where a quaint 1920’s cottage currently stands and those occupants use their vegetable garden every day.
“The development is 3 stories and is overheight even with the allowable height of 11m, the shadow diagrams do not include the shadowing from 79 BWR where a new single dwelling development was built in 2022, it encroaches boundary limits, it does not meet floor space ratio, it is increasing impervious areas on an already water logged block which doesn’t align with council’s recommendations in the flood mitigation plan, the rear parking cannot be accessed without driving through flood waters during king tides, the plan for green space is pretty much a border of plants around concrete, the ‘communal area’ that has been included in the new plans is questionable as it is in a corridor between apartments, the covered area – potentially for bins – at the front of the property is on the boundary line next to the footpath and will take away from the streetscape.
“The developer is asking you to overlook a number of planning requirements instead of reducing the size and scale of their development to meet the planning requirements because a smaller development would not be financially viable,” Ms Kelly said.
“I am asking on behalf of the community members who voiced their concerns through the portal, to not overlook the community and take into account the unique and historic street that is Brick Wharf Rd.”
The applicant had a representative speaking for the proposal and he talked about the meticulous planning of the development.
Two panel members asked questions of the applicant, saying they were struggling to understand why non compliance with floor space ratios was reasonable.
Panel members also struggled to understand how the shadow diagram could show no more shadow from a three storey structure than from a one storey structure.
The chair also asked about access to the rear of the site through a public carpark.
The applicant noted that all the properties along the road had garages at the back that used the public carpark as access.
The carpark is community land.
The public part of the meeting took up almost an hour with questions directed to the applicant’s representative taking up the majority of the hour.
The panel decision will be made public some time next week.
The Council report to the LPP recommended approval for the plans which have undergone a series of modifications since meetings with council began prior to the original development application being submitted.
The report states the proposal doesn’t comply with setback guidelines but says it is a relatively narrow site and a fully complying development, with 6m setback on each side, would not be viable.
It also exceeds the floor space ratio development standard but the exceedance, of 50m2, or 8.9%, does not result in an additional dwelling but allows for more generously sized 2 and 3 bedroom units.
“The proposed density is therefore acceptable,” the report states.
“The proposal represents an efficient use of the land to provide 6 new dwellings, all with good amenity in close proximity to the Woy Woy Town centre,” the report says.
The proposal attracted 17 submissions in 2021 when it was first exhibited and 14 submissions in May this year.
Residents’ complaints were criticised by the applicant who said they were generic and that less than 10 were unique submissions so the application should be dealt with by council staff delegation.
“Its seems that there is coercion from local anti-development groups who are simply against any development within the Woy Woy Peninsula area,” the applicant stated in one letter to the Council.
Residents complained about that comment, saying it was highly offensive.
One said the community had attempted to voice their concerns to the best of their ability and education.
“Residents are not town planners and should not be expected to provide essays to voice our concerns,” one stated.
“Concern noted,” council said in response, and added that all submissions were unique and of substance.