Flagstaff precinct development

By Meg Hill

The growth of Flagstaff continues to attract plenty of interest from developers and October saw activity from three applications in particular. CBD News provides updates below. 

355-369 Spencer St

Probuild’s plans for a tower atop the heritage-listed Sands and McDougall Manufactory will go before the Minister for Planning after being endorsed by the City of Melbourne in September. 

The hotel would be built next door to the Melbourne Assessment Prison. The plans outline partial demolition of the heritage building and development of a 23-level tower with office and hotel space.

The Age reported that the council endorsed the design despite the plans breaching the maximum 16-storey height limit in the Flagstaff precinct and justified the decision with reference to a nearby 85-metre tower.

The council said there was a need to “consolidate and intensify development” to minimise the impact on the heritage buildings and qualified that the development must not overlook “sensitive” outdoor areas of the prison, according to The Age. 

The heritage-listed building is a brick warehouse built in 1914.

354-360 William St

Ubertas has submitted an amended planning application for 354-360 William St.

The site is on the eastern side of Flagstaff Gardens and adjacent to another Urbertas-owned tower at 350 William St.

In 2015 Urbertas first submitted plans to build a 22-level apartment building on the site.

But since then the plans have been amended at least three times.

Ubertas’ current planning application, awaiting approval, is for an office and retail building. 

The cost of the development has been scaled down from $72 million to $67 million since late-2016.

17-27 Wills St

Cedar Pacific has lodged an appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for plans to amend its permit for a tower atop a heritage-listed building at 17-27 Wills St.

The site has a controversial history due to plans by the previous owner, Highbury Focus, to build a 32-storey apartment tower centimetres from an existing apartment building at 25 Wills St.

The 2011 plans would have enclosed balconies in the existing building in a deep shaft, eliminating natural light and ventilation.

Cedar Pacific purchased the site and received a planning approval in December 2013 to build a 143-metre-high tower for use as student accommodation.

The new plans by Cedar Pacific include a six-metre separation from the neighbouring apartments impacted by previous plans. 

The site is currently occupied by a two-storey warehouse protected under heritage listing. Under the existing permit partial demolition and restoration of the building is approved. 

Although the plans are not compliant with current planning controls, they are compliant with the standard set for amendments to permits granted before those controls were introduced.

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