Resubmission of DA D/2016/1388 35-47 Wilson Lane Student Accommodation – July 2017

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Resubmission of DA D/2016/1388 35-47 Wilson Lane Student Accommodation – July 2017

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Scape Student Accommodation architects, AJ&C, have resubmitted their revised plans to CoS with design amendments. Objections to the submission close 28 July 2017.


The main documents of interest can be found in the archived links below:

Basic Overview of Changes

  • Apartment/ studio units reduced in number from 231 to 218
  • 9 of the 40 trees to the left and right fringes of the property have been maintained
  • Property edges have been reworked to assist shadowing problems and privacy concerns to the surrounding properties noted in the original proposal.

Objections of the revised submission for the 35-47 Wilson Lane Development Application.

Affordable Housing

  • The proposed Scape student accommodation is being developed under the Affordable Housing SEPP – under the guise of a boarding house. Developing under the banner of the AHSEPP allows the developer to  obtain special developer incentives such as increased allowable floorspace (20% more allowable rooms), reduced apartment sizes, reduced solar access provisions and reduced open space requirements. As such Scape must guarantee that the weekly rental prices reflect the affordable housing cost guidelines. Currently rooms of the same size in the Scape Abercrombie Street accommodation are being rented for $569.00!!!! This is NOT affordable housing and should not be allowed to be built under the provisions of the Affordable Housing SEPP.

Studio Size

  • The outline of the development (Key Benefits page 4) states that overall the proposed studios have increased in size but the majority of them, 133, have remained the same size of 15.08m2. 
  • Page 8 of SoEE states 15.8m2 is the area of the standard studios yet page 19 states 15.08m2. Pls Clarify.
  • Approximately 68% of rooms are still too small in relation to the guidelines outlined in the Sydney DCP. Council has previously noted all rooms should be at least 16.9 m2 as prescribed in Sydney LEP 4.4.1 Boarding Houses and Student Accommodation guidelines.
    • Standard Studio – 133 rooms @ 15.08m2
    • Attick Studio – 10 rooms @ 15.4m2
  • There are conflicting statements in the documentation as to the actual room sizes and room configurations. (Ref SoEE page 5 and page 19) More detail is required as to the actual config and position of rooms on plans.
  • Page 14 of the SoEE states that it is compliant with the ARHSEPP (Affordable rental Housing SEPP) which states the rooms must be 12m2 minimum except that it fails to mention that the measurement excludes kitchen and bathroom facilities which based on the design would make it 11.5m2.  Page 44 – “Unit Sizes” also falsely states that the room sizes are compliant with the SEPP – “Further, the rooms comply with the minimum provisions under clause 29(2)(f) of the Affordable Housing SEPP”.
    It ARHSEPP states:

    • Clause 29 (f)  accommodation sizeif each boarding room has a gross floor area (excluding any area used for the purposes of private kitchen or bathroom facilities) of at least:

      (i)  12 square metres in the case of a boarding room intended to be used by a single lodger.


  • The majority of the proposed studios are not much bigger that the minimum size set for NSW Jail Cells.

Solar Access

  • The lower ground studios have very quite worrying Solar Access issues. More details/plans are required to assess.
  • The DCP Specifies that at least one communal living room receives at least 3 hrs direct sunlight to 50% of the windows in midwinter between 9am and 3pm. The June 21 solar access diagrams (here) do not seem to show ‘full’ sunlight is achieved in the lower level courtyard adjoining the Common Lounge. Updated plans showing solar access to the common room in detail have been since provided but they dont match the original birdseye ones (see below). Additionally a common room skylight is mentioned in clause 29(2)c on page 14 of this application document but it cant be found on the plans provided.
  • screen-shot-2017-07-21-at-5-20-28-pm screen-shot-2017-07-21-at-5-20-46-pm
  • The DCP also specifies the communal outdoor open space is to located and designed to: (a) generally be north-facing to receive a minimum 2 hours solar access to at least 50% of the area during 9am and 3pm on 21 June. The Solar access diagrams for this period show this is no where near the case.

Building Setback from Wilson street

  • The main bulk of the building along Wilson Street still has no setback and is inconsistent with the surrounding neighbourhood. A nil setback will make for a dangerous precedent in the area especially given the forthcoming development across the road for “North Eveleigh”.  As per 4.1.2 of the sydney LEP2012 “Front setbacks are to be consistent with the Building setbacks map. Where no front setback is shown on the map, the front setback is to be consistent with the predominant setting in the street.(2) Within heritage conservation areas, new development is to relate to the established development pattern including the subdivision pattern, front, side and rear setbacks.
  • The building still does not resonate with the surrounding street in terms of heritage considerations. Its bulk, height and in particular its materiality do not ‘speak’ with the area. The architectural design of having the facades divided horizontally to emulate the linear elements of the surrounding terrace buildings looks cheap and is not in keeping with the area. 
  • The plans also show a slight  ‘overhang’ over the Wilson Street footpath from the second floor.

Parking and Vehicle Bay & Pedestrian Safety

  • No Onsite Parking Spaces are provided for employees or residents. Whilst we appreciate the push for all employees and residents to use bicycles or public transport it is an oversight to think that the entire future population will come without a car. No accommodation is provided for the manager/staff who are noted to be available 24hrs. This suggests shift work which may not be amenable to relying on public transport. More onsite parking should be made available.
  • The rollergated vehicle/service-bay at the rear of the property on Wilson Lane is too small for a standard utility van / small truck and also appears to have quite poor manoeuvrability space and access into the building. 
  • The service bay has a very dangerous pedestrian blind spot for cars/vans reversing out onto Wilson Lane.
  • It is noted on page 10 of this application Document that Loading for Servicing and Cleaning will occur via the primary entrance on Wilson Street. This should be what the incorporated service bay is for. With a large number of cyclists already using Wilson Street together with the added cycle traffic proposed by Scape is would seem very unwise to suggest servicing the development from Wilson Street.

Acoustic Measurements and Smoking Area

SEPP65 Compliance

  • The proposed building design must be considered for SEPP65 Compliance. The proposed room sizes, solar access figures and open space areas are currently non compliant under this code.
  • Page 12 of the SoEE also mentions that Amendment no.3 of the SEPPincludes an anomalous statement that could be read to the effect that student accommodation“. This statement appears incomplete, does not make sense and we could find no statements within the amendment that referenced or could be inferred as ‘student accommodation’.
  • The SEPP65 planning guidelines should apply to this BCA Class 3 Development.  (SEPP 65 defines residential flat buildings as including three or more storeys and four or more self-contained dwellings. The Studios are essentially all self contained each containing kitchen and bathroom facilities.) Pls Refer to FAQ section in NSW Planning and Environment Supporting new Generation Boarding Houses – 2014”

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-11-37-53-amBoarding House Registration

  • The Scape development on Abercrombie Street has recently opened and is still not listed on the Boarding House register on the office of Fair Trading website. As the Scape development is using the Affordable Housing SEPP “Boarding House” provision it needs to be ensured that they are registered and thus eligible for local council inspections.


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