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Council settles its park dispute

06 Aug 2019

Council settles its park dispute Image

The City of Melbourne and developer OSK Property have settled their dispute over open space contributions in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

While the matter was settled some months ago, details of the outcome, of which council described as a “successful mediation”, only recently emerged.

The dispute related to the developer’s new public park on Kavanagh St as part of its current development at Melbourne Square. The park is due to open this year.

Despite providing nearly three times the amount of open space required as part of its six-tower mixed-use development, the City of Melbourne last year requested an open space contribution on top of the developer’s land contribution.

Approved in 2015, the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne had determined that the 3745 sqm park should be delivered by OSK Property as part of its open space contribution. As part of the agreement, the park would remain under the developer’s private ownership and maintained at its own cost to council standards.

The dispute evolved when an application, submitted by the developer to council last year, sought to subdivide its land into five staged lots. Melbourne Square will include four residential towers, a commercial tower and a hotel managed by Hilton.

While council issued a permit for the subdivision, it did so on the condition that the developer paid an open space contribution equivalent to 7.06 per cent of the site’s land value as per the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

Following mediation at VCAT, a City of Melbourne spokesperson said it had reached a successful outcome.

“The outcome, following VCAT proceedings, resulted in 858 sqm of total area of the site being vested in council as a reserve. The reserve is located at the front of the site and equates to 4.23 per cent of the total contribution. It is now unimpeded by private infrastructure such as basements, pathways or drains,” the spokesperson said.

“The remaining 2.83 per cent public open space contribution will be made as a financial contribution to the City of Melbourne’s public open space fund.”

A spokesperson for OSK Property said: “We’re thankful that we were able to work closely with council through the settlement process to find a mutually beneficial outcome. More importantly, the outcome won’t impact the overall size of the 3745 sqm public green space that will benefit our residents, tenants and the local community,”

“With construction progressing well we are on track to deliver this public green space by the end of 2019.”

The financial contribution is understood to be in the area of $4 million. The result means that more green space will be included as part of the new park.

 

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