Meriton Had A Proposal For A Huge Apartment Block On Sydney's Northern Beaches Rejected

Meriton’s Oceanvale development was the first highrise in Warriewood. Photo: Meriton

The NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure has rejected a proposal for more than 600 apartments by the Meriton Group in the northern peninsula suburb of Warriewood, because it was three times the allowed development density.

The Government’s Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) had already recommended refusal of the proposal for spot rezoning of Meriton-owned land in McPherson Street and Warriewood Road and it also was opposed by Pittwater Council. But the local community remained fearful the recommendations would be ignored by Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.

Protestors staged a demonstration outside the minister’s office last month as part of a 12-month campaign against the plan.

Meriton’s eight-hectare $300 million Oceanvale development in Warriewood has long been a planning battleground, with Council concerns about density being over-ruled in 2011, first by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission. Meriton sought a density of 75 dwellings per hectare and building heights up to five storeys, but the PAC restricted it to 60 per ha and three storeys in approving stage one of 226 apartments.

The Council appealed to the Land and Environment Court and lost, but it did provoke the local body to produce its strategic review into development, which set a 32 dwellings per hectare limit.

NSW Planning Director-General Sam Haddad advised Pittwater Council this week that the proposal would not proceed to a ‘gateway review’, a fast-track system introduced in 2009, which allows developers to bypass local councils and appeal directly to the Minister for approval.

While Pittwater Council increased dwelling density to 32 per hectare in 2011, the Meriton plan was for 98 dwellings per hectare.

Council general manager Mark Ferguson said they were pleased the Department upheld the JRPP’s view that this development “was inappropriate and an over-development of the site.”

Two-bedroom apartments currently on sale at Oceanvale start at $640,000.

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