Discussions around City of Launceston plans to limit building heights have led to “common ground” after Chamber of Commerce cited “serious issues” with the proposal.
The original plan was to split the CBD into four different precincts, however this was changed when the first feedback period ended after consultation last year.
At the council’s December meeting, the recommendation to endorse the building heights report was pulled from the agenda at the last minute due to the need for more consultation with stakeholders.
A meeting between the council and business body happened in mid January, which chamber chief executive Neil Grose labelled a success.
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“Basically, we wanted to understand where council was coming from in their proposal in how to deal with buildings over 24 metres,” he said.
“The initial report has changed quite significantly where there were four precincts around the city with different limit. [Report author Paul Davies] has basically gone away from that and said it’s basically one height.”
Mr Grose said council planned to deal with proposals outside the 24 metre limit with a planning amendment.
“We have some serious issues with that process, but we’re working through those,” he said.
“We’re not at war, but we’ve got some concerns about the lack of appeals for developers if council doesn’t allow it to go through to the planning approval stage.”
The chamber’s other main issue was the prohibition of consolidation of titles. This meant adjoining properties could not be bought and converted to one title.
“What it stops is someone buying two or three small properties, but putting in a bigger retail space,” Mr Grose said.
“One of our biggest issues in the city is that some of our buildings are too small to make a profitable business. But if you joined three together, you might go from 75sqm to 250sqm.”
The council said it would reconsider this part of the report, he said.
City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said council also met with 21 public representors from the original consultation after meeting with the chamber.
“There were some issues raised by the chamber and I look forward to working through those and having further discussions with the chief executive of the chamber,” he said.
“I am confident we will find some common ground prior to the report going back to the council, which I expect will happen in the next six to eight weeks.”
Mr Stretton said the council appreciated the feedback on the “extremely important issue” for the city.
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