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Editions

Concern over Collins Square

30 Jun 2015

Concern over Collins Square Image

Village Docklands’ residents remain concerned over the development of neighbouring Collins Square.

Residents met with Collins Square developer Walker Corporation at the Library at the Dock last month to discuss their concerns.

Walker Corporation had promised to respond to the residents concerns raised in the meeting, however it had yet to do so when Docklands News went to print.

Docklands News attended to report on the meeting but was excluded.

Walker Corporation did not respond to questions raised by Docklands News about the meeting prior to deadline.

According to Village Docklands owners’ corporation (OC) chairperson Graham Standfield, the meeting allowed residents to discuss issues and concerns relating to the Collins Square development.

“The most significant issues are the privacy of our north facing residents, who will now have office workers looking directly into their bedrooms and living rooms,” Mr Standfield said.

Residents remain concerned over a lack of privacy due to the close proximity of the building and the transparency of windows.

According to a letter received by Village Docklands resident Janine Standfield in April from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, privacy of residents was a key consideration in planning approvals for the Walker Corporation development.

The letter states that windows adjacent to private space are required to be at a high floor level with translucent glazing and that this was a condition of the planning permit.

However, residents say the building’s windows are completely transparent.

“The usability of our podium level, outdoor recreation space and pool is also a great concern, with the surrounding office towers creating unacceptable privacy concerns, wind impacts and overshadowing.”

“We are now also concerned that the latest Walker tower 5 has also been designed to vent all their car park pollution over our pool and barbecue area as well. All of these issues combined will cause our pool and barbecue to become unusable.”

Mr Standfield said traffic management was also a concern, with car parks and loading dock entrances for the new building located directly opposite the Village Docklands building.

However, he said this was not a direct Walker Corporation responsibility, as their plans had been approved.

According to Mr Standfield, residents are also concerned about risks to pedestrian safety as a result of the Collins Square development.

Mr Standfield said the public realm at the front of the Goods Shed was transferred to Walker Corporation and a footpath used by Etihad Stadium crowds to access the Wurundjeri Way intersection had been fenced off.

“Significant crowds of people are now being funnelled around our building, via the tram stop stairs and platform, and we believe there is a high risk that someone will be injured here in the near future.”

Mr Standfield said the issue remained with the City of Melbourne and Yarra Trams to resolve.

The commercial nature of the precinct surrounding their building came as a surprise to many Village Docklands residents, who bought into the development when it was part of plans for a residential enclave.

The Collins Square site was originally intended to be the site of four residential buildings, under a master plan by Malaysian developer Kuok Group.

However, the global financial crisis saw the developer sell the site to Walker Corporation, which then changed the development plan for the area.

Village Docklands is now the sole residential building on the site, in what has become one of Docklands’ key commercial precincts.

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