Council slams plans for student accommodation complex
Article from: The Advertiser
May 04, 2009 09:30pm
AN ADELAIDE City Council panel has unanimously condemned plans for a student accommodation complex on Grote St
It featured 462 apartments and retail and office space.
Members of Development Assessment Panel last night labelled the proposal "absolute rubbish" and suggested it could become the site of "future slums" before voting not to support it.
The plans will now be examined by the State Government's Development Assessment Commission, which has the ultimate power of approval.
Panel members were scathing in their rejection of plans for the Freedom Apartments complex, proposed for a site currently occupied by a Freedom furniture department store, which would overlook West Tce and the adjacent parklands.
Independent member David Grieve branded the proposal "absolute rubbish" and an inappropriate development for one of the city's major thoroughfares.
"There's 680 beds in buildings one and two, and two lifts - it's just absolute rubbish. There's going to be pandemonium," he said.
"The landscaping is a joke, all these little trees are underneath the building, I don't know how they're going to grow."
Councillor Sandy Wilkinson said the plans were substandard and the buildings could become the site of "future slums" if not tenanted by international students.
"Should the bottom fall out of the student accommodation market because China's building enough universities ... what of the building then?," he said.
"I think it needs to be demonstrated ... how it could, in a meaningful way, be re-jigged so it worked for conventional apartments and not future slums."
Documents submitted by Sino Aust Investments & Development outline plans for two eight-storey towers, connected at ground level by a reception area and offices, and a separate 10-storey building dedicated to one and two bedroom student apartments.
The plans also include a 300-seat restaurant and recreational facilities including laundries and a library.
It is understood Adelaide Airports Limited has concerns over building height and will also object to the proposal.
Australia Federation of International Students South Australian treasurer Raymee Chau said affordable inner-city student accommodation was scarce and new developments should be encouraged.