STOP HOSTEL BUILD IN QUIET PEAKHURST RESIDENTIAL STREET (DA2021/0016)

STOP HOSTEL BUILD IN QUIET PEAKHURST RESIDENTIAL STREET (DA2021/0016)

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Peakhurst Community started this petition to Georges River Council and

Georges River Council has proposed a Hostel to be built in Prospect Road (DA 2021/0016). This is currently a quiet, residential street with R2 Zoning. This development will set a precedent for further development, changing the entire area to R3 Zoning. Our neighbourhood will soon be multi-residential, with pockets of public housing in every street, which is exactly what happened with Riverwood (surrounding Peakhurst Park). 

This portion of the population is in demand of housing, and we can agree that we are compassionate on the issue, however this facility does not belong in a residential street, and here is why:

High Density Building within an R2 Zoned Neighbourhood
- Sutherland Shire Council Defines R2 zoning as ‘areas of the City characterized by low density development. The standards of the R2 zoning district are intended to maintain residential neighborhood character, and to ensure that new development is COMPATIBLE WITH THE EXISTING CHARACTER. 
- The style, bulk and size of the development does not fit in with the character of existing homes.

The current Hostel development application is NON-COMPLIANT
- Exceeds height restrictions by 1.8m 
- Exceeds overall storey height by 1 floor
- Exceeds rear setback to Prospect Rd by 2 storeys
- Exceeds the allowable green space ratio, which basically means the land space will have too much building, and not enough landscaped open space for its residents. 
- The DA states 70 rooms, however the plans show 71. This is because the plans are missing bedroom 61. 
- The report mentions 55 rooms with bathrooms and 15 without, however the correct figure is 41 with bathrooms, 29 without. 
- Through the DA reports, the development is described as many things. The predominant description used is ’Seniors Living’ or ‘Housing for Seniors and People with Disability’… which is entirely different to the DA wording ‘Hostel’, 
- There are only 3 rooms with disability access (Accessible Units)
- The DA does not mention age group or exact purpose, nor is it specific on who will be operating the facility

ONE Staff Member for 70 PEOPLE
- The proposal outlines to have ONE staff member to cater for 70 individuals. This staff member is not a Registered Nurse, and supervising at ALL hours of the 24/7 operation. This is not sufficient to manage 70 individuals who will be residing in a quiet, residential street. 
- There is no medical room proposed for this development, and a maximum of 4 nurses to cater for 70 people in a given day, during business hours ONLY. 

Safety, Privacy and Security
- Children in the area regularly ride scooters and bikes up and down the footpath and walk to and from the local Peakhurst Public School alone, and parents feel safe allowing them to do so with the trust we all have in our neighbourhood, and its reputation for safety
- No security is put in place whether it be in the form of CCTV, Guards or Patrols of any kind. When the property owner was asked about what can be in place, the request was ignored.
- The current development plans show over 28 balconies, 10 metres high, shadowing on adjacent properties and invading resident’s privacy by giving Hostel residents a direct birds-eye view into our front and backyards.

Waste and Environmental Impacts
- A total of 22 Trees, including 4 within a landscaped heritage setting will be removed as part of the demolition proposed, resulting in significant negative environmental impacts. 
- Waste collection for an ADDITIONAL 70 RESIDENTS (food and general waste) will be collected on Prospect Road

Heritage Significance
- Collaroy House is also one of the oldest homes in the region, and received a historical marker in 2019 

Traffic Congestion
- Additional congestion will occur on Baumans Rd, Collaroy Ave and Bailey Pde. Congestion can not be tolerated on narrow streets, where vehicles are unable to pass oncoming traffic
- Added traffic will put children at risk walking to and from Peakhurst Public. The area is already a noticeable traffic hazard, hence in December 2020 the Local Government approved a full-time traffic controller to operate the pedestrian crossing outside Peakhurst Public School (on Bailey Pde)
- Foot traffic will also increase significantly as an additional 70 people will be accessing the street to enter AND exit the facility. 

Potential Decline in Property Value
- As most residents within Peakhurst are of middle-class status, there is an abundance of families still paying off mortgages, and working long hours of the day to ensure they can provide the best for their family. As a result of this Hostel, properties on Prospect Road may experience a drop in property value, particularly those within 100 metres of the facility
- There will also be higher insurance premiums for vehicles and homes right across the area. 

Concerns of Anti-Social behaviours within the development impacting surrounding neighbours
- “Antisocial behaviour is behaviour which disturbs. the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or. neighbours or the surrounding community” (Department of Communities and Justice, 2021). Antisocial behaviours include: Manufacturing and supplying drugs, Physical assault, Malicious and intentional damage to property, Threatening behaviour toward staff, Street brawling
- A study shows that 78% of staff who work within these dwellings believe that Antisocial behaviour is an issue, and despite these reports which demonstrate increase, 44% of these facilities saw no changes to safety made and 35% agreed that safety has worsened. (Audit Office of NSW, 2018). 
- Inevitably,  antisocial and illegal behaviour puts the safety and security of neighbours at risk. Another study conducted by (Santiago, Galster and Pettit, 2003) concluded that Government funded housing had the most negative impacts in suburbs with middle-class residents. 

Taking into consideration that the majority of Prospect Road is populated with young families, safety is a strong concern for our neighborhood. Our safety, privacy and sense of community will be completely diminished if this Hostel goes ahead. Many of the residents on Prospect Road have been residing here for decades and wish to raise their children in a safe and comforting neighbourhood. 

Although the Prospect Road residents are generally supportive of affordable housing in principle, we would strongly prefer that a HIGH DENSITY HOSTEL APARTMENT BLOCK isn’t sited in our local area. Instead, we recommend the Council revise these plans, listen to the community concerns and reconsider the development of a Hostel for another facility appropriate for our neighbourhood. Other alternatives include TownHouses, a Childcare Centre and keeping the original property as is (reception venue). 


Please sign this petition, support our families and help save Peakhurst from this Hostel. If this development is approved, further developers will use this as a benchmark to achieve approvals towards more local Hostels. If we don’t stop this now, it could be your neighbourhood next.


Contact Us: FacebookEmail: peakhurst.community@gmail.com

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