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Nicholas Harrison's picture
#27

No, it means the minister requested further information and they did not respond within the required timeframe.

They will have to apply again.

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Bilby's picture
#28

Called in, surely? This one hasn't been before council long enough to 'lapse'.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#29

Figtree tower falls foul of new planning rules

Melbourne's town hall planners are opposing a 66-storey residential project by Singapore's Figtree Holdings, after seizing on an ambiguity in the state's strict new development controls.

The new rules were introduced at the start of September, placing limits on a building's height and its plot ratio, which limits how much a site can be developed.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has said the new controls, brought in on an interim basis, only apply to proposals lodged since September.

However, the city's planners have identified a section of the planning scheme which enables some of the new controls, including plot ratios, to be used retrospectively to applications already in the system.

Listed Singaporean developer Figtree has been caught up in the tangle, with a 228.5 metre tower, comprising 353 apartments, deemed to be an over-development of the Duke of Kent site on La Trobe Street.

FINAL SAY

Melbourne's city councillors will consider on Tuesday night the recommendation opposing the tower, although it is Mr Wynne who has the final say on whether the tower goes ahead.

In their advice, town hall's planners acknowledge the new controls contain "transitional arrangements", preventing the measures being applied to existing proposals, such as the Figtree's.

However, a subsequent amendment to the city's planning scheme – a section on "urban design policy" outlining plot ratio and podium height restrictions – does not include any such transitional arrangements.

As result, the planning officers were free to apply the new policy to the Figtree tower.

"I have been clear the interim controls which I announced in September
will only apply to applications lodged after that date," Mr Wynne said in response to the imbroglio.

"We have a clear goal with our CBD policy and that is to work with the
community and industry towards rules which maintain the city's
liveability."

The state's own planners are now moving to rectify the planning muddle. Following a query from The Australian Financial Review, they will clarify in the city's planning scheme when the new rules apply.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/figtree-tower-falls-foul-of-new-planning-...

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Danny Boy's picture
#30

So they're already trying to twist their way around the retrospective limit...

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db2's picture
#31

The quicker this year of consultation is over the better. We appear to have three sets of rules: old rules, interim rules, new rules after consultation.

The biggest one I now worry about is mandated height controls to OLS. Curtain raised that over at SSC. Personally I still can't believe that will happen with so many existing and upcoming towers breaching OLS, it would be madness to introduce height controls that are lower than 15 to 20 buildings. My gut tells me that the new rules will have an exceptional clause such that a future Crown's could still happen.

But who knows.

I guess it will come down to whether Dicky Wynne is a proxy for Michael Buxton.

Will the new rules be legislated or will they be just regulation?

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Nicholas Harrison's picture
#32

The minister is wrong again. The mandatory requirements in the Design and Development Overlay have an interim requirements clause but the changes to the local policy do not have an interim requirements clause.

VCAT has already pointed this out in the 141 Latrobe Street decision where they found that: We must consider the revised policy in determining this Application.

The minister has already been saying in media interviews that there is a mandatory height limit linked to the OLS and quoted figures between 226m and 233m. The planning scheme has not been amended to include any overall mandatory height limit.

Now he does not seem to understand that the changes to planning policy are retrospective and must been considered for applications submitted before the planning scheme was amended.

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db2's picture
#33

Dear lord, a total sh** sandwich.

The only conclusion one can form is that the minister is simply incompetent.

Also, if the ministers intention is to mandate OLS is a new Melbourne height limit then he could do it for the permanent planning controls to be released next September even he mistakenly did not do it in the interim controls.

