Kembla St high-rise wins court nod

A court has overturned Wollongong City Council's decision to knock back plans for a high-rise development in Kembla Street after the proponent agreed to scale back the original design.

The NSW Land and Environment Court upheld an appeal by Vanessa Taranto, wife of Wollongong real estate agent Peter Taranto, against the council's refusal mid last year to approve a two-tower residential complex at 18 Kembla Street.

The original plans included two buildings - one six storeys high, the other seven - housing a total of 24 apartments.

In rejecting the proposal, the council deemed the development "not in the public interest", saying it would be an "overdevelopment of the site" and was too large for the 1231 square metre block.

Mrs Taranto appealed the decision, and during early court proceedings agreed to downsize the project.

Several neighbours addressed the court at the time, raising concerns over the impact of the development on traffic and parking, loss of views for surrounding homes and the height of the proposed buildings.

It was eventually agreed the towers would be reduced to four storeys and five storeys respectively, and house 17 units instead of the original 24.

The amended plans also include more communal space at the rear of the site and high sill windows in some units for greater privacy.

Mr and Mrs Taranto were unavailable for comment yesterday when the Mercury contacted the real estate office.


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