NIMBYs Might Win Fight Against Major Brunswick Proposal, Melbourne

THE Moreland City Council and developers are battling against the clock to get a contentious Brunswick project out of the ground before mid-2012, when the permit expires, and resident concerns regarding the proposal must then be heard.

The 284 – 294 Albert Street block was the subject of a dispute last June when Brisbane-based owner Citimark proposed a $100 million apartment compound with three towers rising between 10 and 14-levels (impression, right).

Citimark relied on a development overlay introduced in 1994 and specifically for the construction of a supermarket, next door, to bypass third-party appeal rights for its major proposal.

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Body Corporate Take on Sunland on Q1 Tower Defects

THE developer of Queensland’s landmark Q1 apartment building, on the Gold Coast, is involved in a legal dispute with its tenants.

According to documents lodged with the Supreme Court, the body corporate of the building claims Sunland’s Q1 had “contained or developed defects in the coating system” since construction.

The body corporate claims defects and corrosion in the building would “compromise long term durability and appearance of Q1 and require repair.”

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ALP’s Commission Flat Building Boom Underway Without Community Consultation

THE Federal Government’s contentious plan to build record amounts of commission flats and social housing around your streets, and without proper community consultation – seems to finally have caught the attention of the wider community.

Despite anger in some States that details about the mass roll-out of commission flats have been deliberately kept from the community – the State ALP governments are pushing ahead with major public housing projects.

State governments need to do so in an attempt to collect part of the massive taxpayer-funded $5.6 billion the Federal ALP government has allocated to the initiative, for projects completed before a 2012 deadline.

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Australand Unveils $160 Million Kangaroo Point Project, Brisbane

Yungaba HouseAUSTRALAND has unveiled plans for its $160 million Kangaroo Point apartment project in Brisbane.

The controversial project will be developed on Brisbane’s historic Yungaba House site, which was the first property to be put on the state’s heritage register in 1992. The State government sold the site to Australand.

The project will include 68 units in the first stage, and ten luxury homes in the second stage, which will be built into the historic riverfront home.

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Westfield Lobbies Geelong Council Against Permitting Rival Shopping Centre

RETAIL giant Westfield has successfully lobbied against plans by Geelong-based builder and investor Costa Group to rezone a prominent collection of Moolap properties, including what was once a major indoor tennis centre.

Westfield, along with shopping centres Newcomb Central, Bellarine Village and local businesses argued to the Greater Geelong City Council that a rezoning request pitched by Costa – which could have allowed it to build a big shopping centre – would negatively affect designated Activity Centres allocated around Geelong’s suburbs.

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Court Overturns Frank Sartor’s Controversial Bayside Projects

THE New South Wales Land and Environmental Court has made void a development permit for the state’s biggest housing development, saying its approval was affected by “a reasonable apprehension of bias” by former ALP planning minister Frank Sartor.

Justice David Henry Lloyd overturned the approval of almost 800 homes in southern Lake Macquarie, because the planning minister at the time, the Labor Party’s Frank Sartor – “might not have been impartial and unprejudiced in his decision” about the project.

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$100 Million Darlinghurst Cancer Centre Objected by Lord Mayor

Delta Goodrem
PLANS to build a $100 million cancer centre in Sydney’s ritzy inner-eastern suburb of Darlinghust are in jeopardy, after a group of local residents and Lord Mayor Clover Moore, said the development would “cannibalise” their suburb.

Mr Moore said the proposed 11-storey building – which was launched by singer Delta Goodrem last October – risks blocking sunlight to nearby homes, and will also cause traffic chaos.

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Plans Lodged to Subdivide Historic Phillip Island Homestead

ANOTHER establishment family is lobbying to slice and dice their substantial holiday home retreat.

This time, on Phillip Island, the Grollo family have submitted plans to subdivide the historic eight hectare estate, Woolamai House (pictured, right), which was built in 1876 for wealthy hotelier and horse trainer John Cleeland and is one of Victoria’s oldest coastal homesteads.

Woolamai House includes an Italianite Gothic mansion and gardens with heritage plantings abutting the Cape Woolamai foreshore, all of which are included on the Victorian Heritage Register.

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Deaf Children Australia to Sell a Portion of its St Kilda Road Site

APARTMENT construction at the bottom end of Albert Park Lake looks set to intensify with Deaf Children Australia listing major residential development site for sale, abutting Wesley College’s St Kilda Road campus.

Local agency sources expect DCA will reap between $16 – $20 million from the sale of the 5471 square metre site which is being marketed as a multi-level development site at lot 1, 597 St Kilda Road.

Most of the site is an open air car park with frontage to (the less exclusive) High Street, just west of Punt Road. The precinct is classified as Melbourne, with postcode 3004, however many of the occupants in the area, including Wesley and the Alfred Hospital, also classify their addresses as Prahran.

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Minister Justin Madden Approves Controversial Development in Clayton

Justin MaddenAFTER a decade of debate, the Minister for Planning Justin Madden has gone against the local council and approved a major development, at a prominent junction in Melbourne’s south-east suburb of Clayton.

