The developer of a proposed boarding house at Ourimbah has appealed to the NSW Minister for Planning Paul Scully to help reach an outcome over a two-year delay by Central Coast Council in making a decision.
Rob Hart said he wanted to bring to the Minister’s attention “some details … regarding affordable housing approvals through Central Coast Council”.
In November 2021 his company Pinchgut Pty Ltd lodged a new development application for 10 affordable housing units plus one house at 17 Burns Rd, Ourimbah.
This is a scaled-down version from 18 double rooms, then 15, and response to other issues in the first development application which was refused by Council and the Local Planning Panel in 2020, then by the Land and Environment Court in September 2021.
“The Central Coast is in desperate need of affordable housing and I could have had this (development) built by now,” Hart said.
“It beggars belief that it’s coming up to two years and still no determination.
“On the 24th of this month, it will be two full years since we lodged the application … I provided the additional information requested (by Council) nearly a year ago.
“I have written to the General Manager and Planning Director on at least three separate occasions asking what is happening and I have never even been given the courtesy of a response.
“I note that the Council claims its average processing time is 89 days; we are currently at 700 days (on November 3).”
A spokesperson for Council said the application was currently under assessment and it was anticipated that the matter would be referred to the Local Planning Panel for determination in December 2023.
“Council has been in contact with the planning consultant and there have been numerous responses provided to (him) throughout the assessment process,” the spokesperson said.
“It is noted that Mr Hart is not the applicant and correspondence in regards to the application has been directed to his planning consultant (Minto Planning Services) who is the applicant in this instance.”
The current proposal (DA/1680/2021) is to subdivide the 2,246.9sqm block of land between Burns Rd and Cambridge Circle into two Torrens title lots and construct a 10-room boarding house on one lot and a two-storey house on the other.
Zoned for low-density residential, and with an easement for electricity transmission lines dissecting the site, the house will face Cambridge Circle and the boarding house will front Burns Rd.
The boarding house will have 10 two-person rooms with kitchenette and ensuite, a single manager’s room and a communal room.
Forty-two submissions of objection were lodged during the public exhibition in late 2021 with the Ourimbah Region Residents Association (ORRA) saying that “the original DA was not considered compatible with the character of the local area and this revised design retains all the features that made the original version incompatible”.
“By reducing the number of rooms to 10 it partially complies with the State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing controls for boarding houses, but most of the very serious issues raised by Council, the Planning Panel and the Land and Environment Court in refusing the earlier version of the DA … only a small fraction of these have been addressed satisfactorily.
“Consider (those) reasons for refusal to be part of ORRA’s objection to this DA … we trust (that) will ensure that this development application is rejected once and for all.”
Previous reasons for refusal included that the proposal was not an orderly or economic use of the land, impeded an electricity easement with right of carriageway, did not enhance the residential amenity and character of the surrounding area and did not address impacts on neighbouring properties, the streetscape or the intended residents of the boarding house.