Dee Why RSL Proposes 10-Storey Retirement Village Amidst Local Opposition

Dee Why RSL has submitted a planning proposal to the Northern Beaches Council, seeking a change in planning rules to construct a 10-storey retirement village to cater to the increasing demand for senior living spaces.

The development aims to address the critical need for units by downsizing seniors on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The club’s ambitious plan involves the demolition of an existing three-storey block and a former late-night pharmacy to make way for the expansive Oceangrove retirement village extension. 

Situated on the strategic corner of Pittwater Rd and Dee Why Pde, the proposed site currently exceeds the required height limits, prompting the request to elevate the permissible building height from 12 metres to 32 metres.

Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002
Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002

Despite the project’s potential to significantly alleviate the housing shortage for seniors, the proposal has yet to be warmly received by all community members. 

Over 30 public submissions opposing the project have been filed via PEX2024/0002. They cite concerns over increased traffic congestion, loss of views for neighbouring properties, and the encroachment on the Dee Why Kindergarten childcare centre, which is partially located on the proposed development site.

“We object to the approval of this proposal as the height of the new building is nearly 3 x the existing allowance and contrary to the WLEP and is of excessive height,” Ms Inger Ohlsson wrote. 

“The proposal is for 51 new units and will increase the density and increase traffic and noise pollution that are already terrible on the streets of Dee Why (Richmond Ave, Dee Why Pde, Avon Rd, Clarence Ave etc.) and Pittwater Road. 

“The proposal will set a precedent (overdevelopment), and we believe that additional senior housing can be achieved without changing the current WLEP.”

“The decision to live in a beach location was influenced by the desire for unobstructed views of the ocean and surrounding natural beauty. The construction of tall buildings would not only block these views but also detract from the unique character and charm that drew me to this area in the first place,” Ms Alison Cavill wrote.

“High-rise developments typically bring in more residents, leading to increased population density. This can put pressure on local infrastructure such as roads, schools, and utilities,” Mrs Marcela Spence stated.

“More residents mean greater demand for public services like garbage collection, emergency services, and recreational facilities. These services may need to be expanded to accommodate the increased population.”

Dee Why RSL
Photo Credit: PEX2024/0002

Despite the controversy, Dee Why RSL remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing senior living options in the area. The club’s planning consultants have emphasised the significant waiting list for the Oceangrove residence, indicating a pressing need for such a development. 

The proposal is about expanding housing options and creating an age-friendly environment that promotes inclusivity and access to essential services.

The Northern Beaches Council is currently reviewing the Planning Proposal.

Published 2-April-2024