A proposed four-storey development adjacent to the Bangalow A&I Hall has been labelled inappropriate by some residents but the town planner behind it, who is also a resident, has talked up the project saying it is in keeping with the town’s heritage.
The development proposal for 9 Station Street, by Sydney-based developers Gordon Highlands Pty Ltd, would see a four-storey residential/commercial building with eight dwellings, three shops and basement car parking for eighteen vehicles.
It will replace the existing house and garage, and according to the DA information on Council’s website, the work is estimated to cost $3,488,000.
Bangalow town planner Paul De Fina, who submitted the DA to Council, told Echonetdaily he welcomes community debate and suggestions on the development.
‘I love Bangalow,’ said Mr De Fina, who is also a member of the Bangalow chamber of commerce, ‘and I have an interest in keeping with the heritage feel for the place.’
‘The last thing we want is large-scale buildings here.’
He said the designer of the building, Ron Johnson, also designed the new Urban Cafe in Bangalow. ‘The front [of the Station St building] will only be two stories, and access will be from the rear lane, which frees the street up.
‘The apartments are small, too; only 55 square metres and it’s zoned commercial. Three storeys with basement parking, below ground level.’
As for the current dwelling, Mr De Fina says it will be given free to the Bangalow Showground Trust to replace the existing caretakers cottage, which is in need of major repairs.
But resident and former councillor Jenny Coman says she is ‘horrified at the proposed size of the development,’ and wants to see the country village nature of Bangalow preserved, ‘as recommended in [Council’s] Settlement Strategy – which I and other residents took part in developing’.
Additionally, Sue Franklin from Bangalow School P&C says they are opposed because of the additional traffic proposed for the lane next to the school, and are worried about the safety of children.
‘The laneway is already congested at school pickup time and our principal feels the need to walk the children to the end of the laneway for their safety.
‘Additionally, we have parking problems already. I worry that the shire is facing off against a strong push from developers.’
Closing date for submissions has been extended to January 7, 2013.