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No fly zone: panel knocks back Skydive building

Skydive the Beach’s new administration building would include a reception area, merchandise shop, offices and kiosk.Skydive the Beach’s plan to build a new administration building has hit a major snag, after an independent assessment panel said its planned location at the edge of Stuart Park was ‘‘inappropriate’’.
Nanjing Night Net

The Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP) met this week to hear concerns about the controversial building, with 15residents speaking against its approval.

They said the 400 square metre premises, proposed for the corner of Kembla Street and George Hanley Drive, would block views from their houses and was the only visible entry way into Stuart Park.

Beach Park Motor Inn owner Gabrielle Fraticelli also told the panel the new skydiving headquarters would affect her business, as it would block the views from her motel rooms.

An artist’s impression of the building.

‘‘I have operated this business for 25 years and people who come to stay with us expect views,’’ she said.

‘‘I love our park, our guests love the tranquillity of the park and this building will take that away.’’

Other people raised concerns about parking, cyclist and pedestrian safety, and said the private business facility should not be built on public land.

Before the IHAP meeting on Tuesday night, the four panel members visited the proposed site and viewed it from neighbouring premises.

Handing down their recommendation, panel members said ‘‘the area where the development is proposed is important as a visual link from George Hanley Drive into the park as well as a point of access for pedestrians and cyclists’’.

‘‘The panel notes that there are few locations along George Hanley Drive that provide view lines into the park.’’ Alternative locations that minimise the effects on views into the park and reduce conflict with pedestrian and cyclist movements should be considered, the panel said.

The administration building was to replace the ageing cottage from which Skydive the Beach now operates, and would have included a reception area, merchandise shop and kiosk, as well as offices and parachute packing and storage space.

IHAP has recommended the decision be ‘‘deferred’’ to allow Skydive the Beach to explore a different location.

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