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pdoff's picture
#202

TheBoynoodle:

"As much as I’d like to see some shockers around my end of town meet Mr Wrecking-Ball, personally I’ll happily see them survive if that means that the rest of the strip is left alone. These places are wonderful and entirely unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere else in the world."

"UK cities have suburban strips that once resembled Melbournes in terms of function and possibly pre-war architecture - but in most places they have declined greatly in both senses. Nowadays they are usually just lines of identikit chain-stores, with little in the way of leisure - albeit that (admittedly terrible) coffee shops are on the rise now. But most trade has been drawn either to city and town centres, or malls. So what may once have been vibrant strips, are now stale low-rent retail centres by day, and wastelands by night.

Contrast with Brunswick St, Smith St, Chapel, Lygon, Northcote, Swan St (etc etc) it's a whole different world. And, believe me, UK councils have been trying for DECADES to enliven some of these strips and would kill to get anything even close to the strips that Melbourne has a multitude of."

I had considered asking you why such interest in Melbourne's urban development from a Brit. If these comments partially explain the reasons, it's illuminating given we locals tend to take these strips for granted. All the more reason proposals like the Queens Parade example should be approved, cap rules be avoided and remain flexible, so more people can (potentially) enjoy them and allows the opportunity for development that respects the area.

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Grampians's picture
#203

that particular group looks exactly like i described it

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Bilby's picture
#204

The group shown may fit your stereotype, be it's a misleading picture, politically speaking. Gen Y and Gen X might be renting, but they vote, too. If the concerned and vocal baby boomers shown were the only residents to share the concerns about heritage and urban design, (the concerns to which council is responding) they would be vastly outnumbered by younger citizens in the municipality.

The fact is, younger people are too busy to get actively involved in meetings in the way that baby boomers can.

That doesn't mean that they aren't interested, though.

The numbers speak for themselves - in the 20-39 year-old age bracket in Yarra, there are 34,758 electors. In the 50-64 year old age bracket (baby boomers) there are 10,784 electors. The "smug" baby boomers are outnumbered three to one.

So, if heritage and height controls were solely of interest to baby boomers, and the younger generations were unconcerned, why would council, or the Planning Minister be in the least bit worried about re-election?

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Nicholas Harrison's picture
#205

You can preserve heritage buildings and impliment high quaility urban design without a three to four storey height limit across the whole city!

Threats to live music venues in the area got plenty of young people going to meetings because they are more concerned about the vitality and diversity of the area.

The minister will not be approving the requested controls.

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3000's picture
#206

You'll also find that many of the hipsters there also don't want density either.
Which is weird considering they all want to live there but but want to keep it to themselves.
I think the problem is that the current apartment building typology doesn't seem to fit in with the character of the area. There are parts of Brunny that are totally unrecognisable due to excess and poor developments.
It's one of those things where we need the suburb to scale in population without killing the character. Smarter people than myself may have the answer but I think it's time developers get creative and put some effort into what they build.
Glass podiums do not work here. Perhaps a return to brick and mortar is in order?
I live in a heritage sensitive area of Carlton and I fully understand why development here is shunned so hard, but demanding that the CBD take all the density is bs, some people don't want CBD style living. The inner city provides the best of both worlds.

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Bilby's picture
#207

Yep. And Nicholas, I didn't claim that the Minister will approve a blanket 4 storey height limit, but it would be a wise move for our strip shopping areas. I will also say this, if he chooses to ignore this groundswell of concern about heritage demolitions (including legal heritage demolitions) he will lose his seat. Just on the basis of the recent council elections and the interest in heritage in the inner north, that much is clear.

Or he could choose to do something decisive now. Allowing Smith Street and others to be all but destroyed by apartments won't make them any move "vital", "lively" or diverse than they are right now. It will lead to a massive voter backlash, however - just look at the coverage the Corkman and the Lyric Star in Fitzroy recently. Everyone I've spoken to said of the old theatre, "Ok exhibition ... can't believe that incredible theatre space is going to be demolished!".

And so with the demographic shift, so goes the seat. Do nothing about the demolitions - the seat goes to the Greens.

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3000's picture
#208

Many residents here like the public places like pubs and other places that bring actual life to the area. Live venues were mentioned, this is a touchy one for many friends of mine as they are musicians or play shows on their days off. This is what brings character to an area. Same with pubs, a place to sit, have a meal and a beer and catch up with friends.
With more and more going the way of the dinosaur the existing places in he CBD are expected to pick up the slack with many becoming dangerously overcrowded.
once again, height isn't the issue here. Its if the development is appropriate.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture
#209

just to clarify, Yarra council aren't asking for a blanket 4 storey height limit at all, thats an error in the article

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Adam Ford's picture
#210

Nicholas Harrison wrote on Thu, 08/12/2016 - 17:07
"You can preserve heritage buildings and impliment high quaility urban design without a three to four storey height limit across the whole city!"

Id add to that ... using height as a de facto means of preserving heritage is totally misguided. Heritage needs to be preserved, listed and stand on its own right, not shoehorned into a general urban realm policy. Doing so is only ultimately going to compromise your proper heritage protections and is going to come arse up at VCAT,I guarantee.

But seriously, fuck this. Total and almost DEFINITIONAL NIMBYism. And The Greensparty has all the ideological coherence of Dick Smith on this issue.

