The Kollaras family's plans to knock-down an old two-storey apartment block on Wollongong's richest residential street to build an extravagant six-level duplex could be thwarted by a new heritage listing, according to Wollongong City Council.
The prominent property development clan has been trying to redevelop the harbourside block at 82A Cliff Road for almost a decade, and has floated various designs for multi-storey buildings that have failed to gain support.
In a recommendation to this week's independent Wollongong Local Planning Panel, council staff have said the latest plans do not show "design excellence" and are not in the public interest.
Additionally, the council's heritage officer says the existing building, the Belmore flats, could be in line for a local heritage listing.
"The development site contains an existing building "Belmore Flats" which has been assessed by Council's Heritage staff as having heritage significance at a level sufficient to warrant consideration for listing on the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan," the council said.
"Whilst the building is currently unlisted, information received through the submitted heritage report, submissions received during the assessment of the application, and in correspondence received from Heritage NSW indicates that the site warrants further consideration for listing on the Wollongong LEP 2009."
Heritage officers also said they did not support the current plans as they did not address the potential Aboriginal Heritage impacts of the development, and did not "respond to the setting and historic context of the development site" which is in a heritage precinct of Wollongong.
"It is noted that the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Values of the site are celebrated in an artwork contained within Osborne Park immediately to the south," the heirtage officers said.
"The applicant has failed to provide an Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Assessment despite previous requests."
"The proposed development would result in significant overshadowing of the adjacent Osborne Park public reserve, which forms part of the North Beach Precinct and Wollongong Harbour Heritage Conservation Area."
During the exhibition period, 11 people lodged submissions to the council. As well as concerns about heritage, they raised issues including overshadowing of Osborne Park and the "bulky" visual impact of a taller building on a narrow site.
These concerns, and the council's recommendation that the plans be refused, will be considered by the local planning panel on Tuesday.
In September, Kollaras Group managing director John Kollaras said he believed his family's latest development application submission would "fit within the context of the precinct".
He noted the development was two metres under the maximum height limit for the site and said it only used 75 per cent of the maximum developable space.
Development application documents showed each apartment would have four bedrooms, and other extravagant features include butlers' pantries, his and hers walk-in wardrobes, and boat parking in the basements, as well as space for six cars. They also included plans for a top-storey plunge pool, cellar and banquet area.