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Bondi Action Group (BAG)



The issues

Devolution -
a poem

Bondi Beach residents, under the banner of the Bondi Action Group, are opposing the development of a four storey hotel on the corner of Jaques and Lamrock Avenues by Likara Pty Ltd, designed by Michael Suttor Pty Ltd Architects. The ground floor of the development proposes a 84 seat restaurant and a 54 seat cafe, the three upper floors consist of fifty (50) hotel rooms.

Development Update: 28/7/97, Here we go again!
Re: 5-7 Lamrock Avenue and 12 Jacques Avenue, Bondi Beach

Cast your mind back to the 1st March 1997. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday. The neighbourhood gathered on the pavement outside Lamrock Hostel in protest against the proposed development of a nasty four/five storey hotel with restaurant, bar, carpark and commercial floor space. Hot words were exchanged, passionate debate ensued and if Tyson had been there we're sure a few ears would have been bitten off. But it was all worth it!

After the battle on the footpath council retired to its chambers and unanimously rejected the outrageous proposal. Fortunately so for the peace loving residents of Bondi Beach who would have seen the village like atmosphere of Lamrock, Jacques Avenue and Hall Street destroyed.

Sadly the threat of this monstrous development has returned as the developer has filed with Land & Environment Court to appeal Council's rejection. The date for this court hearing is set for 8 & 9 September 1997. Until we know more, please try to keep these dates available as we may need residents to attend the court. Keep an eye on the community board outside 3 Lamrock Avenue for further information and updates.

The story so far...
Development - 6 March 1997

The following article appeared in one of our local newspapers, namely ''The Wentworth Courier'' on Wednesday, March 5, 1997.

Residents Beat Off Developer

Bondi Beach residents have scored a rare victory over the mighty developer dollar. Last Saturday, during an on-site inspection, Waverley Council rejected a $3.5 million hotel development at the corner of Jacques and Lamrock avenues.

The matter had been deferred from the previous Tuesday's council meeting, after more than 50 residents staged a noisy rally outside the council chambers to voice their anger at the council report recommending the development be approved.

Carrying placards bearing such phrases as ''No Overdevelopment'', ''People Before Profits'', and ''People Before Developers'', the assembled group handed out leaflets detailing their objections to the development.

The plans, lodged by Malcolm Norburn, proposed a four-and five-storey hotel complex, including 42 serviced apartments, commercial floor space, dining area for 68 guests and lounge.

While the council report tabled last Tuesday found the proposal generally complied with Waverley Council's planning controls, and the council's technical staff had no objections in principal to the proposal, the council had received two petitions - bearing 182 and 457 signatures respectively - from residents opposing the development.

A letter, circulated by locals before last week's council meeting, detailed their grave concerns about parking and traffic, claiming inadequate car-parking provisions, no parking provisions for buses, and a loss of on-street parking caused by driveways and loading zones.

Other problems residents had with the proposal included the loss of several trees, noise pollution, impact on adjoining properties, public amenity, the scale and mass of the development.

They were also angry that the council report did not take into account the judgement of the Land and Environment Court on April 18 last year.

The letter complained the development application did not address the court's concerns regarding height, mass, the impact of light and privacy on neighbours, or the general appropriateness of the structure for the area.

During the meeting the residents spokesperson called on councillors to attend an on-site meeting where they could see for themselves how the development would impact on the area.

After viewing the subject site last weekend, the councillors agreed to reject the development.

The Issues
Cartoon about greedy developers Cartoon ©Joerg Hubmann

Development on the corner of Jaques and Lamrock Avenues, Bondi Beach

(currently Lamrock Hostel site). Waverley Council Reference: DM:JW DA 96/241

1. Background. Bondi Beach residents, under the banner of the Bondi Action Group, are opposing the development of a four storey hotel on the corner of Jaques and Lamrock Avenues by Likara Pty Ltd, designed by Michael Suttor Pty Ltd Architects. The ground floor of this development proposes a 84 seat restaurant and a 54 seat cafe, the three upper floors consist of fifty (50) hotel rooms.

The development is on the site of the Lamrock hostel on the corner of Jaques and Lamrock Avenues, and would involve demolishing of the Lamrock hostel, a single storey house at No 5 Lamrock Avenue and a 2 storey block of 4 flats at No 12 Jaques Avenue. The developer plans to merge these three areas and build one large building over the entire site - an enormous change in the streetscape and traditional block sizes of both Lamrock and Jaques Avenues! The site is surrounded by buildings built in the 1920s & 1930s of a different style to the proposed design. It will be the first commercial building in the traditionally residential streets off Campbell Parade.

