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In Launceston TAS on “Visitor Accommodation, Food...” at 116-128 Cimitiere Street Launceston TAS 7250:

Allan Miller commented

I am writing to object to the Hotel Development proposed for the Cimitiere/Tamar/William St site in Launceston, DA0506/2019

After looking through all of the docs, it seems that the developer has made a good attempt to reuse the heritage buildings, but the sheer bulk of the building/s is just too great to disguise.

In the application the developer seems to acknowledge that it is far too big, in that they say the current plans attempt to “break the apparent bulk of the proposed building into smaller units”. I would argue that it has simply created what looks like a ad hoc pile of boxes. If the “Bulk of the proposed building” was within the planning schemes maximum height, there would be no need to try and disguise the fact that it is way too big.

Too big as in nearly 3 times the maximum - 12m is the planning scheme maximum, and this is taller than 40m.

Indeed this is higher than the ill fated Gorge Hotel (which was knocked back on appeal largely because it exceeded the planning scheme’s height limit).

The size also becomes apparent in that the smaller heritage buildings around the edge of the big pile will be dwarfed and overshadowed from all angles. The ones along Cimitiere St will most likely never see any sun at all - and I wonder if this would be an issue for the buildings on the opposite side of Cimitiere St as well.

It is simply too big. Even at half the size, it would still simply look way too high looking over the smaller surrounding buildings, i.e. The Rankin & Bond building may as well not even be there !

Some of the other smaller buildings, along Cimitiere St especially, don't seem to fair well in the plan either - the Heritage listed 1931 addition to the Harrop building, whilst technically still existing, is mostly gone. The R/S part has a giant door cut into it (so basically the whole facade is gone) and the L/S of it has a series of long modern windows cut into it - considering it is a listed building I am not sure that Heritage Tas would agree to that. If they did, it would set a scary precedent - anyone with an unwanted listed building could just take 99% away, leaving just a token pillar. I suspect they would have a fight on their hands if they did agree that was a good modern look for the building. Maybe a better idea would be instead of “in filling” the “gaps” along Tamar St and or William St. with ill fitting modern buildings, why not make that already occurring gap the entrance ?

On the subject of creating more doors - the proposal should be commended for retaining the windows & doors of the original Harrop building, but the addition of an extra door will change the look of the building. Considering the door is already on the corner, we are only talking about a few metres - the extra door should also be knocked back by Heritage Tas. , or put somewhere away from the facade were it doesn't impact on the on the look of the building.

Just finally - I should just add (just in case someone reads this in the upper realms of govt) that these kinds of largely administrative matters should really be put on hold during a declaration of a national and state disaster - to expect that people during these times of crisis and mass unemployment have to find time to defend their cities from developers wanting to make $s is unreasonable. I realise that is not a council issue, but I am adding it anyway. If this gets over the line because people are too busy defending their families and livelihoods to put in submissions, than there is a major problem that needs addressing asap.

Cheers,
Allan

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