201-unit development approved for John Whiteway Drive

A controversial $110M residential project planned for 89 John Whiteway Dr, Gosford, has been approved by the Department of Planning as a State Significant Development.

The Department said the project would provide a range of benefits for the region, that it was consistent with planning policies, that impacts on the community and the environment could be minimised and that issues raised by objectors had been adequately addressed.

In its approval ruling, the project is in the public interest, and would provide 472 construction jobs, both local and state infrastructure contributions, and 201 new dwellings to meet housing demand and provide housing diversity.

“The project is permissible with development consent and is consistent with NSW Government policies including the North Coast Regional Plan 2036, The Gosford Urban Design Framework, and Future Transport Strategy 2056,” the approval said.

“The impacts on the community and the environment can be appropriately minimised, managed or offset to an acceptable level, in accordance with applicable NSW Government policies and standards, subject to conditions of consent.

“The issues raised by the community during consultation and in submissions have been considered and adequately addressed through changes to the project and the recommended conditions of consent.”

The Environmental Impact Statement for the project was exhibited from April 23 to May20 and received 16 submissions, including 14 objections, one comment and one in support of the project.

The Department also exhibited amended documentation and a response to submissions from April 14-27, attracting 11 submissions of objection and undertook a site visit.

The development will comprise 201 dwellings in four buildings, basement car parking, associated landscaping and public domain works.

Prior to issuing a construction certificate, the Department has requested a raft of actions including revised plans to: increase the setback from John Whiteway Dr; improve integration of the entry structure into the overall building envelope; and minimise blank wall interfaces to the bushland corridor and the public domain.

The developer will be required to provide screening along the southern edge of the public walkway opposite the northern elevations of Blocks C and D, to be designed to include public art.

The Department also required a minor redesign of the roof form to Block C and a redesign of balconies located on the western elevation of Block D.

It required three units from Block D to be removed with the space to be used as communal space (indoor or outdoor) or an “alternative ancillary to the residential character of the development”.

Full details of the requirements are available on the Department of Planning Major Projects website.

Terry Collins