So Queens Place will be the short version then won't it? If the planning minister likes OLS as a limit then he will surely chop Queens Place.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture
#34

"plan to squeeze a 228-metre skyscraper onto a city block the size of a large tennis court has been condemned by a Melbourne City Council report, which labelled the high-rise an "overdevelopment".
The Duke of Kent Hotel, one of Melbourne's oldest continuously licensed city hotels, would be demolished to make way for the 353-apartment tower.
The 66-storey building at 293-303 La Trobe Street would also violate new Victorian laws restricting tower density, but the rules will not apply because they were introduced after the apartment proposal was submitted.
An artist's impression of the proposed tower.
An artist's impression of the proposed tower. Photo: katsul
Under the recently-introduced laws, the high-rise by Singaporean developer Figtree Holdings, could only reach about 33-levels, or half of its proposed size.
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But the council report argues that any significant tower would be inappropriate, because the 670-square-metre block is too small.
"To achieve reasonable street interfaces and tower separation, the tower needs to be set back an average of at least 10 metres from all boundaries," it said.
"Given that the site's depth is only 21.5 metres, this site is therefore not able to accommodate a significant tower without unduly compromising the surrounding streetscapes and the low-rise Guildford Lane precinct."'
The $116-million skyscraper would contribute to "a wall of towers" along La Trobe Street and create a 228-metre wall where it backs onto narrow Flanigan Lane, according council's report.
It also criticised the design of some apartments where the bedrooms only had access to natural light via a window positioned at the end of a corridor in the room, in a "saddle bag" design.
The Duke of Kent Hotel, built in 1929, is "C graded", but is not protected within a heritage overlay and council officers made no objections to the development on heritage grounds.
However Melbourne Heritage Action president Tristan Davies said the absence of enforceable heritage status was a result of a rating system for the Hoddle Grid, which is now more than 30 years out of date.
He said that, at the very least, the front eight metres of the hotel should be retained to preserve the traditional character of the Guildford Lane precinct.
Mr Davies said the hotel boasted an important social history. Its beer garden was, in the 1930s, home to an avant-garde theatre group New Theatre, which espoused communist ideas and was noted for its early public opposition of fascism in the lead up to World War II.
The hotel was bought for about $14 million last year after being owned by Yankos family members since 1965.
Councillors will vote on whether to support the skyscraper plan on Tuesday night, but Planning Minister Richard Wynne has the final say on whether it will be approved.
The council will also discuss a motion by Greens councillor Rohan Leppert for a review of graded buildings in the Hoddle Grid for possible inclusion in a heritage overlay."

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/plan-for-tower-on-tiny-duke-of-kent-ho...

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Danny Boy's picture
#35

303 La Trobe

Early sales listings overseas so something in the works...

Looks like a new design

CBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | Residential

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Nicholas Harrison's picture
#36

Being advertised all over the place now. Must be approved or close to being approved.

CBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | Residential

CBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | ResidentialCBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | ResidentialCBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | Residential

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pdoff's picture
#37

It's hard to see how this design is an improvement over what was proposed before.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#38

Still pushing up on 60-odd levels

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Qantas743's picture
#39

They were in full marketing mode for this one today at Melbourne Central.

60 levels in total.

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Danny Boy's picture
#40

CBD | 303 La Trobe Street | 43L | ~150m | Residential

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Bilby's picture
#41

At what point do we consider the Guildford Lane historic precinct "destroyed", I wonder?

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Michael Berquez's picture
#42

I've never even heard of Guildford Lane. Can you tell me what's there that makes it such a historically significant tourist hot spot?

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Chris Seals's picture
#43
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Adam Ford's picture
#44
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Peter Maltezos's picture
#45

^^ Excellent article Adam!

Guildford Lane as you know is intact, but trying to preserve the entire precinct all the way to Lonsdale Street is a big ask.

The buildings that were demolished for Eporo were in my opinion not worth preserving (dodge flak from Bilby).

By the way, Krimper is a local hangout for me.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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Michael Berquez's picture
#46

It does look cool in those pics, though I've never been there.

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pdoff's picture
#47

The precinct has the potential to be amazing! It's not like this project (or The Carson and La Trobe Tower for that matter) is worth the damage to an area with so much going for it.

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Bilby's picture
#48

I hope you're listening, City of Melbourne ...

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture
#49

Sadly ALL of the galleries listed in that article are gone, some of them because developments on La Trobe street have literally stolen all the light from their windows

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theboynoodle's picture
#50

Of all buildings, galleries tend to be amongst the least dependent upon natural light.

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Michael Berquez's picture
#51

Actually, gallery owners and curators prefer less natural light in their buildings.

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