The eastern side of Jaques Ave and the first block of Lamrock Ave are zoned 3b(2) - special business (tourist), a zoning which permits commercial development. Residents argue that while this zoning is appropriate for the Campbell Parade/Hall Street commercial centres, it will lead to serious problems in Jaques and Lamrock Avenues, which are primarily residential streets.

2. It's the second time around. This is the second D.A. developer Likara Pty Ltd has submitted for the site. The first was rejected by The Land & Environment Court in April 1996, after a united battle by Council and residents. Whilst changes have been made, residents say the second development proposal is still excessive in height, depth, scale and density for the location. Initially the proposed development went right up to the boundaries. They have retreated a little because the Land & Environment Court did not accept this.

3. Residents' opposition to the proposed development. Residents say this development is too big for Jaques Avenue. It is much higher and longer than surrounding buildings in Jaques Ave and will completely dominate the streetscape. The bulk, size, and height of the proposed development is not consistent with the streetscape and the surrounding buildings, which are mainly one and two storeys. The developers are attempting to utilise the entire site for their building. Jaques Avenue is a residential street and is not designed for large scale developments such as Likara's. Residents say the peaceful village atmosphere in Jaques and Lamrock Avenues will be destroyed by such a large scale commercial development.

The height of the building varies from 12.1 to 14.7 metres, but residents feel that even a 12.5 metre height is excessive for the site. Residents say that the 12.5 metre height limit was designed for Campbell Parade/Hall Street commercial areas and is an excessive height for buildings away from these areas. Development should be scaled down from Campbell Parade, not be an extension of it. Residents question the wisdom of large scale commercial development in the back streets of Bondi.

At two Waverley Council precinct meetings residents have unanimously opposed the development. They have also pushed for Council to apply to the New South Wales State Government to rezone Jaques Ave as residential/neighbourhood business as they believe this is the only way to protect residents from further intrusive developments.

Already this developer and others have bought up other flats in Jaques Ave, and residents are feeling pressured to sell up or be overshadowed by large scale developments. Should developers be given the go-ahead if residents, the people who have to live with the consequences of such a decision, feel that development is detrimental to the general amenity of the neighbourhood?

4. Parking. Parking has become a major problem for residents and visitors near the beach. In Lamrock & Jaques Ave, every available parking space is always taken, and cars are frequently parked illegally in no-standing zones, on corners or double parked. Residents frequently have to park more than several streets away from their homes. This large development in Jaques Ave will exacerbate residents' and visitors' parking problems.

5. The current position. This DA is currently before Waverley Council for assessment, and suggestions have been made by the Council Statutory Planning Manager to the developer in respect of a number of issues such as the height (at the northern end of the proposed development) being excessive, car entrances, walls & the restaurant area.

Council's Town Planning Department will then prepare a report for submission to the Council. The Bondi Action Group & residents, having lodged submissions and objections to the development need help to lobby council's officers and the Councillors to oppose the development. We will attend Council Meetings & approach the Councillors in person. We will demand site inspections.

This development will set a precedent for large scale commercial development in residential areas of Bondi. If given the go-ahead, it will be the first time a major development has been built away from the main thoroughfare of Campbell Parade in a residential area.

Development Devolution - a poem
The development proposal was full steam ahead
The developer thought he'd put it to bed
But in Jacques & Lamrock, the scene was set
For a confrontation not seen yet.

Waverley Council knocked it back
The developer got it back on track
Eighteen metres high
Stefanie's garden was sure to die.

To the Land & Environment Court they went
Too much money already spent
A community devoured or sealed
The Court's decision could not be appealed.

Environmental plans up to the brim
Community patience wearing thin
The experts exercised their might
Shadow diagrams without light.

Kathy and David were there and others too
The residents would see this through
Petitions, petitions all said no
The development must go.

Alas! The case was looking grim
The light at Stef's was looking dim
The developer thought he'd got it through
But the Senior Assessor was pure and true.

Car parks full of water, balconies of mortar
Would the development proceed?
The residents would not concede
And the Court didn't think it ought'a.

The developer certainly received a fright
It's a devolution of a building site
Jacques & Lamrock, a place for the people!
It won't be made a tourist steeple.

For Stefanie by Andrew Dunsmore

Last Updated - 29th May 2016
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