136A Shoalhaven St, Kiama, NSW 2533

Demolition of existing dwelling, construction of residential flat building comprising twelve (12) residential units, associated parking and twelve (12) lot strata subdivision

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website about 2 months ago. It was received by them 5 days earlier.

(Source: Kiama Municipal Council, reference 010.2020.00000049.001)

7 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Catherine Marie Martin commented

    Hi I live next door to this development at 3/138 Shoalhaven St and as such I believe my building will be severely impacted by this development for the following reasons:
    1. Overshadowing: From the supplied drawings it can be easily seen that my building will have shadow from sunrise to at least 3pm each day and especially during winter when the sun will drop below these buildings. It is the only access to sunlight that my building presently receives. My back yard receives no sunlight all winter presently due the the existing trees at 136A and now you are going to put a 3 storey building right up against (within limits not in accordance with legislation) the northern side of my townhouse so I will now not have sunlight ALL year. My only upstairs courtyard is on this north side and I currently enjoy sunlight and warmth to my bedroom and the only bedroom which faces north. This building will remove my ONLY access to light & warmth and severely erode my home enjoyment and lifestyle.
    2. Privacy: The overshadowing and close proximity of this building (NOT within the legal requirements as noted by council meeting minutes )to my building will mean my privacy on the north side will be removed completely. One of the major reasons I purchased my townhouse 7 years ago was the sunny upstairs balcony and main bedroom on the north side. With this development I will have my privacy on this balcony & bedroom removed completely and the capital value of my home severely eroded. We have a 2 storey building complex that will be SWAMPED by this 3 storey development and the proposed future 3 storey development to the south on Farmer St as well as the current 3 storey townhouses being constructed on Farmer St to our south. The capital value of our complex will be severely eroded. At the time of purchasing my townhouse there were no proposed developments here and there was a 2 storey limit in operation in Kiama council. This aspect has not been taken into account in the application. As noted in Council minutes the bulk, scale and height of the development compounded by 'overlooking' unreasonably impacts on our buildings and erodes our enjoyment and privacy of our homes at #138.
    3. Road development: Shoalhaven St at our address is extremely steep giving limited visible access in and out of our driveway. Plus it is the main street into and out of the nearby local high school. Plus one of the main thoroughfares out of south Kiama. As such we high volumes of traffic. Current street parking makes visibility extremely dangerous and many times I have almost been run into by other vehicles who travel at high speed down our street. The cross-street, Farmer St, and school children in the vicinity makes no difference to the current speeds of local traffic. The development is only going to increase a dangerous situation particularly in view of extra street parking that is already occurring with the current development, often a caravan is parked at the top of the hill in front of #34 Shoalhaven st. This aspect has not been taken into account in the application.
    4. Noise: The current oversized development at #34 already has meant an increase in noise in the local neighborhood. There is often load music and raised voices coming from the current oversized development and the proposal will add even more with the high population density proposal on our doorstep
    5. Ecology: Removal of trees and vegetation from the rail corridor at the eastern end of the property will remove a vegetation corridor for local wildlife. There are possums, whip birds and a family of bower birds that live in this area to name just a few. The current building of 3 storey townhouses on our southern boundary has already resulted in a red belly black snake moving to our property trying to find a new area to live in. We have precious little areas of natural green space left for our native animals. The rail corridor provides one of these and the development will mean it will be removed. No consideration has been taken of this in the applications.