The decision paves the way for a low-rise shopping centre on the north-east corner of Dandenong and Blackburn roads to be demolished, and replaced with towers incorporating about 400 apartments, a hotel, a new shopping centre, and landscaped gardens.

About 10 per cent of units in the project will be set aside for affordable housing. Most of the remaining units will be targeted to students. Sources speculate the project will have an end value of about $270 million.

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Brady Group to Offload Site Near Melbourne’s Bennetts Lane Jazz Club

HIGH rise apartment builder Brady Group has decided to offload a residential development site in the Melbourne CBD’s trendy Bennetts Lane Jazz Club precinct.Melbour

Brady Group paid $1.65 million for the 113 square metre development site in 2007, using a building on the property as an office, while it developed a much larger 35-level tower nearby.

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Huge Docklands Nightclub Approved by Vic Planning Minister Justin Madden

PLANS for a giant Docklands nightclub capable of accommodating 750 patrons have been approved by ALP Planning Minister Justin Madden.

The Minister granted the development of Platform 28 at the Goods Shed, two days before the liquor licence hearing would have decided whether a licence should be granted.

The project is being developed by Grollo Group’s Equiset, and will include two outside areas capable of accommodating 300 patrons.

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Ringwood Clocktower to be Replaced with a Bus Lane: Victorian Department of Transport Proposal

Ringwood ClocktowerRINGWOOD’s Memorial Clocktower Park will be replaced with a one-way bus lane, under plans being proposed by the Department of Transport and to be considered by the Maroondah council.

The proposal would see a park relocated to a site, currently used as a car park, east of the Clocktower.

A large cypress tree and other vegetation will be removed to allow bus access to a new railway station interchange from Wantirna Road.

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ABC’s Slice of Rippon Lea Estate, Elsternwick, Expected to Sell For More than $25 Million

Rippon LeaAN 8,000 square metre slice of Elsternwick’s historic Rippon Lea estate, compulsorily acquired by the State Government in the 1950s for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – is likely to be sold to residential developers, if the ABC vacates the property in 2012.
ABC project director Ray Moore told Secret Agent it is considering selling two Elsternwick properties, currently occupied as studios and offices, including a major complex on Gordon Street abutting Rippon Lea – built on what was once the property’s southern boundary. 

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Whitehorse City Council Rejects 38-Level Box Hill Proposal

PLANS for a 38-level building in suburban Box Hill were rejected by the Whitehorse City Council this week and will now be decided by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The proposed 133-metre tower, earmarked for an open air car park behind Centro Box Hill Shopping Centre, will include 232 apartments, 176 hotel suites, 4350 square metres of offices and about 4,110 square metres of retail space.

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VCAT to Decide on Fate of Oakleigh Motel

Oakleigh Motel
THE VICTORIAN Civil and Administrative Tribunal has heard submissions, and is expected to make an announcement within weeks about a controversial apartment and townhouse development behind Victoria’s oldest motel.
The 53-year old Oakleigh Motel – an American Googie styled guest house built on what was then the outskirts of Melbourne, will be retained as part of the proposed redevelopment. But buildings and land around the distinctive 1650 Dandenong Road property will be redeveloped into 54 dwellings, if the developer gets its way.

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Williamstown House at the Centre of Heritage Dispute to be Sold and Demolished

THE ramshackle Williamstown house at the centre of a heritage dispute will be auctioned next month.
Barry Plant Yarraville agent Niels Geraerts is expecting about $1 million for the 839 square metre block at 43 – 45 Aitken Street, which is likely to be developed into a townhouse project.
The campaign to sell the development site started in April, but had to be suspended while the future of a rundown 4-room weatherboard home on an edge of the property was debated. 

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Disruptions at Maryvale Pulp Mill Result in $75,000 Penalties

Today the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne ruled on declarations and penalties proposed under a settlement between the ABCC and the AWU, CEPU, AMWU and three union representatives. The rulings, which resulted in penalties totalling $75,000, finalise four of the five ABCC proceedings relating to the Maryvale Pulp Mill expansion project.

The unions and their representatives, Terrence Lee, Peter Mooney and Steven Dodd admitted they encouraged groups of workers numbering between 17 and 433 to unlawfully strike on multiple occasions between July 2007 and February 2008.

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Former Petrol Station Earmarked For New North Fitzroy Library

The City of Yarra council is insistent on building a library near North Fitzroy’s picturesque Edinburgh Gardens.

A year after the Greens voted down a controversial council proposal to build a library within the grounds of the gardens, The Melbourne Times is reporting council is formalising a plan to compulsorily acquire a site at 182 – 196 St Georges Road, on the south-west corner of Best Street.

The proposed library site was formerly a petrol station.

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Madden to Decide on Maffra Shortly

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden is expected to make a decision “shortly” about a controversial $13.8 million shopping centre development in the eastern Victorian town of Maffra.
A spokeswoman for the Minister’s spokeswoman said submissions have been heard and a decision will be made about Woolworth’s application to build a 2,300 square metre retail building on a site at 93 – 105 Johnson Street. 

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