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Clarke Street concerns

16 Sep 2013

Clarke Street concerns Image

The City of Melbourne has maintained its ongoing opposition to an apartment tower proposal on Clarke St.

The 54-56 Clarke St apartment building was approved in February by Planning Minister Matthew Guy, but was resubmitted by developer BKK Architects due to the introduction of Amendment C171.

The developer behind the project, BKK Architects, has previously stated that the tower would be an iconic addition to Melbourne’s skyline.

“It’s iconic in the way it can be seen from many points in South Melbourne and along Southbank. Also in its location and appearance. It’s located next to a bend in the Westgate Freeway and the design means it looks like it’s animated as you drive around the bend,” BKK director Simon Knott explained.

The council had previous appealed Mr Guy’s approval at Victorian Civil and Administrative Council (VCAT), so its opposition to the new (but almost identical) proposal is hardly a surprise.

Planning portfolio chairman, Cr Ken Ong, explained that the council’s position also remained unchanged.

“Since the implementation and gazetting of Amendment C171, the Southbank Structure Plan, a couple of months ago it (the proposal) has come back to us in exactly the same form that we objected to in the first place,” Mr Ong said at the Future Melbourne meeting in early September. “Our comments remain unchanged,” Cr Ong added.

Cr Stephen Mayne also spoke to the report, saying he hoped the residents in surrounding building were aware of the plan.

“I certainly hope the residents of The Bank are fully aware of this public delegates report and that they may make some direct representation to the Minister, in terms of their amenity. The impact that such a very large tower on such a small site in Southbank will have on the amenity of the broader area,” Cr Mayne said.

He also stated he was disappointed the proposal hadn’t been changed, in light of the opposition to it last time around.

After his re-election to the federal seat of Melbourne Ports, local member Michael Danby also expressed his opposition to the tower proposal, saying the tower would cast a huge shadow over Southbank and dominate the views of people living in Southbank and create a massive wind tunnel.

Because the tower is over the 10,000 sqm threshold, the decision on the tower will ultimately lie with Minister Guy and, as reported on page 1, there are no longer rights for any third party to appeal his decision.

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