Plans to split a large residential block in the Thurgoona growth corridor in two have been unanimously rejected by Albury Council.
The development application lodged by planning consultants Spiire Australia on behalf of property owners Brett and Letitia Page sought to have the block in Stirling Way with a present width of almost 40 metres cut into two blocks with widths of 20.14 metres and 19.66 metres.
The move met with strong opposition from surrounding property owners with larger homes and wide street frontages and ultimately led to Albury Council agreeing with a staff recommendation to refuse the application.
Residents, Kathryn Stewart, Nigel Suggate and Ben Boyd spoke against the proposal at a pre-meeting community forum this week.
"We've lived in the street for four years and instead of a stylish house appearing next door we've had to deal with a weed infested block that is an eyesore," Mr Boyd said.
"You can imagine our disappointment when a proposal for a rather unusual subdivision arrived in our mail box.
"The fact someone would have the opportunity to secure such a prestigious block and then carve it into two narrow slivers is somewhat baffling to us."
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Mr Suggate said he and his family moved to Thurgoona from Albury and felt smaller blocks were available in other parts of the Thurgoona growth corridor.
Ms Stewart said there were already growing traffic issues in the area.
The applicants argued the proposed lot widths contributed to "a lot diversity rather than inconsistency" and recognised a demand for mid-size lots.
"Nestled into an existing neighbourhood, the developments lots will integrate large and medium residential lots with high quality amenity attributes," the applicants said.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn said council had a "straight forward" decision to refuse the proposal.
"We adopted a new (development control plan) in 2019 and it came into force in 2020," she said.
"We did that for a number of reasons. Some things I was really passionate about, but minimum lot widths wasn't one of them.
"It was about bringing future subdivisions up to best practice standards to create liveable neighbourhoods and liveable communities."
Cr David Thurley agreed.
"This is not the first time we've had applications in Thurgoona, generally speaking, where people have bought a lot and then attempted to subdivide it," he said.
"If you drive along Stirling Way and what you see is large width blocks and houses placed on those.
"This block would look totally out of character if it were divided into two."
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