Apartment project to go ahead

The 48-apartment development will replace three houses built in the 1890s on the street.

A fourth house, considered to have heritage significance, will be retained.

Vincent councillor Josh Topelberg, who was sitting on the DAP as the local member, said the houses were not deemed to have heritage significance and therefore the development could not be refused on that basis.

But he said the development would change Cowle Street irreversibly.

‘I don’t think it is the best outcome for Cowle Street or Vincent,’ he said.

‘But on its own I think the development will bring benefits.’

Cr Topleberg’s comments were made in response to issues raised by 15 residents as part of the consultation process, with concerns about the design, heritage loss, construction, traffic and fencing of the development.

Two local residents also spoke at the DAP meeting last week, both raising concerns about the loss of heritage.

Andrew Main, who has written a history of the street, said he had wanted more of the original buildings retained.

‘We have old buildings with significant heritage value and I think that should be acknowledged, embraced and cherished,’ he said.

A Cowle Street resident said she had wanted the original houses to be retained and the development constructed behind.

She said this would ‘soften its impact’.

A spokeswoman for the developer, Giorgi Group, said at the meeting that the buildings had been subject to heritage assessment and did not meet the threshold for retention.

The approval requires the developer to acknowledge the significance of the former house at 40 Cowle Street as part of the new building.