The Hills Shire Council (HSC) stated it issued the developer of a partially-built Castle Hill apartment complex a notice due to “fire safety issues” on the 15th of June, 2023.
The HSC stated on the 29th of June 2023 that the Gay Street Development had numerous fire safety violations and was given a Notice of Intention.
The Fire and Rescue NSW found safety breaches such as “faults, isolations, and disablements on the fire indicator panel, problems with the emergency warning and intercom systems, issues with the absence of fire compartmentation in the basement carpark, and an inoperable and dry fire hydrant system (for the three of five buildings under construction within the complex).”
Council staff also inspected the building and identified issues with the sprinkler system, non-compliant ceiling heights, non-related fire services found in the fire stairway and problems with fire doors not opening and closing, amongst other safety breaches.
Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi, Mayor of the Hills Shire and member of the Hills Shire Council, stated:
“This is yet another example of how our building and certification system is letting people down.”
“Too often, we see new apartment buildings failing to comply with basic building codes, and this Castle Hill development is a prime example. It’s already had dealings with the Building Commissioner and Fair Trading for building defects in the basement carpark, and now we have fire safety breaches.”
“Nobody wants to buy into a new development only to discover that what they’ve purchased is incomplete and there are safety risks that could potentially harm them and their families. Worse, much of the expenses to fix these defects fall onto the apartment owners, which can lead to millions of dollars in costs.”
Mayor Gangemi said poorly constructed developments were adding to Sydney’s housing woes.
“The housing crisis is a topic of concern, and a real factor in that is the construction of poorly built large buildings which are preventing people from moving in or living within their homes,” Mayor Gangemi said.
“It’s also difficult to support the government’s call to override Council’s planning instruments and incentivise developers when the buildings available for investment fall short of acceptable standards.”
The Mayor is also calling the attention of the NSW Government to implement more robust regulations.
“…I’m calling on the NSW Government to throw out the proposed changes for affordable housing and instead put measures in place that protect buyers from bearing the costs of building defects.”
In addition to Mayor Gangemi’s calls, Council will write to the Building Commissioner, urging them to use Project Intervene to have the developer resolve the safety breaches at their own cost.
Image credit to The Hills Shire Council.