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Editions

Fears over Collins Square proposal

04 Sep 2014

Fears over Collins Square proposal Image

Village Docklands residents fear their building will become an “isolated ghetto” if plans revealed by Walker Corporation last month are approved.

According to Village Docklands owners’ corporation chairperson Graham Standfield, Walker Corporation revealed plans for parcel 4E, located at the corner of Batman’s Hill Drive and McCrae St, at a public information session in late July.

While residents had been aware of the development plans for Collins Square, they’d been kept in the dark about the plans for the site neighbouring their building until the information session.

Mr Standfield said Walker Corporation planned to close the western section of Brentani Way, between Georgiana St and Batman’s Hill Drive, which is currently used by residents as a pedestrian thoroughfare.

He said the closure of Brentanti Way would mean the fire services for Collins Square and a loading dock would be moved into Georgiana St, opposite Village Docklands’ car park entrance, potentially causing major disruptions to traffic flow.

“Even if there’s a false alarm five fire trucks will have to turn up, which will mean our one and only access street will be closed,” Mr Standfield said.

He said Village Docklands would also be completely overshadowed by the surrounding commercial developments, with the proposed building taller than Village Docklands and the 55-storey KPMG building to become the tallest building in Docklands.

“We have an outdoor pool on level five, which is now going to be in shadow all year round,” Mr Standfield said.

He said the OC had proposed Walker Corporation pay for a roof over the pool as compensation, but had not received any commitment to do so from the developer.

Mr Standfield said, apart from overshadowing, many residents would now lose access to views and sunlight, with the building to be bordered on north and west side by the KPMG building and the proposed parcel 4E tower.

A Walker Corporation spokesperson said the company was working closely with planning agencies and neighbouring residents in relation to plans for the planning permit application regarding a new tower at its Collins Square development.

“Walker will continue to consult with residents about future plans for the development of Collins Square, which is currently home to 5500 staff and due to increase with the delivery of later stages.”

A spokesperson from Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s office said an application for the site had been lodged and details would be available for the public on the Department of Planning, Transport and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) website shortly.

“The Planning Minister will not be making any speculative comments about this application,” the spokesperson said.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said council understood DTPLI had referred the application to the council for comment.

“Officers have not received the referral at the time of writing. A view had not been formed on the proposal. The application will be reported to the Future Melbourne Committee in due course,” the spokesperson said.

The Parcel 4E development proposal is the most recent blow for residents of the building, most of who bought into the building when it was part of a residential enclave, rather than one of Docklands’ commercial centres.

“When we bought into our development it was under a masterplan that included four residential buildings,” Mr Standfield said.

Mr Standfield said due to the global financial crisis, the Malaysian developer Kuok Group sold the development site to Walker Corporation.

“The first thing Walker did was to change the development plan,” Mr Standfield said.

“Instead of four residential and two commercial on Collins St they changed it to four commercial buildings.”

“Now we are a single building that will be completely surrounded by office towers with no consideration for residents living there,” Mr Standfield said.

“Our building is going to be isolated and become a ghetto at the end of Docklands.”

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