A multi-dwelling housing development proposal on 25 Oxley Drive, Bowral has been deferred for a third time by Wingecarribee Shire Council.
The proposed development was first heard in council on February 26 where it was deferred until May 13. On both occasions, the deferral was due to the bulk and scale of the development which was to consist of seven units across three buildings.
A revised plan submitted to the May 13 Ordinary General Meeting of Council showed a change of roofline on units 3-7 from a 25 degree pitched gable and hipped roof, to a five-degree skillion roof.
Ms Christine Ducker addressed council against the development.
"This is a continuing dispute between the neighbours of both 23 and 29 Oxley Drive about the development of number 25 which we believe is over-development of the site and has a severe impact on the neighbouring properties," she said.
"Council has very helpfully requested that the developers meet with the neighbours to address the issues.
"Council staff organised two meetings. The first meeting was attended by the developers and their architect, the second meeting was not attended by either party.
"The architects have made some amendments to the plan which certainly improve the aesthetics of the development and there were some minor improvements to the arrangements of the units at number 25 which they claim to improve the overshadowing and privacy aspects."
Ms Ducker said the architects she engaged with spoke with the council planners in regards to the amendments.
"We all agreed and they did not dispute it that those amendments were insignificant," she said.
"We're halfway down the hill at 29 but there's also the residents at 23 that will have severe privacy impacts and some of the overshadowing."
Ms Ducker claimed the development would impact the amount of sun they get.
"If you look at the shadow development of the diagram, that sun will be completely removed," she said.
"The shadow diagrams by the developers, I don't think, really show how bad the impact on us will be.
"We still dispute the developers' plans and amendments made. They did not make any attempt to talk to us.
"The real problems I can see is unit four and five which have major impacts on the neighbours of both sides.
"If the height of units four and five could be significantly lowered it would be a reasonable compromise from our point of view."
Architect Alison Stephens addressed the council in support of the development.
"The project was lodged on January 10, 2019 and has been under assessment by council for 19 months," she said.
"It has been six months since it was first put before council for voting at the February 26 meeting. This is the third time you have heard this matter.
"The first time it was recommended for approval and yet it was deferred. The project complied with planning guidelines.
"But council asked for the pitch roofs to be replaced with flat roofs to reduce bulk and overshadowing. The proponent complied with this request and we redesigned the project and we resubmitted with the roofs changed.
Ms Stephens said the change to the roof structure reduced the bulk of the development and addressed the issue of overshadowing.
"The second time this was heard before council, it was recommended for approval," she said.
"Yet again it was deferred, asking for a meeting to be held between the proponents and the objectors. This was undertaken.
"As a result, the project was returned to the pitch roof design at the request of the neighbours but with a reduction of 15 degrees.
"The project still complies with the planning guidelines. It is now in front of you for the third time and with a recommendation for approval."
Ms Stephens said that the recommendations to approve the project should be acknowledged.
"This project has been scrutinised for months and there's no legitimate reason for refusal or for further deferring of the project.
"The planning staff's report to council for each meeting has been comprehensive, each time the report has contained pages of assessments and explanations," she said.
"The current planning report in the agenda reiterates that the amendments have reduced the bulk and overshadowing and that the objectors agree that this has gone towards their concerns."
Councillor Garry Turland moved the recommendation to approve the development which was seconded by Councillor Graham Andrews.
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Councillor Ian Scandrett moved an amendment to defer the project to allow the developer to redesign the development with several conditions in place. The conditions included designing units four and five as single stories, that the units be the same height and that unit four is adjusted to be the same height as unit 5.
The amendment was seconded by Councillor Ken Halstead.
Cr Scandrett said the council had to deal with the issue at the meeting.
"I would have preferred to have taken out two units, mainly units for and five but that's not going to happen because as it has been pointed out, it complies," he said.
"I do think it's an over-development of the site. The site is difficult but on the matter of amenity, this fails on every account.
"It impacts on the neighbours, it impacts heavily on the street because it is substantially increasing density.
"The loss of sunlight, loss of outlook, the loss of personal amenity is just wrong."
Cr Scandrett said he believed that council should go with the amendment and that the neighbours were agreeable to an acceptable compromise.
Cr Turland spoke in favour of the recommendation.
"It is clear that we understand that the site is a difficult site, no doubt," she said.
"It is clear that all parties knew that a multi-dwelling development would be built at some stage.
"I believe there is no point in removing the floors in units four and five to make them single units.
"We've exhausted nearly every avenue that meets nearly all the requirements from council and the neighbour.
"It complies. This has gone on for 19 months. Enough is enough."
Councillor Ken Halstead said he opposed the development.
"The adjoining neighbours will have their amenities adversely affected, there's no doubt about that.
"Overshadowing is a major issue."
Councillor Peter Nelson said enough was enough and that council had to make a decision and supported the amendment.
"I am very concerned with the overshadowing, I don't think they've solved that problem," he said.
Councillors Grahame McLaughlin, Nelson, Halstead and Scandrett voted for the amendment.
Councillors Duncan Gair, Andrews and Turland voted against the amendment.
The amendment became the motion.
Councillors McLaughlin, Nelson, Halstead and Scandrett voted for the motion.
Councillors Duncan Gair, Andrews and Turland voted against the motion.
The motion was passed and the development was deferred.
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