An international group’s plans to build a multi-million dollar hotel in central Launceston may be stymied by the council’s height restrictions as they stand.
It is understood that Singaporean company Fragrance Group plans to build a 25-storey hotel across from City Park on Tamar Street.
But the development, which could reach 70 metres in height, will provide a challenge to the City of Launceston council under its current planning scheme.
According to the Launceston Interim Planning Scheme, a new building's height in the CBD must be no greater than 14.5 metres or one metre higher than the average of nearby building heights.
The council may choose to make a planning scheme amendment, however.
City of Launceston acting-general manager Michael Tidey said the city was seeing an increased interest from private developers waiting to invest.
"While there is no development application for such a project, the City of Launceston is clearly open for business,” he said.
...the group will explore various options including redevelopment to maximise its value
Global Premium Hotels, a branch of Fragrance Group, bought the Clarion Hotel site November last year for $7.2 million.
The property has an area of 4652 square metres.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange at the time, Global Premium Hotels executive director Ko Lee Meng said:
“The property will continue to be leased to the current hotel operators for a term of two years from the completion of acquisition, and thereafter, the group will explore various options including redevelopment to maximise its value.”
It is understood that the Fragrance Group’s interest in Tasmania grew from the government-convened TasInvest forum in 2014.
Since then, Fragrance Group has built a $35 million hotel on Hobart’s Macquarie Street and bought the Conservatorium of Music building on Sandy Bay Road.
It has also pitched plans to build a 179-metre high hotel in Davey Street and a 84-metre hotel in Collins Street, both in Hobart.
The planned height of these buildings has forced the Hobart City Council to review its approach to high-rise buildings as the area in which the company wants to build has a 18-metre height restriction.