56 Sir Thomas Mitchell Road Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Demolition of existing 2 storey Residential Flat Building and construction of new 3 storey residential flat building with basement parking

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website 2 months ago. It was received by them 1 day earlier.

(Source: Waverley Council, reference DA-109/2020)

8 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Amanda Hendriks commented

    No No No, The whole fabric of the neighbourhood is being destroyed by knocking down charming post war flats and replacing them with modern ugly blocks of apartments that are a blight on the landscape . The land mass ratio is totally ignored with the building taking up all the site leaving little garden area eating up the land above and below.
    It is greed that drives the uglification of Bondi. I’m sick of it !

  2. A resident in STMR commented

    Does this mean the beautiful big tree at the front of this charming block, which kids have swung off for years will either be removed or at the very least damaged by the 'subterranean' basement parking?
    Is the developer aware of the amount of run-off around here during rain?
    Is the developer aware that is because there were lagoons here that were fed by rainfall?
    Is the developer aware that the climate has and is changing - getting warmer and that less green and more concrete adds to the heat in the suburbs!

  3. Chris Maltby commented

    This is a clear case of the intensification of a non-conforming use and should be refused. The site zoning (R2) prohibits the development of residential flat buildings (RFBs). As the site is presently used as an RFB, it could be renovated or redeveloped provided that the new structure does not increase the size or impact.

    The increased impacts arise from:
    1. the increase in floor area - proposed to be over 50% above that permitted for the site,
    2. the excavation of the site for a car park - there is no existing excavation,
    3. the increase in bulk from the conversion of a pitched roof form to a third level with a flat roof - this structure will be much more intrusive on the streetscape and neighbouring properties.

    The applicant cites nearby three-storey structures to support the control variation request but fails to note that these structures are in a neighbouring R3 zone in which they are permissible both in height and use as RFBs.

    The existing building is a well preserved example of an inter-war small scale flat building, in the typical configuration of 2 units per floor. If contributes significantly to the streetscape and built form of this part of Sir Thomas Mitchell Rd and should not be replaced by yet another nondescript concrete and glass obscenity.

  4. Lee Coleman commented

    Waverley council, for goodness sake, protect this beautiful building from demolition. Such buildings are incremental to the aesthetic of the area. Plus, they provide excellent accommodation that people want to live in. Bulldozing the building isn’t what the community wants, it never is. These buildings should have greater protections, plain and simple. Like others have said here, I’m sick of it.

    Start protecting our period buildings before they’ve all disappeared. Please start now, with this building.

    Lee Coleman
    Barracluff Avenue resident

    PS - to others who don’t want to see this building demolished, let’s start an action group.

    Leegcoleman@gmail.com

  5. C M commented

    This application should be rejected. Interwar flats are part of the charm of Bondi and it would be a great shame to lose yet another example. This block is largely original and has well preserved period features inside. Can it not be updated in a sympathetic way rather than demolished? Council should also not be encouraging further car ownership in Bondi with more garages.

  6. Lisa Hynes commented

    I object to the demolition of 56 Sir Thos Mitchell Rd. The proposal is inappropriate in terms of its scale and impact (50% over that permitted for the site ) - note proposed height/floor ratios/basement parking and zoning considerations.
    This building is a well preserved interwar block of flats which could be successfully and sympathetically upgraded internally if required .It contributes to the streetscape and architectural character of the Bondi Beach area..It is located within a heritage enclave (3 Ormond st is on the NSW State heritage register - it is also the oldest house in Bondi - and 5 & 7 Ormond st are on the local heritage register) . Its demolition would destroy the heritage and architectural value of the area, set a precedence for future disproportionate developments, create traffic management problems, overshadowing and impact neighbouring properties. In addition it would require the removal of a 100 year old tree. I implore Waverley Council to preserve this building and its environs for the sake of our neighbourhood and its future

    LHH Bondi Beach resident

  7. Andy Wilson commented

    Our family of five are long term residents of Francis Street in Bondi and we strongly oppose the proposed development of 56 Sir Thomas Mitchell Road, Bondi.

    We note that the plans suggest the removal of at least 5 old-growth trees. As you would be aware, we have recently lost many trees in our area in the past twelve months. Firstly due to drought conditions and then due to deliberate poisoning. In particular, 3 magnificent old-growth trees on the corner of Francis Street and Denham Street have been poisoned and now dead. Another large tree poisoned on Denham Street is now dead. The suggestion of removing more trees in this area is very distressing and we vigorously oppose this. The gully, behind Francis Street, provides a canopy that delivers shade, hosts birds and animals, and ensures a very small patch of much-needed greenery in our area. We oppose the removal of any trees and in particular the brilliant Fig Tree and impressive Bunya Pine. All of these trees - which are clearly visible from our home in Francis Street - enhance our natural environment and should be retained at all costs.

    Our local community and in particular the narrow streets of Bondi simply can not accommodate more traffic that will bring more noise and more chance of accidents. Literally a fortnight ago a motorcyclist and jogger came to grief outside our home with significant injuries sustained and the increased risk associated with this development proposal is a recipe for disaster. The proposed development is on a blind corner which is particularly dangerous for all residents, but especially the many children and elderly in our area. Sadly, people travel down this dangerous part of Sir Thomas Mitchell at a rapid rate where there is a children's playground directly opposite. Additional traffic, slowing down or entering exiting a property in and around this already dangerous corner area will significantly increase the risk to pedestrians, other vehicles and property.

