APPROVAL of a seven-storey apartment block in King William Street faces a legal challenge from Bayswater city council.
The 27-unit block was controversially approved by the local development assessments panel.
In a 5-4 vote the council decided Tuesday to seek legal advice regarding an appeal.
Locals are split on the project.
An action group opposed to the project says the area has a five-storey limit and trying to squeeze seven storeys into the area “is just too much”.
Geraldine Pillinger from lobby group Bayswater Deserves Better says, “it will dwarf the other buildings in the town centre.
“It’s jut not going to blend in.
“This is about developers trying to make as much money as they can. It’s not for the community, it’s for them.”
She says her group gathered 1000 signatures on a petition to stop the development and that numerous authorities failed to adhere to the rules.
But Paul Shanahan from Future Bayswater welcomes the project’s approval and is concerned the council’s intention to challenge it will send the wrong message to investors.
“Bayswater is a wonderful place. There’s so much potential,” he says.
“We really hope the council doesn’t go down that path.”
He says local professionals are concerned developers may get the message, “it’s too hard to do business here”.
“It all comes down to taste,” Mr Shanahan says.
“I’m no architect, town planer or artist, but it’s a so much-needed development. Its bulk will be 20 metres, there’s no difference if it’s five or seven storeys. We are not concerned. This is what the area needs and we hope it’s the first of a few.”
The metropolitan central joint development assessments panel rejected an original proposal in October last year for non-compliance with height, facade and parking requirements but flagged that a redesign would see it reconsider that decision, which it now has. Pete Adams from Yolk property group says his company is ‘in the midst of completely updating development imagery’ and will launch the new project soon.
by MARTA PASCUAL JUANOLA