Headlands developers await strata units nod

Location: The Headlands Hotel site at Austinmer still struggles to have a future as another proposal awaits Wollongong City Council approval.

Location: The Headlands Hotel site at Austinmer still struggles to have a future as another proposal awaits Wollongong City Council approval.

• Revealed: the new plans for Headlands Hotel

The developers of Austinmer's Headlands Hotel are seeking to subdivide the planned serviced-apartment block at their $25-million hotel complex into strata units, according to new Wollongong City Council documents.

Stevens Charles Properties, who bought the run-down hotel site in early 2013, have approval to build several two-, three- and four-storey buildings, including a hotel, bar, restaurants and 69 serviced apartments.

Based on a historical development application approved in 2004, the plans also allow for basement parking for 120 cars.

Stevens Group partner Graeme Charles has previously said his company wants to sell the apartments off the plan and, according to a recent development application, the property group is now seeking to split the apartments into 61 strata-controlled units.

It has also proposed to split the site into two large Torrens Title lots, instead of the existing nine smaller allotments.

The developers say this is "primarily a paper subdivision for the purpose of altering the land title arrangements for the approved mixed-use tourist development ... and will not alter the physical characteristics or operational requirements of development consent".

Additionally, it will not "impede public access to and along the coastal foreshore" or have "a detrimental impact upon the amenity of the coastal foreshore".

Previously, the Stevens Group has been criticised by Austinmer residents for trying to build "an apartment block by stealth" on prime coastal land by attempting to remove conditions preventing permanent residency.

Last year, the group reached a deadlock with the council after failing in a bid to allow residents of the serviced apartments to live at the site all year round.

Then in March, it suggested a "compromise": removing the restrictions but applying a "serviced apartments management agreement" to force apartment owners to rent out their homes for at least three months each year.

The council has not yet published any information to indicate whether the permanent residency proposal will go ahead.

Submissions on the plan to subdivide the Headlands Hotel site can be made through the council's website until July 30.

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