Media Releases 2012
Height slashed in Cremorne development
30 May 2012
A proposal for a 12-storey development in Cremorne has been scaled back to six storeys following strong representation from Council and community members.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has approved a six-storey residential and office development at 379-387 Punt Road, Cremorne.
Developer A Genser & Associates had proposed a 33-storey development for the site in 2010 but revised its proposal back to 12-storeys in an application to Council last year.
In February, the developer appealed to VCAT against Council’s failure to determine the application within 60 days.
Later the same month, Council resolved to oppose the 12-storey proposal for several reasons including that its height and scale were out of character with the neighbourhood surrounds. Eighty-nine people had objected to Council against the proposal.
Taking on board feedback from Council and objectors, the developer reduced the proposal to an eight-storey development in amended plans submitted to VCAT.
Yarra Mayor Cr Geoff Barbour said Council had argued strongly against the development at the VCAT hearing in mid-May.
He said Council was pleased VCAT had scaled back the proposal, but remained concerned about several aspects of the development including that it would increase traffic along narrow local streets.
“I can’t say that we are 100% happy with the outcome but we have certainly stopped the worst case scenario,” Cr Barbour said.
“Six storeys is better than eight storeys or 12 storeys and is astronomically better than the 33 storey development that was first proposed,” he said.
“The community is worried sick by these ambit claims for excessive height. I call on the Planning Minister to allow us to set some appropriate mandatory height limits.”
VCAT members Geoffrey Code and Peter Gray concluded that the eight-storey proposal was “too tall and bulky”, and required the removal of two floors (the fifth and sixth floors) from the amended plans.
“We have concluded that the proposal is too tall and bulky….If two storeys were deleted from the proposal, it would be a much more comfortable fit into Punt Road and North West Cremorne,” the members said in their decision.
The VCAT members referred to Yarra’s Municipal Strategic Statement which says development on Strategic Redevelopment Sites should generally be no more than five-six storeys unless a proposal provides specific benefits such as architectural design excellence, significant upper level setbacks, best practice environmental sustainability, positive enhancement to the public domain and provision of affordable housing. The VCAT members said they considered the subject site to be a Strategic Redevelopment Site, but the proposal did not meet the criteria to justify a height above six storeys.
The VCAT members said the eight-storey proposal would have had “a severe amenity impact” on people in a nearby apartment block by casting shadows on the windows of habitable rooms for several hours during the middle of the day. The members said their “decision to require removal of two storeys in the tower will overcome that impact.”
Here is the VCAT decision regarding 379-387 Punt Road, Cremorne (181.00 KB)
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