Near the city centre (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) this morning I ambled around a block while I waited for Marilyn. Nice sunny day, pleasant stroll. Gave me time to see more than if just driving through.
Gazing around, a particular building caught my eye. Just take a look at the old heritage house surrounded by the high-rise. And when I say surrounded, this means not just on each side, but literally (I do hate the overuse of this word, but it seems appropriate usage here) ‘towered over’!
What system of planning approval allows this to happen? Really doesn’t look very sensible nor fair. And notice that it’s for sale. Do you fancy living there, sitting on the terrace, gazing across at …? Well, eight lanes of major arterial for a start. And I don’t imagine you’d be hanging out the washing in the backyard.
As if that wasn’t enough, when I wandered round the next corner there was another one, perhaps even more extreme. As you can see, this old building is not just surrounded, but the new tower is on top of it!
Lovely old Victorian (as we call them) with it’s perfect proportions and beautiful frontage. You can imagine the developer saying to the recalcitrant owner “OK, you won’t sell it, but wait until you see what we’ve got planned for you!” And somehow the city council agreed. Is this what they perceived as a satisfactory/acceptable ‘compromise’ between the conservationists and the unbridled developers?
Quite bewildering really.
2 thoughts on “Digression: what were they thinking?”
My guess is that the developers own the buildings but Heritage Australia has decreed them to be beautiful and significant and delightful and therefore protected. The developers simply build around and over them and the neighbours don’t complain because they are the neighbours. If anyone else (like teh city council)complains the developers go to VCAT, that august body that rubber-stamps whatever developers want.
I suspect you are right on the button!