  2. Catherine Marie Martin commented

    Hi I do need to add 2 more issues with this proposal:
    Arborist report: This report does not seem to have included the significantly sized Jacaranda tree in my backyard. It is in excess of 10 years of age and is located on the northern boundary fence line in my backyard corner. A significant amount of its tree roots would be located where excavations are proposed and I am concerned it will be unduly effected and possibly be killed during the proposed excavations. Can the arborist included the effects on my tree which I wish to be preserved into the planning? It will be one of the few trees remaining for birdlife after all the trees are removed from #36A.
    Drainage: The drainage between my property and #36A has always been an issue and the plans do not seem to have taken this into account sufficiently. During periods of high rainfall the water from this property and #34 pools in my backyard and northern side passage. The area is constantly damp and mouldy as a result and I have had to replace wood trim and a laundry door on that side due to mould and borer attack that have been attracted to the damp conditions. I would like the engineers to have another examination of the issue as the steep slope across the properties will continue to lend itself to drainage issues and excavations will likely increase further drainage issues on my property. Our properties have retaining walls on this side which need to be taken into account in the excavation plans.
    Kind regards
    Cathy Martin

  3. Dean Koorey commented

    Dear Sir,

    Regarding this application, I am the owner (and occupant) of 2/138 Shoalhaven Street, singled out by the developers of 136A as the property with the most to lose in the building of these units (specifically mentioned regarding impact on shading).

    While I appreciate that zoning has changed in recent years and such developments are allowed, the impact of this particular plan feels cynical. The narrow parcel of land has already created limitations on what can be built at #136A and it seems that not only has every last centimetre has been squeezed out regarding height – but it has exceeded the council guidelines regarding setbacks.

    According to Kiama's C10 rule with regards side setbacks, this height building must be set back 6m from the side boundary. Here, the developers have conceded that they have NOT adhered to this rule – a rather important factor considering a three storey property is rising directly to the north of my own. Their mitigation actions, such as including 1.7m high windows on this side are noted. But to state that my shade is only adversely affected by no more than 20% of current I feel is not good enough considering they are already in breach, exacerbated by the rising slope to give it the effect more like that of a 5-storey building than 3 – towering over mine and neighbours' properties at 138.

    I appreciate the fairly thorough arborist's report and the provision to provide fencing and substantial planting along the boundary between my property and this development. However, without knowing the height and privacy that these plants will provide, it is difficult to assess the visual damage (and subsequent loss of value) that this structure will cause my property. Currently a stand of bamboo provides adequate screening between my property and the existing single/split level house at 136A. From my upstairs balcony, I have also in the past year witnessed the block of CoastWatch closest to Shoalhaven St rising above the roofline. The developers claim that the arrival of their 3-storey building in the place of the existing home will not make much difference. First, it will clearly make a large difference visually, as well as noise from six separate units (compared to one current house) regardless of whether they can look in or not. Note that the outdoor area situated between the blocks is also just over my back fence and slightly to the east, potentially adding noise from any of the 12 units.

    With regards to the shade, the developer went to great pains to provide various shading models for 21 June (mid-winter, lowest sun). Many claims were made regarding the homes on Farmer Street, which seem absurd as they are clearly unaffected. Due to the slope and the clear breach of the 6m side setback (C10), the shading it is admitted will have the most impact on the properties at 138 – particularly, it notes, mine at #2. It claims that my back yard is already in shade for much of the day (on 21 June) and would not be affected, however I would like to see better angle modelling as to where the roof of the development would shade my unit – as the claim of 'less than 20% worse' is not what one wants to hear as a home owner. Considering the already substantial visual impact, to lose any sunlight from my yard/patio and top balcony is unacceptable – hence further modelling requested showing how high the building will actually rise and the true shade arc that will be created midwinter. It is difficult to ascertain this from the elevations and models provided.

    While this development from the street is clearly not going to be higher relative to the existing CoastWatch height, its closer proximity to our properties steepens the angle significantly. It is difficult to ascertain the actual relation to the existing CoastWatch horizon skyline and planned southern edge, but regardless of this, I feel the developers need to explore further ways to soften the southern exterior visually. I appreciate a timber feature is included in the plans, but perhaps if they cannot set back the upper floors further, then the addition of a vertical green wall/garden must be looked at if they are going to follow through with already breaching the council's side setback rules.

