3 September 2018

Geocon amends WOVA proposal, seeks to subdivide site

| Ian Bushnell
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Plans for the amended WOVA development, with the reduced Building 4 on Melrose Drive, and the new 24-storey marker building (Building 2) on the corner of Launceston and Furzer Street. Image: Supplied.

Geocon has scaled back one of the towers in its massive WOVA development on the Tradies site in Phillip in the face of overshadowing concerns from the Bellerive Retirement Village opposite on Melrose Drive.

The Woden Valley Community Council has welcomed the move but has sounded alarm bells about a bid in the amended development application to subdivide the Tradies site.

The amended DA says a terraced Building 4 on Melrose Drive has been reduced in height from 24 to 16 storeys, with 12 storeys facing Melrose Drive.

The setback has also been increased from 0 metres to 3-4 metres on the lower 12 storeys and increased from 0 to 6-7 metres on storeys 13-16.

“It also sits under the 19-storey approved building envelope of the previous DA endorsed scheme, and directly addresses the representations from Bellerive residents and Woden Valley Community Council requesting a 16-storey building in this location,” the DA says.

Geocon has also moved the 24-storey marker (Building 2) building from the corner of Melrose Drive and Launceston Street to the corner of Launceston and Furzer Street, sitting above a six-storey podium that includes a street wall and retail uses fronting the footpath.

There is also more parking, increased landscaped space to the northern entry of the public realm, and facades altered.

Geocon proposes a mixed-use development on the site bounded by Launceston Street, Melrose Drive and Furzer Street consisting of 800 residential apartments as well as retail, community and commercial uses across four buildings.

The WVCC opposes any subdivision of the site, saying that the DA does not provide a reason for doing so, and believes there are further improvements to the design that could be made.

“It is not clear why Geocon is applying to subdivide the block apart from the benefit of an additional four storeys on another residential tower,” the WVCC says.

It says the 24-storey building should be on the south-east part of the block to reduce overshadowing of both the development itself and IP Australia, and to further reduce shadowing of residents.

The block on Melrose Drive should be 12 storeys to align with the Master Plan.

The WVCC says the quality of the aesthetic value of the facades should be retained, and it is not clear why they have been changed.

Geocon was approached for comment.

Submissions close on Wednesday, 5 Sepetember.

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Might this also be preparing for the likelihood that Light Rail II might not proceed?

Given that the total number of apartments has actually increased, I doubt it.

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