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Council supports Queensbridge transformation

06 Apr 2017

Council supports Queensbridge transformation Image

The City of Melbourne has backed plans for a major redevelopment of what is currently a defunct part of Queensbridge St.

Developer Aohua Sheng Le Property Pty Ltd has submitted an application for a 51-storey tower at 87-89 Queensbridge St to the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne.

The proposal went before councillors for review at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on April 4, with the developer seeking an amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Because much of the application pre-dates the gazettal of the State Government’s former amendment C262 interim planning controls, the developer is requesting the proposal be considered under old planning rules.

In their report, council officers agreed to this request, as it “would seem unjust if the applicant were not allowed to pursue an application where considerable time and effort went into the preparation of plans”.

Designed by local architect Fender Katsalidis, the $370 million proposal includes 852 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, seven retail tenancies and a ground floor supermarket.

Cr Rohan Leppert told Southbank Local News the request to have the application assessed under old rules had meant council officers were able to negotiate greater public benefits with the developer.

The application has included plans for a publicly accessible walkway from Queensbridge St through to City Rd, which would provide much needed activation to the precinct.

Council officers have supported the proposal subject to a number of conditions, one of which is making the walkway accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

However, the building in its current form would cast a significant shadow over the future Boyd Park on neighbouring Balston St during the April equinox in violation of the current planning rules.

The developer has complied with the September equinox (as outlined in the old planning rules) and council officers have deemed this to be acceptable, given the circumstances of the application.

The report also noted Crown Resorts and Schaivello Group’s recently-approved mega-tower at one Queensbridge St would also cause significant overshadowing to the future open space.

Cr Leppert said that, while it wasn’t ideal that Boyd Park would be overshadowed, there wasn’t a lot council or the State Government could do due to the timing of the applicant’s submission.

While generally in support of the application, Southbank Residents’ Association president Tony Penna said he was disappointed that Boyd Park would be further overshadowed by the development.   

However, in good news for what is currently an inactive section of Queensbridge St, council officers have deemed the building’s main street frontage as “excellent”.

Council has also requested that the developer contribute to the public realm by providing new bluestone footpaths and upgrading all street furniture to stainless steel.

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