Hobart cable car plan rejected on grounds it would spoil ‘quiet enjoyment’ of Mount Wellington
A contentious plan to build a cable car to the top of the rugged 1,271-metre mountain overlooking Hobart has been knocked back by Tasmania’s planning tribunal.
Hobart city council in July voted against the proposal by the Mount Wellington Cableway Company, prompting the firm to appeal against the decision.
But the appeal was dismissed on Thursday by the Tasmanian civil and administrative tribunal which found the project didn’t meet standards relating to noise, visual, biodiversity and geoheritage impacts.
The MWCC plan included a centre at the summit of kunanyi/Mount Wellington featuring a cafe, visitor information centre, retail area, visitor amenities and offices.
The company planned to run two cable cars, each carrying up to 40 passengers, via three towers.
The tribunal ruled the plan failed to meet standards of the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme and Wellington Park Management Plan.
It said the cable car would have an unreasonable impact on residential amenity outside the park and an adverse effect on the quiet enjoyment of the park’s natural and cultural values.
The tribunal assessed 26 grounds of refusal raised by the council and found the project failed 18.
‘The proposed pinnacle centre, the cableway and a tower on the escarpment above the Organ Pipes would adversely impact visual values and visual character in the park,’ it said.
‘The construction of the pinnacle centre would impermissibly impact geoheritage values at the pinnacle.
‘Removal of native vegetation for fire prevention and construction of the access road to the base station would cause the loss of breeding habitat for the swift parrot and the masked owl, and foraging habitat for the parrot, which would result in adverse effects for those threatened species.’
Members of Tasmania’s Aboriginal community had previously said the project would scar the culturally significant landmark which carries the Indigenous name kunanyi.
About 72% of a record 16,500 public submissions made to council were not in favour of the cable car, while thousands protested the plan in 2018. The MWCC had slated a 2023-24 build with operations to begin in 2024.
The company’s chair, Chris Oldfield, said MWCC would take time to consider its position.
‘We need to get advice from our legal and planning advisers on the technical detail of the tribunal’s determination,’ he said in a statement. ‘The tribunal’s determination and its implications for the future of the project also need to be considered by our board and key shareholders.’
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.theguardian.com feed.)
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