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Sturt St ‘shocker’

26 Oct 2014

Sturt St ‘shocker’ Image

Melbourne City councillors lined up to express their disgust at a planning proposal submitted for 248 Sturt St at the October 7 Future Melbourne Committee meeting.

They unanimously opposed a 46-storey, Elenberg Fraser-designed proposal which was more than two times the preferred height limit and would overshadow a nearby Kings Way park.

Planning officers recommended the councillors advise the Minister for Planning to reject the proposal, which was described in their report as an “overwhelmingly dominant and intimidating” building.

Cr Ken Ong labeled the 25,190 sqm proposal “a shocker”, calling it a desperate attempt by the developer to bypass the City of Melbourne’s authority to adjudicate applications up to 25,000 sqm.

“Numerous negatives have been highlighted by all the different departments, which just basically says that this one’s just not good enough,” he said.

“I don’t know whether it’s the developer or it’s the architect that’s been pushing this sort of boundary to squeeze in as much as possible to get it over 25,000 sqm, ignore everyone and anyone living nearby.”

The application has been submitted by racing identity Lloyd Williams’ development company Hudson Conway.

Cr Stephen Mayne expressed his disappointment at the developer for submitting what he labeled as “trash”.

“I guess I’m just a little bit disappointed with Lloyd Williams after decades as a very high-profile developer in this town,” he said.

“That in the twilight of the career that a shocker like this comes through the door at five minutes to midnight looking for a favour from the Minister.”

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle also voiced his opposition to the proposal, stating it was difficult to find a criterion that the building succeeded in.

“Height, massing, scale, internal configuration, sustainability, the amenity of the Arts Precinct, that the building should address the street, the overshadowing provisions and not least the aesthetic,” he said.

“It fails miserably on all of those and I think it should be rejected vigorously.”

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