Newcastle CBD tower plans run into strong criticism

16/04/2019 Posted by admin

THE architectural brains trust Newcastle council uses for professional advice has delivered a scathing review of the proposed three high-rise CBD towers.
Nanjing Night Net

The Urban Design Consultative Group, made up of independent architects and planners, delivered an unfavourable assessment of the towers proposed by GPT and the state government’s development arm UrbanGrowth NSW.

Speaking to councillors last week, Dr Philip Pollard described the towers as “highly intrusive”, “bulky” and “unacceptable”.

“The only architects I’m aware of who like the final proposal are those who prepared it,” he said.

Dr Pollard said community consultation on the scale of the buildings had been inadequate.

Councillor Tim Crakanthorp asked Newcastle council general manager Ken Gouldthorp to release the Urban Design Consultative Group’s draft report on the towers in July, but was refused.

“Under what authority does the power to do that arise from?” Cr Crakanthorp asked.

Mr Gouldthorp said the developers wanted to keep the report confidential, and took Cr Crakanthorp’s question on notice to “clarify the facts”.

The majority of the elected council – former lord mayor Jeff McCloy along with councillors David Compton, Brad Luke, Allan Robinson, Andrea Rufo, Lisa Tierney and Sharon Waterhouse – voted in favour of making a submission effectively supporting the high-rise plans in March.

Councillors Nuatali Nelmes, Therese Doyle, Tim Crakanthorp, Jason Dunn, Michael Osborne, and Stephanie Posniak voted against it, instead asking for a longer public exhibition period and community briefings.

At the recent planning inquiry led by NSW politician Reverend Fred Nile, newly-elected lord mayor Cr Nelmes and Cr Doyle raised concerns about a lack of transparency around the state government’s decision to raise building height levels across the city.

Mr Nile is due to release his findings later this month.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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