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Queensbridge Tower is back on drawing board

15 Jul 2013

By Sean Rogasch

Queensbridge Tower developer Schiavello has gone back to the drawing board, and has submitted new designs for the mega apartment complex.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy controversially approved the first Queensbridge Tower, amid concerns from residents in adjoining apartment complex Freshwater Place.

The new plan is even bigger than the original, taking in more Queensbridge St properties, and has had a 408-room hotel added to the original design.

The proposal was given to the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), but has been handed back to the developer, with a request for more information before a decision can be made.

It will be interesting to see what Mr Guy’s department makes of the new proposal, given that Amendment C171: Southbank (story on page 5) has been adopted since the original approval.

Schiavello’s owner Tony Schiavello said the new plan incorporated new land, thanks to a purchase the company had recently made.

“The revised design of Queensbridge Tower extends south over 17 to 23 Queensbridge Street, a property recently purchased and accommodating a hotel as well as residential apartments,” Mr Schiavello said.

“The design of the tower does not change, only the facade provides an extra ripple. The height remains the same,” he added.

Mr Schiavello also confirmed that the position of the original tower remained the same.

“The position of the tower to the north, adjacent to Freshwater Place, does not change.”

Unsurprisingly, Freshwater Place residents are infuriated by the new proposal. Freshwater’s Owners Corporation chairperson Peter Renner said the adoption of Amendment C171 would mean the tower could not be approved.

“The application violates virtually every prescription of this schedule. Our major concern is, and always has been, separation between towers,” Mr Renner said.

“The application is still at 10 metres, where Schedule 60 in the Melbourne Planning Scheme (which includes Amendment C171) stipulates 20 metres,” he added.

“Traffic impact is also a key issue on an already-congested Queensbridge St. As all traffic must enter the property from the north, the city grid will be further choked.”

After the council admitted it mishandled the original approval of Queensbridge Tower, Mr Renner attended the Future Melbourne Committee meeting last month to challenge it to stand beside residents when considering the new proposal.

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