City of Launceston council officers fail to inform alderman of error in development application plans

INVERMAY: The view down Goodwin Street, from Lindsay Street. Picture: Google Maps
INVERMAY: The view down Goodwin Street, from Lindsay Street. Picture: Google Maps

Incorrect plans and backlash from Invermay residents saw an application for an ancillary dwelling refused by the City of Launceston at Monday’s council meeting.

The proposal was for a two-storey, two bedroom home at 9 Goodwin Street, to the rear of the existing building on the site. It would have had a separate frontage and access onto Frank Street.

But a number of residents living on both Goodwin and Frank streets voiced their opposition, with concerns for loss of amenity, loss of privacy in their homes, the loss of sunshine, potential damage to homes, building hours and a reduction in the value of their properties.

Residents also took issue with the design’s siting and scale, with fears it detracted from the historical significance of the surrounding streetscape.

Invermay resident Peta Lane questioned how the shadow diagrams could be deemed correct, when there was an error in the boundary on the council’s plans, which would change the effect on her neighbouring property.

Aldermen Janie Finlay, Hugh McKenzie and Danny Gibson asked a number of questions about the error, including the scale of the mistake, if it would change the result of the assessment to approve the proposal and why they had not been informed prior to the council meeting.

They were told the boundary error was “a matter of two to three metres”, only became apparent during the advertising process and that the shadow assessment could be determined regardless of what the plan showed.

Despite the initial assessments from council officers, which suggested the council approved the proposal, it was unanimously voted down.

Instead the item was put on hold while council officers drafted a second recommendation which said the proposal did not comply with performance criteria relating to the siting and scale of a single dwelling.

The development application was refused on the basis that it would cause an unreasonable loss of amenity on the adjoining lots due to overlooking, loss of privacy and visual impacts, and that it did not have sufficient regard to the existing dominant streetscape qualities of Frank Street.

Alderman Finlay suggested the council also needed to reconsider parts of the Invermay/Inveresk Flood Inundation Area Code, which requires floor areas of habitable rooms to be about 3 metres above ground level.

“I feel that this development application before us is borderline, I feel that that if we weren’t dealing with the flood code it wouldn’t be borderline, it would be refused ... it has been designed to respond to the fact that the flood code exists,” she said.

She said the code could prohibit development which suited the area.