Hotel, apartments proposed for Studley Park House area

Not pleased: Residents are concerned development plans for around Studley Park house will threaten flora and cause traffic. Picture: Simon Bennett
Not pleased: Residents are concerned development plans for around Studley Park house will threaten flora and cause traffic. Picture: Simon Bennett

Camden residents are concerned a hotel and apartment development planned for the area around the historic Studley Park House will threaten native flora and increase traffic.

The Moran Group, which owns the iconic heritage-listed house located on the Camden Golf Course, has lodged a concept development application with Camden Council for a two-storey, 46-bed hotel and four residential apartments, ranging from two to four storeys, containing approximately 138 apartments.

Both the hotel and apartments would include basement car parking, and the application also features the restoration of Studley Park House itself.

The plans are currently on public exhibition, and residents have until February 14 to lodge a submission with the council.

Biodiversity officer Peter Ridgeway holds significant concerns the proposed development would threaten an endangered "pretty little flower" called the Pimelea spicata, or pink pimelea.

"The development site and Camden Golf Club together are the largest population of this endangered species globally," he said.

Mr Ridgeway fears more than 10 per cent of the pimelea flower on development site and golf club land will be lost if the development goes ahead.

"More concerning are the indirect but very real impacts on the Camden Golf woodland, which adjoins directly downslope of the development," he said.

"The impacts of nutrient, sediment and runoff, even with the best prevention measures in the world, will be devastating and permanent.

"In the long-term, as much as half of the [pimelea] population may be at risk - a good proportion of the total population of the species."

Neighbouring resident Leonie Jackson said it was important locals recognised the impact this proposal could have on the area.

"Not a lot of people even know this is happening," she said.

"After the bushfires, the eyes of the world are on Australia, and we have to make a decision to show we care about flora conservation."

She is also concerned that apartments would greatly increase traffic in the immediate area.

Ms Jackson said increased traffic on Lodges Road and Wilton Street could be dangerous as the roads house a childcare centre and retirement village.

The Advertiser contacted the Moran Group for comment, but they did not respond prior to deadline.

The Moran Group's hotel management plan document, lodged with the council and readily available on the council's website, said the plans would be of great benefit to the community.

"Studley Park 'Mansion' Hotel is a transformational hospital project that will generate economic activity, provide employment opportunities closer to home for people in the western Sydney region and meet the region's growing hospitality and tourism needs," the document read.

"The masterplan will see Studley Park provide stylish classical yet modern accommodation with innovative facilities with a greater focus and connection to heritage and nature-based tourism than what is usually on offer within the Camden/Narellan vicinity."

The document says the hotel development would be 25 minutes from the future Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, becoming a "rural oasis surrounded by agricultural pioneers, convict-built Belgenny Farm, wisteria walks, cellar doors and outdoor adventures, including mountain biking and gliding, all accessible to hotel guests".

The construction management plan documents indicate the construction works would be in line with the site's approved Conservation Management Plan and be sensitive to the heritage value of the site.

The Moran Group proposes to complete the works over two stages, with heritage restoration and hotel construction coming in stage one, and the apartments coming in stage two.

Mr Ridgeway encouraged locals to read through the documents.

"This DA needs to be carefully considered for its impact on the historical Studley Park House and an appropriate curtilage aroudn it to ensure visual aspects to and from it are maintained and not impacted upon," he said.

"It is a significant landmark on the Camden Narellan landscape that must not be impacted upon by high-rise development."

This story Hotel, apartments proposed for Studley Park House area first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.