Launceston Inner City Living Case Study
Location: Launceston | Tasmania
Status: Outcome pending
6ty° has recently assisted the Launceston Chamber of Commerce with architectural and planning services in their Inner City Living Case Study.
This process was inspired by the desire to invigorate Launceston's inner city by reinstating the residential use of upper floors of older buildings, and the apparent difficulties in achieving this in the current regulatory environment. Many chamber members had voiced concern that the process is cost prohibitive.
This case study used the upper floor of a building in the Quadrant Mall. Architects from 6ty° in consultation with the Launceston Chamber of Commerce and Launceston City Council produced designs for changing 300 square metres of space into three apartments.
Key issues arrising from the case study included:
- Residential use of buildings above ground level within the Central Business Zone are classified as 'discretionary' under the current interim planning scheme, therefore requiring public advertising and adding to both cost and timeframes.
- Multiple residences above ground level require a passenger lift, adding cost and issues for Heritage listed buildings.
- National building code requirements also require fire-proofing between residential use and commercial uses, and under some circumstances requires the bottom floor to also be brought up to scratch with National Building Code and Access to Premises standards
In this case it was found that a $1 million expected cost for the transformation could not be matched by a return due to a soft real estate market.
Four major reccommendations came out of this case study:
- Federal Government to consider flexibility in the application of the National Building Code, particularly for Heritage listed buildings;
- Launceston City Council to change residential uses in the city from 'discretionary' to 'permitted' use;
- State Government and Local Government to review and reduce the number of specialised consultancy reports required for developments generally; and
- Lobby the Launceston City Council to offer financial incentives to developers to sensitively restore historical buildings for inner city living.
This project is ongoing and has the potential to have wide ranging impacts on the economic sustainability of many inner city properties and the vitality of the city as a whole, well beyond the impact of any single building project or tourism venture. Discussions continue at each level.
The case study was recognised in the 2015 Launceston City Council Heritage Awards, taking out Category 4 - Promotion of Heritage
For those considering undertaking a residential development in Launceston, be aware there are some successful examples of inner city residential development in and around the CBD.
We encourage you to contact us on a no-obligation basis to discuss your individual case.