Developers of a towering residential and commercial block on Atchison Street have been ordered to keep a close eye on how construction will affects their neighbours – and may even need to adjust work hours to suit nap time at the local childcare centre.
At a public meeting on Thursday evening, the regional planning authority voted unanimously to allow the $84 million, 17-storey development to go ahead pending an agreement over a public road reserve.
However, Joint Regional Planning Panel members also directed the applicants to stay in constant contact with their neighbours during construction to stop noise, dust, traffic and access from becoming a problem.
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The building – proposed last year – will house 203 apartments atop two levels of commercial and retail space, and four basement parking levels.
It will be made up of two residential towers – a 17-storey east-facing block fronting Kenny Street and a 15-storey block facing Ellen Street.
Before the panel’s decision, Grandma Rosie’s childcare owner Jillian Valdivia raised numerous objections, but was most concerned about noise and dust affecting children in her care.
“We have infants as young as six weeks who attend the service, and the noise and pollution will affect their sleep patterns and their attendance,” she said. “I don't want any demolition or work done between nine and 10 in the morning, when the children are outside, or between three and five.”
Mark Hitchcock, of BHI Architects, said developers were open to “being good neighbours” and would be happy to work with them during construction.
Putting forward her support for the approval of the plans, panel chair Alison McCabe noted developers would have to take special care during the operating hours of the childcare centre.
“This whole area is undergoing development activity – the panel alone have been down here all year and have considered at least three, maybe four, development sites along Atchison Street,” she said. “The fact of life is that there are impacts from construction and change in an area, and sometimes that does impact on existing businesses – but our job is to try and mitigate those to a degree that is reasonable.”
She said the council’s policies identified the area as a place where “large, quite dense, high urban residential commercial buildings” would be built in the future.
She also said the development had been “rigorously reviewed in terms of design excellence” and dealt with challenges of building in the South Wollongong area “very well”.
The developers have been given two years to sort out the ownership and access to a road reserve on Ellen Street; once this has been signed off construction will be able to go ahead.