Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: July 5, 2018

What were we thinking

In response to the letter published in the Examiner [June, 28] regarding plastic bags and trolleys, the initiative to remove plastic bags from the retail sector is courageous in a society that honours convenience.

My question is what will our grandchildren make of the decision to move away from paper/biodegradable products in the first place - what were we thinking?

Our kids are much smarter and environmentally sensitive than generations before them.

In regard to the trolley issue - a recent trip to Darwin showed some thought. I'm guessing the purpose was [to prevent] visitors using the trolleys to transport their goods not for the the purpose they were initially intended.  In the the NT the trolleys have a mechanism which does not allow them to be removed further than the supermarket perimeter - bring it on Woolworths.

Catherine Bailey, Nelson Bay

Kindness in key return

After losing my car and house keys, I left a message at the police station. 

Less than 10 minutes later I had a call to say they had been handed in and were ready to be collected. A big thank you to the honest, caring person who found them.

Joy Savill, Nelson Bay

Manta Ray presence stings

With regard to the high-rise apartments springing up close to the town centre (Manta offers ‘Ray of Bay hope’, Examiner, June 28)

These are far in excess of the maximum, 15 metres, allowed under the current LEP legislation (2014), there appears to be scant regard to the loss of amenity to neighbouring properties.

VISION: Concerns are held that the proposed Manta Ray apartment building would dwarf other buildings in Nelson Bay CBD. Image: ADG Architects

VISION: Concerns are held that the proposed Manta Ray apartment building would dwarf other buildings in Nelson Bay CBD. Image: ADG Architects

Loss of amenity not only includes loss of views but also overshadowing, which will be worse in winter when solar access is most appreciated, loss of skyline, loss of sea breezes, and finally loss of the 'village appeal' of the Nelson Bay town centre. The Manta Ray apartments, being so close to the town centre and on relatively flat ground, will dominate the whole [CBD].

The loss of amenity to surrounding buildings should not be ignored because there are legal precedents, with regard to loss of amenity, which have ruled in favour of the affected parties – stopping such developments being approved. I am led to believe that Port Stephens Council uses these legal precedents in its assessment of development applications.

To reinforce my case of loss of amenity, you only have to look at the Manta Ray illustration, and if you look carefully, you can see the edge of the relatively small apartment block located at 3 Yacaaba Street. I say relatively small, although it is 15-metres tall, in line with the current 15-metre maximum requirement. As can be seen, this building is dwarfed by the proposed development, displaying all the loss of amenity aspects listed above and perhaps even more, such as loss of view.

Three Yacaaba Street was built approximately 18 years ago and is a relatively small complex containing eight apartments and a small commercial unit on the ground floor.

It was built with the penthouse apartments affording the best views, and the lower levels slightly lesser views and designed to afford the best views to the north from most of the living spaces. 

The [proposed Manta Ray development] clearly illustrates how these larger developments can and will impact on the amenity currently afforded to current residents of neighbouring smaller, compliant, buildings.

 Another example of this loss of amenity, is the six-storey apartment block to be built on the corner of Donald and Church Streets, which was council approved last year, and almost totally blocks out the apartment building immediately behind it on Church Street. 

How can loss of amenity in this situation and potentially many more, be adequately addressed or compensated for?

Peter Slater, Nelson Bay property owner