It's not often you return from an overseas trip to be greeted with a letter from City of Yarra pertaining to a Planning Application for a significant development down the street.
Planners Urbis on behalf of Bamfa Properties has submitted a combined planning permit application and planning scheme amendment to pave the way forward for a significant mixed-use scheme. A 12-storey and 10-storey building with associated 3-storey podia at 462-482 Swan Street is proposed adjacent to Burnley Station on an approximately 4,658sqm site.
The Elenberg Fraser designed scheme replaces five Edwardian cottages and a series of light industrial buildings.
Overall the site has a 80 metre frontage to Swan Street/Burnley Station and a 57 metre frontage along the Burnley Street service road. The site is currently zoned as Commercial 2 with the amendment seeking a change of use to Commercial 1, befitting the site's role as a gateway to Burnley Station and the Burnley Station Village.
A change in use to Commercial 1 would also help to facilitate a complementary mix of commercial, entertainment, community and residential uses which encourage activity and supports improvements of the public realm.
The applicants argue that the nature of the site, being on a prominent corner adjacent to two key transport corridors lends itself to the building which is argued is in keeping with recommendations of the Swan Street Structure Plan (March 2012).
The Swan Street Structure Plan envisages this site to be the gateway of the Burnley Precinct and an appropriate located for a mixed use high density development.Urbis Planning Report
The design employs strong curvilinear forms to both podium and L-shaped tower elements, with bronze glazing and planter boxes a feature of the development's primary facades. These combined with vertical timber shading screens provide the building with warmth.
At street level clear gazing allows for visual connection from street to retail tenancies within, while silver glazing provides a counterpoint and contrasting feature to rear facades.
A supermarket with frontage to Swan Street is most prominent, with three smaller tenancies rounding out the retail mix.
Apartment typologies within 462-482 Swan Street range from 96 x 1 bedroom apartments of 45-49sqm; 20 x 1 bedroom+ apartments of 50-59sqm and 127 x 2 bedroom+ apartments of 60-79sqm.
Car and bicycle parking is limited to lower basement up to level 02 with a wrap of active use (residential or commercial) to the two primary facades of the podium. A shared rooftop garden sits atop level 3 of the podium providing all apartments with some degree of outlook, either to the street or internal rooftop garden area.
As a resident who lives within 200 metres of the proposed development, I support the aspirations of the development. The project presents an opportunity to create a cohesive and coherent streetscape which at present is compromised by the light industrial properties along both Swan and Burnley Streets.
Additionally the development has the potential to act as a catalyst for further streetscape improvements and development to Swan Street west of Burnley Street.
In terms of heritage sensitivities, no overlay applies to any of the existing structures which comprise the development site, and the overall benefits to both the passengers accessing Burnley Station and surrounding residents via provision of a supermarket and retail activation to Burnley far outweigh the loss of the Edwardian dwellings.
The site is well serviced both via Burnley Station and the number 75 tram which operates along Swan Street. Further, the eight bicycle spaces proposed to both Burnley and Swan Street - four of which are bike share - reinforce Swan Street as a critical cycling route as well as the site's connectivity to the Yarra City Trail.