The saga of the high rise development in Richmond Hill has been resolved, and it goes to show that it IS worth while for concerned citizens to get involved and not take 'stupidity/vested interests/lack of logic/all of the above' from city officials lying down!
A while ago, concerned citizens noticed some earthworks on the hill below the teachers college, and upon investigation, found that a 4 story block of flats was going up. This picture was taken in June last year.....
Alarm bells rang immediately through the Richmond Community Forum, a group of concerned citizens determined to make a difference and not let degradation and greed erode our historic area. With the help of our extremely hard working and pro-active Ward Councellor, Jeremy Davis, protests were lodged, and questions asked in high places.
I and many others wrote to the newspapers, and the word got around about what was happening. As it became public knowledge, it was harder for the municipal officials who authorised it without all the correct channels being followed to let it slip quietly through until it was too late to stop it. Work ground to a halt. And it all hinges on this..........
This is one of a pair of navigational beacons which guide ships safely into our harbour. At full height, the flats would block the view of it and render it useless to shipping. This week, after much legal wrangling, the court ruled that the beacon cannot be moved or raised, and that the development must be halted permanently.
In an area of steep narrow streets and very limited parking, high density housing is going to cause huge infrastructure problems, and large modern blocks are out of keeping with the style of the area, apart from the fact that they block everyone's views of the bay. So this is a real victory for those who want to retain the unique historic character of the area.
There is still another large hurdle to jump, as a 14 story block is already being advertised, but again whoever passed it in Council is not going unchallenged, so let's hope for a similar favourable result to that one!