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In Northcote VIC on “A mixed-use development...” at Building 25 Separation Street Northcote VIC 3070:

Vanessa commented

While the upgrade of parts of the Northcote Plaza shopping centre might be of community benefit, this development proposal is unreasonable and will present a very poor urban outcome for Northcote if allowed to proceed in its current form.

The proposed height of a building up to 28 levels will have many severe negative impacts. All Nations Park is a tremendous public asset and its large size provides many different areas where the community can enjoy many different activities. The existing 10 or so storey Acacia apartment building above the Plaza is overbearing from most vantage points in All Nations Park and the only part of the Park where it doesn’t dominate view-lines is from the far east extremity of the Park where it is obscured by trees. By comparison, the soaring visual bulk of the newly proposed building that, if allowed, would be 3 times as tall as Acacia, will present completely overbearing views from every part of All Nations Park and from the surrounding low level Northcote streets. This will be an enormous disadvantage to the community and particularly to all users of All Nations Park. A building of such height will severely detract from the huge community benefit that All Nations Park presents. The visual bulk of any building over 5 or 6 levels at the Plaza will have a harmful effect and detract from the enjoyment of All Nations Park for the entire community.

This development proposal is by no means a proposal that could be said to be in harmony with the Northcote Plaza precinct. It is quite the opposite in its current proposed form, and not only in terms of its visual bulk. The shadows from such tall buildings will negatively impact All Nations Park and surrounding areas. The Acacia apartment building already overshadows parts of All Nations Park in the afternoons on various days of the year. Any new development at Northcote Plaza should not be allowed to cast any shadow on any part of All Nations Park at any time of the day on any day of the year – that is the only equitable way to assess the impact of the proposed development on the surrounding community and community assets.

The development proposal in its current form will also have a large negative impact on Santa Maria College that sits opposite Northcote Plaza on the south side of Separation Street. The proposed development will cast long shadows over the school, particularly over their asphalt and grassed playing fields, primarily in winter when of course access to sunshine is critical to the health of the school community.

One of the major drawcards of All Nations Park is The Hill which provides amazing views in all directions, interrupted only by the solitary building that is the Acacia apartments. The introduction of further bulky buildings will severely detract from the views from The Hill, negatively impacting the wonderful views and serenity that can be experienced all year round from The Hill. Despite protestations to the opposite, the proposed development will shut out some views of the Melbourne CBD from some parts of The Hill. This will be incredibly disadvantageous for the massive crowds that gather to watch the New Year’s Eve Melbourne city fireworks from all over The Hill structure, both on its peak and on its pathways.

This proposed development will benefit a very small group of stakeholders but will negatively impact an enormous community. This development should not be allowed in its current form and should not be allowed to set a precedent for other inappropriate development in Darebin. Darebin Council needs to take a stand for the whole of the Darebin Community and do everything they can to prevent this unreasonably high and poorly conceived development proposal to proceed in its current proposed form.

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