The Eastern Suburbs community have voiced strong opposition against Coogee Bay Hotel’s proposed $112 million redevelopment, with locals believing that the character of the iconic beach precinct is under threat.
The controversial development application details a six-storey building encompassing 60 residential apartments, with a height of 23.3 metres – almost doubling the current 12-metre limit.
Residents fear that the height of the mixed-use hotel and pub, residential and commercial development threatens the heart of Coogee’s community – its cherished seaside village.
State Member for Coogee Marjorie O’Neill opposes overdevelopment in the seaside suburbs, maintaining that any development needs to be within planning controls.
“The height limit among Coogee Bay is sort of sacrosanct,” O’Neill told City Hub.
“It is what gives Coogee Bay that seaside village feel and by raising the height of the Coogee Bay Hotel it would then start a new precedent which means the rest of Coogee Bay Road would increase.”
A continual struggle
Whilst the development application submitted to Randwick Council will maintain the heritage-listed hotel and beer garden, there are plans for a Coles supermarket, a 227-space underground carpark and an increase of the hotel’s 10-room capacity to 29.
Coogee local Rona Wade has been fighting to resist overdevelopment in the area for over a decade. She says the community spirit has not faltered since.
“There’s a very strong community view that it should remain at 12 meters so as to preserve that lovely low key, low profile aspect of the Coogee Bay that just makes it so precious,” Wade told City Hub.
“There’s a groundswell of opposition.”
Such opposition is evident in a petition against the Coogee Bay Hotel development application, which has garnered over 1000 signatures in just six days.
With 25 bus routes being recently removed from the south-east Sydney region, residents fear that the proposed mega carpark and residential apartments could invite further traffic to the region, causing severe congestion.
Coogee resident of 20 years Siobhan Moylan says that the area is already busy and a new development proposal could be devastating for residents.
“I think building up past the 12-metre limit is a hard no. Coles is a hard no. And a carpark for 230 cars is a hard no,” Moylan told City Hub.
“We’ve just lost our buses and this development proposal is inviting even more cars into the area. So it’s going to make Coogee, particularly down Coogee Bay Road an absolute nightmare.”
If successful, the development would block sunlight from reaching a large part of Coogee beach in the afternoon. It would further obstruct the surrounding residential dwelling’s scenic foreshore views of Dolphin Point and Wedding Cake Island.