37-41 Oxford Street

37-41 Oxford Street

DA/314/2017

The developer has submitted an amended DA.  You can see the details here on the City of Parramatta Council website.  The application will be determined by the Sydney West Central Planning Panel, and a public meeting will be held on 7th March 2018.  You can view the papers here.

The principle concerns of the Trust are:

- The 30% over height of the building and the claim that ‘precedent’ can be used to justify the over height.

- The claim that the public benefits provided can be equated with the benefit to the applicant of the over height.

- The design of the building.

- The limited public access space and its compromised nature.

The amended development application has changed considerably from the original submitted. The substantial 30% over height of the proposed tower is a stand out. The applicant has provided a lot of words in support of the increase in height but they do not stack up. The over height of other buildings approved in Epping appears to be their main justification. The concept of precedent was hit on the head by the Mary-Lynne Taylor, chairperson of the Sydney Central City Planning Panel when considering the over height of the proposed development at 44-48 Oxford Street on 7 February 2018. She made it very clear to the applicant that applications are considered on their merit and not on precedent.

The claim that the over height is in the public interest is also not substantiated. The case appears to be based on the provision of public access space. The extra space provided on the street front is of course a benefit and was foreshadowed in the Councils recent planning review but the linear space provided along the north side of the building is of little benefit. It is dressed up as public space but is essentially the resident’s access to their expansive communal area at the rear of the building. The removal of the through pathway prescribed in the Hornsby Shire Council’s Development Control Plan is a negative.

The proposed building appears to have little aesthetic merit with its slab sides and can certainly not be described as slender. The claim that the building will reduce overshadowing is also suspect as the increase in the length of shadows due to the over height will tend to counterbalance any benefit from the new building arrangement.

Summary

The Trust position is that the benefit for the developer from a 30% increase in height allowance does not equate with the public benefits offered. The public access space offered in comparison with the huge space allocated for the communal use of the residents and tenants is an insult. The building would have to be redesigned with a substantial public accessible forecourt before the Trust could even consider the over height benefit claimed.