VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week said he has approved another striking apartment tower for Melbourne's Docklands, which will deliver 383 apartments to accommodate the city's growing population.
The project, which has a $120 million construction value, is the 20th inner city high-rise approved since the election of the Victorian Labor Government in November last year, totalling almost $3.5 billion worth of investment.
The planning permit replaces an earlier plan for the site on the corner of La Trobe Street and Harbour Esplanade. Mr Wynne said the revised design would result in better places for people to live, offering more daylight to the 225 one-bedroom and 158 two-bedroom apartments.
Approved plans for the mixed-use project include a 27-storey tower, rising 92 metres from the ground, which is higher than the discretionary 75 metres allowed on this site.
Mr Wynne said he approved the project because the apartments are well-designed, will not rely on borrowed light and an extra 14 metres over the discretionary height limit will have little broader impact.
The design was also changed so office and retail space will front the street on some upper levels, instead of car parking.
The project includes 383 apartments, 2,213 square metres of office space, 670 square metres of retail space, 309 car spaces and 142 bicycle spaces.
Melbourne's population is expected to rise by about 100,000 each year and Mr Wynne said about half of those people are set to live around the inner suburbs.
Mr Wynne said areas best suited for development, such as Docklands and Fishermans Bend, will offer new jobs through construction and investment as well as accommodating more people close to Melbourne's centre.
"This will be a well-designed tower, providing more liveable apartments for people to live close to Southern Cross Station, the waterfront and the CBD," he said.