LONG-HELD plans to redevelop a waterfront site in Belmont look set to become a reality after the regional planning panel approved a development application for a 120-unit complex.
The $39 million project proposed by applicant Monteath & Powys Pty Ltd had been revised multiple times before finally winning the approval of the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel last week.
The development includes four residential towers ranging between six and seven storeys and 700 square-metres of ground-floor commercial and retail space.
The development site, which is bordered by Brooks Parade, Sharp Street and Edgar Street, is an amalgamation of 15 lots. Multiple existing houses and shops will ultimately be demolished to make way for the complex.
Lake Macquarie council had recommended the DA be approved, despite 30 submissions across three exhibition periods raising concerns about building height, overshadowing and other issues.
The planning panel agreed with the council's assessment that the proposed variation to the area's standard building height was justified.
One building exceeds the site's 22-metre height limit by more 20 per cent, or 4.54 metres, while the other three are less than two metres.
The council said the height of the buildings was appropriate for the location as they were consistent with adjacent unit blocks, the development was located within a part of Belmont "identified as a key growth area and an economic centre", and it presented an "opportunity to fulfil the vision for a sustainable and emerging vibrant commercial precinct".
"The proposal will increase housing density and diversity, improve streetscape interfaces and enhance connectivity and amenity within a well serviced location," it said in its assessment report.
The complex provides 154 car parking spaces, primarily in a basement car park. It also includes a turntable to allow medium rigid vehicles to exit via the same entry.
A $100 million seniors development was proposed for the site in 2012 but did not eventuate.