Fisherman’s bend,Westgate bridge, Port of Melbourne ,Webb dock redevelopment. 18th November 2015. The Age Fairfaxmedia News Picture by JOE ARMAOA boutique Melbourne developer has taken Planning Minister Richard Wynne to the state planning tribunal for failing to make a decision on an apartment and hotel project with twin 40-storey towers in Fishermans Bend.
R.Corporation has proposed building two 40-storey towers at 253-273 Normanby Road, South Melbourne, an area zoned under new planning guideliness to allow for similarly tall buildings.
The troubled Fishermans Bend urban renewal precinct was established by former planning minister and now Opposition leader Matthew Guy, who rezoned large swathes of industrial land to mixed use in 2012 in a move critics suggested would create future planning chaos.
Mr Guy then gave a series of approvals to high towers. The current minister has also issued approvals for towers in the precinct.
The rezoning prompted a rapid and large windfall rise in land values for property owners.
The R.Corporation project, which will have an end value of $252 million, will include 824 apartments, a 153-room hotel and 2000 square metres of retail space.
Designed by Plus Architecture, the project was lodged with Mr Wynne in April.
The minister failed to make a decision within the statutory time limit, and R.Corporation took the project to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal at the earliest opportunity.
“R.Corporation wanted to get further certainty on project timing and will continue to work openly with the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning,” a spokeswoman for R.Corporation said.
Asked if R.Corporation intended to develop the site or sell it upon approval, the spokeswoman said: “We will develop the project upon approval, as we have always done with our sites.”
The planning minister is expected to defend the matter at VCAT.
A spokesman for Mr Wynne said the government had pledged to “fix the chaotic mess” at Fishermans Bend.
“We’re not giving developers a free-for-all ticket to do as they please,” he said.
The 485-hectare Fishermans Bend renewal area, between the CBD, Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River, is tipped to grow by 80,000 residents.
Further west of R.Corporation’s development in the Wirraway precinct several other developers have lodged plans for multiple towers.
Boutique Melbourne developer Third Street has plans for $1.35 billion in projects across seven apartment towers housing nearly 2000 units.
Third Street’s first Fishermans Bend project will be a $350 million 547-apartment complex at 320 Plummer Street where it has approval for a mixed-use development, which will include 1000sq m of retail space below apartments in three towers on a former industrial site that was until recently occupied by Niche Logistics.
The group also controls a site at 365-391 Plummer Street, on which it wants to build an $840 million complex of 1189 apartments over three stages.