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The forum finds favour

Late on Friday afternoon the ABC reported that Planning Minister Matthew Guy had approved the Forum Theatre restoration and Hotel development which Urban Melbourne previously reported on back in March.

The 32 level tower will include boutique hotel suites, retail and office spaces with a pedestrian link through to Hosier Lane. Crucially it's been reported there are substantial changes to the Hosier Lane site boundary, which have been implemented in order to lessen the development's impact upon the venerable art and tourist area.

Quoted in the ABC report, Matthew Guy said "people shouldn't be concerned about any encroachment on street art, because it will virtually all remain - 99 per cent of it will still be there as it is now". The approved development has reduced the impact on Hosier Lane, and its street art precinct, from 16 metres to 3 metres, the Planning Minister said.

A subsequent report in The Age commented that Clement Stone Town Planners had successfully argued to have the Planning Minister designated as the responsible authority when the Forum Theatre and tower proposal's gross floor area is combined. City of Melbourne had opposed the plans in May this year.

Incidentally expressions of interest have been called for Paint UP Round Two, which will see a second building along Hosier Lane adorned with a large-scale painted image. While revised plans for the Forum Hotel's interaction with Hosier Lane have yet to be spotted, the original planning application provides some indication as to what can be expected, as seen below.

Original plans for an altered Hosier Lane - images courtesy of Scharp.
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