Old Foster's site planning panel determination March 20

Development proposal for Hyde St, Bellingen
Development proposal for Hyde St, Bellingen

The Northern Regional Planning Panel will meet on Wednesday March 20  to make a decision on the proposed development at 84-90 Hyde St, the former site of Carl Foster’s garage.

The meeting will be held in the Bellingen Council Chambers at 9.30am. Anyone is welcome to come to observe, but if you wish to speak at the meeting you must register by contacting the Panel Secretariat before 4pm on Monday March 18. To register phone 02 8217 2060 or email enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au.

The proposal includes a row of retail shops at ground level, 15 apartments above and an underground car park, with an estimated capital investment value of $8.9 million.

Documents relating to the meeting can be found here.

One of those documents is the Council Assessment Report, which recommends that the Northern Regional Planning Panel approve the development subject to the imposition of conditions and advisory notes.

Pages 79 - 94 of council's assessment report contain detailed responses to 52 issues that were raised within public submissions.

For example:

"Issue 1: The development seeks to bypass rules and a built environment that limits development across the Shire to two storeys.

Comment: There are numerous three-storey buildings developed within the Bellingen Shire - such as the unit development at 20 Newry Street East, Urunga - and there are no planning controls specific to the limitation of the number of storeys within a development. A consideration of building heights and the impacts of the development on settings and views are relevant considerations capable of limiting the number of storeys in a development. The Bellingen NSW Main Street Study as prepared by Tim Shellshear does identify that a random mix of one and two-storey buildings has always been a part of the Hyde Street streetscape. However, this observation omits consideration of the Former Masonic Lodge which is sited on the Dorrigo approach to the Bellingen township. Experiencing “uninterrupted views from some distance away,” and comprising “about the only building one sees until entering the main street proper,” this three-storey heritage building “makes a very good first impression” of the historic main street precinct, notwithstanding its approximate 16.8 metre building height (Office of Environment & Heritage: Former Masonic Lodge statement of significance). The building is designed in a manner that is commensurate to the planning controls and the development of a three-storey building above the existing ground is neither new to the Shire or the Bellingen Conservation Area."

And 

"Issue 14: The design would benefit from the use of alternative materials, such as a weatherboard exterior or timber and lace iron work in acknowledgement of heritage character, the nearby Federal Hotel and the Hotels formerly developed on the subject land.

Comment: The proposed development proposes a masonry façade to Hyde St, which demonstrates a consistency with other important heritage buildings within the Bellingen CBD, including the two bank buildings to the immediate west and the Bellingen Court House & Police Station complex. It is noted that the Heritage Council does not advocate reproduction of heritage forms and finishes, instead supporting quality new design that is sympathetic in form and finish and is respectful of its context. It is submitted that the proposed development is acceptable in this regard."