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In Tempe NSW on “To demolish existing...” at 826-836 Princes Highway Tempe NSW 2044:

Scott MacArthur commented

826-836 Princes Highway TEMPE NSW 2044

DA201400545

Application Description to demolish existing improvements and construct a 3 storey mixed use development with basement car parking (for 31 vehicles) containing 2 shops and 24 serviced apartments.

It is most concerning that the floor space proposed in this development is 40% in excess of that permitted in Council's LEP. This equates to an extra 7 apartments and 9 parking spaces above what Council and the local community has determined is acceptable for this neighbourhood. This intensification of the use of the site has the potential to adversely impact on the amenity and safety of the neighbouring residential precinct. In mitigation, the SEE notes that the site adjoining the development on Barden Street is vacant, creating a buffer between the proposed development and the next house. This property is currently used by the applicant as a tyre store yard and is an eyesore and fire risk. The applicant will need to undertake to renovate this property for a use that is more appropriate for its residential zoning before it can be considered to ameliorate the adverse impacts of the proposed development.

In relation to the proposed extra parking spaces, the parking study fails to adequately evaluate the impact of the increased vehicular traffic on the surrounding residential streets. Barden and Fanning Streets are narrow two way streets that also provide on street residents parking that effectively reduces them to a single lane. The left turn from the Princes Highway into Barden Street is dangerous as it is a blind corner and there are often cars parked (legally and illegally) too close to the intersection. The proposed increase in vehicle movements at this intersection will need to be specifically addressed by the proponents. Certainly, vehicles entering and leaving the development must be discouraged from using Fanning and Barden Streets. The ongoing problems that Tempe Tyres (the proponent's business) has with staff and customer traffic impacting on surrounding residential streets shows that this is a significant and real issue that must be addressed.

The building facades and level of finishes as shown in the artist impression appear generally to be of high quality. Council must require that this high quality level is maintained if the building design changes. Recent developments further down the Princes Highway in Rockdale show that poor design and shoddy materials make ugly apartments and depressing streetscapes.

The designated use of the building as serviced apartments is possibly unique in Tempe and the surrounding area. The studies with the application do not evaluate if this use generates particular servicing or traffic impacts as opposed to conventional apartments. It would be of concern if the use and occupancy intensified with student housing or sub-leasing of rooms, as has happened in Alfred Street, St Peters, generating unacceptable traffic and parking impacts. The conclusion of the SEE with the statement that 'Port Macquarie is in great need of additional affordable housing (including affordable rental housing for the lower income workers, students, seniors and the physically disabled)' leaves some room for doubt as to the true intentions of the proponents.

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