Green shoots of confidence?

AT least one developer has some confidence in Beaufort Street, with an eight-storey, mixed-use development on the way for the long-empty Highgate Drycleaners site.

Baltinas Architecture designed the $10 million, 26-apartment block with four small retail spaces on the ground floor, and two offices upstairs.

It generated 20 objections from neighbours, and is taller than the six storeys Vincent council usually allows (it’s 25.9m tall, whereas the suggested limit is 20.5m) but the council unanimously okayed it because the setbacks of the upper levels means they’re not visible from street level. The council’s “deemed to comply” rules state it’s okay to go outside the standard limit if the end result is practically the same.

To ensure the leafy dream of the architect makes it to reality, rainwater will irrigate balcony planters, and plant maintenance is mandated by strata by-laws.

Mayor Emma Cole said: “I think there’s a lot to love about this development. I think it is really interesting in its approach to on-structure planting.

“There is talk of achieving up to 50 per cent canopy this way, so that is really quite exciting.”

by DAVID BELL

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