A decision on whether more houses will be built in a controversial residential and commercial development in Shell Cove is one step closer.
Developer Frasers Property Australia wants to boost home numbers from 1238 to 1566 and increase the height of buildings in the harbour precinct on Boollwarroo Parade.
The original plan for 1238 homes, made public in 2017, sparked the ire of hundreds of residents, who raised concerns about density, traffic, amenity, view loss and building design.
Three speakers, in front of an audience of about 50 residents, aired their concerns about the proposed modification to Independent Planning Commission representatives on Thursday in Shellharbour.
In separate meetings, the commission’s panel members discussed key details of the amended proposal with Department of Planning and Environment staff, spoke with developers from Frasers Property, conducted a site visit and met with Shellharbour City Council representatives.
Shell Cove resident Les Brooks spoke at the meeting because he bought into the suburb with a certain expectation of how many people would live there and did not feel it was “fair” for the developers to change its concept plan.
“My view will be impacted,” he said. “I don’t want to look into an apartment block rather than the ocean.”
Mr Brooks said the streets were already crowded with cars parked on both sides which made it difficult to drive two cars down the road.
“I don’t want the area to become like Wolli Creek or Rhodes,” he said. “There will be too many high rises being built too fast.”
Mr Brooks is concerned that if more people move into the area that traffic congestion, overcrowding at social support services and schools and crime will increase.
However, planning department representative Anthony Witherdin said the “view loss impacts would be negligible and in some instances...improved”.
Mr Witherdin said “the department consider[ed] that the proposal wouldn’t result in any significant traffic impacts compared to what [had] already been assessed and approved”.
The Department of Planning and Environment gave the proposal the green light in December.
Frasers’ developer representative Simone Dyer said the concept plan had “evolved” in recent years.
“The core changes or refinements to the master plan that we’ve made is increasing building heights of apartment typologies from walk up to lifted apartments and that is in response to a population that is largely aging in place within the community,” she said.
Ms Dyer said Frasers, upon reassessment determined more houses could be built along boat harbour.
The Commission will assess the proposal and will make a determination.