Manly boarding house denounced


The current boarding house located at 22 Stuart Street, Manly

A proposal to knock down and rebuild a 12-room boarding house on Stuart Street in Manly has been met with outrage from residents, with some questioning the motives for redevelopment.

Developer Urban Strategies submitted updated plans to Northern Beaches Council on behalf of the site’s owner in July, after the proposal was initially refused last year.

The new plans follow the owner lodging an appeal to the rejection in the Land and Environment Court.

The development would see the current 12-room boarding house replaced, with space for a boarding house manager on site, along with a communal living area, communal laundry, and seven underground parking spaces.

In several online submissions, locals have voiced their concerns with the $2 million proposal, with some doubting whether the site will operate as a boarding house.

“This is a commercial development masquerading as social housing, given an existing 12 room boarding house will be replaced with the exact same number of beds after expending $2.625m on the proposed building suggesting that the rent for these rooms will materially increase,” wrote Stuart Street local Haydn Smith.

“This being the case there is zero social justification for this development, therefore it should not benefit from any of the relaxed planning controls that come with socially beneficial housing.” 

Other submissions highlighted concerns with the bulk and scale of the 494sqm build, as well as the impact on neighbours’ privacy, noise pollution during and after the build, and the lack of planned parking.

Residents have also questioned the safety of the excavated car park, claiming the area is flood prone and the plan to rely on pumps to remove water from the basement area may be risky.

“Like so many of my neighbours, I implore Northern Beaches Council to reject this application on the basis it is completely inappropriate for the area…” Giuseppe and Antonella Porcelli conclude. 

Urban Strategies is yet to provide comment.

Stephanie Aikins

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