Melbourne skyscrapers face height squeeze

Melbourne’s new high rise accommodation complexes are facing the squeeze. Shoe horned into postage stamp sized inner city sites, planned apartment blocks are being forced to rethink the heights of their buildings.

Australian Hotel Developments plans for a 43-storey block in King St has been reduced to 29 levels after initial plans for the 14m by 23m site were rejected by VCAT. The complex was to have contained 168 apartments and levels devoted to office space – the revised plan will be all apartments.

A 35-storey tower also in the CBD, the $80 million Crystal Gardens, has gained planning approval for its 21m by 18m site.

The Phoenix apartments, under construction in Flinders St, is 29 levels on a 6m by 24m block with just 28 apartments.

VCAT ruled out approval for the 43-level AHD building because of overshadowing of public areas on the Yarra riverbank.

Meanwhile the 72-storey 240m Southbank tower by Urban Matrix has run foul of Melbourne City Council planners also because of overshadowing.

The Melbourne City Council has also raised significant concerns about the 145m office and retail tower by developer Walker Corporation that won the Flinders Street Station design competition for the Collins Square development in Docklands.

Image: Crystal Gardens

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