Owners of flats in one of Perth’s biggest apartment blocks have expressed anger at a 20-storey hotel planned by the owners of the Rydges and QT hotel chains for the site of the defunct Greater Union cinema on the corner of Murray and Barrack streets in the CBD.
oneperth.com.au can reveal that a lawyer has been engaged to complain on behalf of the owners of Equus apartments about the pictured hotel, proposed by landowner Amalgamated Holdings Limited for the corner of Barrack and Hay streets.
In 2013, Amalgamated, which operates Greater Union cinemas, and the Rydges and QT hotel brands, had the pictured hotel approved. However, with Perth in the grip of an extended property slump, the approval was set to lapse and in August the company received the okay from a state planning panel to extend the original approval until August 15, 2017.
Now, Amalgamated has requested amendments including a larger number of smaller dwellings on levels 15 to 17, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Perth City Council believes the windows are “an improvement from the previous design”.
However, when the project came up for approval in 2013, obstruction of views from Equus had been raised as an issue by objectors.
Glen McLeod of Glen McLeod Legal claims to represent the owners of Equus, and opines that Amalgamated’s statement to the council that the windows will allow better views from the new building to be “evidence of a selfish intention to benefit the hotel at the expense of the amenity of the Equus building.”
In a separate submission, Equus resident Mathew Fry disputes the amendments are minor.
“I don’t believe that the major window openings for the proposed development set back of 3.6m is far from adequate privacy for residents,” Mr Fry says.
B and J Potulski also claim the amendments are not minor.
“From our perspective it is very disappointing to see our council treating us like illiterate knuckleheads,” the Potulskis lament.
“This is extremely disrespectful.”
“… I wish to express my full support for this,” Mr Robson has submitted to the council.
“Living in an inner city location as we do, the other owners should expect that other high-rise developments will occur and that some of these will be near Equus.
“The existing [Greater Union] building is such an eyesore.
“I think everyone would be far better off if there were a beautiful hotel there instead.”
In the past, Equus owners have been vocal opponents of both the planned hotel, and Ambar night club’s mooted move from Murray Street to Barrack Street which never ended up happening.
The council has recommended that Amalgamated’s amendments be approved. A state panel will decide the hotel’s fate on January 14.