Marr Street residents have labelled a seven-storey building planned for their narrow inner-city block a ‘‘monstrosity’’, saying it will cause traffic and parking chaos and ruin the streetscape of ‘‘one of Wollongong’s last untouched hidden gems’’.
The 25-apartment complex known as Marquee will go before Wollongong council’s Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel on Wednesday, as it has attracted 50 objections from residents in Marr Street and neighbouring Corrimal, Campbell and Gipps streets.
When the development was announced late last year, resident Francesca Mazzeo wrote to the Mercury telling developers to ‘‘bugger off’’.
‘‘[Marr Street] is being advertised as being in one of Wollongong’s ‘pristine’ streets... [but] it is only pristine because it doesn’t have a development of this size in the street,’’ she said.
‘‘So bugger off! You’re not getting your hands on our beautiful street.’’
Marr Street resident Karen Ruzzene, who lives across the road from the proposed building site, called on the council to consider the building’s ‘‘inappropriate scale’’.
She said the street was already difficult to drive through as there were cars parked along both sides during working hours, and questioned how the narrow street would remain accessible during construction.
‘‘Parking and traffic is already a major issue that needs independent, on-site consideration by expert traffic consultants ...’’ Ms Ruzzene said.
‘‘Such a large, out of place structure would ruin the streetscape forever, impinging significantly on residents’ privacy, as well as severely overshadowing these residences, diminishing sunlight below the minimum of three hours a day.’’
She said residents understood development was allowed under the council’s local plan, but said they believed a smaller, four-storey complex would be more appropriate.
Despite this opposition, council staff recommended the independent planning panel allow the building, subject to a series of standard development conditions.
Staff said the issues raised by the 50 objectors were ‘‘technically unresolved [but] are considered to be adequately addressed either through design or conditions of consent’’.
They said the area had been zoned for ‘‘high density residential development’’ for many years.
‘‘While the development is significantly larger than adjoining developments and some others in the immediate locality of Marr Street, the bulk and scale ... is consistent with the applicable planning controls for the area,’’ the report to IHAP says.
‘‘The development is not considered to be out of context with regard to the desired future character for the area.’’
IHAP will hold its public hearing at 5pm on Wednesday (March 11) at the council’s administration building.