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Questions over Queensbridge

12 Feb 2012

Residents are fired up over plans to build Melbourne’s second highest building at the site of the Queensbridge Hotel.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) is considering the building proposal from Schiavello Pty Ltd, which includes a 71-storey tower measuring 275 metres.

With a gross floor area of 107,127 square metres, the proposal was sent directly to the DPCD and not the City of Melbourne as it deals with any plan bigger than 25,000 square metres.

The residents of Freshwater Place say the building would completely block the western side of their building, and it’s not the views they are concerned about losing, rather, sunlight.

The Freshwater residents claim the building will be just eight metres from their building, a distance that is both impractical and against area guidelines.

They have been incensed enough to create a websiten in an attempt to have a voice in the planning of the surrounding areas of their building.

Queensbridgeoverload.com.au explains the residents’ position, but Freshwater Place Owners Corporation chair Peter Renner says: “The site is for people in the community who want to understand the facts, not for opinions.”

He said they were simply giving a view about the appropriate development of Southbank which, according to Mr Renner, should include a mixture of high-rise, medium-level and low-rise buildings.

Mr Renner explained that he and fellow residents were not against development of the area and had nothing against this particular building.

“It’s a great design. The building itself is impressive, it’s just completely inappropriate for here. The plan looks great. It’s just in the wrong place,” he said.

Mr Renner also raised the residents’ concerns about traffic in the area. He said new residents to these buildings might have to enter their homes via Flinders St and the CBD, an impractical idea.

Mr Renner said the residents were unsure about the planning of Southbank’s future.

“I believe the developers are cherry picking their opportunities on the basis that there is no overall plan,” he said.

It’s obvious the current residents are also concerned about the infrastructure in place to accommodate the increased number of residents that naturally comes with projects such as this.

“Where’s the bank? Where’s the school? Where’s the post office?” Mr Renner asks.

Schiavello declined to comment.

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