Residents in a multi-award-winning Sydney harbourview apartment building are fighting a plan to set up a language college that they say will mean at least 150 students coming into their premises every day.
Meanwhile, the luxury block next door in exclusive Milsons Point on the lower north shore is also battling a “horrific” scheme to potentially install a call centre in their basement, nine floors down from the street.
Residents claim the plans mean unknown visitors will flood both buildings’ lobbies several times a day, tying up the lifts, and force building management to issue numerous extra security key fobs.
Other apartment blocks are watching the proceedings warily. At the nearby Pinnacle, where the top price was recorded at $4.9 million, chair Ian Mutton, also a North Sydney councillor, is now looking at rewriting building bylaws to try to ensure residents can have a say.
“The key issue is, do owners corporations have the power to control the use of their premises?” he said. “Can they have bylaws to restrict usage? It’s an issue that needs to be ventilated.”
Convenor Julia Connor of the Milsons Point Community Group, which coordinates 29 apartment buildings in the area, believes the situation is “scary”.
“It’s extraordinary that people with homes in apartment buildings are being put in this situation,” she said. “This is a residential area, one of the most densely populated in Australia, and the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous.”