This evening City of Melbourne will officially voice their disapproval for another of Melbourne's 200+ metre residential proposals, this time 156-172 Victoria Street which forms part of the former CUB Brewery site abutting the CBD.
Singaporean-backed CEL Australia upon purchasing the prime site engaged Elenberg Fraser to create a tower capable of accommodating in excess of 1000 apartments. The initial application was lodged early during 2014 only to be usurped by a more recent revision which lowered the proposal's height and bulk.
Currently at 237 metres, 156-172 Victoria Street (set to sit behind the bluestone facade below) falls below the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) permissible height of between AHD 246 and AHD 302 yet still overshadow the State Library during certain times of the year. In essence a tower of 280 metres could be approved without height being a concern.
Height being the principal reason for City of Melbourne's discontent, final approval for CEL's latest development ultimately lies with State Planning Minister, Matthew Guy.
After concerns relating to design, wind, traffic, loading and access were raised by City of Melbourne and DTPLI, a revised scheme was submitted during May 2014. Whereas the initial version carried widened flanks, the revised tower still holds a general L shape but includes a solitary setback resulting in a streamlined form and hefty a loss of Gross Floor Area. The inverted podium of the initial design has also been adjusted heavily as has the facade treatment.
Vertical trim replaces horizontal lashings as the revised version takes on a steely silver complexion similar to that of another Elenberg Fraser project, 248-250 Sturt Street, Southbank. According to the revised planning report, "The tower is mainly proposed to be constructed of glazing in aluminium framing or steel structure. Other materials consist of metal louvres, colourback glass and composite metal cladding."
|Aspect||February 2014 submission||May 2014 submission|
|Dimensions||77 levels @ 252.5||72 levels @ 236.8 metres|
|Gross Floor Area||104,262 sqm||93,706sqm|
Whilst the proposed development has a number of positive elements and is broadly consistent with the approved development plan for the site, there is significant concern regarding the proposed shadowing of the State Library forecourt between 11am and 2.00pm on 22 June. This is inconsistent with the policy in Clause 22.02 which states that developments not cast any additional shadows on the State Library forecourt between these hours.
To address this issue the built form will need to be modified which could possibly result in substantial design changes. Given the context and scale of the development, it is considered inappropriate to require these changes via conditions if a permit is to be issued.
On this basis, the proposal cannot be supported in its current formDaniel Soussan, CoM Planning Coordinator
A quirk in events sees City of Melbourne currently processing another application for the site in question. Last week saw the submission of an application seeking consent of "Building and works for a display suite/sales office and proposed permit for internally illuminated signage."
It seems that while City of Melbourne have objected to the proposal, developer CEL is eager to commence marketing the tower if and (more than likely) when final approval is granted by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.