The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has upheld the State Government’s decision to grant planning approval for a mixed commercial and residential development in Southbank.

The application at 68—82 Southbank Boulevard for a 62-storey building containing dwellings, offices, a gym, café, a supermarket and shops was granted planning approval by the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden on April 21 this year.

VCAT has found that 'the proposal for a 226m high mixed use building is consistent with State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks and that it does achieve the design objectives and built form outcomes set out in the DDO39'.

Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee Chair, Councillor, Peter Clarke, says the proposed development failed to meet the objectives and requirements of the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

"The appeal to VCAT was lodged because we believe the development is excessive in both height and bulk," Clarke says. "Council’s appeal to VCAT was on the grounds that it has excessive building bulk, inadequate separation from other towers nearby and relative to future developments, and potential for adverse wind effects.

"While the city is generally supportive of the architectural quality of the proposal, the height of the proposal of 226 meters is more than double the discretionary height limit."

The City of Melbourne’s draft Southbank Structure Plan will be presented at the Future Melbourne Committee today, recommending that buildings within this precinct remained within the discretionary height limit of 100m to protect the amenity of the area. Clarke says the council will look to bolster height limits and bulk restrictions through our review of the Melbourne Planning Scheme.