UPDATE: Council has extended the period for submissions until 5pm Friday 16 September 2016.
Council is considering an application for a nine-room boarding house on the corner of Ocean View Drive and Prince Street Wamberal.
If approved, it would consist of nine studio type apartments in two buildings.
The concern of many in the community, is that development looks more like nine studio apartments rather than a boarding house and is highly unsuitable in an R2 low density residential zone. It could be converted to high cost, short term tourist accommodation in the future.
Other concerns include:
- It exceeds the specified limits for floor space ratio and building height
- It is contrary to the development control plans and character of the area
- Inadequate local services and facilities to meet the needs of the residents –its over two kilometres to the nearest grocery shop and over five kilometres to a supermarket and green grocer
- The lack of adequate onsite parking – normally a development of this size would need 16 spaces yet only six are provided.
Stopping holiday lettings
To prevent these turning into high cost, short term tourist accommodation, a key requirement of a boarding house is that there be a minimum of three-month leases to stop short term or holiday lettings
It is highly doubtful Council’s resources would extend to enforcing this requirement on a permanent basis. If this were to occur, the development would fail to meet the needs of low and very low income residents.
The Land and Environment Court recently refused a proposed mixed use boarding house development on the grounds of non-compatibility with the character of the local area and in adequacy of on-site parking.
New generation boarding houses – a failed policy
The policies enabling these developments are failing to meet the needs of residents for high quality, low cost accommodation with landlords often charging the highest possible rents within the market.
Homelessness NSW chief executive, Katherine McKernan, said those who need low cost housing will be priced out.
“New generation boarding houses provide additional housing at the lower to medium end of the market for people with regular and steady income.
“However, due to the current cost of private rental market housing, they are setting their prices to meet the market.”
Put simply, the evidence is that new generation boarding house developments do not provide low cost housing for low income earners.
This particular development could fail to address the need for practical, sustainable and affordable accommodation as appropriate services, including affordable shops, medical services and social services, are not easily accessible.
It is therefore, unlikely that this development would provide the affordable housing outcomes that policy makers intended, and many people need.
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Categories: Boarding house, Wamberal