Visitors to The Hills will soon have another place to stay.
The Hills Council last night approved a development application for a five- to eight-storey serviced apartment building in Norbrik Drive, Bella Vista.
The DA allows for Quest Apartments to manage 91 serviced apartments from the building on a 24-hour basis.
Deputy mayor Andrew Jefferies said: “It’s good for our local economy, it’s good for tourism, it’s good for The Hills.”
But Cr Mike Thomas questioned why council officers would recommend a proposal containing variations to car parking, setbacks and landscaping controls.
The proposal caters for 94 on-site car parking spaces provided at grade, two mini bus bays and a porte-cochere, with vehicular access from Norbrik Drive via a combined 8.2 metre-wide entry and exit point.
“It’s short 76 car spaces – that’s a 75 per cent variation,” Cr Thomas said.
The council’s group manager environment and planning, Cameron McKenzie said the variation had been considered in the context of the building’s location in a B7 Business Park Zone.
A council report states the apartments are intended mainly for business travellers to Norwest Business Park, who would account for 75 per cent of patronage at any time, and the proposed building height would have a negligible impact on the view corridors between Bella Vista Farm Park and the Pearce Family Cemetery.
“If there is not sufficient parking on this site this business venture will fail,” Mr McKenzie said.
He said the building would be shorter than Norwest Private Hospital, in the same street — ‘‘considerably lower, five metres, than the height permitted at this site”.
Council received five objection letters to this application, one co-signed by two property owners.
One letter writer, Chunling Wang, addressed councillors, citing concerns over only 15 residents receiving notification of the DA.
“Two days ago when I started talking to my neighbours most didn’t know about this DA,” Mr Wang said.
He felt the view in Bella Vista – “which means beautiful view,” he said – would be spoilt by the building.
Cr Mark Taylor welcomed the jobs — 15 to 20 — the development would create.
Cr Lowe said this type of facility was needed in The Hills.
Cr Thomas and Cr Ryan Tracey were the only councillors present who voted against the DA.
■ 56 two-bedroom (twin key) apartments;
■ 27 two-bedroom apartments;
■ 8 three-bedroom apartments;
■ Reception area, two retail tenancies, gymnasium, conference room, offices, storage areas and cleaning facilities on the ground level;
■ Building height to transition from five storeys (northern side of site) to eight storeys (eastern side);
■ Car parking for 94 vehicles;
■ Gross floor area of 9137 square metres;
■ 15-20 employees to work in the apartment, the majority part-time (8.30am-2.30pm).