Magenta Shores’ owners have increased the size of a number of beachside housing lots to gain approval from the Independent Planning Commission for their latest staged development.
What was going to be 58 townhouses beachside, has now become 48 bigger blocks.
The revised plans for the integrated residential/tourism development at The Entrance North were referred to the commission because more than 25 objections were received.
The latest stage included an increase of four residential lots from 44 to 48, realignment of roads and reconfiguration of the layout and size of lots.
The Commissioners undertook a site inspection and met separately with the applicant, the Department of Planning and Environment and Central Coast Council, to discuss the application.
They held a public meeting at The Entrance to listen to the community’s concerns, which centred on: density, road configuration, access and pocket parks, and the need for subdivision applications to reflect the appropriate design guidelines.
Five people spoke directly to the commissioners at a hearing on December 12.
They included, Paul Seisums, who was speaking on behalf of the owners.
He said the smaller lot sizes were on trend with all developers and they had been trying to respond to market demands.
He said the owners were private developers with a philosophy of people first, planet second and profit third.
“I think we have actually demonstrated the three Ps in not, you know, going ahead or pushing the townhouses,’’ he said, referring to the lots near the beach.
The Magenta Shores Community Association spoke about uncertainty over the status of the original Masterplan Approval within the context of ongoing modifications for each stage of the development.
Ann Cameron spoke on behalf of the association.
She said she had been a member of the association since its inception about ten years ago.
“In the beginning, with the original 2004 master plan in place, it was intended that the whole site be designed and constructed by Mirvac and be completed well before now,’’ she said in her address to the commission.
“This has not happened, and we have lurched from development certainty under Mirvac to a very rocky and uncertain development future as the developer seeks to increase densities and height across the site with little regard to the approved master plan.
“This was evident in the previously approved modification which is currently under construction, and you will see some of that today.
“This modification sought initially to replicate that modification, and it included a 40 per cent increase in the number of dwellings, a reduction in greenspace and linkages to the golf course and a straightening of the roads.
“Following a site visit from departmental officers, which I don’t think happened under the previous modification, the department has recommended significant changes to the current application, which include a reduction in the number of lots, the addition of one pocket park and the reinstatement of the links to the golf course.
“The Community Association generally supports these amendments, although we would have liked another pocket park.
“However, the continuance of this ad hoc approach to the development without a new master plan not only provides uncertainty, but places substantial risk to the overall theme and the quality of the development, and I hope you can see that for yourself when you go there today.
“Our main concerns, which remain unresolved are, firstly, the potential for future ad hoc modifications to the master plan rather than a requirement for a new master plan to be prepared if any more increases in the density or major changes are proposed and, secondly, the potential for the developer to sell off individual lots in this and any future stage without the appropriate design guidelines in place.
“This happened in a previous stage, which is RO3, I think, on your map there, and resulted in delays, frustration and considerable additional expense to applicants and the Community Association.’’
She said there had been some progress recently but requested that any requests for increased density should trigger a requirement for a new master plan.
In a press release, the Commission said it approved the modification application on January 10 after careful consideration of all the evidence and after listening to the community’s views.
Under the changes, an extra four residential lots will be added (up from 44 to 48 lots), while the subdivision layout will be reconfigured to provide 23 lots on the north-western side of White Haven Ave and 25 lots on the south-eastern side of an extended White Haven Ave.
White Haven Ave will still be realigned, but this will no longer result in the loss of a pocket park as another pocket park has been added.
The Commission found that the modified development “would retain the core elements of the Magenta Shores Master Plan Approval in providing permanent residential dwellings, with vehicular and pedestrian access and circulation arrangements”.
The residential and tourist site is now owned by three tenants in common: Option SIV Real Estate Fund, Tung Chit Real Estate Investment Australia and Zhao Family Trust.
The Commission noted the owners’ commitment to approaching development of the remaining undeveloped sites in a more holistic manner and said that would be in the public interest.
The Commission recommended that they work closely with the community in delivering this commitment.
Commission chair, Professor Mary O’Kane, appointed a three-member panel: Chris Wilson, Catherine Hird and Russell Miller, to determine the matter.
Magenta Shores has a total area of 101.92 hectares with frontages of about 1.8 kilometres to Wilfred Barrett Dr to the west, and 2.31 km to the Coastal Protection Zone to the east.
The site is located about 5.2 km south of Toukley, 4.7 km north of The Entrance.
The original masterplan approved in 2004 included a 13 stage development that included a resort, gold course, tourist and permanent accommodation, totalling 611 suites, villas or houses.
NSW Government Independent Planning Commission Statement of Reasons for Decision
NSW Government Independent Planning Commission Public Meeting transcript
Press Release, Jan 10
NSW Government Independent Planning Commission