Image Courtesy Of Dean-Melbourne
The prestigious Collins Street location for the proposed 82 storey office tower is owned by Stamoulis Group and initial concerns are over the shadow it will cast on the Yarra River and possibly all the way to City Road according to one councillor.
The tower is still awaiting planning approval but Minister of Planning, Matthew Guy is already displaying his support of the plan by working to ease restrictions that currently prohibit overshadowing of the Yarra.
Melbourne City Council planning committee chairman Ken Ong commented on the proposal application; “All we can we see from the documentation received from the minister’s office is he has done a planning scheme amendment to lift some controls, including overshadowing of the Yarra River, but at this stage there is no application and no approval that I am aware of,’’ he said.
Many are concerned Mr. Guy is changing Melbourne’s skyline for the worst and contributing to making the city unliveable due to an increase of wind, shade and traffic caused by the injection of multiple skyscrapers across the city.
Mr Guy has stressed that the application for the tower has a long way to go before receiving a permit and he is inviting the public to voice their opinions on the proposal that will take Melbourne’s skyline to new heights.
“I acknowledge that it’s a very significant building. It is office, not residential. There will need to be a long discussion with the City of Melbourne about a permit,” he said.
“With the size of the structure being proposed, Melburnians need to be aware of it and have a say about it, and ultimately we need a lot of feedback before any permit considerations are made.”
However the concerns have only just begun and while Lord Mayor Robert Doyle supports city growth describing Melbourne as a much “richer, diverse and interesting place” compared to a few decades ago, he has also said he won’t support any project that might overshadow the Yarra River.
In another statement Mr. Guy said Melbourne had reached its geographical limits and the days of expanding the urban growth boundary were over.
The State Government supports a high density CBD and and a vertical landscape that limits unsustainable urban sprawl to support a booming population.
According to the Victoria in Future Report 2012, over the next 40 years, Melbourne’s population is set to increase from 4.1 million to 6.5 million.
So in preparation for growth, Melbourne is experiencing an increase in sky-high mixed use, residential and commercial towers and is currently the fastest growing city in Australia.
The recently approved metre Australia 108 tower by architect Nonda Katsalidis caused controversy for it the shadow it would cast over the Shrine of Remembrance and for originally exceeding the tower height limit by 100 meters in its area.
With the support of the shrine trustees, the tower will now go ahead and be a mixed-use building of residential and hotel space to house residents and visitors in Southbank’s growing arts and cultural precinct.
Mr Guy was also placed in controversial light last year for his “facadism” approach and approval of two residential skyscrapers, Elizabeth St and the Celtic Club in Queen St where height restrictions were surpassed and concerns over damaging the heritage character of the areas.