This DA for a major development on the large site bounded by Epping and Blaxland Roads, near the bridge.
INTRODUCTION: This DA is the latest saga in a series of proposals for this key site in Epping - the large piece of land on the southern side of Epping road and the corner of Blaxland road (where the old Tuffy Mufflers was). There are amended plans now on exhibition, but if you would like to read information on the earlier stages in plans to develop this site, please see our earlier story here
This development application from the Austino Group was refused last year by the Sydney Central City Planning Panel following the recommendation of City of Parramatta council, who opposed it on a wide range of grounds. Austino subsequently appealed the decision to the Land and Environment Court. Austino has now submitted a revised development application. The revised application is under the same number and can be found at: https://onlineservices.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/ePathway/Prod/Web/Custom/da-track.htm (go to Applications, then Lodged and enter in DA/397/2020). Ignored the fact it is listed as Refused – that refers to the original DA only.
The revised application is now being considered by Council, and is on exhibition for public comment until June 14. Once the Council has further considered the application, we understand it will submit its recommendations to the Court, which will then decide to approve or refuse the development.
On the positive side, the number of apartments has been reduced from 321 to 293, and the number of car spaces from 266 to 244. And the development in this second application does not encroach upon the Bowling Club site, which the Trust hopes will remain zoned RE1, and used for community recreation.
However, there are still some issues:
1) Access: this application proposes a single vehicle exit/entrance to the basement car park of the five buildings. This will now be from Forest Grove, rather than Blaxland Rd. Transport for NSW vetoed the Blaxland Rd option, but the Forest Grove entrance/exit is clearly itself problematic. It will funnel considerable traffic down a quiet side road affecting nearby buildings.
2) Heritage Trees: The revised proposal has increased the distance between the magnificent Brush Box trees which are close to the boundary of Forest Park, but these will still be under pressure from the development in terms of the (extended) pruning that will be needed, from possible root damage during construction, and from being overshadowed by the development. They may also need an irrigation system to ensure they receive enough water.
3) Noise: The site will experience traffic noise from Epping and Blaxland Rds, and from the train line. The acoustic report indicates that windows will have to be kept shut to limit the noise in apartments to an acceptable level, and special ventilation silencers will be needed for many rooms.
4) Communal Open Space: This remains at levels significantly less than required by the applicable development control plan, and much of it in less-than-ideal locations on the site, being on or adjacent to walkways or close to and overlooked by apartments, or on the roof of one of the buildings.
5) Setbacks: Required setbacks for visual privacy are not always provided, and some apartments remain below ground level. The number of apartments which each lift services per floor in some buildings exceeds the maximum number allowed by the relevant building codes.
In short, the buildings which the revised application will produce will be of poorer quality than the building codes require, and which our community expects.
Epping Civic Trust will continue to oppose this development. If you feel the same way, please write a short submission to Council before June 14.