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A PRIME piece of Newport real estate could be converted into 46 box-shaped townhouses.
Domain Hill Property group has applied for a planning permit to turn the former Newport quarry and timber yard into three-storey apartments, fronting Paine, Crawford and Latrobe streets and Armstrong Reserve.
The site is surrounded by inter-war and Edwardian homes and the proposed designs would be in contrast to neighbouring weatherboard bungalows.
Artists’ drawings show the apartments would be a box shape, built with a mix of timber cladding and fibre cement sheeting with black finishes.
Urban designer Bryce Raworth, on behalf of Domain, wrote in a council submission that the proposed designs don’t conform with the council’s heritage policy. But it would not adversely impact on the “overall significance” of the precinct.
“These formerly industrial sites have always been distinct from their surroundings in terms of developmental character and use, and this distinction might in itself be seen to be part of the character of the immediate environs,” he wrote.
Domain managing director Peter Cahill described the design as “architecturally striking”.
“It is deliberately very contemporary and iconic,” he said.
“But we do acknowledge it being in a heritage overlay area.”
“(The overlay) is about protecting the integrity of what’s there and a new development needs to have a high level of architectural integrity.”
Mr Cahill said there was high demand to live in the timber yard precinct, as reflected in booming median house prices (Newport’s median hit $663,000 in June, up 25 per cent in the past 12 months).
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