Following on from our article last week regarding the refusal of a 47-storey interconnected twin-tower proposal at 447 Collins Street by the Minister for Planning (the Minister), we heard on Tuesday morning that after negotiations with developer Cbus Property, the Minister has approved a slightly shorter ‘Pantscraper’ tower.  The approved development is six storeys lower than the proposal rejected a fortnight ago.

According to the Minister, there will still be some overshadowing of north bank however, we understand that it is significantly less than the shadowing that would have resulted from the previous proposal.

We understand that the 2,000 square metres of public open space is still part of the development.  As mentioned in our earlier article, the public open space has been designed to connect to the planned future open space to the east following the potential closure of a section of Market Street.

It is pleasing to know that the Minister is willing to exercise a level of discretion in considering development proposals that may not achieve all the technical requirements of the planning scheme but are able to demonstrate a net community benefit and an interesting design response.

The approved development which was designed by Woods Bagot and New York firm ShoP Architects includes offices, apartments, a hotel and the public park.

We understand that the final stage of demolition of the old National Mutual building is likely to commence in September.

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