Planners have considered feedback from Wauchope residents about a proposed new housing development in Hastings Street and scaled it back from three to two storeys, and from 15 to 12 homes.
On October 31 2019, NSW Land and Housing Corporation informed residents in Hastings Street that they were investigating a new housing development at number 34, the site of the old RMS motor registry, which was moved to Timbertown shopping centre.
In the letter, they sought feedback on key local issues they needed to consider as part of their investigation. The corporation has again written to residents, thanking everyone who took the time to provide feedback, and said it had been carefully considered, and, where possible, incorporated in the preliminary development plans.
"You will note that we have listened to feedback received and decided not to proceed with a three storey option for the site. We are now proposing to proceed with a two storey residential housing development comprising up to 12 dwellings. The purpose of this letter is to invite you to provide feedback on the preliminary plans for this site," wrote the corporation.
The deadline for feedback is February 7.
Some residents raised the matter of traffic and parking. The LAHC says the preliminary proposal provides eight car parking spaces within the site, which is consistent with the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing 2009).
The corporation says a preliminary traffic and parking assessment study concluded that there is sufficient capacity within the surrounding local road network to accommodate the proposed development, adding that it could generate up to five vehicle trips in the respective peak periods, which is considered a minimal increase over the existing traffic volumes and is expected to have a negligible impact upon the local road network.
The study also concluded that the proposed development is expected to generate less traffic demands than the previous use of the site (RMS motor registry) during the respective peak periods.
Another matter raised was visual and acoustic privacy impacts. The LAHC responded that the development would be designed to minimise visual and acoustic impacts on neighbouring properties.
Most of the units will have a primary orientation to Hastings and/or Young Street, said the LAHC, and units that face Hastings Street will be separated from dwellings on the opposite side of the street by the roadway and a stand of mature canopy trees located in the central median.
The development will meet council's side setback requirements so as to minimise impact on 32 Hastings Street, said the LAHC, screen plantings would be provided along the site boundaries and within the site, boundary fencing would also be provided along the side and rear boundaries at a height of 1.8m, and careful placement of windows would be taken into consideration to reduce an potential privacy impacts to adjoining neighbours.
Some residents raised concerns about the scale and location of the development, so the LAHC reduced it from three storeys to two and from up to 15 units to up to 12.
"The proposed development will comply with the maximum building height and floor to space ratio provisions specified in the Port Macquarie LEP 2011. Further, the perceived bulk and scale of the development will be reduced through the design and articulation of the building frontage and through the placement of new landscape features within the front setback. The intention of the proposed design is to sympathetically respond to the special character of the locality," wrote the LAHC.
One Wauchope resident, who didn't wish to be named, doesn't think the development should go ahead because there are no other residential two storey units on the edge of the CBD, let alone at a key corner location.
"The site would better serve the community and provide amenities and services that all the community can enjoy, for example retail shops and cafes. The proposed development does not add the look and feel of the area and does not align with the child care centres and accommodation for the elderly that is close by.
"I feel that the Wauchope community has worked really hard in making this town a beautiful, unique village and, while I understand the need for housing and am not against it at all, I feel that Wauchope CBD is not the right place. There are plenty of sites on the outskirts of town for this sort of development," the resident said.