A contentious 84-unit development in Adamstown has won approval despite the concerns of residents over its scale and impact on the neighbourhood.
Adamstown BD Pty Ltd lodged plans in 2017 to demolish six houses and build three unit towers, known as The Foundry, on the fringe of the Brunker Road shopping strip.
Dozens of residents complained, and the developer and Newcastle City Council entered into protracted negotiations before the developer appealed to the Land and Environment Court over what it deemed to be the council's rejection of the project.
Court-directed conciliation between the two parties in September and this month resulted in an agreement to allow the development to proceed.
The court ruled on April 8 that it would sanction this agreement as the development was in the public interest and a 3.3-metre variance in the area's 14-metre height limit was justified on planning grounds.
Half of the redevelopment site, which fronts both Brunker Road and Date Street, lies within the Adamstown "renewal corridor", an area identified by the council for housing "intensification".
The Foundry lies at the southern extremity of the renewal corridor's "Adamstown Town Centre" precinct, which the council's 2012 Development Control Plan says is designed to "reinforce retail and other commercial uses but retain its current urban village character".
"This precinct has a target of providing 30 additional dwellings," the plan says.
The site also straddles two zonings, medium density on the Date Street side and high density on the other.
Date Street resident Sue Morris said it was not the council's fault the matter had gone to court, but she could not understand why it had reached an agreement with the developer with only minor amendments to the plan.
"There is a couple of minor adjustments, but very little," she said. "If you look at what the Adamstown renewal corridor is supposed to look like, this is clearly not what it was meant to turn out like.
"The s--- that they write about character and streetscape and all that crap, it's just full-on crap, because clearly this just wipes that off the face of the planet.
"We've got a heritage street setback, we've got a beautiful tree-lined street, something that's been created 100 years ago, and they've wiped that off in one fell swoop.
"I'm just shaking my head thinking, 'Why did we bother, because they can clearly get what they want.'"
Council chief executive officer Jeremy Bath said the developer had agreed to concessions over the past year on road safety, setbacks, overshadowing, waste management and parking.
"Council can't, or at least shouldn't, refuse complying development, which The Foundry largely was," he said.
"Our responsibility is to secure the best outcome for the local area as well as future unit owners but within the confines of the Development Control Plan and broader Newcastle LEP [Local Environment Plan].
"On this basis, the negotiated outcome is a good outcome that allows a permissible development to proceed while avoiding an expensive Land and Environment Court hearing."