Building height limits could derail newly announced plans to build three futuristic towers in Brisbane, according to media reports.
Fairfax Media has reported that plans announced by property developer Sunland Corporation on September 1 for a trio of towers reaching between 22 and 25 storeys for its Grace on Coronation Project on the Toowong Riverbank on the site of the abandoned ABC studios could be derailed by local planning rules restricting buildings in the suburb to a height of fifteen stories.
Whilst stressing the Council would consider each application on its merits and that height in excess of fifteen storeys could be allowed if considered a good outcome, Brisbane City Council’s planning chairman Amanda Cooper said the current height limit had been chosen following extensive consultation with the suburb’s residents.
"This particular site in the neighbourhood plan we envisaged for 15 storeys," the report quotes Cooper as saying.
"It's a significant site and because of the significance of the site, 15 storeys is the acceptable solution."
Set to be built on land Suncorp acquired in 2013 after it was abandoned in 2006, the project would consist of three towers shaped to represent champagne flutes, and would include 486 apartments , eight riverfront villas, 635 car parks and around 0.75 hectares of landscaped parklands.
A particular area of Council concern revolves around how its futuristic design fits with the older residential and historic part of the suburb – particularly the heritage listed Middenbury House, which is considered an outstanding example of 1860’s masonry construction.
Still, Cooper says she is open to ideas about the contrast helping the house stand out, whilst Suncorp managing director Sahba Abedian claims the proposed development would breathe new life into a historic site.
And although the Council has not yet considered the application, demolition of the former ABC site is expected to begin this month, and the Fairfax report indicated Sunland’s architects and designers had met with the council’s neighbourhood assessment officers.
But the proposal is drawing mixed reviews from members of the public, with one describing it to Nine News as ‘three waste paper baskets’ and ‘disgusting’, and another raising concerns it did not fit with the area.