No. 4-8 Patterson Street had been before Council for over two years when GSA Planning became incolced in the project, which was for the demolition of the exisiting commercial building and construction of a new townhouse development. GSA Planning provided planning, design and traffic advice for the project. The subject site had a maximum FSR of 1:1 under the Woollahra LEP and the proposed maximum 1.3:1.
Notwithstanding a favourable recommendation from Council Officers, the matter was refused by Council and went before the Land & Environment Court. For the court matter, Gary Shiels was appointed as a planning expert for the applicant and prepared a response to Council’s contentions and joint report.
GSA Planning argued that in the context of the surrounding area the proposal was acceptable. To the north of the site, Council had approved the Double Bay, “Kiora Lands” redevelopment project which permitted an FSR of 2.8:1 and a height of six (6) storeys. Adjoining the site to the east. Council had approved a redevelopment with a zero street setback with an FSR of 1.72:1. GSA Planning argued that the proposal was a transition site between the Double Bay lands development and the land adjoining to the rear in Court Street. It was submitted that the proposal designed by Andre Porebski Architects satisfied the profile and height limit contained in Council’s DCP and was consistent with the context of the area. The court determination, stated, inter alia:
“I am satisfied this is a valid and reasonable approach to the development of the site and in line with the flexible approach advocated by SEPP1 and specifically objective (d) that requires new development to relate to the existing character. I have taken this to include the character anticipated for the Kiora Land site.”
The Court determined in favour of the applicant