Concerned residents will have one last chance to speak out against a proposed Pacific Drive apartment block development application (DA) when it goes before a panel for public determination on November 25.
The DA recently came under scrutiny when ABC's Four Corners program aired an investigation on the Obeid family.
The development, by Laurus Projects, was listed among coastal developments allegedly linked back to the Obeid family in the investigation.
Laurus Projects told Four Corners that the Obeid family had no involvement in their Port Macquarie development.
That project is a $23.5 million apartment development with 68 units proposed for a key site at Pacific Drive near Windmill Hill.
Gerard Obeid lives next door.
Several residents in nearby Macquarie Place have raised concerns over the proposed high-rise development and say it is out of character for the area.
Fiona Conlon lives to the west of the vacant block located at 10-16 Pacific Drive and said a building of this size will impact dramatically on neighbouring properties.
"It will be dense and will block out a big portion of the sky for homes in the area," she said.
"It will mean 68 balconies looking down on our homes."
Ed Coleman agreed and said the apartment complex will be substantially higher than other buildings in the area.
"The buildings in this area are only around three storeys and this will be double the height," he said.
The group of residents previously lodged a joint submission to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council detailing their concerns.
The submission raised objections to the building height variation, overshadowing, loss of eastern morning sun, loss of privacy and the exit and entrance to Pacific Drive.
"We provided suggestions on how some of these issues could be resolved but all of the responses have knocked them back," Ms Conlon said.
The council decision to sell the land to interested adjoining land owners at 10-16 Pacific Drive to Pacific Drive Pty Ltd was made in a confidential session at a meeting in March 2017. The land owned by council makes up a portion of the proposed development's site.
Council has confirmed that contracts have been exchanged and a deposit paid pending completion.
It said under the contract, final settlement on the land is subject to, and conditional upon, the proposed project for the site obtaining development consent.
Council says it has "removed any conflict" by referring the proposed development for assessment to an independent third party.
This independent assessor will prepare a report, either recommending approval or refusal of the development application, which will be presented to the NSW Northern Regional Planning Panel for determination.
A virtual public meeting will be held on November 25 at 4pm to give interested people the opportunity to speak directly to the panel before a decision is made.
Macquarie Place resident Carole Field lives directly behind the block of land and said this meeting will allow residents to have a voice.
"It's our last opportunity to raise our issues with this development and to hopefully make people understand how a building of this size will impact the surrounding area," she said.
Brian Johnson agreed and said the overall character of the area will be altered.
"The building will block out all of the view to the west from the popular coastal walk. It's not just going to impact us as residents who live nearby, but will also impact locals and tourists who use this area and drive past it everyday," he said.
The group of residents said they aren't opposed to development and understand more housing is needed in Port Macquarie, however they are concerned if the DA is approved the units will be used as short-term accommodation and holiday rentals.
"We aren't against development, but this particular one will cause a number of issues for the community," Ms Conlon said.
"The aesthetic of the area will be changed, it will be turning this area into a CBD," Mr Johnson added.
The group of residents are currently preparing what they will speak on at the Northern Regional Planning Panel public meeting next week.
If locals are interested in addressing the panel or would like to listen to the meeting, you must register by contacting the Planning Panel before 4pm on Tuesday, November 23 on (02) 8217 2060 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
"There have been a number of people that have come up to me and said they knew nothing about this planning proposal and will be outraged if it goes ahead. I think this does impact the whole town and not just us who live right near it," Ms Field said.
The Northern Regional Planning Panel will aim to publish its decision on the Planning Panel's website within seven days of the meeting.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.