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Endeavour Site, 88-102 Moverly Road, Coogee
Read how the residents were completely LEFT OUT of the planning process for this development.
The former Defence land was sold to Mirvac around 2005. The Department of Defence had a four year lease from the date of sale. It was expected that at some point Mirvac would seek to develop the land, but at no time were residents aware of what development would take place. In March 2008 Mirvac submitted their Stage 1 Concept Plan for the future residential development of the property. At this point it was discovered that Mirvac had been in discussions with Randwick City Council for eighteen months, but the residents were not privy to any information until the DA was submitted.
The site is an irregularly shaped allotment with an area of approximately 6.74 ha. It contains four large buildings formerly used for housing of Department of Defence personnel, several small buildings, walkways, roads and car parks. The site has a variety of trees, shrubs and lawn. There is an existing variable height concrete retaining wall approximately 1m from and extending most of the length of the eastern boundary of the site directly behind homes in Moverly Road. The site has an access to Moverly Road via a single-entry driveway which is very close to the local primary school. It has a fall of approximately 10m from the north-eastern corner to the south-western corner.
The immediate environment is residential in nature with existing Zone 2A dwelling houses fronting Moverly Road adjoining the site to the east, and Zone 2A and 2B dwelling houses within the existing Moverly Green residential complex adjoining the site to the north, west and south. A section of the southern side of the site is bounded by Latham Park, a regional recreational park.
When the plans were submitted residents raised a number of objections:
Zone 5 did not have the appropriate planning controls for a large scale residential development. This was proven in the Bundock Street defence case.
Not compatible with the surrounding development - particularly the four storey apartment block.
Setbacks were insufficient and would impact negatively on surrounding residences.
Drainage was a great concern and the new development would likely cause flooding to nearby residents.
Tree removal was extensive and unnecessary
Traffic would be chaotic and the entrance to the site would be a very dangerous intersection.
At the planning stage residents attempted to wade through hundreds of pages of development applications. The Moverly Precinct Committee sought assistance from planning officers who eventually and reluctantly attended a meeting to explain the proposals. Mirvac also attended meetings and advised that the apartment block was included in the development at Council's request. It was further revealed that Mirvac would likely sell this portion of the land as they were not interested in developing an apartment block.
Council did not approve the applications within the specified time so Mirvac chose to challenge them in the Land and Environment Court on the basis that it was a 'deemed refusal'. Residents attended the Court and made their submissions at which time they were advised by the Court that only the issues 'in contention' would be considered by the Court. The issues in contention were those raised by Council which were:
(1) whether traffic calming devices should be installed near the entrance to the proposed development in Moverly Road,
(2) whether a single two-bed unit should be provided at no cost to the council for affordable housing, and
(3) whether additional pedestrian and vehicular links should be provided to adjoining streets.
None of these issues were raised by residents.
The Court ruled that the appeal be upheld. Council's issues were all rejected except for one - pedestrian access. To this end, Mirvac were ordered to provide pedestrian access to Moverly Green and to Moverly Road. They have since purchased properties in both those areas. The Moverly Road property will be demolished whereas the Moverly Green property's driveway will be converted to an accessway.
The Court also ruled: "Of the matters raised by the local residents, many go to the design philosophy for the site. These are not matters that were in dispute and it would be inappropriate for the Court to essentially reassess the planning approach adopted by the Council. I note that the additional requirements from the council’s Residential Development Control Plan in relation to privacy and overshadowing are to be included in the Master plan so there can be no doubt as to the appropriate assessment criteria for future stages of the development."
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