Bondi View

RSL proposal ‘beyond reason’: Notley-Smith

Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith says the planned development is excessive. Photo: Chris Peken

A planned redevelopment of Bronte RSL is “excessive” and “inappropriate” because of its impact on child safety and traffic movement within Bronte, says Coogee MP Bruce Notley-Smith.

Located at 113 Macpherson Street, the RSL site is subject to a development application by Winston Langley Burlington, which would create a six-storey commercial retail space with a Harris Farm supermarket if approved.

“The presence of a supermarket would mean delivery trucks would cause serious traffic issues in a currently quiet residential area and create a dangerous situation for schoolchildren from Clovelly Public School, who will have to share the road with those trucks,” Mr Notley-Smith told the Bondi View.

Mr Notley-Smith argued that while the RSL site is in need of redevelopment, the proposal is “far in excess” of what the community wants. Despite both Waverley Council and the JRPP unanimously turning down the proposal, Winston Langley Burlington appealed to planning minister Brad Hazzard with the DA submitted for consideration together with new zoning regulations proposed by the developer.

Under the new zoning, the proposal was recommended for approval in a pre-gateway review by the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) on February 3, with the application now set for a re-evaluation by Waverley Council planning officers.

Waverley councillor Paula Masselos said that by appealing to the PAC, the developer is “challenging” Waverley Council’s interpretation of the Local Environment Plan 2012 and this could set a dangerous precedent for future developments in Bronte.

“PAC should never have approved it. What it’s actually doing is giving the developer another avenue that is not appropriate,” she said.

“If the DA is approved, it’s going to have a domino effect [and] I don’t think that the area can cope with this.”

Dr Stephen Lightfoot of community group ‘Save Bronte’ said the PAC’s decision contravenes Mr Hazzard’s promise to returning planning powers to communities and local councils.

“[Mr Hazzard] promised to allow councils and communities to set the vision and rules for development in their local areas and what he’s done…is the exact opposite. It’s just not right.”

In July 2013, Waverley Council unanimously rejected the application on the grounds its size and bulk were in excess of floor space restrictions, with the proposed site reaching a height of 20 metres – more than 7 metres above the permissible zoning regulations.

“I think it’s clear to everybody that this proposal is beyond reason for that site and for the unique Bronte Village,” Mr Notley-Smith said.

“I have been fighting to ensure that this [application] doesn’t get up and it’s not over yet. I have argued my case and the case of the residents until I’m blue in the face with the [NSW] Minister [of Planning] and I will continue to do it.”

Mr Notley-Smith will lead a delegation of Bronte residents and Waverley Council representatives to meet with Department of Planning director-general Sam Haddad to discuss the future of the Bronte RSL site on April 10.

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