Fans of one of Brunswick’s most popular live-music venues, Howler, can breathe a little easier for now. Moreland City Council officially rejected a proposal for a neighbouring apartment block at Thursday night’s council meeting.
The development proposed by Brunswick Holdings includes plans for apartments at 8–14 Michael Street, directly behind the stage wall of Howler’s band room. Designed by SJB Architects, the eight-storey complex would be comprised of 74 residences, two underground.
Since it was submitted in mid-2017, the application to build at the address received 426 objections.
Council meeting minutes also show Intern planners recommended the development go ahead, but Moreland City Council rejected the proposal using the Agent of Change law, which aims to protect live-music venues threatened by new residential developments in its neighbourhoods.
Introduced in Victoria in 2014, the law puts the onus on developers to soundproof their residences. Those hoping to build within 50 metres of a live-music venue also face particular scrutiny, as is this case.
While Howler is safe for the time being, there is still one avenue that would allow construction to go ahead. Urban Melbourne claims Brunswick Holdings will appeal Moreland City Council’s decision before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).