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Editions

Residents and developer square off over Serrata

30 Apr 2010

Residents and developer square off over Serrata Image

Victoria Harbour residents and Lend Lease are on a collision course over the developer’s plans for a 15-storey residential development in Bourke St.

The Serrata development has received State Government approval but residents have put Lend Lease on notice that they will fight if the building is not lowered.

At a meeting of key stakeholders hosted by Teys Strata Management on April 8, resident Frank Ruggio said they would not accept 15 storeys.  Lend Lease project director Ben Coughlan replied that the company intended to proceed with its plan.

However, Mr Coughlan undertook to investigate and formally respond to Mosaic and Montage owners corporation chairs over claims that owners in that building had been misled by Lend Lease when purchasing several years ago.

He agreed that, at the time of purchase, Lend Lease had earmarked the site for low rise community use but that this had subsequently changed.  He said the State Government wanted more urban consolidation and had encouraged Lend Lease to review its Victoria Harbour master plan accordingly.

Mr Coughlan said Lend Lease had been working on its new master plan with the City of Melbourne, the Department of Planning and Community Development
and VicUrban for more than six months.  He said Lend Lease did not have a date for release of the plan.

He showed residents plans and artists’ drawings of Serrata, but refused to allow Docklands News to publish the pictures.

Serrata sits on the western side and takes more than half of the development site between The Gauge and the Montage/Mosaic apartments.  A proposed laneway running from Bourke St to Victoria Green separates the Serrata site from a remaining development site on the eastern edge of the block.

Plans show a height of 15 storeys along Serrata’s Bourke St frontage, falling to 12 storeys at the back of the development.  The proposal houses 144 apartments and 68 car spaces.  The majority of apartments are 50 square metre, single-bedroom units without carparking.

Mr Coughlan said many factors were behind the plans.  He said the decision to build 15-storeys was mainly determined by architectural merit.  He also said finance was more readily available for developments with a low-price entry point.

Units in Serrata are planned to start at $385,000, with the most expensive coming in at $750,000.  

Mr Coughlan said all units would be sold to private buyers and they were squarely aimed at the first-home buyer and investor market.

The President of the Docklands Community Association, Roger Gardner, said the case highlighted the need for residents to be consulted before approvals were given.

“Residents are right in the middle of these developments these days and their concerns have been be taken into consideration by Government,” he said.

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Comments

  • Howard Taylor at 7:55pm on 01/05/10

    The government decision to allow development of Seafarers Park is outrageous.

    Is the State Government so panicking about their finances that this is the true reason of Minister Holding to turn a designated parkland into high rise development? Docklands needs a sense of community, and this treatment of residents is political suicide.

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