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Planning extension for ‘eyesore’ site Neil Walker LONG-RUNNING attempts to redevelop the site of the former Ambassador Hotel function centre are set to run for at least another couple of years. Councillors at this month’s public council meeting last Monday (8 August) unanimously voted to allow a further extension until March next year. A planning permit to build a fourstorey apartment complex at the 325 Nepean Hwy, Frankston site after previous owners were unable to begin construction had lapsed.

Planning consultant Richard Umbers, on behalf of mortgagee Jack Gringlas of the Jadig Group, asked councillors for an extension of time on the planning permit so the land can be sold to a new developer. “While there are purchasers showing strong interest in the land they will not enter into a contract of sale to purchase the land until the planning permit has been extended for a further two years,” he said at the council meeting. Mr Umbers told council Mr Gringlas had spent $345,000 demolishing the Ambassador function centre in February, despite having no legal obligation to do so, as a goodwill way

to demonstrate he is committed to the site’s sale and redevelopment. The demolition had stopped “antisocial and criminal activities by illegal occupiers”, according to Mr Umbers. Councillors praised Mr Gringlas for demolishing the building and backed the extension of the planning permit but did not it will continue to be “an eyesore” until it is developed. Council stipulated the building of the apartment complex must begin by January 2018. Sign of demolition: Wreckers move in to demolish the former Ambassador Hotel function centre earlier this year. Picture: Gary Sissons

Boardwalk walks away with state award A BOARDWALK in Seaford has been recognised for its “outstanding” design walking away with an Award of Excellence for architecture this month. The McCulloch Ave boardwalk, designed by Brunswick-based firm Site Office, took out the top gong at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards. “While modest in scope and budget, the McCulloch Avenue boardwalk in Seaford is a fine example of high-quality public infrastructure,” the jury panel noted. “It demonstrates how infrastructure can respond to environmental complexities, provide a highquality user experience, and create an elegant design response. “The project’s apparent simplicity at first glance belies the care applied to it from planning through building, enhancing use of the foreshore, stabilising the dune, protecting native flora and fauna, and minimising impacts of the construction process.

“The boardwalk’s restrained form and thoughtful crafting work harmoniously with its setting to create an example of landscape architecture at its best.” The $182,000 boardwalk, opened two years ago, allows people to walk through the Seaford Foreshore Reserve and was designed to minimise funnelling of winds that can cause dune blowouts. Frankston mayor Cr James Dooley said council is delighted at the architectural win for the area. “The exquisite design of the McCulloch Avenue boardwalk complements the pristine Seaford foreshore, with untreated Australian hardwood timber blending seamlessly into the natural surrounding environment.” The boardwalk will now carry Victoria’s hopes for a national victory at the National Landscape Architecture Awards to be held in Canberra on 27 October. Neil Walker


Top gong: The McCulloch Ave boardwalk at Seaford foreshore is an award winner.

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15 August 2016


15 August 2016  

Frankston Times 15 August 2016