The first major planning rejection from the new Victorian Labor Government is a 46-storey Melbourne apartment tower by Denton Corker Marshall (DCM).

The proposed 303 apartment tower at 85 Spring Street, Melbourne was reportedly rejected by the Planning Minister Richard Wynne on the advice from local council who had previously objected to the tower’s height and impact on nearby heritage buildings and the public realm.

The building was proposed for an irregular L-shaped block in Central Melbourne which has frontages to both Little Collins Street and Spring Street and sits within close proximity to the Treasury Gardens and significant public buildings such as State Parliament and the Windsor Hotel.

The building would have seen two volumes, formed by the site’s L shape, rise to a height of 137 metres. It would have consisted of floor to ceiling fritted/tinted glass, interrupted by horizontal zinc projections and winter gardens. 

The DCM design did account for the overshadowing and views of its neighbours with a large setback from the 17 metre podium to the tower as well as a sequence of setbacks at the top of the tower, defined by horizontal blades, as it rises towards the plant room. 

^Click to enlarge plan.

But it wasn’t enough to appease the local council’s concerns for the tower’s height and inconsistency with other buildings in its immediate surrounds.  In rejecting the tower, Wynne has reportedly gone against the advice of his planning officers, who had recommended in favour of the tower, with conditions.

"I have to balance up advice. In this circumstance there was competing advice," Mr Wynne told the Australian Financial Review.

"If you look at what else is around it, the rest are substantially lower buildings."

“This happens to be a project that both the City of Melbourne and I personally had concerns about.”

The Minister says he encourages the developers (Grocon) to come back with a new project that addresses the issues concerned with the initial proposal.

Images: Denton Corker Marshall. Source: Urban Melbourne