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johnproctor's picture
#211

Couple of shots in Fitzroy from my ride to work this morning

CF Row - 237 Napier Street
FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

Whitlam Place - 219 Napier Street

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

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theboynoodle's picture
#212

You could look at that second one and genuinely not know if you're looking at what's being put up, or what's being taken down. On that basis it gets a provisional "yay" from me.

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Bilby's picture
#213

Yes, this one's a winner! Thumbs up from me.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#214

34 - 36 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy by FK

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

9 Smith St

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

Not quite the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

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theboynoodle's picture
#215

Not quite the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

I don't even see any planters (pending?). But, nonethless, it looks like a nice fit for the area... certainly well ahead of the Smith St average!

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3000's picture
#216

it's not awful. Better than a lot of the stuff that could've been built. I wish the renders would stop with the gratuitous greenery that never happens.

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Bilby's picture
#217

Sometimes it happens - George Corner by Neometro down on the corner of George and Argyle streets, Fitzroy is looking pretty green now. My biggest gripe with this development is the loss of two heritage buildings to achieve what is a fairly basic block of flats.

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Bilby's picture
#218

34-36 Nicholson St. won't happen - it's in the World Heritage buffer zone behind a very significant row of 19th century terraces.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#219

Cool looking DKO design for St Georges Road

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

FITZROY + FITZROY NORTH | 3065 + 3068 | Projects

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theboynoodle's picture
#220

OT (being nothing to do with projects or construction) but I was sad to leave home today an notice that this is gone:

http://fitzroyalty.net/2013/04/14/veiled/

It's been looking a bit tatty, and there may be the beginnings of a quality piece to replace it, and such art must almost always be seen as temporary... but I'll miss her.

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zenith's picture
#221

Wow, fitzroyalty is still going. Written by the worst kind of gormless mouth-breather.

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theboynoodle's picture
#222

That's nice.

Anyway.. STREET ART UPDATE.. based on the impressive progress since yesterday, it looks like the new artwork is being done by the same artist as the previous piece.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#223

Nimbyism or greed: Development battles turn nasty

As housing affordability worsens in Sydney and Melbourne, a classic battle is unfolding between BRW Rich Lister developer Tim Gurner and local residents in the gentrifying inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy North over an apartment project.

Mr Gurner, one of the country's most successful young developers, originally planned to develop a $350 million apartment block with almost 500 dwellings on an 8500 square metre former industrial site on Queens Parade, which he bought last year for $40 million.

He says his development, where one-bedroom apartments starting from $375,000 will make up 40 per cent of the stock, will add much needed and more affordable housing options in a suburb where the median house price has surged to nearly $1.5 million.

But a group of local residents have mounted a well co-ordinated public campaign to attack Mr Gurner personally and gather support to block the development. This included circulating a misleading image about the scale of the project, forcing Mr Gurner to take legal action.

Residents have been supported by the local authority, the City of Yarra, which referred Gurner's development application to planning tribunal VCAT in December. This week the City of Yarra took the unprecedented step of seeking authorisation from the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne to impose an eight-storey height limit over the Queens Parade precinct.

In Sydney, too, the same issue has arisen. Residents in inner west Leichhardt, through their council, have resisted developer efforts to convert low-rise industrial property into apartments.

Re-working the proposal

Mr Gurner says he has listened to the community – an open-door community consultation will take place on Tuesday – and is substantially re-working his original proposal, including reducing the height and cutting out about 120 apartments ahead of a VCAT hearing in April.

But were the Planning Minister to agree to an eight-storey height limit over the site (a decision is not expected for six to eight weeks), Mr Gurner believes it would set a dangerous precedent for higher density development in Melbourne's inner suburbs while also making his project much harder to stack up financially.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/vic/nimbyism-or-greed-develop...

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johnproctor's picture
#224

This is where having Wynne as planning minister is dangerous. He needs those votes to keep his own seat in parliament (Richmond) which he won by 1400 votes after preferences at the last election.

If he doesn't intervene the Greens candidate will wedge him on the issue and 'not protecting local community/amenity'.

Personally I think Gurner pushed the envelope too far on the site height wise (16 stories) but believe 8 stories would be too low. Definitely support significant development of the land.

Here's the COuncil statement on the development - some guff and some good points.

http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/hot-topics/latest-council-decision-on-qu...

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3000's picture
#225

It is hard to win in this current situation.
If we don't allow at least sort form of housing in these areas we risk letting them become gated communities that pretty much everyone is priced out of. The next area will have to take most of the developments and then watch as the inevitable pushback from the community repeats the cycle.
However, when we do build here we are working within what people expect the built form and character to remain. So how do we build in these areas whilst also doing it in a way that scales for future housing/population growth?
Not to mention there is heritage dotted all around these inner-city suburbs that s at risk of being demolished or facaded to accomodate.
Do we pull a South Yarra and designate areas that with minimal heritage ripe for higher density development?

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theboynoodle's picture
#226

The thing here is that the proposal does little to impinge upon the built character of the area as it stands. It's an isolated site between two main roads and the development itself is a well-executed trade off between bulk and height that should sit much more comfortably than would a shorter development with the same number of dwellings.

The campaign against this is all scaremongering and nimbyism. The fact that the campaign was slapped down due to their image of the impact being nonsense is an indicator that they don't *quite* have truth and good sense on their side.

There are a lot of hard choices that have to be made if we're going to make space for more people in inner-Melbourne. I think this one of the easier ones. It would be horrific if nice med-density developments like this were blocked and, instead, a few blocks elsewhere were condemned to a South Yarra fate!

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