Plans to build a three-storey unit block with 28 apartments in historic Morpeth have been lodged with Maitland council.
GHT Holdings has proposed to transform the Griffins Motors site in Swan Street, which is part of the Morpeth heritage conservation area and is next to the historic Morpeth Post Office.
(The development was) sympathetic to the surrounding conservation area.
The unit block, called Morpeth Central Residences, borders William and Market streets and would have a contemporary design that features elements of other buildings in the township.
This includes rendered walls, vertically oriented windows, face brickwork, corrugated metal roofs and an oversized verandah.
It would also have solar panels that would be visible from the main street.
The developer plans to build a row of single garages at the rear of the site to cater for car parking needs. The design is supposed to resemble stables and reflect the town’s transport history.
John Carr Heritage Design, which wrote the statement of heritage impact, said the proposed development would have “minimal impact on the heritage significance of the surrounding heritage conservation area and nearby heritage items”.
The report noted the development was “sympathetic to the surrounding conservation area” as the overall height of the building was similar to the ridgeline of the post office and courthouse.
It also said the development had complied with council’s requirements of the council’s 2011 development control plan and it would help meet the demand for residential accommodation in the town.
“The modelling of the building together with the setbacks off all streets provides a variation to the traditional three storey terrace row by breaking up the run of units into an arrangement of single, triple, double, triple and single terrace rows, joined by different wall planes,” the report said.
The existing motor garage, shop and residence were built in the 1940s and would be demolished to make way for the building. Council has called for feedback on the plans until April 12.