Planning panel to decide fate of Umina development

A map showing the proposed site

The fate of a $1.095M multi-dwelling housing development proposed for 8 Priestman Ave, Umina, will be decided by the Local Planning Panel at its November 9 meeting.

The proposal, to demolish existing structures and build three two-storey attached units and associated landscaping, was referred to the Panel (LPP) with a recommendation for refusal after Central Coast Council received 11 submissions of objection.

Following a preliminary assessment and public exhibition of the application, Council wrote to the applicant on September 11 and requested that the application be withdrawn, given non-compliance with building height, rear setback, private open space and fencing, sunlight access, car parking, landscape design and cut-and-fill requirements.

Council says in its report to the LPP that the applicant has not elected to withdraw the DA and a further assessment of the proposal has also revealed non-compliance with floor space ratio.

Key issues raised in the submissions were traffic and parking impacts; setback non-compliances; privacy impacts; environmental impacts; tree removals and overshadowing, Council said.

The report says the proposal fails to promote best practice in the design of multi-dwelling housing and other similar types of development..

“This has been demonstrated by numerous inconsistencies with the Central Coast Local Environment Plan and Central Coast Development Control Plan,” it says.

“The proposal is not considered to provide adequate amenity for future residents (or) maintain amenity to neighbouring properties and does not result in a positive outcome for the locality.”

But a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) lodged with the original DA says the “well-considered” development would be consistent with the evolving style and density of multi-unit development in the area.

“The proposal maintains reasonable levels of visual amenity for neighbouring properties and the built form divides up the units to break-up bulk and provide visual relief,” the SEE says.

“The proposal utilises various materials and building articulation to achieve a lightweight appearance and is generally consistent with the desired future character of the locality, being a similar scale and bulk to other multi-dwelling housing in the area including the unit development on the adjoining lots.

“Careful design and material choice provides sufficient boundary setbacks to provide building separation and landscaping opportunities to alleviate the bulk and scale of the built form from the neighbouring properties and public domain.

“Courtyards are located around the perimeter of the town houses that would provide sufficient deep soil planting to incorporate small to medium street trees, allowing the appropriate landscaping transition from the built form when viewed from the street and neighbouring lots.

“The proposal entails a significant upgrade of tired housing stock … and is consistent with the style, height, bulk and scale, open areas and boundary setbacks when compared to historically established and recently approved multi-dwelling development in the Woy Woy/Umina Beach area.”

The Panel’s decision is expected to be made public early next week.