Brunswick DA upsets residents
Brunswick Heads residents are seeing red over a controversial development application for an ‘affordable housing’ complex at the Bruns Fitness Centre site that fronts Teven Street and backs on to Minyon Lane.
The application, which proposes that the fitness centre be transformed into 29 one-bedroom units, plus four two-bedroom units and a two-bedroom manager’s residence, is on exhibition at Byron Shire Council until January 12.
Brunswick Heads Progress Association president Gloria Mills said she was very concerned local residents might not get to have their say or have their objections heard because they were away on holidays or busy with family activities.
“This is a terrible time for something so important to be on exhibition. People need to take it very, very seriously and send a submission to council before the January 12 deadline,” she said.
Mrs Mills said that she wasn’t against affordable housing for Brunswick Heads, but was extremely disappointed in the proposed high-density boarding option proposed.
“There are other affordable housing options that would be much more suitable for our town,” she said.
“Apart from the obvious loss of the fitness centre, we’re talking about an unwelcomed rental boarding house development that will offer sub-standard living conditions to its tenants, little on-site parking and few prospects of jobs in town.
“We are appalled by the lack of diversity – 29 one-bedroom units is just nonsense. Sure we need affordable housing, but we think this DA misses the mark completely.”
Mrs Mills said the progress association was talking to the council and would submit an early submission.
“We have heard that if the DA ticks all the boxes for affordable housing council may have no choice but to approve it and we are preparing to take our concerns to the State Government if that is required,” she said.
Residents backing directly on to the fitness centre and in the surrounding streets say the new owners are taking advantage of a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) with no consideration of the impacts on the Brunswick Heads community.
A residents’ petition is being circulated and will be submitted to the council.
The council’s executive manager of planning, Ray Darney, said the council’s Planning Review Committee would review the application and submissions in the new year and decide if it should go to the full council for determination.
"Council will assess the application on merit and take into consideration the affordable housing State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)," he said.
The SEPP Affordable Rental Housing 2009 criteria includes consideration of density, building height, landscaped area, solar access, open space, parking and room size.
Mr Darney said that, from a first review, it appeared the DA would meet the State Environmental Planning Policy requirements.
"The Social Impact Assessment, provision of sewer and residential amenity relating to the neighbourhood, will be key issues," he said.
Mr Darney said the DA would not be decided by NSW Planning. He said if the community had concerns about the development they should send a submission to the council before January 12.
For more information about the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP go to http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/view/inforce/epi+364+2009+cd+0+N
The next progress association meeting will be held at the Memorial Hall in Fingal Street from 7pm on February 7 and anyone is welcome to attend.