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Controversial approval

10 Dec 2015

Controversial approval Image

By Eva Garnes

Recently, Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved Central Equity’s plans to build a 159-metre tall residential tower on Kavanagh St.

Although granting a permit, the Planning Minister added conditions relating to changes in the original plans. This includes improved internal amenities, as well as adding an extra five metre setbacks towards Kavanagh and Power streets.

The City of Melbourne was originally expected to vote against the new high rise due to its height and lack of setbacks.

According to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), setbacks have been partially addressed and the number of apartments, parking spaces and overall floor space has been reduced from the original application.

However, the height concern has not been addressed and the tower will stand tall at its planned 159 metres.

As mentioned in the May 2015 issue of Southbank Local News, the process around the application in the Future Melbourne Committee was fraught with controversy as the council lost the quorum when the application was up for discussion earlier this year, and it was unable to vote on the matter.

This was due to councillors declaring a conflict of interest as they had received election campaign funds from the developer.

Southbank Residents’ Association President Tony Penna told Southbank Local News back then that the conduct of the council was “disgraceful”, a description he repeated when asked about the approval process recently.

Mr Penna was also not happy about the Planning Minister’s decision to allow the original height of the tower, which is 59 metres above the discretionary height limit.

“The height that has been approved does not fit in with the surrounding environment, although the fact that they seem to have addressed the internal amenities is a good thing,” Mr Penna said.

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