Controversy Brews as Developer Pushes for Rezoning to Accommodate New Homes in Little Bay Cove

A private developer is making another attempt to push a plan to build 1,600 homes in Little Bay Cove, amidst strong opposition from the locals.

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Meriton, led by Harry Triguboff, one of Australia’s wealthiest individuals, is hoping to push the development forward under an NSW state government program called the Rezoning Pathways Program

The program aims to address the housing market’s high demand by expediting the rezoning process, allowing for the construction of 70,000 homes, primarily in Western Sydney. In order to be eligible for the program, developments need to create more than 1,000 new homes.

Photo Credit: PTW Architects

Meriton has approached the state government, requesting fast-track rezoning for land in Sydney’s eastern region. They argue that this move would generate significant revenue, which could be used to assist the flood victims in Lismore. However, their proposal exceeds the area’s current zoning restrictions by six times, requiring special approval.

Photo Credit: PTW Architects

In 2017, Meriton acquired the 12.3-hectare land at 1408 Anzac Parade, Little Bay for approximately $250 million, with the intention of redeveloping it into 1,909 homes. However, their proposals were rejected by both Randwick Council in 2020 and the Sydney City East Planning Panel the following year.

A Meriton spokesperson claims that the company has made adjustments to their proposal, including reducing density, decreasing the number of dwellings by over 300, increasing housing diversity, and incorporating a higher proportion of affordable housing.

Meriton said that when the company purchased the site, it came with completed public infrastructure including roads, footpaths, a playground and an approved shovel-ready masterplan for around 450 dwellings in buildings 2-5 storeys high. 

By expediting the rezoning process, Meriton hopes to strengthen its plans to construct high-rise apartments on its beachside property. 

However, Meriton’s proposals have faced strong public opposition. Save Little Bay, a community group with around 2,600 Facebook members, has launched a petition that has garnered thousands of signatures in opposition to the redevelopment of Little Bay Cove.

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“If we are serious about supplying quickly the housing Sydney needs, the NSW Government should stop-indulging mega-developers like Meriton and their high-rise fantasies and instead tell them to get on with the job of building to the existing approval. The site is shovel ready.” Randwick Mayor, Dylan Parker said.

Published 30-June-2023