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Fierce scrutiny for new tower

11 Aug 2014

Fierce scrutiny for new tower Image

An amended application submitted to the planning minister for the 82-storey Queens Bridge Tower, between Freshwater Place and Prima Pearl, has been met with fierce scrutiny.

Prima Pearl’s joint developer Schiavello has re-submitted plans for the proposal at 1-23 Queens Bridge St, which would become Melbourne’s third-tallest building.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy had approved Schiavello’s application for a 71-storey development at 1-15 Queens Bridge St in 2012, but forced the developer to withdraw the proposal.

Freshwater Place residents had raised concerns because the building was only 10m away from their walls, while measuring more than 100m higher than recommended by planning guidelines.

Schiavello’s latest application has the QBT 11-storeys higher and placed 12m away, with Freshwater Place Owners’ Corporation member Michael Smolders demanding that the two buildings be separated by a minimum of 20m.

“At what point in time will the Government start enforcing its own planning guidelines?” he asked.

“The QBT proposal violates a number of planning guidelines and the Government must now take appropriate steps to ensure the developer amends their plans.”

Mr Smolders said the application made a mockery of the planning process and called on the Government to start clamping down.

“It says a lot about the current state planning process when a developer submits an incomplete application and expects it to be approved,” he said.

“One of Melbourne’s largest developments has no traffic impact analysis, no wind analysis, not even an outline on why they think they should be permitted to ignore planning guidelines.”

The amended application also outlines plans for a sky bridge which, if approved, will create a walk way over Queens Bridge St, connecting the QBT to Crown Casino.

Albert Park MLA Martin Foley slammed the plan and called on the minister to scrap it.

“The proposed sky bridge is, in fact, a bridge too far,” he said. “It needs to be ruled out.”

“The QBT proposal needs to be re-submitted as a new application. It is now an application that covers three blocks, increased in height, bulk and use.”

Mr Foley said the Government must stop treating Southbank as an endless construction site.

“It must not be subject to the ever-increasing height, scale and density that the Napthine government are committed to through their rubber stamp approach in Southbank.”

Schiavello's Chairman Tony Schiavello, did not respond to Southbank Local News.

A spokesperson for Mr Guy refused to comment on the proposal, stating that the permit was currently under consideration.”

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