Platino to appeal rejection of Over-55s community Stage Two in Frenchs Forest, NSW

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Platino Properties is taking an application for Stage Two of its “Jardin” seniors living community at Frenchs Forest, near Sydney’s Northern Beaches, to an appeal after residents were left “disappointed” by a planning panel’s rejection of the project.

While Stage One of the $56 million development, five-storey buildings comprising 52 units, is already under construction, the NSW Government’s State Planning Panel North has rejected a review of a decision last August by Northern Beaches Council to block Stage Two, citing its size and its closeness to a nearby business park.

Stage Two was to contain amenities such as a pool, a gymnasium, and an open piazza, as well as affordable and disability housing units; Simon Militano (pictured), Platino’s Development Director for Over-55s Development, told The Weekly SOURCE that the rejection was “discouraging”, especially since another Platino project at Greenwich was recently approved.

“Northern Beaches Council opposed the application under the Seniors SEPP, as it has opposed almost all applications under the State Seniors policy. This is despite there being a shortfall of over 600 units to 2026, the proposal containing 15% of dwellings allocated as affordable and disability housing and aligning with the New Housing SEPP.

“Whilst unfortunate, an appeal has been lodged with the Land and Environment Court,” he said.

Future residents of the sold-out Stage One have expressed their disappointment, with one – retired GP Elaine Bridge – telling the Manly Daily that the approximately 90 Stage One residents would not have access to needed amenities.

“The issue really is that we need this ASAP. None of us are young, and we want to get the benefits out of our purchase and the benefits of the communal areas.

“There are a lot of people who have been living in the community for a long time and who want to downsize,” she said.

Disability advocates are also dismayed at the decision, citing negotiations with Platino for 10 units to be given to people on the disability support pension as well as four heavily-discounted units for older women in need of affordable housing.