Moreland poised to reject JWLand's Brunswick apartment proposal; VCAT awaits

Moreland poised to reject JWLand's Brunswick apartment proposal; VCAT awaits
Moreland poised to reject JWLand's Brunswick apartment proposal; VCAT awaits

Strong public discontent and the lack of support from Moreland City Council planners could see one of Brunswick's largest apartment proposals rejected.

Tomorrow evening Moreland councillors will sit in the knowledge that JWLand's proposal at 699-701 Park Street has garnered 220 public objections. Of more concern to the developer is the planning advice in place urging that a Notice of Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit be handed down tomorrow evening.

Plans for what is currently the Best Western Princes Park Motor Inn were lodged via Council during 2016, with Architectus picking up design duties after the initial application was not looked upon favourably by Moreland City Council. Architectus dropped the original undulating glass tower design in favour a more subdued concrete and masonry outcome.

Moreland poised to reject JWLand's Brunswick apartment proposal; VCAT awaits
Royal Parade perspective. Planning image: Architectus

Project particulars see a 14 level main tower set well back from the respective street frontages, and a seven-level building to the Park Street and Sydney Road/Royal Parade corner. The 6,463 square metre site's Brunswick Road frontage is slated to carry an eight-level mixed use building.

401 underground parking spaces are included, as is a retail tenancy, a 1,300 square metre childcare centre and community hub.

At 14 levels 699-701 Park Street would reach a maximum height of 45.25 metres and includes 126 single bedroom, 88 dual bedroom and 29 triple bedroom apartments, in addition to 12 townhouses.

According to Council documents, the main issues raised by the 200 plus objections relate to height, traffic and car parking, inconsistency with the character of the locality, amenity impacts and impacts on Princes Park.

Despite delivering on urban consolidation objectives, the proposal results in a scale of development that is not responsive to the context of the locality nor consistent with the preferred future character.

The building separation to side boundaries is inadequate, resulting in unreasonable impacts on the development opportunities of adjacent lots and compromises future occupants’ access to acceptable daylight.

The proposal would result in the demolition of an electrical substation building with heritage significance that should be retained given the large size of the site, which provides an opportunity to incorporate it within the design response.

Moreland City Council planning report

The latter point refers to the former City of Brunswick Electricity Supply Transformer Station, which Council assert will result in a detrimental impact on the heritage fabric of the area.

Further issues raised by Council includes the meagre activation of the ground level for sections of the Brunswick Road frontage, an inadequate number of bicycle parking spaces included plus poor energy performance, poor cross ventilation and insufficient greening of the site which would contribute to the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Moreland poised to reject JWLand's Brunswick apartment proposal; VCAT awaits
Site overview. Image: Colliers

JWLand has acted swiftly to take the 255 dwelling proposal to appeal, due to Council not ruling on the application within the prescribed timeframe. Moreland City Council planners have recommended that Council’s submission to VCAT be one of refusal for the application.

JWLand will invariably be hoping that the proposal gains the green light via VCAT, although many of the objectors to the proposal will expect VCAT to enforce design changes to the scheme as part of any potential permit.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Tags: 
Planning City of Moreland Apartments JWLand Architectus

Comments (1)

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George D
Not surprising that Moreland Council rejected this one. It was development in an intensified area, beside a shopping strip, across from a park, and adjacent to regular public transport. A good place for apartments. They have a few design concerns that are reasonable (frontage activation, bike parking, etc.) but they're a pretty housing-hostile council as a rule.
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