Media Releases 2012
Richmond Plaza redevelopment approved with a cut in height
22 August 2012
Yarra Council has approved a major redevelopment of the Richmond Plaza site, making significant changes to the original plans.
At its meeting last night, Council approved a residential and retail development reaching up to nine storeys, cutting three storeys from Coles Property Group’s initial proposal.
Council also increased some of the building setbacks and added an additional 23 car parks to the development. Several traffic management and screening measures were introduced to reduce the impact of the development on nearby residents.
The development, which will see a series of new buildings constructed on the corner of Bridge Road and Church Street, is set to include 13 affordable housing units and to achieve an average 6.5 star energy rating for the dwellings. The Coles Property Group has made a commitment to contribute $40,000 to the State Government for future public transport improvements in the area.
Yarra Mayor Geoff Barbour said Council had achieved a balance between protecting neighbourhood character and amenity and allowing for some needed revitalisation in one of Yarra’s premier shopping strips.
“Council shared residents’ concerns that a 12-storey building would have been an overdevelopment,” Cr Barbour said.
“In our negotiations with the developer’s representatives over the past fortnight they offered to delete one storey from the tallest building,” he said
“Ultimately, we have decided to cut another two storeys from the tallest building so the maximum height of the development is nine storeys, well set back from Bridge Road and Church Street.
“In the plans we’ve approved, some of the apartments lost from the tallest building would be accommodated in another nearby building. That building would be increased from partly seven and partly eight storeys to eight storeys across.
“Under the plans we’ve approved, the Richmond Plaza redevelopment would be lower than the nearby 10-storey Ark building, which Council opposed but VCAT approved.”
Cr Barbour said Council had worked to achieve the best outcome possible on the site rather than risk the matter going to VCAT and resulting in a larger development being approved.
“The changes we have made to the Richmond Plaza redevelopment will hopefully result in a quality development,” Cr Barbour said.
“There are clearly developments that are so objectionable that we have no choice but to refuse them and then fight the battle at VCAT,” he said.
“We don’t believe that is the case with the Richmond Plaza redevelopment as we have brought the height down by three storeys and made other important changes.”
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