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Square bid forges ahead

The Mercury, 9 July, 2010

by SUE NEALES   

THE State Government has vowed to push ahead with the $100 million Parliament Square project.

It will do so even if it means defying planning laws.

Treasurer Michael Aird told Parliament yesterday he would not allow the development to be impeded and hinted at a possible government legal challenge.

The future of the proposal by the Citta Property Group is in doubt after a shock decision on Tuesday by the three-member Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.

It ruled that new plans submitted by Citta as modifications two weeks ago were too substantial and fundamentally different to be included as part of an on-going planning approval process.

The tribunal found the revised project plans for Parliament Square were deficient and lacking in clarity.

Its decision said some drawings appeared incorrect and other shortcomings of the plans made aspects of the project problematic.

The tribunal said it found the “difficulties with information provided” added up to uncertainty about the visual impact of the proposal on the historic Parliament House.

The project contentiously involves knocking down the 1960s departmental office block in Murray St and replacing it with a modern square that includes office space, lawns, cafes, a piazza space and even a large outdoor screen.

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Aird steps in over Square knock-back

ABC News Updated Thu Jul 8, 2010 12:10pm AEST

10  Murray Street

The lobby group formed to save 10 Murray Street says the new plans could not be considered a modification. (ABC Local: Carol Raabus)

The Tasmanian Treasurer has taken a swipe at the state’s Planning Appeals Tribunal for rejecting the plans for Hobart’s Parliament Square development.

The Sydney-based construction group CITTA had resubmitted plans for a $100 million project after several objections.

The Resource Management Planning Appeal Tribunal says they differed significantly from plans submitted for public consultation.

The Treasurer Michael Aird says it is a disappointing decision given there has been strong community support for the project and the amendments were of a minor nature.

“The Government is determined that this project has to proceed and we will be doing what we can to ensure it does,” he said.

“It is an interesting decision that when a property developer puts forward a proposal which relates to conditions put on a permit for a development be undertaken, you meet those conditions by submitting an ammended proposal and that proposal dealing with those condition is then rejected,” he said.

Greens spokesman Paul O’Halloran questioned whether the Government would go back to the drawing board.

“Will you now commit to re-submitting the original proposal or start the community consultation process again?”

(more…)

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