Wagga councillors have committed to a policy designed to encourage denser housing in the city despite some residents’ objections.
Tuesday’s council meeting saw a large contingent in the public gallery and two depositions against a development application for a second-storey dwelling above a garage on Wollundry Avenue.
Residents urged councillors to block the application due to concerns over potential impacts on their privacy, the area’s heritage, parking and emergency service access to nearby Cooedong Lane.
Nearby resident Gwenyth Carruthers told the meeting that residents would be disadvantaged by the development.
“More cars parking on the access lane would be a hazard,” she said.
Resident Gabrielle Roche said she was concerned about the privacy of her grandchildren in their backyard pool.
Cr Rod Kendall said councillors should approve the application because it was in response to the Council’s own changes to the Development Control Plan (DCP).
“The staff advice to us (despite the width of the garage) is that it is in compliance with the DCP,” he said.
“The DCP back in 2010 put special provisions in for the intensification of population in the centre area of Wagga and the CBD by specifically allowing additional living areas to be constructed fronting the rear lanes.”
Cr Kendall said a lot of consideration had been given at the time for ways to allow greater populations in Wagga without changing the city’s character.
“I think it would actually be very poor form of council to knock back this development because this is exactly what we anticipated,” he said.
Cr Yvonne Braid moved that the council should defer for more time to consider the application.
“How are we going to get on with fire brigade and the ambulances? That could mean death for kids,” she said.
Cr Braid’s motion to defer was not carried and and the application was approved.