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Three large apartment towers designed by the late Zara Hadid have been given the go-ahead after a judge dismissed an appeal against the project.

Planning and Environment Court Judge Michael Rackermann rejected an appeal against the approval the Zara Hadid-designed and Sunland-built Grace on Coronation, acknowledging that the proposal exceeded the area’s zoning regulations from a height perspective but saying that this was more than offset by public space which had been provided for in and around the base of the towers.

“On balance, I am satisfied that there are sufficient grounds, in the public interest, to approve the proposed development notwithstanding conflict with the planning scheme,” he said.

Colloquially known as the ‘champagned flutes’ and sitting on a site which formerly housed the ABC studios, the proposed $430 million towers are set to contain 555 apartments and stand at between 24 and 27 storeys each – well above the fifteen storeys which had been allowed for under the city plan.

The appeal had been brought on by community group Park in Towong, whose spokesperson Elizabeth Handley now hoped that the developers would be dissuaded from proceeding in light of Brisbane’s slowing apartment market.

According to Rackermann, the project was not out of line with the broader character of the Toowong precinct, which he noted is undergoing transformation and is being home to increasing numbers of high-rise developments.

He also noted the proposal’s distinctive and refreshing design.

Brisbane City Council planning chairman Julian Simmonds welcomed the decision, which he said confirmed the Council’s decision to approve the development in 2015 which was made in light of a desire to deliver improved public parkland and inner city riverfront.

He said the project would deliver an extension of the Bicentennial Bikeway along Coronation Drive to Archer Street and would thus improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

 
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