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    St Kilda Junction’s biggest development receives green light

    Nicholas Rider

    More development is on the way for the St Kilda Junction after another large scale multi-res project was approved for the busy Melbourne intersection.

    Designed by Plus Architecture, ‘One St Kilda Junction’ will go up alongside Jackson Clements Burrow’s (JCB) lego-inspired ‘The Icon’ and will be the largest development yet for St Kilda's gateway road intersection.

    Plus have spread the project’s 203 apartments across two towers, one 26 storeys and one 10-storeys, which are joined by a skybridge. Developers Drekoncile have also received the go-ahead to build a large electronic advertising sign, two-storeys high, which will wrap around the One St Kilda's western facade.

    The project is one of a few major developments going up in the area, but will be the largest in terms of size and apartment numbers. Others include JCB’s The Icon, which has been nicknamed by locals as ‘Lego Tower’ and provides 119 apartments, and the other is the 26-storey S.T.K Apartments building at 3 St Kilda Road which has 309 apartments.

    Ian Briggs, one of Plus Architecture’s directors, hopes the project will bring significant improvement to the junction.

    "It's such an important junction for pedestrians as well as cyclists and motorists and yet it's a bit of [a] wasteland at the moment," he says.

    "I think with the increase of people and its usage there will be more pressure on council and governing authorities to do a whole lot more research and work to make it a much better place for everyone."

    A POTENTIAL DISASTER?

    But not everyone is happy with the approval of One St Kilda Junction. Port Phillip Council for one is seeking legal advice over whether to appeal the approval by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) at the Supreme Court and says that the VCAT is disconnected from the concerns of the community.

    Port Phillip mayor Bernadene Voss said she had sent a number of letters to Planning Minister Richard Wynne encouraging interim planning restrictions for the junction and a southern stretch of St Kilda Road. The council's preferred height limit for the area was 10 storeys, more than two times shorter than the tallest approved high-rise.

    "It's become obvious there is a real disconnect between Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the community,” says Port Phillip councillor Andrew Bond. “It's time for the minister to rein in VCAT or remove them from the planning process altogether."

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