$125M Crystal Harbour hotel project not supported by all
A planning application for a major hotel and residential project in Crystal Harbour has generated dozens of objections from residents in the wealthy gated community. An application by Land Ltd (Silverfin) for the Prisma Project will be heard by the Central Planning Authority on Wednesday.
The $125 million mixed-use development comprises a nine-storey 44-room hotel, 58 apartments, 20 townhouses, five duplexes and various amenities, including a canal extension. It is described by the developers as a step in the “evolution of Crystal Harbour”, but residents believe it’s a step too far.
The seven and a half acre site on Crighton Drive (Block 17A, Parcels 145, 146, and 170) is located across from the Holiday Inn hotel, but residents have said they believe the scale of this proposed project is incompatible with their community and insensitive to their quiet family neighbourhood, which is made up largely of single homes with nothing in the area exceeding three stories.
The developers, who were the original developers of Crystal Harbour, have asked for a number of variances to setbacks in relation to planning rules, including setbacks from the roads and canals for a variety of reasons.
Dozens of objectors have written to planning outlining a catalogue of issues about the proposed project, many of which relate to these variances and what the nearby landowners claim are deviations from planning regulations and concerns that the project plans are incomplete. The objectors also lay out a number of more emotive concerns about the effect this development would have on their quality of life.
A number of issues have also been raised by the Department of Environment that undertook a screening exercise on behalf of the National Conservation Council. Despite the size of the project, the DoE found that an environmental impact assessment was not required. But it still identified several issues relating to the project that will need to be addressed.
From an ecological perspective, the DoE said the site no longer has much value, as the mangroves that once covered the site have been previously removed and the site filled.
The department’s main concern was the impact the project would have on the marine environment and the water quality of the canals, which “contain seagrass beds, benthic algae and marine species which rely on these important habitats”.