The entire front building would be held by the owner (not sold), including the commercial spaces. 12 of the 16 shop top apartments would be dedicated to affordable housing/housing for key workers for a minimum of 15 years. This would be managed by a third party accredited affordable housing provider. The remaining four would be long term permanent rentals. The seven townhouses in the building at the rear are intended to be sold at market value.

This scheme facilitates the provision of sorely needed affordable housing whilst increasing the supply of housing to the market both for permanent rentals and for sale.

At this point there are no confirmed tenancies. We will continue to engage with Suffolk Park residents to gain a better understanding of what is wanted and needed at this locality.

The 9 metre height limit applies to the entire Suffolk Park area. The Suffolk Park Early Learning Centre next door at 17 Clifford Street will shortly be rebuilt, subject to DA approval, to 8.6 metres in height. This will provide for context along the streetscape.

Every effort has been made to soften the built form impact. The building to the rear would not be visible from the street. To retain mature native trees there is no development on the eastern side of the site. There are generous setbacks:

  • 20 metres from the eastern boundary to the building on Clifford Street and 3 metres from the eastern boundary to the building at the rear.
  • 1.8 - 6 metres from the southern boundary (Clifford Street) on ground level, with the second and third levels set back 6 metres. The adjoining commercial development to the west is located closer to the street.
  • 5 metres from the northern boundary to the townhouses.

Due to the stepped and recessed nature of the building fronting Clifford Street, when viewed from the street it appears as a two storey building. The retention of trees provides a large amount of canopy cover and extensive soft landscaping and greened terraces will further soften the built form.

A vegetation assessment and tree survey informed the footprint and placement of the built form.

Whilst we have preserved as much vegetation as possible, the land is zoned both Commercial and Residential by Byron Shire Council. Hence some vegetation removal with compensatory planting is seen as inevitable for the construction of a viable development that seeks to balance ecological, social and economic outcomes.

An area of 1564m2 has been allocated for biodiversity and offset planting zones, predominantly in the central area between the two buildings. These areas would include retained vegetation, particularly areas of Coast Cypress Pine Forest and Littoral Rainforest.

A Vegetation Management Plan guided the management of retained native vegetation communities as well as revegetation works to compensate for trees requiring removal. Management actions would include:

  • Revegetation to plant numerous native plants and trees for each one removed.
  • Assisted regeneration to encourage the natural regeneration of native species.
  • Planted species would be local natives associated with Coastal Cypress Pine Forest and Littoral Rainforest which occur on the site.

It is expected that these management actions would result in an overall improvement of native vegetation communities. Currently the native vegetation is highly disturbed with areas of vegetation having a degraded vegetation structure due to the absence of native mid and ground layer vegetation. Vegetation management works would result in the reduction of weed density and diversity and improvement in native vegetation composition and structure through the restoration of native mid and understorey vegetation.

A Biodiversity Assessment Report was prepared as part of the DA and includes a test of significance (S7.3 BC Act) to assess impacts to any threatened species and communities.

The development has had a series of iterations and reviews in order to avoid and minimise impacts to native vegetation. These have resulted in:

  • Utilising the existing building footprints as much as possible;
  • Minimal excavation including no underground parking to preserve root structures.
  • Building upwards instead of across to shrink the built form at ground level.
  • Molding the design around existing trees to minimise tree loss.

To facilitate this small footprint, three storeys have been crafted within each building. Car parking has been tucked away underneath level one on both buildings. Living spaces were taken upwards with only retail, parking, biodiversity offset planting zones and landscaped areas at ground level. The Clifford Street frontage is set back in two places to preserve mature Coastal Cypress Pines.

The proposed scheme limits the building footprint to 45% of the site, or 1835m2.

Parking demand for the site has been determined in accordance with Table 1 of Chapter 4 of the DCP. We believe we are compliant due to parking proposed and parking credits:

  • 28 car spaces for residents.
  • 13 car spaces for the commercial precinct plus 2 parking credits.
  • 3 parking credits for residential visitors.
  • 5 of these car spaces are accessible, including one accessible garage adjacent to the accessible/adaptable townhouse.
  • There is also parking for motorcycles and bicycles.

In summary, we are providing 46 car parks with the remaining 5 being ‘allowable shortfalls’ due to the existing uses.

The driveway access proposed is via a 5.9 metre wide crossover onto Clifford Street allowing for two-way access and egress. The initial traffic study has found that adequate provisions are made for vehicular manoeuvring and that the proposed layout allows for safe and convenient access and egress. The consolidation of multiple existing driveways to a single driveway will increase pedestrian safety.

The development site is mapped as bushfire prone land. Our design takes into consideration our location within a bushfire prone buffer. Consultation with the RFS is ongoing.

GFA permissible 2771.8m2

GFA proposed 2764.98m2

Although the overall floor space ratio is 0.5:1 across the entire site, we have incorporated the additional GFA allowance of 0.5:1 available for the provision of Affordable Housing as set out in the SEPP Affordable Housing for the commercially zoned area. Without this additional GFA, the provision of critical worker housing on the site would not be feasible.