The state’s Independent Planning Commission has approved a multimillion-dollar commercial development at the Port of Newcastle.
Under the $28.4-million proposal, lodged by Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd (the Applicant), a four-storey building comprising commercial office space and ground-floor cafeteria would be built at 46 Fitzroy Street, Carrington. The development application also proposes landscaping works; parking for 172 cars and eight motorbikes, as well as 50 bike rack spaces; seating and communal spaces; a waste disposal area; water tanks; and signage.
Up to 100 construction and 644 operational jobs are expected to flow from the project.
An assessment undertaken by the Department of Planning & Environment on behalf of the NSW Government concluded the development application is approvable subject to conditions of consent; however, the Independent Planning Commission is the consent authority under ministerial delegation because the Applicant had disclosed a reportable political donation.
Commissioner Chris Wilson was appointed to consider the merits of the application and make a final decision. He met with the Applicant, Department and Newcastle City Council and undertook a virtual site inspection.
The community had its say on the proposed development via written submissions to the Department and Commission, which were largely focussed on traffic and parking impacts.
After careful consideration of all the evidence, Commissioner Wilson has today (Wednesday 2 February 2022) determined to approve the development application, subject to conditions.
“The Commission considers that, in this instance, the Applicant has adequately demonstrated that the Site is suitable for the proposed land use – particularly noting the anticipated parking demand of port-related uses and the opportunity to provide a suitable buffer between industrial and residential land uses,” the Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision reads. “The Commission notes, however, that any future office-based development in the Port of Newcastle lease area could result in cumulative impacts on the Newcastle city centre by drawing away commercial activity, which is unlikely to accord with Council’s strategic direction. Detailed economic analysis would be necessary to gain a thorough understanding of such cumulative impacts of future projects.”
The Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision is available here: https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2021/12/46-fitzroy-st-carrington-da-10689
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