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Clarke St endorsed

09 Mar 2017

Clarke St endorsed Image

City of Melbourne councillors unanimously endorsed a 70-storey application for 51-65 Clarke St, Southbank at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on February 7.

Developer New City Lane (One) Pty Ltd has submitted a proposal for a 233-metre tower comprising 565 new apartments and over 1000 sqm of ground level space for retail, office and outdoor seating.

However, it’s the public benefit contributions that made this Elenberg Fraser designed proposal a sure thing for councillors, with the developer agreeing to contribute $1.6 million towards the City Rd master plan.

As part of its contribution, public realm improvements will be made in the proximity of the building on Clarke St, Catherine St and Hancock St, as well as the new public space at the Kings Way southern undercroft.

While Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna supported the project, he questioned why more hadn’t been done to encourage the developer to include more three-bedroom apartments.

Out of the building’s 565 new apartments, the development provides only 10 three bedroom apartments, which Mr Penna said wouldn’t help attract families to the area.

“It’s the chicken and the egg,” he said. “If we don’t get those three-bedroom apartments in these developments then we are not going to be attracting families to the suburb.”

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said all apartments complied with the State Government’s better apartment guidelines by providing flexible floor plans, which meant more three-bedroom apartments could be created.

“One of those guidelines is a flexible floor plan that will allow a future amalgamation of apartments into larger apartments,” he said.

“It’s regrettable, we agree, but there is nevertheless the future capability for people to create three and four bedroom apartments because of the better apartment guidelines.”

The application was submitted during the government’s previous C262 interim planning controls, which allowed for a larger plot ratio of 24:1. The current plot ratio under C270 is 18:1.

Cr Rohan Leppert said while the development was larger than what would have been allowed under current planning laws; it had resulted in greater public benefit.

“The public benefit that has been arrived at by going above the C262 plot ratio is good and is a good example of what can be done,” he said.

The application will now go to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne for final approval.

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