The Sydney East Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) has recommended the Maccabi Tennis Club in Bondi to be rezoned into an R3 medium density residential site with 42 apartments and 49 new parking spaces, overruling Waverley Council’s vote to keep the recreational space.
Waverley Councillor John Wakefield said the courts, located at 105 Wellington St in Bondi, are an important recreational space that needed to be retained and council will investigate avenues of appealing the decision.
“I would interpret the difference in the outcomes as being that council put far more weight on the significance of open space and the retention of tennis courts in our municipality,” he said.
A spokesperson for the JRPP said the panel was “satisfied” by developer Sports Properties Pty Ltd’s submission and approved the recommendations due to the “poor” location of the tennis courts themselves, being in close proximity to three and four-storey apartment buildings, together with a lack of adequate parking spaces.
“The panel accepts the council’s submission the provision of open space in Waverley is well below the average for the Sydney Region,” the March 13 JRPP report said.
“The panel is also mindful the land is in private ownership and the owner is under no obligation to provide what is usually a public facility.”
Gabrielle Tobias of the Rescue Bondi community group was critical of the JRPP’s recommendation.
“[This is] another example of how biased the planning laws are in favour of developers – they can keep coming to the state government and thumbing their noses at council,” she said.
The JRPP have issued its recommendation to the NSW Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, with the planning proposal now set for gateway determination and to be advertised for public comment.