ANSON STREET 4 STOREY DEVELOPMENT
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Anson Street, St Georges Basin – Land and Environment Court – Class 1 Appeal – Proposed Residential Flat Building
This matter was listed for three hearing days - 4 September, 5 September and 22 September 2017 before Commissioner Dixon.   
Day 1 of the hearing was held at Blackett Park, St Georges Basin.   Amidst almost gale force winds, six resident representatives outlined their strong objection to the proposed development.  The objections raised included concerns about the bulk and scale of the development; overshadowing of the neighbouring properties; the lack of adequate infrastructure; social and environmental impacts; and economic viability.
Following the residents’ submissions, the Commissioner inspected the site and its surrounds and the hearing was then adjourned with the second day to take place in Sydney.  
Day 2 of the hearing saw the tendering of evidence from both parties and the evidence of the town planning experts.  Following that evidence, the Commissioner ordered that the applicant provide further amended plans which be notified to the resident objectors for further comment prior to the next scheduled hearing date.
During the adjournment, the applicant served amended plans which were made available to the residents via Council’s DA Tracking site.  The residents worked together and prepared a joint submission which has been served on the applicant’s solicitor and will be tendered to the Court at the next hearing date.
Unfortunately, the Commissioner fell ill which required the vacation of the final hearing date.  It is anticipated that Day 3 of the hearing will only take 1 to 1.5 hours.   It will consist of the tendering of the residents’ further submission and the applicant’s further amended plans.  The urban design experts will also provide some evidence and the legal representatives will make their closing submissions. 
The parties are working with the Court to arrange a further date that is suitable to all.   At this point in time, it appears as though 12 October 2017 from 4pm is a date and time that is suitable to the legal representatives and their experts. We are waiting to hear whether that date is also suitable to the Court.   Council will contact residents once a final hearing date is confirmed.



UPDATE: 26/9/17

The first Anson St hearing (for 2 blocks of flats) in the Land & Environment Court was held at BLacket Park SGB on 4th September, 2nd day of hearing held in Sydney on 5th. Some local residents attended that hearing and were disheartened although they had been told by Council previously that the DA complied with issues raised and that Council would have to state this. The Developers attorney picked out some issues with the residents speeches and Council's rep (as a Town Planner) and the developers Town Planner took the stand under oath responding to questions.

There was to be a 3rd Hearing day (22nd Sept) but the Commissioner was ill and notice was given late Thursday afternoon (about 5pm) that the Hearing would not be held but adjourned.


Have been advised by Council staff that no date has been set as the Commissioner is still not well and of course no decision will be reached on that last hearing day. The Commissioner will then take her time to read documents and make a decision. Possibly will take a few months and even though the height is permissible in the zone the buildings are definitely not in character with this area. It is possible the Commissioner who has visited the site and the area will realise this during the time taken working on her decision.


All of the community members who have been working to get the word out as well as speaking to the community and Commissioner have done the best they can and hopefully the outcome will be the best for our area.


A refusal with this first DA could make all the difference to the outcome of the RA proposal for the Master Concept Plan for 14 blocks of 4 storey flats in Anson St that is also in with the Land & Environment Court for which no date for conciliation or hearing has been announced.


There is still a decision to be made by the Dept of Planning for a proposal to come out for community consultation to lower the height now permissible on the blocks of land that the 14 blocks would  sit on. This would mean the height that is now 13metres (4 storey) would be lowered to 8.5metres (up to 2 storey) A long way to go but is in the process.  

A positive outcome for this also will  make all the difference to Anson St development proposal.

