In December 2015 the Waverley Development Assessment Panel approved a non-complying DA for the Bronte RSL site.
Having lost its attempt to rezone the old Bronte RSL site, developer Winston Langley Burlington (WLB) submitted a new Development Application with Waverley Council in 2015. The revised plans did little to make the proposed building more compliant with the existing planning controls. The development is too much:
- Too Big – The building is still of a size and scale that is inappropriate for the site. The floor area is claimed to comply with the floor space ratio (FSR) control of 1:1 but the design of the building creates impacts that you’d expect from a development with a significantly greater floor area than that. The FSR is incorrectly calculated and is more than 1:1.
- Too Tall – The height limit is broken by 30% with unacceptable impacts on surrounding properties.
- Too Close – We believe the setbacks from surrounding properties do not fit the planning controls.
- Too Tricky – The large area of covered open space at ground level could easily be converted into a shopping mall at some future date.
Issues of concern with the 2015 Bronte RSL DA.
- The building exceeds the 13m height limit by up to 3.8m through the middle of the site.
- The floor area calculation is understated, with upper level corridors and enclosed covered spaces at ground level, which contribute to the bulk of the building, excluded from the calculation. This means that the building is larger than expected in a neighbourhood zone.
- The sole vehicular entrance to the site is from Chesterfield Lane. This is contrary to the Waverley Development Control Plan (DCP) controls for the site which states that commercial and retail traffic must not use Chesterfield Lane.
- At ground level there is more than 700m2 of covered space at streetfront and behind the proposed shops, and about 200m2 of uncovered space behind the shops, which could be enclosed as retail space in the future. This would significantly expand the retail footprint to the size of the previous proposed and disallowed supermarket, ie. about 1,200m2.
- The drawings of the two levels of basement show lots of unexplained empty and unused space, which would provide ample parking for the potential future expansion of the development.
- The building doesn’t comply with required setbacks from the boundaries – meaning that it will overshadow its neighbours more than it should and have more impact on the street than it should.
- The building provides less than 30% of the minimum required deep soil area for tree planting. The floor area of the basement levels could be reduced to provide more deep soil area while maintaining the required parking for the development.
- There could be a large raised swimming pool at the rear which could have a significant impact on residents of Chesterfield Parade and surrounding Macpherson St properties.
The good news is that scale of the development was reduced from the previous proposals:
- The height has been reduced from 6 storeys to 4 storeys on Macpherson Street.
- There are four small shops which have a total retail footprint of 300m2.
But it’s not all good news. Despite what appears to be a reduced scale of development, we are concerned that the potential exists for a significant upscaling of the development in the post-approval stage. In addition, the building does not comply with the existing planning rules.