    Our area is a great mix of semi-detached, and freestanding homes, alongside small scale apartments such as the existing building. A massive development like the proposed edge to edge building with excavated underground parking is completely at odds with this. It’s the kind of building one might see in Bondi Junction or Green Park. Bondi Beach is a unique part of the world and this pocket could not be a more perfect example of what makes it so very special. We note that there is a significant increase both in height and occupancy to the rest of the streets surrounding it. This is crazy trying to jam any more in our community.

    Obviously a building like the proposed one will involve massive disruption to the neighbourhood. Excavating the site for multiple carapaces and building a three story building (at a much greater FSR) on every available piece of land on this site will have a massive impact on both the residents immediately adjacent but also to people like us who can clearly see the site. I would imagine the people directly impacted would number in the hundreds and indirectly many, many more.

    Please do the right thing Waverley and protect our special part of the world!!!

  8. Sarah Andrews and Nick Pellow commented

    We would like to register an objection to this proposal. We live on nearby Castlefield Street and regularly walk past this building on the way down to Bondi.

    We have three broad grounds of objection:
    1. Cultural and environmental damage

    1.1. We are appalled by the prospect of this attractive, solid building from the interwar era being demolished. While it may not be heritage listed, it contributes to the history of this area particularly when, sadly, so many of our other older buildings have been allowed to be torn down around Bondi.

    1.2. To the extent that the existing building has any structural damage, it could be easily and cheaply remediated. The Remediation Cost Estimate included with the DA documents which is based on a structural assessment of the building, estimates a remediation cost of just over $137,000. This would be a far more responsible and environmentally sustainable way forward than its wholesale demolition and replacement with a new building.

    1.3. The proposed new apartment block would be an overdevelopment of the land, being about 50% over the permitted floor space ratio. Most of the additional FSR seems to be achieved by bricking in the existing deep communal green space at the back of the site.

    1.4. Waverly Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2018-2029 reported that the community’s top three concerns in the area of Planning, Development and Heritage were to:
    - avoid further high-rise development and overdevelopment in general;
    - develop a holistic vision with respect to sustainable growth and development
    - protect our heritage buildings

    1.5. In response Waverly Council set goals to (amongst other things):
    - facilitate and deliver well designed, accessible and sustainable buildings and public places that improve the liveability of existing neighbourhoods. (5.1)
    - value and embrace Waverly’s heritage items and places (5.2)

    1.6. To grant consent to this proposal would appear to go in the opposite direction of the community’s stated concerns and the goals adopted by Council.

    1.7. The removal of so much of the existing green space (including 5 large mature trees) would also be at odds with other high-level policy and strategic documents adopted by Council relating to the natural environment, climate change and well-being in urban areas.

    1.8. In December 2019, the Council unanimously passed a motion declaring a ‘State of Climate and Biodiversity Emergency’. In March 2020, Council adopted its Local and Strategic Planning Statement 2020-2036 which includes, as priority 5, “improving our sense of wellbeing in urban environments” and, as priority 16, “improving resilience to climate change” including through “urban greening and cooling strategies”.

    2. Excessive underground parking

    2.1. The proposal includes an underground car park with 8 car spaces. This is excessive number of car spaces for a building of 4 apartments and will only encourage more cars on the road contributing to more traffic in an already heavily congested area and more pollution.

    2.2. Again this comes at a time when Waverly Council has committed to the importance of reducing carbon emissions and the number of cars on the roads. Priority 1 of the Local and Strategic Planning Statement 2020-2036 emphasises a “mode shift” in transport from private transport to public.

    2.3. There are also safety concerns with that many cars entering and exiting an underground car space on a narrow and densely populated street opposite a children’s playground.

    3. Affordable housing

    3.1. As noted in the applicant’s Affordable Housing Rental Report, the existing units are rented for below the median rent price in Bondi and thus qualify as “affordable housing”.

    3.2. Waverly Council has publicly committed to encouraging more affordable housing in Bondi. Priority 6 of the Local and Strategic Planning Statement 2020-2036 commits to “offering a range of housing to support and retain a diverse community”. As noted in that document, affordable housing is also an important part of the Council’s draft Local Housing Strategy. Likewise the Community Strategic Plan 2018-2029 acknowledges and responds to the community’s wish for more demand for more social and affordable housing. The plan identifies “increased number of affordable and accessible dwellings” as a key measure of success for its strategy in the area of planning, development and heritage.

    3.3. The Applicant argues that the removal of these units as affordable housing is justified as the state of the current rental market is such that there is a “number of affordable housing … readily available in the area, of a similar or higher standard than that of the subject properties”.

    3.4. We note that the Applicant here is the same Applicant as for DA-43/2019 in respect of 5-9 Castlefield Street. In that case, the Applicant received approval for an additional 41% above the permitted FSR by invoking the Affordable Housing SEPP. If there is no shortage of affordable housing in the local area, how and why is it that the Applicant was able to achieve such a dramatic increase to the permitted FSR in order to build a new 11-unit block (in the place of 3 existing single-dwelling houses from the Federation and post war eras) just a few streets up the road? It is the height of hypocrisy and duplicity.

    We urge Waverly Council to refuse development consent to this proposal and request that you keep us informed as it progresses through the planning process.

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Andrews and Nick Pellow

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