Adamstown's Foundry apartment development goes to Land and Environment court

A proposed $23 million apartment complex in Adamstown has landed in court after months of negotiations between the developer and Newcastle City Council.

Adamstown BD Pty Ltd lodged plans 11 months ago to demolish six houses and build 84 apartments, known as The Foundry, on the fringe of the Brunker Road shopping strip.

Dozens of nearby residents objected to the project on the grounds of parking, overshadowing, privacy and other issues related to the scale of the buildings.

The size of the project meant it was due to be referred to the Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel after a council assessment, but the developer has taken the matter to the Land and Environment Court.

On Tuesday, the two parties participated in a court-directed conciliation conference, a form of dispute resolution designed to avoid a full court hearing. 

A court representative said on Wednesday that the matter had been adjourned to a second round of conciliation on September 24.

The adjournment suggests the two parties made sufficient progress on Tuesday to warrant more talks.

The Foundry is the largest of a rash of multi-storey apartment projects planned for Brunker Road, which state and council planners have identified as a population growth corridor. 

The reaction to the five-storey development highlights the issue of how planning authorities balance the interests of existing residents with the desire to increase population numbers in parts of the city not accustomed to medium-density living.  

Plans for the project unveiled in December included three apartment blocks in exposed brick arranged around an internal courtyard.

The Sweet Bean site at New Lambton.

The Sweet Bean site at New Lambton.

Meanwhile, the owners of a triangular block of land in Lambton Road, New Lambton, have applied to demolish the Sweet Bean cafe on the site to make way for a residential development.

An application lodged with the council says the developer will also remove underground petrol storage tanks and contaminated soil at the block, which is near Wests New Lambton.