Why Hobart City Council officers rejected Welcome Stranger project

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New Welcome Stranger development spokesman Quinten Villanueva. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

A PLAN to build 52 apartments in a 13-storey building on the site of the Welcome Stranger Hotel in Harrington St has been rejected by a Hobart City Council planning committee after council officers recommended it be refused.

The 45m proposal was rejected last night after the committee voted to accept the recommendation 3-2.

The development application will now go before the full council next week and developer Hexa Group is urging the council to accept its plans.

Minutes from a Special City Planning committee meeting reveals why council officers recommended the plan be rejected.

Project spokesman Quinten Villaneuva it was difficult to see why the plan had been rejected given the need for housing in Hobart.

“In the midst of a housing crisis I would ask the full council to look at the merits of this project,” he said.

The proposal is on the corner of Harrington and Davey St, opposite the Mantra Hotel and St David’s Park.

Officers said the development should be rejected on seven specific grounds under the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015.

Officers said the plan:

WILL not make a positive contribution to the streetscape and townscape, because the historic cultural heritage values of places and precincts in the Central Business Zone will not be protected and enhanced … and the building will be an individually prominent building in street elevation by virtue of its height and bulk.

THE proposed demolition would result in the loss of original 19th century historic fabric that contributes to the historic cultural heritage significance of the place

IT is an incompatible design through height, scale, bulk, form, fenestration, siting, and materials being adjacent to a two storey heritage listed building.

IT will not be subservient and complementary to the listed place due to its bulk, scale, and siting with respect to a listed building.

THE proposed demolition would result in the loss of a building and a historic wall that contributes to the historic cultural heritage significance of the precinct.

THE design and siting of the proposal results in detriment to the historic cultural heritage significance of the precinct through its siting, bulk, height, and scale treatment.

THE height of the proposed building unreasonably dominates and has a materially adverse impact on existing buildings of cultural heritage significance.

The Welcome Stranger hotel. Picture: RICHARD JUPE

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