A RULING by the Joint Regional Planning Panel is all that stands between the Whitebridge community and the construction of an 87-lot housing development.
Last year, Simhil Developments Pty bought a 23,000-square-metre block of land at Whitebridge and applied to Lake Macquarie council to build a high-end, medium density housing complex.
The council voted it down eight to two arguing the development was not appropriate for Whitebridge.
The Whitebridge Community Alliance has also raised residents's concerns about traffic, parking and environmental impact.
Opposed to the development's size, the alliance collected more than 1000 signatures in a petition, which will be presented to the planning panel next month along with 250 public submissions made to the council.
A submission prepared by the council will also go before the panel, which will have the final say.
Councillor Robert Denton said it would send a clear message to the developer.
"We're saying in polite, but strong terms ... knock knock, Mr Developer; this has some rough edges," Cr Denton said.
Simhil Developments has engaged SNL Building Constructions to handle the Whitebridge development application.
SNL Building Constructions approvals co-ordinator Wade Morris said Simhil Developments had not broken any rules.
Mr Morris said 250 submissions did not represent a large proportion of Whitebridge's adult population of 1800.
"I'm curious as to how council and the alliance have represented the views of the community when clearly the majority of people don't care and haven't bothered to take any interest," Mr Morris said.
He said it was not a negotiable process and it was likely the development would stay the same size.