AFTER years of protests from locals and multiple applications, a contentious six-storey development in King William Street, Bayswater has been approved.
On February 15 the Development Assessment Panel gave the green light to Yolk Property Group’s “Heir” development, which has won both praise and criticism from various community groups (Future Bayswater for it, Bayswater Deserves Better against).
In 2016 a billboard advertising the apartments was vandalised by opponents who graffitied “POXY FLATS” on it.
Yolk initially got approval for a bigger seven-storey version of the development in February 2016, after winning an appeal, but with a sluggish property market, construction didn’t go ahead.
They came up with a new smaller version, but the majority of Bayswater councillors weren’t happy with it, and recommended the DAP knock it back.
Bayswater mayor Dan Bull attended the DAP meeting to speak against the development, arguing it was too tall and did little to preserve the heritage in the area.
The DAPs are made up of two councillors (Catherine Ehrhardt and Chris Cornish) and three state-appointed experts, Charles Johnson, Sheryl Chaffer and Michael Hardy
But the final vote saw it approved 4/1, with Cr Cornish the only vote against.
Tessa Hopkins from Bayswater Deserves Better wrote of the decision: “The state’s planning regime is broken and it is certainly not equipped to deliver high quality, harmonious and respectful development retrofitted into heritage precincts such as Bayswater town centre. That has always been our key concern and why we have fought so long in a battle we knew we were unlikely to win.\
“We take some heart from the fact that Yolk’s fourth and successful development application does, for the first time, include architectural details at the ground and first storey levels at number 9 King William Street which ‘give a nod to heritage’.
“Sadly, it isn’t enough to ensure this building will harmonise with the heritage precinct and streetscape in which it will sit. And – at six storeys – it sets a precedent for other similarly sized, architecturally bereft, developments to follow,” Ms Hopkins wrote.
by DAVID BELL