Observations on DA0081/2018 Regent Theatre
Have you gone yourself the opportunity to read through the DA documents concerning Mudgee's Regent Theatre? Here are some observations for you to consider.
West Elevation and North Elevation
It can be seen that the shadow of the proposed hotel on the western view is taller than the façade. Looking at the northern view of the current plan, at the outline of the existing Regent Theatre auditorium wall gives a clear view of the scale of the proposed hotel development. Also, on the northern view drawing, the outline of the Lawson Park Hotel shown on the plan illustrates how the hotel development would dominate the northern side view. The proposed hotel development would completely overshadow and block out the light to the big window at the rear of the PCYC building, as the hotel is proposed to extend as far as slightly beyond the eastern wall of the PCYC.
East Elevation and South Elevation
The outline of the PCYC building (as shown on the right of the South elevation drawing) and other buildings shown on the south elevation drawing, when compared to the proposed hotel development drawing also show that the hotel will dominate the view from the southern aspect. This will be the view from the Catholic Church and further along Church Street.
There is a difference between Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP), which has the legal status of “guidelines”, versus a Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP), which has the status of rules.
The building is 91% higher than the allowed height under the Mid-Western LEP. This is quite a significant departure from the allowed control and is one of the main reasons why there is a seperate document that address it - known as a Clause 4.6 Variation (see below).
This could form one of the main avenues for objection. The reason given in the Clause 4.6 Variation is that the existing building currently has a height greater than the allowed 8.5m height. While this is true, it is possible to make the argument that given the low scale development on either side of Church Street and the visibility of the side elevations of the property as you drive up and down Church Street that the proposed development should respect the height of the original rear of the building (which looks to be about 9.5m high). It is definitely possible to make the argument that the building should not under any circumstances exceed the height of the original parapet, which it does.
There is a heritage impact statement provided. Those concerned with this DA should consider comments to Council asking that statement to be updated and revised based on new information that has come to light. It is also important to insist that an appropriately qualified heritage expert is contracted by Council to make an assessment of the heritage impact of the proposal. This is really about an argue to do with due process. It should also be suggested that the visual impact of the proposed contemporary addition on the adjacent heritage listed properties be considered, as it is significantly taller than the adjacent properties and these will then be “read” in the context of this new development. This could significantly impact their heritage value and setting.
While this is not the kind of development that is the scale to normally require a Visual Impact Statement (this is usually very large developments) it should be a requirement that photorealistic renders of the proposal are provided to show the impact in the streetscape. These should be suggested to be taken from the intersection at Market and Church (roundabout with the heritage clock), from Short and Church (roundabout at significant northern gateway entry into the town), and also from Lawson Park (significant town recreation area).
We have saved the DA files here in a Google Drive folder for your provision - be informed and share your concerns in writing (TODAY) to Mid-Western Regional Council to help stop the approval of this DA.
You can also see Council's page with links here.