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Crown requests extension

06 Feb 2019

Crown requests extension Image

Crown Resorts and Schiavello have formally requested an extension of time for their billion-dollar development One Queensbridge.

The permit issued for the site, under planning scheme amendment C310 as a project of “state significance”, expires on March 2.

Conditions on the amendment state that the joint venture partners had to have commenced construction on the project within two years of gazettal, which it has not.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne confirmed that a request to extend the time of the planning scheme amendment had been received.

The developers were issued a permit in March 2017 under the planning exemption of “state significance”, due to the project’s $21 billion contribution to the state economy. A $100 million “public benefits package”, including upgrades to Queensbridge Square, Sandridge Bridge and a viewing deck atop the 90-storey tower, was also promised.

Approved at 323 metres, One Queensbridge would become Australia’s tallest tower including 708 apartments and featuring a new 6-star, 388 room hotel.

Southbank Local News asked the Minister for Planning whether the process to determine an extension of time would be made public, and whether a greater public benefits package would be negotiated. His office replied: “We have received the request for an extension of time and will now assess this request through the normal process and keep the community informed of the outcomes,” a spokesperson said.

The City of Melbourne’s assistant chair of planning Cr Rohan Leppert, who took to Twitter in December challenging the government to send the developers through a proper planning process, told Southbank Local News there was no “normal process”.

“While there is an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the state and council on how ministerial planning applications are assessed, this doesn’t apply to planning scheme amendments, which is what Crown will need to get an extension of time on One Queesnbridge,” he said.

“So, there is no ‘normal process’ per se. In 2016, the minister referred the original planning scheme amendment proposal to council seeking feedback, but then made the decision to approve the amendment in February 2017 just days before council was due to consider it. I very much hope that this is not what is meant by ‘normal process’.”

“It would be better, in my opinion, if the minister encouraged Crown to make a fresh planning application so that it can be assessed in the usual way, which would bring about the accountability and scrutiny that has been missing to date.”

Crown Resorts was contacted for comment but did not respond to Southbank Local News.

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