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Councillors prepare to fight Channel Nine site development

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Lord Mayor Martin Haese will bring his councillors out of their New Year’s break early for a special meeting to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the old Channel Nine site in North Adelaide.

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InDaily understands that Haese has asked his councillors to attend a special council meeting on Monday to consider the plan for a multi-level serviced apartment building, a two-storey residential apartment building, retail and car parking on the key Tynte Street site.

Area councillor Anne Moran and North Ward councillor Phil Martin have expressed concern about the development, due to be considered by the State Commission Assessment Panel next week.

Martin said the project – led by developer John Culshaw – contained too few car parks.

“I like John Culshaw and I like his developments, but I don’t like this,” said Martin.

“My community will be concerned about the height (and) they’ll be concerned about the absence of adequate car parking.”

Moran said the council had hoped for “something special” on the site, but that the proposal was “very pedestrian”.

Councillors have been strategising with each other this week about how to manage media coverage of the issue.

North Ward councillor Sue Clearihan sent an email to Moran asking the area councillor to “massage” coverage of the proposed development in a way that would not show North Adelaide residents in a bad light.

“If you can massage a story that won’t put the boot into the North Adelaide residents – yet again, then that would be great,” says the email, sent to all city councillors and senior staff yesterday afternoon, and obtained by InDaily.

“Residents are meeting with each other this weekend so they could probably get some newsworthy quotes ready at the same time.

“I’m also meeting with (an) architect and lecturer tonight to discuss.”

The former Channel 9 site in North Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis / InDaily

But Culshaw said his development would fully comply with the council’s own development rules for the site.

“The concept of serviced apartments is a permitted use, on merit,” he told InDaily this morning.

“This is the council’s DPA (development plan amendment).

“We’re completely in compliance with the council DPA, full-stop.”

Moran and Martin said that a “hotel” development – which they had read about in an article in The Advertiser earlier this week – was not what the council believed it was signing up for when it approved a development plan amendment for the former Channel Nine site early last year.

But Culshaw said media reports had inaccurately described his development as a “hotel”.

“I’m not building a hotel,” he said.

“My current plan is to do serviced accommodation on the majority of the site.”

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