Randwick plans to progress without a nearby site

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A Sydney developer will press ahead with plans for a four-building mixed-use project in the city’s eastern suburbs despite failing to secure critical adjoining corner land and the century-old former bank building that stands on it.

The Anson Group, which has been developing residential, retail and commercial properties across Sydney for 15 years, has filed plans with Randwick City Council for the $104million project, which will include nearly 200 apartments.

Their plans include merging 14 lots from 77 to 103 Anzac Parade and 59A to 71 Boronia Street in Kensington. They offer four buildings, between four and nine floors on the 6296 m² site.

However, Anson had also wanted Lot 25, on the corner of Anzac Parade and Duke Street, a property of around 240 square meters.

Although not listed as a heritage feature, the former Bank of NSW branch building is identified as “contributory to Kensington town centre” as part of Randwick’s overall development control plan of 2013.

Built between 1920 and 1925, the building now houses the Josef Lebovic Gallery. Online records show Lebovic acquired the site in March 2010 for $1.98 million.

Urbis said the two parties were unable to come to an agreement over ownership.

Online records show Anson paid $8million for a smaller site of around 190m², next to the Bank of NSW building in June 2015.

According to Urbis, despite Anson’s inability to take over the adjoining land, the new development will have little effect on the old bank.

▲ The developers had wanted the neighboring lot, including a former Bank of NSW, but say they could not agree on the price.

“The south wall hinges gently away from the adjacent contributing building, allowing it to command attention as a defining corner building and enough breathing space to be easily discernible from the new development” , he told the council.

Four separate buildings, each designed by BVN Architecture, are planned with retail on the ground floor, including a supermarket and a central thoroughfare between Anzac Parade and Boronia Street.

The two tallest buildings – with facades on Anzac Parade – will be connected by a built form of upper level infill.

A total of 197 apartments are planned: 33 one-bedroom, 140 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom. Six first level apartments will be donated to the council as affordable housing.

Two basement levels will include parking for 245 cars.

“The proposal will provide short and long-term employment opportunities, stimulate economic activities to support a rapid economic recovery, and provide a site accessible to the public via a link and much-needed retail services, including a supermarket for the community,” Urbis said.

Pre-filing meetings were held between the developers and Randwick council late last year and again in February this year.

Urbis said the height of the four buildings “was generally accepted”, although the four buildings exceeded the maximum permitted height for the area, in some cases up to 5.3 meters.

Anson has applied to amend clause 4.6, which under NSW planning laws can allow flexibility in the application of development standards.

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