    In summary, to simply claim that a single property will only be 20% worse off from a development's wish to breach a major building rule (C10) might seem minor in the context of the larger project, but when you are the owner of that single property, it makes quite a difference to the value of my investment. Again, I am aware that development in Kiama is inevitable (and I made no comments regarding earlier CoastWatch or another development currently building on Farmer Street directly to the south) but in this case, further provisions should be made to be more sympathetic to existing homes (especially those built long before the change in zoning). Additional shading models will be required for me to be convinced beyond a shadow of doubt (literally!) of the claims regarding the effects of shade on my property. With June 21 2020 approaching, I would like to see markers at planned roof height placed at the closest planned point from the boundary to get a true indication. This combined with further softening (green wall) or upper floor setback measures to address the breach of the C10 6m guideline would also be appreciated. Finally, a clear guide as to the planned plantings, heights and expected growth time to reach desired screening heights is essential, considering the effective screening the current bamboo provides for just a single dwelling.

    One final error made in the DA states that Shoalhaven is a 60kph road. This is incorrect. The speed limit is 50kph and if this has any effect on the traffic management in the area, it should be amended in the document.

    Thank you
    Dean Koorey

  4. Kevin & Carol Mehl commented

    We would like to add our comments relevant to those stated above as to the high level of traffic now coming down Shoalhaven Street. The continuing developments being allowed in such close proximity to each other in Shoalhaven and Farmer Streets has added additional noise, traffic and parking issues.
    Shoalhaven Street also narrows at the point of the creek and the adjoining bus depot which is also dangerous. As Bland Street is now the main arterial road from which to access the freeway, there is a lot of heavy traffic; cars towing caravans and boats, buses and just the increasing number of vehicles.
    Consideration should be given to the road and parking conditions prior to approval this additional development.
    Drop off and pick up times at both the High School and Pre-School Centre also add further parking issues in Bland Street and it is becoming increasingly dangerous to enter and exit our driveway.

  5. Howard Massey commented

    It is simply not acceptable to allow a breach of the 6 meter setback. Further consideration might be given to the proposed height of the proposal talking into consideration the fall of the land and effective greater height of the development.
    A merit assessment of the actual circumstances would surely show that the development is inappropriate.

  6. Beverley Arnold commented

    I live at 125 Shoalhaven Street. I haven't seen the plans for this development but I have observed the loss of amenity of properties in our street due to high levels of development. Amenity includes access to privacy and sunlight, as well as, safe conditions of living, among other things, such as noise management and safe ingress and egress of property. I was amazed to see that the townhouses adjacent to Coastwatch lost all of their outdoor privacy with balconies within metres of their back fences overlooking their only private outdoor areas. How can these people even hang their washing on the line comfortably?

    Kiama is, whether or not developers like it, a unique landscape within the whole of Australia. It is up to our Council to protect and guide our development, not to see how established guidelines, such as setbacks, can be fudged so that the maximum dwellings can be squeezed onto a plot of land.

    Just because zoning changes, our residents ought not to have the amenity of their current properties destroyed. We should be able to look to the Council to protect and enhance our place of dwelling otherwise we might just as well have an administrator who has no stake in the value of our lifestyle and simply applies rules and regulations according to State dictates.

  7. Howard Massey commented

    It appears pretty clear that Coastwatch has thrown up the shortcoming of no "town planning" in Kiama. There will be more disasters to come if the council does not heed these (literally) concrete warnings. Don't forget the Shoebbox disasters that exist in Manning Street. The municipality badly needs a town plan to identify envelopes for particular types of developments and roads. A Town Plan is not restrictive indeed it would identify opportunities for future developments eg. where multi-story motels might be sighted. Preservation of significant views and buildings etc. The elephant in the room is the pedestrianisation of Terralong Street. We need to act to plan an alternative traffic route to allow what would be a magnificent pedestrian area of Terralong and the park.
    The Akuna development might otherwise prevent that for ever.

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