Developer Duncan Band’s latest ‘affordable housing’ proposal has again alarmed its immediate neighbours, with Bangalow residents on Lismore Road facing a dramatic increase in housing density.
Band’s company Kollective propose seventeen multi-dwellings on Lismore Road, comprising eight two-bedroom dwellings (93sqm each), four one-bedroom dwellings (52sqm each) and five studios (32sqm each).
DA 10.2019.161.1 is currently on public exhibition until May 8.
Neighbour Isobel Sinclair told Echonetdaily she is retired and has lived in the area nearly 30 years.
‘I am devastated,’ she said, and referred to the Kollective’s similar controversial affordable housing project on Mullumbimby’s Stuart Street. Sinclair says, ‘Clearly, the Mullumbimby project was ultimately not “affordable” – it was just another money grab and run!’
A similar Kollective project is slated for Argyle Street and is now before the Land and Environment Court.
At a project cost of just under $3m, the vacant block at 23 and 59 Lismore Road is a former Telstra depot, and a Telstra easement remains in the eastern corner of the front of the site. The total site area is 2,330sqm and the proposed floor space is 1,112m2 gross.
No communal open space has been provided, with the applicant’s consultants saying in the DA, ‘A communal space has not been provided as it is not considered appropriate in this type and size of development’.
The DA is justified with quotes from the Byron Shire Preliminary Draft Residential Strategy (August 2016) which ‘suggest the multi-dwelling development proposal should be determined favourably’.
Fourteen car spaces and 24 bicycle spaces are proposed. The traffic report states, ‘Car parking will be provided to the terrace houses but not to the row houses or studio houses’.
Vehicular circulation and parking appears also very tight; however, the applicant claims it complies with Council polices.
No Construction Management Plan (CMP) is provided, which outlines construction timelines and how waste would be managed, for example.
Remarkably the DA’s authors claim 40 per cent of the 17 dwellings would not receive required solar access, as prescribed by Council policy.
A ‘minor non-compliance’ over site and solar access requirements is stated.
Additionally the driveways were ‘not positioned to be a buffer between new and existing adjacent dwellings’, which is described under ‘infill design compliance’ requirements. No explanation of why was offered.
As for setbacks from neighbours, the applicant argues that ‘1,500–3,000mm side setbacks to the upper and lower levels of the building remove the need for upper floors to be set back’.
According to the developer, the Telstra easement places limitations on the site to minimise negative impacts on neighbours, and has prevented a ‘private open space in front setbacks’.
The large DA is being lodged as an affordable housing project under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009.
The requirement for affordable housing is just 30 per cent of the floor space and has a ten-year sunset clause.
Yet Council can apply a ‘local character’ test, which ‘requires that a consent authority consider whether such developments are compatible with the character of the local area before granting consent’.
The applicant’s consultants claim the dwellings, ‘will provide permanent affordable housing for singles and couples on moderate incomes living and working in the Byron Shire’.
‘The Kollective does not permit its tenants to sublet via Airbnb or similar holiday-let platforms’, they say.