CTBUH Global News

Proposed Hobart Towers Jump in Height, Stirring Controversy

Hobart, Australia – 19 July 2017

A Singapore-based company aiming to build hotels in Hobart has increased the height of two tower proposals. The Fragrance Group has lodged formal plans with the Hobart City Council for a skyscraper at 28-30 Davey Street and another hotel at nearby 2-6 Collins Street.

Both proposals have created controversy for exceeding planning scheme height restrictions, leading to community protests.

Hobart City Council planning director Neil Noye said he was a little surprised when the formal planning application from the Fragrance Group revealed the extra height on the buildings.

The planned Davey Street building has increased in height from 390 feet (120 meters) to over 680 feet (210 meters). Noye said the proposal is for 610 feet (186 meters) of inhabitable floors and a 79-foot (24-meter) spire. The Collins Street proposal has jumped in height from 240 feet (73 meters) to 308 feet (94 meters) at the top of that building's spire.

The council is obliged to consider the applications before it, in line with the Sullivans Cove Planning Scheme. But Noye said the plans exceeded the planning scheme heights even more than earlier plans. The precinct has a height limit of 59 feet (18 meters).

The owner of Hobart's historic Hadley's Hotel has joined the chorus of criticism about the proposed skyscrapers.

Don Neil, who has also developed the Old Woolstore, has called on the council to stick to its current planning scheme. "Council should defend their planning and not just roll over at the slightest suggestion from developers that they need increased height, that they need to build towers," he said.

The council has discretion to permit taller buildings if it considers other matters including sunlight and streetscape.

Proposed amendments to the planning scheme will be released for public comment in the coming weeks. Final approval rests with the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

For more on this story, go to ABC.

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