Mount Annan residents celebrate high-rise development rejection

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak, resident Martina Ganderton, Camden MP Chris Patterson with residents celebrate their victory after the Land and Environment Court rejected a Mount Annan high-rise over development. Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak, resident Martina Ganderton, Camden MP Chris Patterson with residents celebrate their victory after the Land and Environment Court rejected a Mount Annan high-rise over development. Picture: Simon Bennett

Mount Annan residents are celebrating after the Land and Environment Court rejected a high-rise development proposed for their suburb.

Commissioner Brown dismissed the appeal by Dyldam Group Projects Pty Ltd in favour of Camden Council.

He deemed that the 246 unit-complex was not compatible with the height, bulk and scale of Mount Annan.

Resident and campaigner Martina Ganderton said the result was brilliant but unexpected.

“The system worked for us and it was fantastic that Camden Council listened to residents and supported us through the process,” Ms Ganderton said.

“The site needed a much more appropriate development that met the needs of the community and that fitted into the community’s expectations.”

She said the whole submission and court process had been a long fight.

“Residents had to resubmit their submission on many occasions,” Ms Ganderton said.

“It was fatiguing and we felt like we had not been listened to but persistence paid off.

“We did not want this development to set a precedent.”

Ms Ganderton said she hoped the site would be turned into a community garden but realistically she wanted a development that took into account other buildings in the area such as two-storey villas or duplexes.

“It has to blend into the character of the suburb because Mount Annan is a pretty suburb and any developer needs to remember that,” she said.

The residents were concerned the proposed development would increase traffic.

“We didn’t want a development that exacerbated the traffic problem,” Ms Ganderton said.

“Mount Annan is already an established suburb and it doesn’t have the room to expand.

“We were also concerned about the size and bulk of the development.”

In his judgement, delivered on Tuesday, Commissioner Brown said Narellan Road upgrades would accommodate additional traffic generated by the proposed development.

However, he accepted the argument the proposed development was incompatible with the general amenity of Mount Annan.

“With the benefit of the site inspection...I am satisfied that the proposed development is not compatible with the height, bulk and scale of the existing character of the locality,” Commissioner Brown said.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak said the decision was a win the community and council.

“This decision is the biggest win for the community that I have seen during my time on council,” she said.

“The scale of the development was massive with 17 buildings in total. It was a massive over development.

“Apart from the building looking ugly, there would have been traffic chaos and the scale and design meant the structure had the potential to become a ghetto.”

Cr Symkowiak said the council sent out 3000 notification letters and held community meetings to update residents.

“I want to thank the residents who put in their 560 submissions a number of times and I also want to thank Camden MP Chris Patterson who made representation on behalf of the community,” she said.

“I want to commend the team effort between the council, the community and Chris and the decision shows what can happen when we work together and have a united front.

“I was surprised by the outcome and I am glad the whole development was refused.”

A Dyldam spokeswoman said Dyldam would review the Land and Environment Court’s decision and would re-submit the application within the next few months.

“MAKO architects have been appointed to review the design of the development,” she said.

“They will assess the comments by the Commissioner in the judgement and will adjust the design as necessary.”

The development application for the site was first lodged with Camden Council in 2014 and then an amended application was lodged in 2015.

Dyldam lodged an appeal against the council's "deemed refusal" after no decision was made after 60 days of it being lodged, forcing the matter to go to the Land and Environment Court.

Read the full Land and Environment Court judgment.

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