Boarding house approved at Penshurst


HURSTVILLE Council has lost its fight to stop a 47-room boarding house development at Penshurst. The NSW Land and Environment Court overturned the council’s decision to reject a four-storey affordable housing application that was unanimously rejected by all councillors at the development assessment committee meeting in June. The application to redevelop old squash courts at 43a Penshurst Street, Penshurst, was submitted by Denis Antipas from Eminent Constructions. Acting commissioner Jenny Smithson upheld the appeal against the council on December 15. Following submissions from the council’s consultant planner and two objectors, the court approved the application to retain existing shops on the ground level, with amended plans and conditions. These included removing three rooms from the top floor (taking it from 50 to 47 rooms), adding a fourth floor setback at the front and increasing the size of the top-storey communal area. The court also ordered a minimum of one parking space for each retail use. A Penshurst resident of 25 years who wished to remain anonymous said she was worried about the type of people the development would attract. ‘‘We only hope and pray that this doesn’t go ahead,’’ the neighbour said. ‘‘Even with 47 rooms there will be a lot more people in this congested spot.’’ The site is in the middle of the CBD and close to Penshurst Girls Campus of Georges River College. Hurstville mayor Steve McMahon said he was disappointed by the outcome and planned to appeal. ‘‘It’s not an appropriate development for the street and I think property values will suffer,’’ he said. ‘‘The decision is a reflection of the lack of adequate action from the previous and current state government. Unless the state government changes legislation to give planning powers back to the community we won’t have any control.’’ The Leader could not reach Mr Antipas for comment.