The Nunnery Backpackers Lodge at 116 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy, has applied to Yarra City Council for a planning permit to demolish heritage buildings and construct a five-story super-structure in a quiet residential area.

The proposal includes:

· Demolishing heritage buildings across 114, 116, 118 and 120 Nicholson street, Fitzroy – opposite the Carlton Gardens

· Construction of a five-story super-structure to increase accommodation from 79 to 339 beds

· Balconies and windows that invade the privacy of neighbouring properties

· A roof-top entertainment area for patrons

· A request that council waive all car parking requirements

The permit application was deficient, and the proposal failed to satisfy many of the Council’s planning requirements because it:

1. did not respect the neighbourhood heritage character or contribute to a preferred neighbourhood character

2. did not respect height limitations for the heritage zone

3. did not respect height and set back limits, and negatively impacts the neighbourhood character and amenity of existing buildings.

4. did not respect neighbours’ rights not to be overshadowed or have their privacy invaded

5. did not respect objectives of the development guidelines for heritage places in the World Heritage Environs Area

6. did not ensure compliance with noise controls set under the Environment Protection Authority’s Residential Noise Regulations.

7. did not respect requirements for the provision of car parking space

Local residents are outraged by the Nunnery’s disregard for the heritage character of the area – the proposal erodes the Nunnery’s social licence to operate in the area, and neighbours are deeply concerned that a five-story super-structure is at odds with the quiet residential character of the area, and will harm local amenity.

Residents are also sick of the noise late at night from Nunnery patrons, tired of having to navigate shopping trolleys and other debris left in front of the Nunnery, and concerned about even more pressure on car parking. A five-fold increase in patrons will make these issues worse.

A yellow planning notice has not yet been posted by the Nunnery, but you can object to the proposal at anytime after the permit application is submitted. Once the planning notice is displayed, you will have just two weeks to submit an objection to Council.

To be added to an email group to find out more about the Nunnery Development, please email jeremyhindell@hotmail.com.

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