Minister compromises over 447 Collins St

The month of April saw Planning Minister Richard Wynne initially reject the  47-storey, 165m twin tower scheme for 447 Collins St before reaching an agreement with proponent Cbus Property that would see the development begin construction in September.

The revised scheme designed by Woods Bagot and SHoP architects will be six-storeys shorter for a total height of approximately 143m.

The design still features a skybridge linking two-towers containing apartments, hotel rooms, office space, retail and, significantly for Melbourne, a new 2000sqm park in the heart of the city. The proposal was also supported by the City of Melbourne who would have otherwise had to purchase the site for $20 million to develop a park.

“This project takes in an entire city block and we have taken the time to make sure we provide for a future landmark on Collins St,” Mr Wynne said.

“I have approved $5.7 billion worth of inner city developments and will continue to push for quality design which adds to the liveability of our city. I judge every project on merit and make sure what is built does not negatively impact the surrounds, I want to encourage new towers without sacrificing amenity.”

One project that wasn’t received quite as favourably by the Minister was Bates Smart’s 90-storey, 300m tower at 555 Collins St for developer Fragrance Group.

Richard Wynne, in addition to refusing the permit, will also reverse a decision made by former Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who in 2013 inserted a clause into the Melbourne Planning Scheme that allowed any development on site to overshadow Southbank.

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