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A controversial apartment development earmarked for a residential estate has got the planning green light despite strong objections from the surrounding neighbourhood.
The approval paves the way for a two and three storey building with 18 apartments, basement parking and strata subdivision on vacant land at 60 and 62 The Anchorage in Port Macquarie.
The application included a minor variation to the height of the building development standard for both the two and three storey components.
The Anchorage JV Pty Ltd is the applicant.
A two-hour meeting on Wednesday, November 16 heard from residents opposing the apartment plan, and representatives supporting the development.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's Development Assessment Panel then approved the application.
The council received 184 submissions after twice exhibiting the application.
The panel's independent chair, Tony McNamara, said he understood everything the residents spoke about and he was sympathetic.
He described the development as "transformative".
Mr McNamara said the council report indicated it was virtually a fully complying development.
He said if the proposal was refused and it came before the Land and Environment Court, there was every chance it would be approved by the court.
The application was amended through the assessment process.
Surrounding residents opposed the riverside development's size and scale in a neighbourhood made up of houses and townhouses.
They also raised concerns about flooding, view loss, bin collection, noise, traffic impact, basement car park-related safety, and acid sulfate soils, given the excavation needed for the basement car park.
Joe Newton objected to the bulk, scale and density of the development.
"When we moved to this neighbourhood and built houses there, we built our houses to fit with the surrounding homes," he said.
"This just doesn't fit."
Nick Senior said when they purchased their house 16 years ago, they fully understood the adjoining blocks would be developed but they never imagined anything of this scale.
Mel Wass described the apartment building as "inappropriate development".
She said this was fundamentally the wrong development on these two sites and should be rejected.
Richard Swan told the panel that the development as proposed would have a major impact on a beautiful residential area.
Independent panel member Michael Mason acknowledged the concerns.
He said the panel was dealing with a land use issue and a lot of the detail on the issues raised could be addressed at the construction certificate stage.
Land Dynamics Australia town planner Brad Lane said the proposal had a high quality design with large units.
"It is not a development that has sought to optimise yield over quality," he said.
"I think it has erred on the side of higher area units and higher quality than higher yield."
Joel Wood, the project manager representing the developer, said waste management would involve private collection, most likely with a smaller truck than a council waste collection, and a traffic light system would be used in the basement car park.
Council's group manager development services Dan Croft, in response to residents' concerns, said acid sulfate soil was a serious issue but it was capable of being managed.
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