Hobart is up in arms. Our small historic city, the second oldest in Australia has just received two proposals for multistorey hotels, one of them is to be forty stories high and 210 metres tall, the other 94 metres. In a place that is renown for its quaint old buildings and where the height limit in the historic precinct is 18 metres, I can’t help but think that they are going to look very out of place and spoil it’s old world charm. You can see what the big one would look like here.
Now I don't want to offend Mr Koh or the Fragrance Group and Hobart certainly needs the work, but does it have to look like every other city in the world? This is not Dubai or Singapore. Is there no international ordinance to prevent such vandalism? How does Washington DC manage? Perhaps the whole of Tasmania should be declared a heritage site. Not that we want to scare off potential investors either, but surely there other places or other ways of achieving the same ends, without destroying what people come to see? Four to six smaller buildings – say, where the Marine Board is, would be far less intrusive.
Much more could be said. Nor is just about looks either. For instance, I am sure shading is not a problem in places where the sun shines overhead for much of the year, but it is a big problem in Hobart. We have lichen growing on our street as it is. Even when compared to other places in the northern Hemisphere, the angle of incidence is much lower, so pity help any buildings behind either development.
Many people have already spoken out about this such as tourism leader, Simon Currant and author Richard Flanagan and there's a public meeting in the Hobart Town Hall at 7.30 on Wednesday 26th. Click here if you would like to know more.