Changes afoot for 224-252 La Trobe Street

Changes afoot for 224-252 La Trobe Street
Changes afoot for 224-252 La Trobe Street

On Tuesday September 2nd the City of Melbourne's Future Melbourne Committee will vote on recommendations made by various departments to Council on whether to support a large development located at 224-252 La Trobe street, to which has previously reported on. The relevant information for the reworked UEM Sunrise project is available online (PDF format).

According to City of Melbourne's report, during pre-application discussions concerns were raised with regards to tower setbacks from the podium to the front, rear and side of the site. Subsequently an amended plan was submitted in July and it is summarised as follows:

  • Height of the building remains the same at 268.5 metres (286 metres RL).
  • The Burj Khalifa-like tapered setbacks are gone giving the tower a more monolithic aesthetic.
  • The tower is now set back on average 6-6.5 metres from its podium.
  • Total apartments have been reduced from 1343 to 1208, broken down into 140 serviced apartments and 1068 dwellings.

City of Melbourne management have recommended the council support the amended 224-252 La Trobe street planning application subject to various conditions (32 of them: see page 28 of the report toward the end of the document).

The assessment within the report states:

The visual impact of a 286m high tower on the city skyline is an important consideration in the assessment of this application.

Importantly it is noted that the building does not overshadow the library forecourt between the hours of 11am and 2pm on 22 September or 22 June.

Height in this location is not specifically an issue as there are a number of tall buildings within the Hoddle grid, Southbank, Docklands and to the north of the Hoddle grid. There is no specific height control that affects the site.

It's out with the old...

Changes afoot for 224-252 La Trobe Street
Out with the old...

... and in with the new.

Changes afoot for 224-252 La Trobe Street
... and in with the new. Images © Elenberg Fraser

The assessment further states:

Tower setbacks to LaTrobe and Little LaTrobe have now been provided with 6m setbacks on both streets above podium level. We had recommended 10m setbacks but would accept 6m setbacks as a minimum, considering the curved/indented plan form.

Side setbacks have been increased to 6.5m and 7.5m minimum which are acceptable taking into account the curved/indented plan form of the tower and the orientation of apartment living spaces at the point of minimum side setback.

The City of Melbourne management team also have expressed concern with the proposal to completely relocate Melbourne Central station entrances currently in existence on the northern side La Trobe street to Little La Trobe street.

The authors of the assessment go on to say:

It is considered that the relocation would result in a poorer outcome for most users of the station who will be forced to walk longer distances underground.

Users of the La Trobe street entry point wanting to head north to Little La Trobe street have the opportunity to walk through the private lane along the western edge of the site and therefore do not have to use the Swanston / La Trobe intersection.

There has been no evidence submitted to the City of Melbourne to support the suggestion that the relocation would reduce congestion at that intersection.

The commentary on the relocation of the station entry concludes by council management stating they recommend keeping a La Trobe street entry and that furthermore the recommendation should not preclude an additional station access point being added to Little Lonsdale Street.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

City of Melbourne Skyscrapers

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Went to the gym and slimmed down a bit.
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