by Marshall Cobb - Principal
This morning we had the pleasure of spending some time with Hong Huang, Director of Brewster Murray Architects.
We mentioned the Alan Jones radio story from this morning about the rezoning at Greenwich and the local residents action group who were up in arms over the potential impact on the suburb - read more on that issue here. The Greenwich rezoning had nothing to do with Brewster Murray by the way, but it led into a conversation about other objections she had dealt with.
Hong told us that she had spent the previous evening in a mediation meeting with an emotional neighbour to one her clients proposed developments of 9 boutique apartments. The neighbour was objecting to the loss of one hour of sunshine each day to the bedroom window.
You may not be aware but there are many documents required to lodge a DA with Council (aside from the plans) and many are focussed on the amenity for the neighbours. These documents address issues including include traffic management, privacy, over-shadowing and access. The DA process endeavours to find a suitable outcome for all parties to a development including the developer, the new residents and neighbours in the surrounding areas.
With this particular development, Hong had satisfied all the DA requirements, and in fact did not ‘legally’ have to spend any time dealing with the neighbours concerns. But she made a conscious choice to listen to the issues, explain her position from an architectural point of view, and then proposed a genuine compromise which was to lower the eaves on one section of the building to provide some further solar access to the neighbour.
This a terrific example of how professionals should deal with situations of conflict - with care and diligence. If this type of consultation happened more often during the DA process then there may well be less objections, faster approval times, and a better outcome for everyone involved. Great work Hong!
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