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Waverley Council rejects $340 million War Memorial ‘overdevelopment’ proposal

Waverley hospital

Waverley Council has rejected a proposal for the War Memorial Hospital. Photo: Uniting.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Waverley Council has continued its crusade against overdevelopment in the eastern suburbs, unanimously rejecting a proposal that would have changed the planning controls of the Waverley War Memorial Hospital site.

The planning proposal for 99-117 Birrell Street, made at the request of aged care provider Uniting and part of a $340 million development, was rejected by council after it was considered to be an overdevelopment, with Waverley mayor Paula Masselos saying that they took action to ensure “Waverley’s significant heritage is protected”.

Council said that the community were concerned about the proposed increases in height and floor space of the site. The proposal asked council to amend its local environment plan to create incentivised alternative building heights of between 15 to 21 metres, and a floor space ratio of 1.2:1.

According to council, the Waverley Local Environment Plan 2012 is the main framework that regulates development in the area, including standards for building height, design and floor space ratio.

The NSW Department of Planning will now cast its eye over the planning proposal, with council asking for floor space to be limited to a 1:1 ratio, and for building heights not to exceed 12 metres, if the plans are supported.

Waverley hospital part of overdevelopment ‘systematically destroying’ built environment: Masselos

Waverley hospital

Paula Masselos. Photo: Facebook.

Cr Masselos said that development across the area was “systematically destroying the very values of our built environment as well as promulgating overdevelopment” that breached council’s planning processes.

“While many development approvals and planning proposal decisions are no longer in the hands of council, we are committed to fighting overdevelopment.”

Council has repeatedly asked the state government to declare the War Memorial Hospital a heritage conservation area, which they said would “protect the site from inappropriate development”.

A site-specific development control plan has been drafted for the hospital, which would protect the whole of the urban block that encompasses Birrell Street.

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