Controversial Queen Street high-rise proposal on public exhibition again

A controversial high-rise apartment development proposal in the centre of Campbelltown is once again on public exhibition.

Plans for a 15-storey apartment building at the back of the historic former CBC Bank building on Queen Street have been lodged with Campbelltown Council – the second time the applicant has proposed a high-rise complex for the site.

When the proposal first came to the council it was for a 21-storey, 71-metre high building with 101 apartments.

Given the site’s close proximity to the heritage CBC bank building and historic post office, the NSW Heritage Council refused to endorse that proposal, especially considering it was almost 40 metres higher than the existing height limit of 32 metres.

The Sydney South West Planning Panel formally refused the first proposal in March this year as, under legislation, approval could not be granted without the NSW Heritage Council’s consent.

The new proposal has been significantly amended and is now six storeys smaller than originally intended.

The building’s proposed height has dropped by almost 19 metres to 52.4 metres – which is still 20 metres taller than the maximum height allowable under the Campbelltown Local Environment Plan 2015.

The height was “reduced to provide a more appropriate built form for the site’s context”, the proposal stated.

The number of apartments has been reduced to 72 and the basement car park has been reduced from 139 to 103 spaces.

Information in the new proposal – which is on public exhibition at Campbelltown Library and the Campbelltown Council building until August 27 – suggested the development, if approved, would “contribute to meeting the desired future character of Campbelltown’s CBD”.

“[The proposal will] provide a refined building design that demonstrates a high level of architectural merit,” the documents read.

“[The proposal will] provide for an activated street frontage within the CBC Bank state heritage building [and] will renew the outside of the heritage building to ensure an accessible, attractive public domain between buildings that will contribute to the activation of Queen Street.”

The proposal has also increased the protected curtilage around the CBC Bank building by a further 6.4 metres, to 28.4 metres.

However, Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society president Kay Hayes does not believe that is enough.

She said no high-rise development at the site would receive the society’s endorsement.

“We still think it encroaches too much on the two heritage buildings – CBC and the post office,” she said.

She said she would hate to see the area – which the society considers the heritage precinct of the Campbelltown CBD – becoming crowded and jammed with housing.

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