Development has residents speaking out

RESIDENTS don’t support a potential development that would see residential units built on a block of land with frontage on Mitre and Keppel streets. 

Adam Hart Constructions has lodged a development application with Bathurst Regional Council to retain two existing dwellings at 131 Mitre Street and 276 Keppel Street and build a further three units. 

A discussion forum regarding the application was held at the latest meeting of Bathurst Regional Council, which attracted only negative feedback from residents. 

Jonathon Clipsham, who moved to the city with his young family in December 2015, said they wouldn’t have purchased their West Bathurst home if this kind of development existed at the time. 

One of his main objections was the loss of privacy for neighbouring residents should the development go ahead.

“The privacy of surrounding land will change significantly, with most neighbours losing complete privacy in our yards and home windows,” Mr Clipsham said. 

“We often entertain and our children daily use this space, which will have scores of windows and verandas looking directly into our yard.”

He also objected to the resulting noise from the new dwellings and said there were 12 issues with the development that did not comply with the city’s development control plan. 

Other speakers at the discussion forum agreed there were compliance issues. 

Joy Allman said the development challenged the DCP in multiple areas, including population density and that multi-dwelling housing isn’t permissible on battle-axe blocks in precinct 2. 

“We do not believe that the development should be approved; it requires substantial changes,” she said. 

Another issue raised at the discussion forum was drainage, with resident Luke Evans concerned that additional dwellings might increase the risk of flooding to properties in Mooney Valley Place. 

“Where the main drain is in the street is actually on the high side. If we get a lot of rain, I know on the bottom side of the street a lot of the houses get flooded,” he said.

“With all this extra water and run-off coming from this development, it could potentially flood some houses at the bottom end of the street, which we don’t want at all.”

He also wasn’t satisfied with the level of privacy his property would have if the development was approved. 

Several other speakers also raised issues of accessibility for pedestrians and vehicles during the construction period. 

The final speaker on the subject was Peter Basha, the town planning consultant for the applicant. 

He chose not to debate the issue of compliance raised during the forum, but said the development application was lodged on the basis that it was compliant. 

Mr Basha said the population density would be reviewed by the applicant and that the applicant was prepared to implement measures to protect the privacy of surrounding residents. 

“Those matters will be looked at, but that can give some comfort to those who were concerned,” he said. 

He concluded by saying that there were some areas where the development was not compliant, but these could still justify the development going ahead. 

A report including the feedback from the forum will be prepared for the next council meeting for determination of the application.