Car park  plan fails to impress

LAUNCESTON aldermen appear unimpressed with their own draft plan for the redevelopment of the Willis Street car park,  with one labelling it a potential ``ghetto''.

The Launceston City Council-commissioned plan backs a medium-density housing complex eschewing other ideas such as an entertainment or medical hub. 

However, it points out that ``there is limited demand for new inner-city housing'' in Launceston  and recommends that any residential development be ``low-scale''.

The more demure option proposes 10 townhouses along Willis Street and another 12 along Boland Street, all    two or  three stories high. 

The corner of Boland and Willis streets would also be home to about 29 apartments over three floors with cafes and retailing at the bottom. 

The more intensive option involves a similar number of townhouses but an increase to 51 units in three apartment blocks. 

Alderman Tony Peck said there were too many townhouses involved while Alderman Annette Waddle said it would ``end up as a ghetto'' if that level of housing was built. 

Alderman Robin McKendrick said he supported a ``blank canvas'' being offered to potential developers rather than a preconceived project.

Alderman Hugh McKenzie was the only alderman to vote against placing it on public display.

 The impetus for a precinct plan came after a handful of proposals for the site came and went over the past five years without an outcome. 

The plan  will be placed on public display at the end of January for   four to six weeks before returning to aldermen for endorsement.