October 19, 2021

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Byvakt Tønsberg, Byutvikling |  Nedre Langgate 19: Are there 'closed rooms' in the maze of meetings, casual contacts, emails and case documents?

Byvakt Tønsberg, Byutvikling | Nedre Langgate 19: Are there ‘closed rooms’ in the maze of meetings, casual contacts, emails and case documents?

Before the October 6 final consideration by the Municipal Council of “Nedre Langgate 19”, it is time to summarize the following:

Reader’s letter This is a discussion post, written by an outside contributor. The publication expresses the positions of the author.

• Many UPB members, as a basis for their approval of the plan, focused heavily on the “decisive change” that occurred when the developer modified the graphics before the first vote.

Aside from the new livery, the changes are so minor that they can only be revealed through a careful study of the available graphics. We see that the two upper floors of the building have been almost pushed apart. 1 meter from Nedre Langgate and more towards the building, which is unfortunate for the light conditions. The changes don’t make any difference to those of us who live behind the Conrades Gate 5, despite the fact that it was made to “meet the neighbours”. The 5- and 4-storey building remains with the same controversial architectural form, located 8-9 meters from the neighbors.

• The city plan states that buildings in Nedregate must have heights of 4 ±1 stories. If you go up one place, you must go down to another. It was said that because Nedre Langgate 19 was three to five stories tall, it was “indoor” and could be approved. The fact is that the building is only five and four stories across from Nedre Langgate, with a predominance of five. At the south end is a small three-story ‘knob’ at a corner towards Conradis Gate 5. It is thus not computed when assessing the impact in a street race. It is doubtful to say that the building will regress from five to three stories.

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• It’s fairly easy to skip the directions in the city planner and DIVE analysis of medieval street racing:

The building has such a violent volume and outrageous shape that it appears to be a brutal turn against the wording of the DIVE analysis that says: “New, independent and distinct buildings that dominate the streetscape and cityscapes without special content/reason should not be allowed.” and how to make it go hand in hand with the wording in the city plan that “Buildings shall promote good streets and outdoor spaces, and take care of and development of the existing city.” And “Buildings, whether for conversion or new construction, must have a good aesthetic design in accordance with their function,” is very difficult to understand. The plan proposal’s strained relationship with the DIVE analysis and the city plan also did not get any deserved place at committee meetings.

• We believe that it is entirely possible to create a sufficient number of modern office space on site by reducing the height to three floors and using the space between buildings for additional buildings on two floors along the entire length of the building. But then, of course, it becomes difficult to get alternative use (apartments, hotel operations), when the tenant moves in – something we can’t know for sure, probably in about 5 years. We live in a world that is undergoing great changes and sharp fluctuations. No Plan B – Is this where the dog is buried? It is built and not the premises of interest to the developer?

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• The Mailer shows that there was good communication between the developer, the developer’s tenant and the municipality throughout the case. blue. There was a meeting (before the first reading on June 18) between the mayor, the committee chair and the landlord’s tenant “where the indication was that we wanted them to continue in Tonsberg and not stop the case in the committee on June 18”.

We are not invited as close neighbors to any kind of discussion meeting with the municipality or developer. I seriously doubt if this is “internal”, so this needs further investigation.

The questions one might ask in such a wide-ranging situation are, for example: Are there any “closed rooms” in the maze of meetings, informal communications, emails, case preparation and case documents? And what was going on here?

• There has been a lot of interest around this issue with many opinion articles. Of particular note, the municipality received 52 highly critical advisory statements in part before the UPB’s second reading.

But let’s finish the summary. City blueprints, DIVE analyzes, trade unions completed, the mayor’s passive attitude on first reading, intrusive and alien architecture, an unfortunate precedent for the building as a “signal building” for further development of the NL eco-street, the 52 popular protests, the absence of neighbors’ participation, And the arrogant attitude towards 32 neighbors’ loss of quality of life and livelihood, and the loss of millions in value of housing.

Let’s look at the reality of the case: this building is to be built because the developer’s tenant wants it! Only then will the decisions in the UPB, across all factual objections, protests and great human costs, find their interpretation. With this history, it can be said that the municipality, from being a manager of construction cases, enters into the role of an active commercial actor in a controversial issue. Likewise, it may sound as though politicians have come under pressure, with the honorable exceptions of the Liberal Party and Christian Democrats, who made up the minority on first and second readings.

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In order to avoid stamping the decision as a “delegated act,” the municipal council must therefore reject this proposal for a zoning plan.

This state of development is dangerous for the city, Landry Langet, and the residents of Conrades Gate 5.