THE City of Belmont has decided to halt negotiations with the developer of a proposed 15-storey nursing home in Ascot Waters until it is reduced to a maximum height of five storeys.
The move follows a marathon council meeting last week that lasted for almost four hours, with the public gallery overflowing out of the council chambers on to the adjoining upper-level foyer.
The proposed development was initially for a 15-storey building, but following concerns from Ascot Waters residents, the council decided to pause negotiations with developer Craigcare.
The motion, carried eight votes to one, read: “That Council immediately pause the process of disposing of 52 Grandstand Road to Craigcare and commit to recommence the process in the event that Craigcare agree to a development which is five storeys or less”.
Councillor Lauren Cayoun moved the motion to “ensure that any development is in keeping with the current low-rise residential nature of Ascot Waters”.
Cr Cayoun said the Ascot Waters community had shown overwhelming opposition to the proposed development.
Residents grilled the Council during the meeting, raising questions about whether or not the land had already been sold.
However, City of Belmont chief executive Stuart Cole said the council had not decided to sell the land and was going through a process after being approached by the developer.
“The ultimate decision still rests with the council to sell the land and that decision has not been made,” he said.
He said Craigcare representatives had been in contact with City staff following a private meeting with a delegation of Ascot Waters residents.
He said they were prepared to consider revising their 15-storey proposal following the public backlash to it.
Craigcare was set to submit its development application to the Metropolitan Joint Development Assessment Panel on October 14.
Belmont Community Group president Cassie Rowe said it was clear from the turnout of residents that they did not want a 15-storey building in their low-rise residential area.
“While we are happy that the action taken by residents has resulted in the Belmont council agreeing to reduce the height of the building, we will continue to fight to hold them to this commitment,” Ms Rowe said.