NEWCASTLE council will collect almost $1 million after voting to enter into a planning agreement which will allow a developer to build a 45-metre high mixed-use building in Wickham.
The council unanimously voted on Tuesday night to enter into an agreement with the Blake Organisation, which is developing the Neufort Wickham project at 73-79 Railway Lane.
The agreement, which was publicly exhibited last month, will allow the developer to increase the height of an approved building by five storeys to 45 metres.
The development standard height limit for the site is 24 metres, but the council's Wickham Masterplan adopted in 2017 envisioned buildings up to 45 metres in that part of the suburb.
Blake won approval from the Hunter and Central Coast Regional Planning Panel in 2017 for a nine-storey building with 150 units behind the Lass O'Gowrie Hotel.
It then lodged revised plans in 2018 for a much larger building, including five more floors and 40 more apartments, along with the cash-for-height offer.
Blake has taken the council to the Land and Environment Court over its deemed refusal of the amended project, but the council said in September that the planning agreement was not subject to the court proceedings, which were a "separate matter" it had to resolve.
The developer will contribute $955,000 towards the provision of community infrastructure and public amenities in the surrounding area as part of the deal.
The funds must be paid in full prior to the issue of the Occupation Certificate for the development.
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