Vincent’s new deputy mayor Ros Harley warns Oxford Street’s residential area could be forever changed for the worse if the council keeps approving the spread of offices.
The council voted to approve a plan to knock down a 1929 home and erect a three-storey development, which will mostly be offices with five units up top.
But Cr Harley warned they could be making a mistake: “We have an opportunity here to get this right. My fear is that in five or 10 years’ time … if more and more of them go up on Oxford Street, we’re going to look back and wonder at what point we got it wrong.
“In five years’ time I don’t want to look at that building and feel I made a mistake. This has no street appeal whatsoever. I am concerned about the bulk and scale and I’m concerned about the precedent it sets.”
Council rules say there can be a maximum of 30 per cent commercial aspect to any development in the area. This one clocks in at almost double that.
“I think there’s no reason not to stick with the policy,” Cr Buckels agreed.
“What happens with commercial is you get a far less interesting interaction with the street.” Cr Julia Wilcox sided with them but they were outvoted.
Council planning chief Peter Mrdja said that under the yet-to-be implemented town planning scheme 2 such a project would be fine.
by DAVID BELL