Reports submitted to Council in support of Salta’s application.
Total: approx 370 pages. All reports commissioned and paid for by Salta.
Several people waded through these reports over the Christmas break, and it was difficult not to come to the conclusion that most of this was wasted paper. No mention at all was made of the many environmental issues, or the many problems this development will cause for all river users, including the proposed residents of the new building. It is also difficult to escape the suspicion that none of the report authors really expected people to read through the reports. Council officers would be extremely overloaded with work already, especially at this time of the year, and might be excused for relying on the good faith of the authors. The reports are extremely wordy, and use a lot of jargon and technical terms, which seem designed to obfuscate the issues and induce readers to give up. One report actually refers to the wrong site, four times.
What follows is a short summary of the reports. Most of them seemed to simply be phoned in with the expectation that no-one would read them, possibly combined with some sort of inside knowledge that Salta doesn’t have to try very hard to get developments approved.
(Compiled by D.Taylor)
Bates Smart. 133 pages
Lots of “artist’s representations” and photoshopping. Some photos look like the building is situated on a lake.
Photos showing the street and the parking that used to exist in Walmer Street before the developer blocked it off with bollards.
Strange photo of Hermes shop front. Other strange photo of what appears to be a parked spaceship. (page 32) This page is really good value. Photo of a chair. Photo of a woman walking in a glass box inside a sauna (?) page 34
Photo of huge white concrete steps next to the footbridge in the area where the (public) cycle and disabled ramp is currently situated. The steps are on both sides of the footbridge, are attached to an enormous concrete jetty and completely obliterate the area on both sides where water dragons and eastern snake necked turtles currently bask. Let’s not forget that this is PUBLIC LAND.
Excitement about 51 square meter boxes, also known as “spacious apartments”.
Statements about how the building will be “infused with greenery” and has “24 hour activation”. Sounds like a laxative drink, but this is actually a serious point about how much impact 24 hour light, noise and movement will have on the environment and the wildlife in the area.
Breathless fangirly stuff about how The Fishtank is better than the building first approved for the site. The Fishtank is bigger and will cause even more damage to the environment of the River Corridor , but it looks nicer than the other one. (Matter of opinion, there). So it should be approved because it isn’t quite as ugly as the other one, and…well, we couldn’t really find any other reasons.
Urbis Town Planning 58 pages
Basically goes through all the Yarra Planning Scheme Requirements, shows how the proposed building doesn’t meet them, and then states that all the objectives have been achieved.
There is an excellent disclaimer attached:
“Urbis expressly disclaims all liability, whether direct or indirect, to the Instructing Party which relies or purports to rely on this report for any purpose other than the Purpose, and to any other person which relies or purports to rely on this report for any purpose whatsoever (including the Purpose).”
We like it. It’s not as easy to say as Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Porkie Pies, but it’s a beautiful example of how to CYA when you are picking those porkie pies.
Lovell Chen Heritage report 7 pages
States that the site is not subject to heritage overlay and there is accordingly no requirement to consider the impact of the proposal with regard to nearby heritage places (Skipping Girl and Crusader Plate Building).
(The site is not subject to heritage overlay because Salta knocked down the Art Deco building which formerly occupied the site, over objections from the National Trust.)
This report four times refers to the site as being located in Johnston Street.
Do better with the copy-paste!
Umow Lai Sustainable Management Plan 35 pages
Will use high efficiency lights – evidence shows that these lights cause even more light pollution.
Will use low-e glass – low-e glass has many problems, not yet recognised in Australia, but devastating when used in a sensitive environment like the Yarra River Corridor.
States on page 30 that “the site contains minimal ecology of significant value as the native vegetation has been long cleared.”
* Salta cleared the native vegetation when it demolished the Art Deco Building which occupied the site. Salta is still clearing vegetation, both on the building sites and on public land.
Makes no mention of the frog colony that everyone who lives in the area, or commutes through it knows about.
Wind Report 49 pages
Wind report shows that the wind speeds in this area, especially around the tram stop already exceed accepted levels. All the wind conditions will have a higher velocity from practically all locations.
The black dots on the diagram show that if the building goes ahead there will be wind conditions generated that are not suitable for walking in Walmer Street.
Wind gusts generated along Walmer Street will be close to dangerous levels. The report doesn’t mention the effects of wind gusts on pedestrians and cyclists using the footbridge.
Cardno Traffic Report 35 pages
There will be more cars. A lot more cars.
There will be traffic. A lot more traffic.
But, “As such, an assessment of the traffic volumes at the intersection of Victoria Street/Burnley Street/Walmer Street as shown in figures 8-3 and 8-4 is considered acceptable.”
Who considers it acceptable? People who live in New Zealand?
Leigh Waste Management 12 pages
There will be rubbish. A lot of rubbish. But a private contractor will take it away at resident cost.
Green Waste and Compost don’t need to be considered, because “based on minor landscaping, minimal garden waste generation is anticipated” and “at this development composting is considered impractical, as there would be minimal onsite demand for compost.”
The perfect illustration of the advantages of the developer not planting anything.
Acoustic Logic 40 pages
There will be noise. But appropriate measures will be taken to protect the residents of the building from outside noise, and to orient the noise made by residents of the building outside to the river. The pool will face the river.
Wildlife, recreational river users, and neighbours on the other side of the river are not considered at all.
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