The Banyule City Council in Melbourne has rejected an application by developer Caydon for a 26-storey tower located on a hill in Ivanhoe overlooking the Austin Hospital.

The proposed 443 Upper Heidelberg Road building was described as “harsh in appearance” by council planners, with Ivanhoe Mayor Craig Langdon saying “it’s not something someone can hang their hat on saying ‘it’s a great building’”.

According to the application for the planning permit, which notes that Peddle Thorp Architects provided a detailed analysis of the site which informed the design, the proposed 258-apartment development would provide a new streetscape, activation and landscaping of a “barren and exposed site”.

The tower form, featuring a diversity of façade treatments, would further prevent the diminishing of significant views or vistas, and not compete with the Ivanhoe Clock Tower. A shadow analysis also showed there would be no shadows cast on residential properties at the equinox.

Key architectural elements noted in the application include a defined podium, a highly articulated façade with operable screens, and a soft material palette to reflect the Banyule character. The wider face of the building is also said to be absorbed to reduce its visual dominance to the street.

However, council planners cited the bulk and scale of the building, as well as vehicle access and “the protection of a substantial Spotted Gum in the north-eastern corner of the site” as reasons for its rejection.

The height of the proposed building in the area was also an issue, although Mayor Langdon conceded that the site has “certainly been earmarked for massive development. Council may have to accept larger than eight storeys”, The Age reports.

Caydon is expected to appeal the decision with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.