Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My constituency question is also for the Minister for Planning. On Saturday it was announced that the minister had approved a 70-storey apartment tower at 383 La Trobe Street, Melbourne. This tower will be precisely double the height of its widely recognised and highly acclaimed neighbour the Republic building, which is in my view one of the very best of the city’s residential towers. It will dwarf not only the Republic tower to its north but also the historic Mint building to its south, and it stands to spoil one of the city’s best pockets of architecture. I note that this building has a giant plot ratio of 29 to 1, in breach of the minister’s own rules, which compel a building with a plot ratio of 18 to 1 or larger to provide exceptional public benefit. Given Victoria’s current extraordinary homelessness crisis can the minister indicate what proportion of this development will consist of affordable housing — which I would consider to be of the greatest public benefit?
I considered the development under the interim built form controls of Amendment C262, which included mandatory podium height and setback requirements and a discretionary site plot ratio control of 24:1.
The site plot ratio is a flexible mechanism designed to enable a permit to be granted if a proposal delivers public amenity improvements.
I approved the development at 383 La Trobe Street as the development will provide a number of public amenity improvements including a video art arcade, a publicly accessible through-block link, and a laneway connecting La Trobe Street with Queen and Little Lonsdale Streets.
Melbourne City Council also supported the development.
I note that the tower will be setback more than 12 metres from the site boundaries of both the former Royal Mint and the Republic Tower in order to provide privacy, daylight access and outlook to these adjoining sites.