Disgust at high-rise ruling

ALMOST 100 residents stormed out of last week's ordinary council meeting of Fairfield Council, hurling abuse at councillors for approving an amendment that lowers the height of a proposed development in Rossetti Street, Wetherill Park.

The original application sought the construction of an eight-storey residential/commercial building comprising 103 units, 1500 square metres of retail space and two underground parking levels.

But at the meeting, councillor Zaya Toma made an amendment to reduce the height of the building from 20 metres to 14 metres, allowing just four storeys above the car park instead of six. But residents wanted an outright refusal of the development application.

As Cr Toma read his amendment some residents yelled from the public gallery. Mayor Frank Carbone threatened to expel them from the chamber.

Councillor Lawrence White supported the amendment.

He said that if the council lost control of the development and rejected it completely, it would go to the Joint Regional Planning Panel for determination.

"I know residents aren't happy but I'm here to get the right development," he said.

"This amendment is to reduce it by six metres.

"If we don't somewhat agree with it, this will get out of our hands and there could be an even worse development take place there."

Cr Toma agreed.

"I know that residents will be happy if we reject it. That will be three months of happiness because there will be bureaucrats in North Sydney that will see there is a shortage of dwellings and they will approve it or make it even bigger," he said.

But Councillor George Barcha disagreed.

"Residents are not happy having a high-rise building in their street. They're not happy with the traffic it will cause and the number of units there and noise," he said.

"I want to reduce the height to 12 metres."

All councillors except for councillors Barcha, Del Bennett and Kien Ly voted in favour of the amendment.

After the meeting resident Rima Ollino told the Champion she was against the development, citing parking and traffic issues.

"It's not near public transport, there's hardly any parking in our street already and if it goes ahead there will be an increase in traffic and noise, and the value of my property will drop," she said.

"I think it's ridiculous — it's an absolute joke."

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