RESIDENTS in Melville’s Coleman Crescent are up in arms over a proposed eight-unit development they say is out of scale with the rest of their quiet neighbourhood.
Danmar Developments recently lodged an application with Melville council to build a three-level complex of two-bedroom apartments at number 67, just behind the Marmion Street shops.
Danmar argues that the shops, bar and cafe qualify as an activity centre so the owners of the property should be given some leeway to bulk up a little more than allowed under the R Codes.
But surrounding neighbours say if the developer gets their way, it could set a precedent that will undermine the suburban feel of their area.
Jo Lucas lives directly opposite and says one of her greatest concerns is the additional traffic eight units will bring, as Coleman Street is used by many parents to get to Melville Primary School.
“There are little kids whose parents walk them to school and pick them up, and this development’s on the only side of the road where there’s a footpath,” Ms Lucas says.
“Where are the visitors going to park?
She says because of Coleman Street’s sweeping turn, once cars start clogging up the verges, drivers will find it difficult to see pedestrians.
“I am going to be the person that is going to find a child on the street.”
Bonnie Mason lives in at the front of a triplex next door. Danmar has applied to have setbacks reduced so the front unit will stick out and block her views down the street.
“I am going to have this massive thing looming over me,” she says.
Susan Bourke is also facing a large brick wall that will block light from her courtyard at the rear of the duplex and says the development will drastically slash the value of her property.
All three say they support infill development and praise a section of Coleman where old homes have been bowled to make way for long, thin homes, but say that should be the benchmark.
“I mean, the most anyone has done has been three homes,” says Ms Lucas.
The residents praised new councillor Karen Wheatland for negotiating them through the development and objection process, and say their first step is to ensure the development gets kicked upstairs from the internal planning committee where it could get delegated approval and up to full council.
by STEVE GRANT