Court overturns planning decision again

A PLANNING tribunal decision allowing the demolition of an historic Salamanca building has been overturned by the Supreme Court for the second time.

The demolition of the old Government Printing Office, located at 2-4 Salamanca Place, is part of a proposal to redevelop the block of buildings known as Parliament Square, behind Parliament House at Sullivans Cove in Hobart.

Justice Alan Blow yesterday set aside a decision of the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal of Tasmania from December last year that allowed the demolition.

It's the latest instalment in a two-year saga on behalf of Sydney-based Citta Property Group to redevelop the site into six-storey offices surrounding a public square, containing an amphitheatre and Federation-square style outdoor television screen.

Justice Blow said that the decision was set aside because the reasons published by the tribunal to support its decision were ``clearly deficient.''

In February last year, Justice David Porter overturned an earlier decision of the tribunal, which also allowed the demolition, on the grounds that it had erred in law in not properly explaining why demolishing the building was not prohibited by the Heritage Act.

The matter returned to the tribunal, and in December it held that it was not ``prudent and feasible'' to leave the building standing, so the demolition was allowed under the Act.

But Justice Blow said the tribunal had failed to establish, or even discuss in any detail in its written decision, ``the prudence or imprudence of alternatives to demolition''.

The appellant on both occasions was Madeline Kidd, a member of the Save 10 Murray campaign that was formed to preserve one of the other buildings earmarked for demolition in Citta's proposal.

Her lawyer, Bruce McElwaine, said that she would make an application for costs.

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