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    Melbourne skyscrapers face new Victorian Labor Government and anti-'forests of towers' sentiment

    Nathan Johnson

    Developers and designers of the many Melbourne CBD tower proposals currently sitting in planning-limbo will hotly anticipate the verdict of two skyscrapers proposals facing Melbourne City Council and the state's newly elected Labor Government.

    While in opposition, the Labor party was openly against the Liberal Government’s willingness to approve tall towers, including election pledges to tackle "wind tunnels, congestion and forests of towers"

    Cases like Hayball Architects 57-storey tower proposal will now face the scrutiny of the new governing authorities. 334 City Road was first designed by Hayball in 2014 to be a 270 metre 82-storey apartment building (below left) but has since been chopped significantly to 57-storeys (below right).

    But this reduction might not be enough to get the design over the line and Melbourne City Council planning Chairman Ken Ong has openly told Fairfax Media that he objected to the Hayball design and would be informing the Planning Minister as much.

    Ong said the new, lower proposal was still too high, not set back far enough from the street and that it “doesn't fit in with the built form in the area." 


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    But a spokeswoman for architects Hayball rejected this notion, telling Fairfax that the project's high-quality architecture would help revitalise City Road.

    "In comparison to the surrounding buildings that have been approved previously, this tower design has greater setbacks and separation," she said.

    The design includes public amenity such as a restaurant and cafe, landscaping and public art.  It also has communal facilities, including a 120-seat cinema and a pool.

    Council recommendations for another 50-level tower with 720 apartments in Southbank's Kavanagh Street will also be given to the new Planning Minister on 3 February.

    Images: Clay Lucas.

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