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Extra height knocked back

10 Mar 2016

Extra height knocked back Image

A proposal to add six storeys to an already approved development at 84-90 Queensbridge St was met with distain at last month’s Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting.

Having purchased the site off former developer New Sky Group, which was issued with a planning permit for a 55-storey tower in 2014, developer Decent Place Pty Ltd has returned with a 61-storey proposal, which was unanimously knocked back by councillors on February 16.

The $90 million project proposed to increase the height of the building from 174 to 199.5 metres in a zone that carries a discretionary height limit of 160 metres.

Addressing the committee, Southbank Residents Association president Tony Penna said he was “bamboozled” by the proposal.

“We ask ourselves the question as to why the developer has waited another year and a half to make a change and add a few more floors on? Why not just have it at 199 metres from the word go?” he said.

Planning portfolio chair Cr Ken Ong provided a blunt response.

“The answer is no,” he said. “It’s an overdevelopment. It’s exceeded even further from what we considered already as a high plot ratio so it’s pretty simple and I’m happy to say thanks for trying but it ain’t going to happen.”

While Cr Rohan Leppert also echoed Cr Ong with a “flat no,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle acknowledged the developer’s efforts to provide appropriate apartments for families.

“I’m glad you think it’s that simple. I’m going to support the officer recommendation but I don’t think it’s that simple,” he said.

“At least this one came back to us, reduced the number of apartments significantly and introduced three and four-bedroom apartments.”

In proposing another six levels, the developer reduced the number of dwellings from 295 to 252 to include larger apartments.

Cr Stephen Mayne also acknowledged the applicant’s commitment of $252,000 ($1000 per apartment), to go towards delivering public realm works beneath the King Ways undercroft.

“The fact that the applicant has offered proactively to come up with a quarter of a million for public realm works was another noteworthy element but I agree that, overall, it (the proposal) is a stretch,” he said.

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