Double Bay Residents’ Association Inc
P.O. Box 1684, Double Bay NSW 1360
Tel: 0413 888 685 Email: [email protected]

The General Manager,
Woollahra Municipal Council,
PO Box 61,
Double Bay NSW 1360
17 November 2017

Dear Sir,

DA 125/2017/1 374 & 376-382 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Our Association has inspected the drawings and other documentation filed in support of this DA as well as the staff report for next Monday night’s meeting of the Development Control Committee to consider the DA.

We strenuously oppose consent being granted for the development for the reasons set out below. We annex a copy of our letter of objection to the same DA dated 23 April 2017.

 We acknowledge that the Woollahra LEP controls on height and FSR referenced in that letter have been amended by the passing of an effective “spot” rezoning for the site. We note that Council approved that planning proposal despite the advice of staff that it should be deferred until the promised community consultation and public forum into the building envelope review had taken place, despite its FSR being massively in excess of even the Hill PDA proposals and despite its containing a massive misstatement as to the relative height of Woollahra Council Library building (not 24.24m as stated but 19.2m – the error being conceded in writing by Mr Coker to this Association).

Lack of setback from Goldman Lane, breaches of SEPP 65 (the Apartment Design Guide) and loss of privacy, light and outlook for adjoining apartments in the Cosmopolitan Centre

The fact that the building because of passage of the planning proposal now complies with height and FSR controls does not mean that it must be approved. The consent authority still has to consider such matters as the amenity of neighbouring properties, and cannot approve the development if the impact on that amenity is in all the circumstances unreasonable.

In this case of course SEPP 65 is planning law and by statute takes precedence over an LEP. It and its incorporated Apartment Design Guide apply to the humblest block of apartments in the back streets of Liverpool and Campbelltown. Its minimum requirements are a compendious statement of the minimum that is needed to protect neighbours from unreasonable impacts as a result of overdevelopment of residential flat buildings.

Under the APG the minimum separation distances for buildings at the 5th and 6th storeys is 18 metres .[1] As staff commented in the referenced report of 24 July:

 “The separation distances are well below the 18m building separation identified in the Apartment Design Guide. Whilst staff are recommending that the consideration of the revised planning proposal be deferred, it is worth noting that the impacts on these units could be ameliorated by amending the building envelope and setting the fifth and sixth storey back from the Cosmopolitan Centre.

Ms White and Mr Bluett annexed a Figure 9 showing the degree of setback required at the 5th and 6th levels to achieve the 18m ADG minimum separation distance. We annex a copy.

As can be seen from that plan and drawing DA 12D this development will tower over the Cosmopolitan Apartments. One might have thought that the developer would have paid some heed to Ms White’s and Mr Bluett’s comments, but their design in this DA continues to provide absolutely nil setback from this side boundary. To make matters worse the units are so oriented as to look down and directly in to the Cosmopolitan apartments from the proposed living rooms and triangular balconies at 5th and 6th floor levels.

It is hard to imagine a more severe invasion of privacy and loss of light and outlook than will be suffered by the Cosmopolitan units that give on to Goldman Lane.

We say that either the units on these two floors should be required to set back substantially as required by the ADG or the 5th and 6th floors redesigned so that the units are oriented or face towards Knox Street rather than across the side boundary into bedrooms.

The author of the staff report now before Council seems to have ignored Ms White’s and Mr Bluett’s views on the ground that this “would compromise the economic development of the land by reducing its useable floor area” (p209). With respect, not only is there no evidence of that, but profitability to the developer is not a s79C head of consideration and certainly not a ground for breaching SEPP 65.

Lack of Parking

The current parking situation in and around the Centre can only be described as dire. We residents dare not drive our cars that are parked on the street for fear of not getting a space on one’s return. Spies are sent out into the street to see if there is a space available for a returning family member, a visitor or tradesman. Surely even councillors will have had the experience of not being able to park in Kiaora Lands?

 We note that the DCP controls E1.4 to 1.7 for the additional ground floor and commercial space require the provision of 5 car parking spaces, whilst the 11 apartments on the 5th and 6th floors generate a demand of 4 parking spaces = a total of 9 car parking spaces (p220).

The developer’s failure to provide any on-site parking at all is somehow excused in the staff report because of the alleged impracticability of providing it and because of its proximity to public transport facilities.

It would of course be perfectly practicable for the Applicant to redevelop the whole site with parking provided. The fact it has chosen not to do that should not excuse a failure to provide for the parking generated by the development.

As to the point about proximity to public transport services these controls were set for the Double Bay Centre with that proximity in mind and nevertheless required the 9 spaces.

The truth is that the staff working in and the customers visiting the extra commercial space will come generally in cars. It is just pie in the sky to believe that no residents of or visitors to the 11 apartments will  have cars.

The absence also of any provision on site for the parking of bicycles is noted and the Association agrees with the condition requiring its provision on site.


For the above reasons the Association says that the application should be rejected.


Yours faithfully,

Malcolm Young, Vice President.