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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Developer defends bulky Bruns DA

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A proposal for Short Street in Brunswick Heads has been met with unified opposition from the Brunswick Heads Progress Association. Image from DA.

Paul Bibby

The developer behind a proposal to build two double-storey houses, each with five bedrooms and five bathrooms, on a single block in Brunswick Heads, is adamant he isn’t planning a commercial accommodation operation on the site.

But the Brunswick Heads Progress Association believes the proposal is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and, if approved, would set a precedent for other similar developments in the town.

Property investor Sasha Hopkins says his proposal is to be a home for his extended family.
Photo from The A Team Property Group’s website.

Sasha Hopkins, the chief executive of A Team Property Group, says that his plan to demolish a single-storey cottage at 16 Short Street and build two double-storey houses is about providing a home for his mother and a local family.

‘The past few years my mum, who was living in Ocean Shores, had been treated unpleasantly by landlords and wished she could have her own place but didn’t have the money,’ said Mr Hopkins, adding that he had grown up in the Northern Rivers.

‘With the success of my own investing and business, I decided I wanted to help her not go through that stress and to buy her a property to live in without the worry.

‘The intention was and is to keep one for my mum to live in and a holiday house for my young family and extended family on my wife’s side (her four siblings and parents).

‘We consulted about dwelling size, configurations, inclusions, design style, and everything else involved to achieve the best use of the site and [the] best resale value in the future for a prospective family.’

But the president of the Brunswick Heads Progress Association, John Dunn, said these claims ‘defied commonsense’ given the nature of the proposed development.

‘I am very surprised that a development with a combined total of 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, two billiard rooms with wet bars, and two swimming pools is actually for residential purposes,’ Mr Dunn said.

‘We believe this could bring a commercial accommodation development into a residential zone.’

Precedent?

Mr Dunn said that, if approved, the proposal would set a precedent for other similar developments in the town.

‘We’re attempting to preserve the character of Bruns,’ he said.

‘We’ve been working with Council to develop stronger definitions about the character of the town. We can’t afford to have this sort of precedent being set.’

But Mr Hopkins said that the proposal would not unduly affect the town’s character as it was ‘simply building two new homes on 500m2 blocks each, which occurs in streets currently as we speak all over Bruns’.

‘The character is already changing – that’s what happens over time to any area,’ he said.

‘Dramatising the number of rooms and bathrooms is misleading. Any reader would be led to believe it is one building like a lodge or boarding house, which is completely and factually incorrect.’

Mr Hopkins said Short Street would not have any more traffic than it did already, and the other house would be accessed from the rear lane.

‘Party noise is another example of preconceived judgment and non correct [sic] information,’ he said.

‘Is anyone building a family home in Brunswick Heads also receiving stereotyping around party noise?’

He also said that he had been unfairly portrayed by some residents and in The Echo’s previous story.

Fabricated

‘Some people have enough time on their hands to conjure and fabricate something like this to the public,’ he said.

‘They have had their time and I am using my time to build my own future and help those around me succeed and live a good life. 

‘Just because I have succeeded, made great money, and am a property developer doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.’

Devastating

Resident George Stinson, who lives next to number 16, said the proposed development would have ‘devastating’ noise, traffic, and overshadowing impacts.

‘The DA states that the development is within the height and floorspace limits for this area, but what it barely mentions is that it is well outside the building envelope, also known as the height plane, for the site,’ he said.

‘We won’t be the only ones affected; there are a number of elderly residents on this street who will be affected and they are really worried about what is being proposed.’


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11 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that while Mr Hopkins claims he is building this for his mum and family, the development application was submitted by Short Street Long Stay Pty. Ltd, so certainly sounds like a commercial venture to me.

    These 2, 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom properties crammed into one house block, if approved will surely become $7000 a week, 10 person, holiday rental party houses. Does Mr Hopkins really think that his mum would want to live in a totally inappropriate development like this? All the neighbours are horrified of the impact this huge development will have on their quiet residential street. I find it hard to believe any son would even consider putting his mum through the grief of trying to live in such an environment.

    If anyone has been to one of Mr Hopkins property development seminars, could you let us know how long he spoke about the financial merits of building properties so all your family could live in them for free?

    • Haven’t attended one of his seminars but if you go through his website, he guarantees 50% return on each investors’ amount invested!

  2. Does it really matter what the progress association says? They are against everything and DO NOT SPEAK for the Brunswick community.

    • Mr Hopkins certainly is a generous caring son – but with the extra 2 powder rooms also in each residence, she won’t have much time to have a swim & enjoy Bruns. Unless he also adds in a commercial cleaner!

  3. Google Earth shows a large two-story house immediately next to 16 Short, another one house away, and a large two-story house directly across the street. This project can hardly be considered “precedent setting” in a fully built-out neighborhood with numerous two-story dwellings extant.

  4. If he really wants to help his mum why not build a set of 4 units that are low income, long term rentals and suitable for community members, older people and single Mums, so that she has neighbours and community around her.
    His whole story rings false!!
    Does he think he can teach us oldies to suck eggs? He sounds like a spoilt arrogant teenager, thinking he can blag his way through anything.

  5. Pull the other one Sasha! Will mum use all five toilets in the house? What about the billiard room and wet bar? Is she a keen snooker player? Oh, and the swimming pool? Wow, she must be a really active senior. Now multiply all this by two.

    And so what, Christopher Hungerland, if there are other two-storey houses in the street? This is TWO two-storey houses on the one block. Granny flats as secondary dwellings are okay and permissible on these blocks with rear-lanes, they are not out of scale or character. This really is a motel/boarding house plan for a residential street, as the company name suggests (Short Street Long Stay).

    And John, why shoot the messenger? The progress association is representing us, the community, get it?

    This is GREED gone mad. Council planners surely won’t be fooled… There’s nothing wrong with one two-storey house and a smaller, granny-flat type dwelling there. But this is just way over the top.

    Its footprint almost takes the whole block, over the building height plane, and out of sync with the surrounding homes.

  6. this guy … has even given his company a 5 star google review – rating it as the #1 property investment group in Australia. Self acclimation and false hopes. Laughing all the way to the bank

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