‘It’s unacceptable’: Avalon locals reject seniors’ development plans


Avalon Beach locals have opposed plans for the development of seniors’ living apartments on residential Bellevue Avenue, over concerns of impacts to the environment and amenity.

Owners Julia and Stephen Thompson have submitted plans with Northern Beaches Council to knock down a single storey dwelling at 27 Bellevue Avenue to make way for a $5 million seniors’ housing development.

The development would encompass three apartments across two, two-storey buildings with on-site parking.

The building at the front of the site would accommodate two of the units, each with three-bedrooms and private open space or a balcony. 

The ground floor apartment would also include a swimming pool.

The building at the rear of the site would house the third apartment, a split-level, three-bedroom design with private open space on the lower ground level and a roof terrace.

The proposal has been met with criticism by residents who are concerned at the planned removal of several trees and the impacts on neighbours’ privacy.

Locals say the rear setback to Wickham Lane of 3.2m is a breach of planning controls, which stipulate such development in low density residential areas should have a setback of 6.5m. 

Many are also opposed to plans to remove 17 mature trees from the site.

“The two-storey component, and the non-compliant rear setback, coupled with the excessive bulk and scale, causing direct visual privacy concerns and acoustic privacy concerns to us is therefore unacceptable,” say locals John and Carol Williams in a submission to Northern Beaches Council.

“The Angophora corridor should be retained, regardless of future development as it is one of the main characteristics of Avalon native fauna and flora,” added fellow resident Peter Pane.

A report prepared for the owners states, “the siting, design and external appearance of the proposed development is compatible with the existing and desired future character of the Avalon Beach locality and will not result in any unreasonable amenity impacts to neighbouring properties.

“Importantly, the development will allow for the provision of additional seniors’ housing to support the needs of the local seniors population and demand for downsizer housing in the locality.”

Stephanie Aikins

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