#Residential Disputes
Benevolent Society & Waverley Council

The Benevolent Society (TBS) has land on Ocean Street, BONDI. This land:
- was donated to them in 1917, instead of being purchased;
- is not charged Council rates;
- is partially Heritage listed;
- contains a number of rare and protected species of trees.

TBS wants to build on this land:
- two 10 storey buildings;
- one 8 storey building;
- one 6 storey building;
- other structures and facilities.

The buildings would consist of 127 apartments. These apartments would not be sold, but would be perpetually loan-leased to elderly people, and mostly at market rates (loan-lease is an arrangement in which a lump sum payment up-front guarantees lease until death, then the property is leased again, and again, and again).

They lodged a development application (DA) on with the Waverley Council on 21 May 2008 (http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/council/pes/building/detail.asp?DaID=309).

This project raises many serious concerns such as:

1. The scale of the development (8 - 10 storeys) is shocking in an already overdeveloped area.

2. Only 10% of the appartments will be for the needy - all the former occupants who were really elderly and needy were evicted & had to move out of their regular environment.

3. Although TBS got the land for free, a great majority of the apartments will be sold for a total of millions on the open market.

4. The terrifying traffic & parking problems it will cause, when approx 200-300 extra residents, visitors, carers, tradesmen etc will start converging in their vehicles toward the limited number of 80 car spaces provided. The overflow will end up looking for parking space in both Ocean & Wellington Sts., where there probably like now, will be none.

5. There appears to be no provision for in-house care. "Apartments for Life" as they like to call it, but with no carers for the elderly!

6. Dementia sufferers will be left to roam around, like they tend to do, in such a large complex with insufficient supervision.

7. Detrimental impact on local residents by the reduction of light due to shadows cast by the height of the proposed buildings. e.g. almost complete lack of sunlight 24/7 on the north & westerly side of the building in 22-28 Wellington St., with probably a similar effect on other buildings in the area. The traffic congestion & the strain on the environment with regard to water, sewerage, electricity, vehicle pollution and the intention to destroy trees to make room for the bldgs.

8. The whole project appears to be an experimental one, in that no-one knows if it will benefit anyone, or if it will be fully occupied.

9. The closure of the Maurice O'Sullivan Childreens' Day Care Centre will certainly leave working parents in an unenviable situation.

10. Lastly but not leastly, TBS has been caught lying many times in their communication about the project. For example, they claimed they had the support from Bondi School to open a new childcare, which is not true, and they said they would inform the community of the lodgment date of the DA, which did not happen.

More information is available in
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/benevolent-development-lacks-charity-say-residents/2008/05/21/1211182896592.html and http://www.oceandoa.org/

We, the undersigned, wish to raise our extreme concerns regarding the development described above.

We require that the development plan be significantly scaled down and:

• Do not exceed 3 floors and damage the heritage sites (including visually)

• Do not lead to the closure of the Maurice O'Sullivan Childcare centre

• Do not lead to any tree excavation and other environmental damage, AND

• Be accessible exclusively to less advantaged elderly from the Waverley community and environs.

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The Stop Benevolent Society's Commercial Redevelopment of Community Site petition to Benevolent Society & Waverley Council was written by StopOceanStDA and is in the category Residential Disputes at GoPetition.