Gorge Hotel plans struck down
Hopes for a proposed new hotel development in Launceston have been dashed, following a decision by the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.
Josef Chromy's JAC Group was behind the $50 million Gorge Hotel to be built on the corner of Paterson and Margaret Street, but the Tribunal has agreed with Launceston Heritage Not Highrise, a group which argued the 39.5 metre structure would overshadow neighbouring areas.
Launceston Mayor Albert Van Zetten is lamenting the verdict, but hasn't given up hope.
"As a council we were disappointed by the announcement that our application had been refused. We thought we were on good grounds and that we had met all the criteria but they've obviously felt differently. Now it's up to the developer to decide what course of action to take," he said.
"We'll stay optimistic. The developer may want to come back to have a look at it but that's really a matter for them and it's something that's difficult since they've obviously spent a lot of money getting to this stage."
Tourism Industry Council CEO Luke Martin expressed frustration at the news on social media.
"Excuse my French, but FFS! How do we hope to contain the impact of Airbnb on the rental housing market, when we continue to make it so bloody hard to build hotels in Tasmania?" Mr Martin said.
While acknowledging other highrise developers will need to be aware of the height restrictions, Mr Van Zetten maintains other developments in the city shouldn't be deterred.
"It makes it difficult for proponents of highrise hotels so that's something we have to look at and consider. But other investment in the city should continue as normal," he said.