Despite the protests of the Heritage Advisory Committee, Halifax regional council voted last night to allow the grandfathering in of two Barrington Street high-rise developments.

Council voted to allow the Roy and Discovery Centre buildings to circumvent the height restrictions in the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District.

Council had granted the exemptions, along with two others, in June 2009, prior to the HRMbyDesign public consultation process and the establishment of the conservation district. An administrative error, however, led to the projects being blocked.

With the exception of developer Fred Medjuck, however, all six speakers at a public hearing last night spoke against the projects.

“The two developments would involve the complete demolition of the Roy Building, and its replacement by a 16-storey building,” said Peter Delefus, president of Heritage Trust. “What gives the Barrington Street district its unique character is the concentration of low-rise historical commercial buildings.”

Medjuck, whose company owns the Discovery Centre building, disagreed.

“The merits of the building will come back to it,” he said.