By Annette Shailer
The key players behind the proposed revitalisation of the Coogee Bay Hotel site have welcomed the appointment of the State Government Architect to review and advise on the urban design merits of the proposal.
The approach, which was requested by Oakstand Property Group which is developing the site in conjunction with C.inc Hospitality, (owner of the Coogee Bay Hotel), is believed to be the first time the Department of Planning has sought to assess the design merits prior to declaration.
“This approach ensures an objective assessment on the acceptability of the design scheme at the outset rather than in the final stages of the application while also providing a review of the design concepts presented to date,” said Pakstand MD David Cullen.
“We welcome this initiative and look forward to achieving a result which delivers a premium outcome for residents wanting to live, work and shop locally.”
“The review will allow for refinement of the development in consultation with the State Government Architect, the Department of Planning and Randwick Council.”
“The $150 million The Village Coogee development, should it be approved, will provide a much-needed boost in ensuring Coogee remains viable as a tourist and retail destination while enhancing the long-term sustainability of the Coogee town centre by providing a greater and larger range of retail, residential and dining choices.”
“Most importantly, the inclusion of a major supermarket within the complex will result in local residents being able to do their weekly food and grocery shop locally rather than having to travel to larger centres outside of Coogee.”
C.inc Hospitality MD, Christopher Cheung, stated his commitment to widespread community consultation and briefings once the review process had been completed.
“On top of the formal community consultation and exhibition period required as part of the Part 3A process, should the project be declared a Major Development, we will be holding a number of community information sessions and open days once we progress from concept to project level, so that local residents understand exactly what it proposed and why,” Cheung said.
Two new design concepts were recently developed at the request of the Department of Planning. These two new concepts do not include a tower, and both mirror the intent of the original concept – to transform the pub space into a more family-friendly space and facilitate a precinct which allows residents to live, work and shop locally.
Concept A: An alternative to the original concept is to remove the tower and reduce the licensed pub space by 35 to 40 per cent while retaining the locally-listed heritage building. This concept would reduce the maximum building height along Coogee Bay Road with floor space redistributed to buildings facing the public square. Less floor space would be used for residential purposes with an increase in floor space for retail, commercial and cafe/restaurant uses.
Concept B: The second alternative to the original design concept is to remove the tower and the existing pub to allow for ground floor retail, restaurants and entertainment uses at ground floor with residential apartments above. Some licensed uses (restaurants/entertainment) could be retained on the Arden Street frontage in keeping with the Department of Planning's designation of Coogee as an entertainment precinct.