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Residents meet to protect low-rise

06 Oct 2016

Residents meet to protect low-rise Image

Local lobby group Save Dodds St will host a community meeting this month to help protect Southbank’s low-rise neighbourhood from overdevelopment.

To be held at the Boyd Community Hub on Wednesday, October 19 at 6.30pm, the meeting has been organised in direct response to architect and developer Hayball’s proposal for a 21-storey tower at 135 Sturt St.

The group argues that the development will tower over nearby heritage buildings, overshadow community areas, dominate the surrounding low-rise precinct and add to existing traffic and parking congestion.

In what was originally a 42-level proposal, Hayball is now proposing a building at half the height, which would comprise 240 dwellings, 199 parking spaces, 177 bicycle spaces and ground floor retail space.

However, at 67-metres, the building would comfortably exceed the area’s 40-metre discretionary height limit and residents argue that the proposal is out of character in what is a low-rise community.

Save Dodds Street convener Eileen Thomas said that the only way to create a dynamic campaign was for residents to come and show their support for preserving the precinct.  

“The community meeting will be an opportunity for residents to come together to hear the facts from political and planning experts and share ideas about creating a strong community voice to oppose this inappropriate development,” she said.

Under state planning rules, the Southbank low-rise and arts precinct is considered a special character area and much of the precinct is subject to mandatory height and setback controls.

However, the Sturt St corridor is only subject to discretionary height controls and local residents are calling on the State Government to enforce stronger rules to preserve the entire precinct.

State Liberal opposition planning spokesperson David Davis and Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna will attend the meeting. RMIT planning expert professor Michael Buxton is also expected to attend.

Labor Member for Albert Park Martin Foley has told the group that he will endeavour to attend as he has a commitment in regional Victoria that afternoon.

While residents have expressed their strong desire for Mr Foley to come and hear their concerns, he informed the group that had written a letter to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne about the issue.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/groups/savedoddsstreet or send an email to savedodds@gmail.com

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