Minister for Planning Richard Wynne will be required to make a call on one of the CBD's taller proposals after Melbourne City Council chose to reject the scheme.
Lodged during mid 2015 prior to amended planning rules being implemented, proponents for 478-488 Elizabeth Street are seeking approval for a skyscraper that hopes to slot in between two of Melbourne's tallest residential buildings. Melbourne City Council chose last week to show no support for the tower based in part upon inadequate setbacks and equitable development rights for the adjoining site.
Elenberg Fraser have designed the tower for a development team comprising entities L1-2013 Pty Ltd, L2-2013 Pty Ltd and G2-2013 Pty Ltd, with private apartments set above the lower curvaceous levels which have been reserved for a hotel operator in order to manage 198 guest suites.
A cafe and dual purpose lobbies front Elizabeth Street whilst hotel and residential facilities account for much of the remainder of the podium structure; included within the podium is an all-day restaurant, function spaces and 1,036sqm of communal facilities over level 6 featuring an outdoor terrace.
Hotel suites absorb the initial ten floors above the podium where the tower form is at its widest and concave in shape.
Thereafter nine floors are dedicated to low-rise residential units where the towers form transitions to an altogether more typical rectangular shape. Subsequent floors are dedicated to high-rise apartments whilst the crown is slated for four levels of penthouse living.
Externally the tower begins with a solid complexion at ground level which progressively morphs into a translucent mid section and eventually a glazed crown. Accordingly terrazzo panels are dominant lower levels, rolling into translucent and then silver facade panes. Stainless steel and bronze perforated metal sheeting are also present over the exterior.
Below are passages taken from the Report to the Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee which was tabled last week. Key points of discontent with 478-488 Elizabeth Street from Melbourne City Council's perspective include:
Last week's report also notes that similar issues were raised during a pre-application meeting between the development team and DELWP, yet the development team seem to have a degree of confidence in the tower passing through planning given there has been no fundamental change to the design since its submission.
The development team could argue that their proposal is the shortest of three substantial towers on this particular block and that they employ similar if not greater setbacks than either 452 Elizabeth Street or 500 Elizabeth Street; two buildings which in theory were judged under the same planning criteria as 478-488 Elizabeth Street and could therefore act as a precedent.
Melbourne City Council on the other hand have been consistent in recent years regarding their opposition to developments with what they deem as maintaining inadequate setbacks. That similar issues were raised by both DELWP and Melbourne City Council points towards fundamental inadequacies with the design of 478-488 Elizabeth Street.
Six and half on the face of it… and an interesting decision looming for this particular planning application.