Croudace Bay residents oppose ‘Legoland’ development

OPPOSED: Croudace Bay residents, led by Adam O’Shannessy. Picture: Max Mason-HubersCROUDACE Bay residents have labelled a development planned in their suburb ‘‘Legoland’’ and out of sync with the neighbourhood.

The $5million ‘‘small-lot housing’’ plan includes 28 two-storey dwellings, a development application to Lake Macquarie City Council says.

Resident Adam O’Shannessy said it was an ‘‘overdevelopment’’ of the Parklea Avenue site.

‘‘This is another example of developers taking over the suburbs.’’

Mr O’Shannessy said residents were ‘‘in the dark’’ about the plan’s precise details.

‘‘We’re not sure if it’s aged care, public housing or an affordable housing scheme.’’

Residents have started Facebook and campaigns to oppose the plan.

Council planning documents list the House with No Steps as the site’s owner. The organisation, which runs disability services, operates from the site. However, a spokeswoman said it had sold the site and would leave by the year’s end.

The Newcastle Herald contacted HBU Projects, which is also listed in council documents as the owner, but the person who answered the call said he was not the owner and said there would be no comment.

Cartoon by Peter Lewis

The development application, which Newcastle company Monteath and Powys prepared, says the proposal ‘‘reflects and enhances existing residential surroundings’’.

‘‘The proposal will create a large number of affordable housing units in Lake Macquarie,’’ it says.

Mr O’Shannessy said the council’s Lifestyle 2030 strategy requires developments to be of a ‘‘scale and density’’ compatible with an area’s character.

‘‘This is clearly not the case.’’

He said the area was a ‘‘low-density residential community’’ with many families.

‘‘The desire to maximise the number of units has driven the design, rather than quality design principles.

‘‘The development density is completely out of sync with the adjoining neighbourhood,’’ he said, adding people’s privacy would be affected.

‘‘Developments of such density are usually built among town centres within walking distance to shopping centres.’’

The application said the ‘‘majority of vegetation’’ on the site would be removed, which Mr O’Shannessy said was a concern for residents.

‘‘The large number of trees on the northern side of the block are a corridor for nature reserves,’’ he said.