THE developers call it the future face of Inglewood but locals reckon seven storeys is too high for their Beaufort Street strip.
Doepel Marsh Architects and Planners say their design for a mix of 66 apartments, shops, consulting rooms and a restaurant on the corner of Beaufort and Eighth Avenue ”responds appropriately” to Stirling council’s local development plan for the area.
Doepel March says the development will “provide a high amenity built form, sympathetic to the local heritage character, creating a new focal point and community engagement hub, by revitalising the two state heritage registered buildings with new uses so they can be enjoyed again into the future”.
The original plans were deferred by the metro north-west JDAP, but following mediation in the state administrative tribunal, the developers have come back with a new plan that increases setback and lops off a storey facing Inglewood Lane, moves parking, ditches a car-stacker and alters the architectural style. Doepel Marsh says all the modifications will benefit residents along the lane.
The development includes the retention of the heritage-listed Bayswater police station and quarters, which will become a restaurant and medical consulting rooms following the demolition of some external walls and renovations.
But locals tell the Voice they’re still not happy with the latest plan and have mail-dropped a flyer through much of the neighbourhood urging people to speak out during the consultation period.
Nearby resident Roger Hill says the neighbours “would welcome a well-designed mixed use development” on that spot, but “this proposal falls considerably short of the ideal, being of a height and scale that is incompatible with its location”. The surrounding area is mostly one or two storeys.
Jo Francesca agrees: “The key issue with this development right from the beginning has been the height of the building.” She says residents have raised this with owners Anthony and Giuseppa Lembo and their family holding company Avanti Enterprises several times through three rounds of consultation but it’s still a whopper.
“It will tower over two heritage-protected buildings, the old Inglewood police station and residence,” Ms Francesca says.
Dominique Beral likewise calls it “a massive overdevelopment of a size and bulk vastly out of scale, and dwarfing, the surrounding streetscapes, and … hugely detrimental to the lane residents”.
The final round of consultation through Stirling city council’s website closes this Friday December 9. The final decision rests with the development assessment panel which is made up of two Stirling councillors and three government-appointed experts. The DAP already deferred the plans back in April, but following mediation with the applicant in front of the State Administrative Tribunal they’ll be taking a second look at it at an impending DAP meeting.
by DAVID BELL