BIG PLANS: The proposal includes a retail strip with underground parking and 15 apartments along the top.
BIG PLANS: The proposal includes a retail strip with underground parking and 15 apartments along the top. Trevor Veale

Crunch time for Bello retail and shop top housing proposal

IT'S crunch time for a controversial $8.9M redevelopment of a prominent commercial site in Bellingen's main street.

The proposal for a retail strip with underground parking and 15 apartments along the top will be considered by the Northern Regional Planning Panel on January 24.

The panel will meet at the Bellingen Shire Council chambers at 10am. Residents who made submissions in relation to the development application will receive a letter inviting them to address the panel before a decision is made.

The strip between 84 and 90 Hyde St was formerly Carl Forster's garage and now houses a cafe. It was once the site of Bellingen's first hotel.

Local businessman Avi Shaul, who also owns the iconic Hammond & Wheatley and Bellingen Green Grocers buildings, is behind the project.

Supporters say it will revitalise the run down strip which still resembles the old garage but others, like Ziggy Koenigseder, who lives above the Commonwealth Bank building next door, have lodged objections.

She says the proposal is out of character with the historic streetscape of Hyde Street and the existing heritage buildings which give Bellingen such iconic charm.

"The height of this DA is even higher than the existing Commonwealth Bank building which I live in, and would impact severely on my quality of life due to lack of privacy as well as sunshine. All my windows would be facing a blank wall very close to my fence line.

"I feel strongly that this proposal is an over development of this site," she told the Coffs Coast Advocate in April last year.

Given the location was once a garage there will need to be re-mediation work undertaken to avoid contamination.

Those wishing to address the panel must register to speak by contacting the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm Tuesday, January 22 on 8217 2060 or via email to enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au. Any person is welcome to attend the public meeting to observe.



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