Photojournalism Feature Assignment

Concerns over multistorey building proposal reach new heights

FEARS for students’ safety have sparked a primary school to join hundreds of residents and oppose a multistorey development in a residential street.

Coburg North Primary School is among 200 objectors to a three-storey development on O’Hea St, which includes a revamp of the popular O’Hea’s Bakery and Deli and the building of 30 units.

But bakery owners Nick and Jim Arena, who are codevelopers with Snowdon Developers, said they had operated from the site for almost 60 years and would never do anything detrimental to the area.

Principal Helen Zull said she was “very concerned” about the scale of the development, which covers the bakery site and three adjoining properties and includes an application for reduced carparks and no loading bay for delivery trucks.

Mrs Zull said she feared the development would increase traffic difficulties for parents during busy pick-up and drop-off times, when they would have to compete for limited on-street parking with residents, delivery trucks and bakery patrons.

She said parents already often parked illegally or used the staff carpark during peak periods and students, particularly those who walked or rode, may be put at risk.

Nick Arena said the familyowned business had carefully considered designs before “going with something that suits the area and looks good”, with a sketch hung in the bakery window last week to appease concerned locals.

Jim Arena said a “bigger and better” bakery was integral to plans for the site.

The proposal’s town planner, Lorraine Stupac, said sufficient carparking had been allocated to residents and bakery staff in the design, with the reduced carparking application relating to bakery patrons, many of whom already walked or rode. She said the bakery already operated without a loading bay.

Moreland Council’s urban planning committee will make a final decision.

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Article written by Tamara Heath of the Moreland Leader (2nd March 2015).

All photographs taken by Tara Cosoleto

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