Enquiries : 0424100051



Email to Basin Villages Forum from Council, dated 25th July

Hello David (Reynolds)
Thank you for your letter of 20 July 2017, which the Acting Director of Planning, Environment and Development and General Manager have drawn to my attention. I sincerely hope this response goes someway to assisting you. Importantly, the application is no longer under assessment by the Council.  It is now within the realm of the Land and Environment Court of NSW.  So what this means is that the processes and procedures are governed by Orders and the rules of the Court.  In response to your letter I will deal with the 3 points in turn.
An extension of time 
Whilst we are normally happy to accept submissions for extended periods especially where an application is still under assessment we are not in this position.  The application has in effect been determined by way of refusal and is the subject of an appeal.  Currently there is a Court Order which stipulates the notification dates.  The dates in the Order are 20 July 2017 – 10 August 2017.  This notification was also at our instance given that we believed that the community should be informed of any changes. 
We are also required to file an amended statement of facts and contentions (SOFC)  by 17 August.  So in short, we will need to review the plans and submissions and compile an amended SOFC between after 10 and before 17 August so that it can be checked and reviewed.
So, in answer to your question, we are firstly bound by the dates set by the Court and there is no scope to realistically extend the dates given the timetable we have been set.
Review of the amendments
We are working on this and will likely seek, advice from our urban designer.  As the matter is before the Court, we will not be doing a conventional s79C assessment or Council report.  Our comments on the changes will be how the changes have addressed our concerns.  That is, our earlier contentions.  From a very quick desktop review the changes made to the development show that the height of the development appears to satisfy the controls contained in the Shoalhaven Local Environmental Plan 2014.  This is for us a ‘big ticket’ item.  We are reviewing the proposal with respect to our earlier concerns to see how the other issues have been resolved (eg setbacks, pedestrian access into buildings, solar access, overshadowing, privacy, bulk and so on.) 
The following is a summary of the more substantial changes made to the proposal 
·         A reduction on the gross floor areas of buildings A and B.
·         A reduction in the number of units from 56 to 54. The proposal now comprises 33 x 3 bedroom units, 19 x 2 bedroom units and 2 x 1 bedroom units.
·         A reduction in the number of basement car spaces to 100.
·         Alterations to the internal floor layout of the units.
·         An increase the setback to Anson St of the top floor
·         A redesign of the common open space areas between the two buildings.
·         Each building to have two lifts instead of one to reduce the length of corridors.
·         Increased private open space areas for units
·         Increased separation between the two buildings.
·         Floor to ceiling heights increased.
·         Building height to be contained within the 13m height limit.
 We understand that the community would like a much more reduced scale development however, the adopted and legally made controls are what we have to consider and is what the Court will also be looking at.

Meeting
We are happy to meet and discuss process.  We have a briefing on the matter with Councillors on 15 August.  This is confidential as it will contain legal and privileged information.  However, in saying this, our review of the proposal will be mostly complete and we can summarise key points for you after this date.  If you wish to meet earlier, our review of the plans may not be complete but we can certainly discuss process and procedure with you. As an alternative, noting that it can be difficult to arrange meetings you may wish to consider contacting our Legal Coordinator, Ms Samantha Neilson who will be pleased to assist you with your enquiries concerning legal and court processes.
I hope this helps you.  If you have any questions about the matter and / or the plans, James Bonner who has carriage of the matter may be able to assist.
The contact number for us is below.  Thank you for your interest in this matter. 
Regards,
Cathy
Cathy Bern
Section Manager - Development Shoalhaven City Council



New diagrams:
elevations & material finishes
Axonometric view
The following is a summary of the more substantial changes made to the proposal 
·         A reduction on the gross floor areas of buildings A and B.
·         A reduction in the number of units from 56 to 54. The proposal now comprises 33 x 3 bedroom units, 19 x 2 bedroom units and 2 x 1 bedroom units.
·         A reduction in the number of basement car spaces to 100.
·         Alterations to the internal floor layout of the units.
·         An increase the setback to Anson St of the top floor
·         A redesign of the common open space areas between the two buildings.
·         Each building to have two lifts instead of one to reduce the length of corridors.
·         Increased private open space areas for units
·         Increased separation between the two buildings.
·         Floor to ceiling heights increased.
·         Building height to be contained within the 13m height limit.