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Letters

06 Jun 2017

So depressed

Seldom have I been so depressed after reading a newspaper. The content of SLN Issue 63, May 2017 actually made me feel ill! What is our planning authority thinking? Melbourne’s lovely historic Tea House, originally built in 1887, is to be consumed by 145m tower. As president of the Southbank Residents Association, Tony Penna, remarked: “The Tea House is destined to be lost in a sea of concrete”.

Planning approval has also been granted for a 70-storey tower at 51-65 Clarke St. A 20-storey building at 83-89 Coventry St might sound reasonable, but it’s on the boundary of a special character zone, with 40m the discretionary height. Was discretion used? It seems not!

Of most concern to me personally is the planning application for a 48-storey tower at 52-62 Clarendon St. Currently Coates Hire Service occupies 52-54 Clarendon St, next to a bluestone laneway that separates it from Europcar. Does this mean the laneway is to be absorbed into the development? Surely this is totally unacceptable.

It will be a disaster for people living in nearby residential buildings. Residents of Tiara – which will find itself behind the new complex – will lose most of their sunlight and a great deal of privacy. In my own building, the Vue Grande, residents facing south will also be too close for comfort. I might add there is already a building under construction at 64 to 68 Clarendon St, and the proposed development will be cheek-by-jowl with this 32-storey building. Add all these buildings to an already crowded area and it’s enough to make most local residents feel totally depressed!

Lynne Lumsden

Tea Tower II

Is there anything at all we can do to prevent the proposed Tea Tower? Building anything taller than two storeys at that site that blocks out the iconic tea house is despicable. The city is aiming for increased open space and canopy coverage. Isn’t that an ideal site? And protect it as such under a section 173A.

Alternatively, or as well, the site should be an effective taxi rank for the casino to fix congestion and conflict between taxis, trams, other vehicles and of course pedestrians. This intersection is a waiting time bomb for a serious accident/incident. Taxis are crossing on red signals. Trams are blocked causing further delays. Other vehicles are not getting through the intersection due to inconsiderate taxi drivers.

Council really needs to assess what’s best for Melburnians. I presume if it objects, the proposal will get through at VCAT. Happy to join a campaign against the Tea Tower proposal with the aim of achieving one of the above mentioned alternatives for the site.

Peter Gibbs

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