The developer of 6 Paine St today distributed letters to residents surrounding the development site. A scanned copy of the letter attached, and the text below. Please read.
21 July 2011
Domain Hill Property Group Ply Lld
a 9rowth enterprise
Loft 1, 49 Smith Street
Fitzroy, vie 3065. Australia
P + 61 3 9419 8588
F + 61394173820
Re: Project Update on Former Timber Yard Site – Paine St, Newport
I am writing to inform you of our progress with the redesign of our project.
The VCAT decision back in April was generally supportive of the scale and density of our proposal and the new design will follow a similar built form. The VCAT member stated “The proposal sets the groundwork for what I would regard as an acceptable and innovative response to the subject land.”
Based on the VCAT result and the feedback we received from local residents we made a decision to appoint a different architectural firm to handle the new design. This new fresh approach enables us to address the concerns many of you had about the architecture and the facade in particular. Whilst I have a high regard for the design skills of our former architect, the new architect seems to have more empathy with, and a deeper understanding of, the concerns of the neighbours.
The new design will be more conservative and the townhouses will all have a more individual domestic feel to them. The upper third level is set back and the entrances have been set further into the site as per the neighbour feedback and the VCAT directive.
There have also been some rather robust discussions happening with my new architect and my urban designer as we are all striving to achieve a quality outcome that addresses the neighbourhood concerns as well as meet the design guidelines set down by VCAT.
I have been communicating with your neighbour Darren Williams, who was one of your neighbourhood representatives at VCAT. Darren and I met yesterday with the new architect along with your fellow neighbours Anthony Simmons and Nik Bebic. The purpose of the meeting was to get some initial neighbourhood feedback and enter into constructive dialogue to assist our finessing of the plans.
I would also appreciate the opportunity to meet with you personally to help you gain a better understanding of the project and I can also address any concerns you might have. I welcome a phone call from you at any time.
The aim is now to finalise the plans and lodge a new planning application soon with council. At that point I can provide you with any information you might require directly either in hard copy form or via email if that is more convenient for you.
It has also been brought to my attention that a number of local residents have expressed concerns about the site being potentially developed for social housing, even to the point of lobbying the local MP Wade Noonan. Whilst I am prepared to be open and transparent that social housing is a legitimate alternative for us, I wish to emphasise it is not our preferred option.
A social housing scheme of 136 apartments over 4 levels has been designed for the site and presented to us. It is under consideration but that is the current extent of it. This social housing option (which would normally be approved direct through the State Government and not via Council) does not preclude us from submitting a separate and independent planning application to Council for upmarket ‘designer’ townhouses.
The new scheme will be advertised soon after we lodge the application. This will include the normal advertising signs on site. This advertising relates to the ‘designer’ townhouse proposal and IS NOT a social housing scheme.
Please call me if you wish to meet or discuss the ‘designer’ townhouse project any further.
DOMAIN HILL PROPERTY GROUP PTY LTD
PETER J CAHILL