Council refuses Forest Road, Nambucca Heads development proposal

The Forest Road Action Group were calling on Council to “Save Our Street”.

NAMBUCCA Valley Council has refused development consent for the construction of two residential flat buildings on Lot 208 DP 1270916 – Forest Road, Nambucca Heads.

The proposal was for three-storey residential buildings, with the bottom storey being car parking, housing 24 three bedroom units on an area originally approved for six houses.

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Notably, the DA sought a significant height variation to the 8.5m permitted.

At Council’s meeting on Thursday, September 15, Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the DA, following a report from Daniel Walsh, Acting Assistant General Manager, Engineering Services, Nambucca Valley Council.

Mr Walsh’s report to Council stated, “Due to the proposed buildings exceeding the maximum building height they result in adverse overshadowing on adjoining properties to the south.

“As such, it is not considered that there are sufficient grounds to vary the maximum building height under clause 4.6 of the Nambucca Local Environmental Plan 2010 which has resulted in the recommendation for the development application to be refused.”

Julie Hugo is a member of the Forest Road Action Group (FRAG), a membership of local residents opposed to the DA, and lives in the neighbouring Forest Heights Estate.

“Forest Rd sits above and overlooking the new homes of Forest Heights Estate,” Julie said.

“The original DA shows plans for the vacant blacks to be single homes, entirely compatible with the area.

“The new DA however was asking for a significant height variation – 12.23m at its highest point – and each building is 53m long, twice as long as the maximum).

“Together, the buildings are as long as a football field,” Julie said.

Members of the Forest Road Action Group have celebrated Council’s decision, believing the “buildings aren’t suitable for the steep site, nor compatible with the streetscape and character of the area”.

Speaking before the Council’s decision, local resident Brianna Kennedy said, “Our main concerns are our privacy being affected.

“The units look directly into our yard.

“Our solar which we invested in would be affected by the height of the building and over shadowing, decreasing the value of our property and overpopulating what we know and love as a quiet part of town.

“It’s not what we built here for, there’s no way we would have chosen to build here if that was the proposed plan.”

Julie Hugo stressed she was not “anti-development” in general, but said in this case the development did not match the location.

“Nambucca needs housing and apartments are a great way to reduce urban sprawl.

“However, this site is just not suitable for this design.

“It would be better off in the Nambucca CBD, close to public transport and other amenities, where the building code allows for bigger buildings.”

Molly is another resident of Forest Rd relieved the development was not granted consent.

“I think it’s important for decisions to be made based on long term sustainability for the community rather than short term monetary gain,” she said.

“It would be horrible to set a precedent where these types of developments are allowed to pop up all over Nambucca overshadowing existing homes and putting a strain on already overstretched infrastructure such as our roads.”

Nambucca Valley Mayor Rhonda Hoban meeting on site with the developer and community members.

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