Plans to build a 40-unit boarding house on Church Street have raised the ire of community members, who say it will threaten the heritage streetscape of the area.
The applicant is seeking Maitland Council’s approval to construction the three-storey boarding house, which will provide accommodation for up to 44 lodgers.
A statement of environmental effects, attached to the application, said the development would be a “new generation” boarding house.
We are concerned about dissolution of our heritage - it's death by a thousand strokes. This is a conservation areaJohn Rademaker
“The proposal is compatible with the existing and likely future character of this heritage significant locality, does not have unreasonable amenity impacts on the neighbourhood and the site is well suited to boarding house development,” the document said.
“It also has positive social and economic impacts and promotes the public interest.”
Among those concerned is conservation group Maitland Heritage Guardians who took to the streets to door knock surrounding neighbours on Tuesday.
John Rademaker said a historical cottage had already been demolished next door, which will make way for residential units.
“We are concerned about dissolution of our heritage – it’s death by a thousand strokes. This is a conservation area,” he said.
“There’s still a chance to promote Maitland as the rocks of the Hunter Valley. We need sympathetic development which fits in with Maitland’s style.
“This won’t promote us as the heritage centre of NSW.
“We are massively concerned. This can’t just go to a certifier … we hope council will hear our pleas. ”
The Mercury understands several community members have lodged letters of objection with the council about the proposal.
Bob Dennerley said there could be social repercussions with the proximity of two pubs and a liquor store in walking distance.
“We have to be cautious about socio-economics. We aren’t against development because cities do need it but this needs to be scaled down dramatically,” he said.
The boarding house will consist of 36 single rooms and four double rooms plus a managers lodgings. Each room will have a kitchenette and en suite bathroom, and all but four bedrooms will have a private balcony.