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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : April 22nd 2009
4 INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, April 23, 2009 MB NEWS www.innerwestweekly.com.au Councillor says court's decision a major win FIONA BRADY The building at 67-75 Smith St, Summer Hill. ASHFIELD Council has had another notable victory in the Land and Environment Court. Earlier this month the court rejected an appeal from SDA Australia Pty Ltd over a development at 67-75 Smith St, Summer Hill. The applicant wanted to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with five three- storey terraces and three residential buildings containing 23 units. The proposed development was also to include a basement carpark for 46 cars. The site had been rezoned from industrial land to residential in 2007 and had development controls attached to it. Commissioner Trevor Bly found while it was ''in some ways an appropriate development'', it should be refused because it failed to appropriately and sufficiently respond to the controls that had been negotiated by Ashfield Council and the community in 2007. Summer Hill councillor Caroline Stott said the decision was a ''major victory''. ''If approved it would have irrevocably changed the landscape of Summer Hill,'' she said. ''This is proof that council is not wasting ratepayers' money on legal expenses. ''This sends a message to all developers -- work within council's controls and don't ignore development control plans.'' In an earlier legal victory, the Land and Environment Court backed the council's refusal of a proposed development at 1 Yeo Ave, Ashfield. School knocked back FIONA BRADY The Land and Environment Court has rejected an appeal to build a school on Yasmar Estate, Haberfield. Inset: The Italian Bilingual School signs a lease on Yasmar in 2007. THE Land and Environment Court has knocked back the con- troversial proposal to build an Italian bilingual school on historic Yasmar estate in Haberfield. Italian charity Co.As.It. wanted to demolish juvenile detention centre buildings on the eastern part of the estate and build a primary school for 240 students. But the proposal faced vehement opposition -- both from residents, who objected to the scale of the development, and from heritage groups, who feared the develop- ment's impact on Yasmar. After its application was re- jected by Ashfield Council in October 2008, Co.As.It. appealed to the Land and Environment Court. But last Wednesday, it too re- jected the proposal. Commissioner Graham Brown said the impact of the proposed school on the Haberfield conser- vation area was enough to justify the refusal of the development application. He criticised the school's ''utili- tarian design'' and said he was not satisfied that it responded ''in any meaningful way to its location within the heritage conservation area, and particularly to the dwell- ings adjoining the site in Chandos St''. One of those homeowners, Adrian Walton, welcomed the de- cision. ''This decision sends a crystal- clear message to any potential developers considering going into the Yasmar property that they must comply with all the local planning requirements that as residents we happily do so,'' he said. In a statement, Co.As.It. said it remained committed to the Italian Bilingual School, which currently operates out of temporary prem- ises in Norton St, Leichhardt. ''The board of directors wishes to convey to all that it considers the dismissal of the appeal a setback, however one that will help us to become aware of some shortfalls in our past approach,'' the statement read. The charity hinted at ''new opportunities that might have be- come available''. CEO Andrea Comastri would not be drawn on what those opportunities were, but said it would re-evaluate its position at a board meeting this week. The charity received a 20-year lease from the Lands Department to operate on the site in 2007, but it is understood this was contingent on it obtaining development con- sent within 18 months. 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