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City of Yarra Statutory Planning Branch P.O. Box 168 RICHMOND 3121 ATTENTION: Ms. Danielle Connell

Planning & Environment Act 1987 – Yarra Planning Scheme







Ms. Danielle Connell Coordinator Statutory Planning City of Yarra Statutory Planning branch P.O.BOX 168 RICHMOND 3121

24 December 2010

Dear Ms. Connell

RE: Planning Application No: PLN10/0734 Address: 140-160 Swan Street, Cremorne. Richmond. VIC 3121

Save Dimmeys statement of purposes are primarily: •

To be a non-profit association formed to lobby and protect the integrity, and heritage of the Dimmeys Model Store in Swan Street, Cremorne, Victoria.

To Save Dimmeys from any inappropriate development proposed for the State Heritage Listed building.

To inform the community of any adverse development proposal for the Dimmeys Model Store, which may have a detrimental affect on the building and its heritage listing.

Please find attached the Save Dimmeys formal objection to the Planning Application for the Dimmeys site. We also include the 310 formal objections to a planning permit, received from the public through the Save Dimmeys On-Line website ‘GoPetition’. We include a PETITION: No excessive development at Dimmeys, which has 41 signatories, collected at the Council Information Session held on 8 December 2010 for this site. Yours sincerely

Allan Harris Secretary Save Dimmeys

Attach: 2



of: Postcode: 3121 WHAT APPLICATION DO YOU OBJECT TO? WHAT IS THE PERMIT APPLICATION NUMBER? PLN10/0734 WHAT IS PROPOSED? USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE LAND FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A 10 STOREY MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT OVER TWO BASEMENT LEVELS, INCLUDING REFURBISHMENT WORKS TO THE RETAINED FACEDE; USE OF THE LAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF RETAIL, DWELLINGS, OFFICES AND ART AND CRAFT CENTRES, ROAD WORKS TO GREEN STREET INCLUDING THE INSTALLATION OF A BICYCLE PATH; AND A REDUCTION IN THE CAR PARKING AND BICYCLE PARKING REQUIREMENTS OF THE YARRA PLANNING SCHEME. WHAT LAND IS PROPOSED TO BE USED OR DEVELOPED? 140-160 Swan Street. Richmond VIC 3121. (DIMMEYS SITE) WHO HAS APPLIED FOR THE PERMIT? RICHMOND ICON PTY LTD. c/- PLANNED F X PTY LTD. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR YOUR OBJECTION? That the application to demolish the rear and interiors of DIMMEYS DEPARTMENT STORE (Heritage Place No. H2184), mutilation of the mural, and construct a Ten (10) Storey High Rise Glass Tower SHOULD BE REFUSED, and formally OBJECT TO THE GRANT OF PLANNING PERMIT to Richmond Icon Pty Ltd. PLN10/0734. The proposal will result in an unacceptable loss of heritage fabric, while the revised plans for Ten (10) Storeys is again repetition of unacceptable bulk on the heritage site. The proposal would diminish the amenity of the Swan Street shopping precinct, and demean the landmark Dimmeys Clock Tower, and establishes a new Richmond Icon tower in the area. The Richmond Icon Pty Ltd tower is incompatible as it stands beside and contests with the heritage Dimmeys Clock Tower. In lodging this OBJECTION, we believe that the community and local residents, shoppers would be affected for the aforementioned reasons by the grant of a planning permit. In particular, more specifically, the following reasons. 3


1. URBAN DESIGN CONTEXT The proposed development does not fit well with the current land use in the area. Most buildings in the area are low-rise development of single or double storeys. In some areas there are a few higher with a maximum of three storeys or five storeys. The proposed ten-storey height is excessive and will not interface well with the existing buildings and land use. The proposal is for a large tall glass, structure with little or no interact with the surrounding area. The design is devoid of any sympathetic architecture, which is not the norm in the inner activity centre. There are no adjoining towers of this magnitude or size within the activity area. This development would set a precedent to high-rise tower development on the Swan Street shopping strip. 2. SCALE We fully object to the development as shown in the Richmond Icon Pty Ltd application. The scale and density is totally out of proportion to its heritage location and out of character with the Swan Street inner suburban activity centre setting. The scale and visual bulk of the 10 Storey tower will totally dominate the surrounding low-rise neighbourhood. The current proposal and its doubling of the Yarra planning guideline height should be rejected. There is no other building in the vicinity, which is as tall as this proposal, and the tallest buildings in the area are in fact about 3 levels maximum. The proposed building is totally out of character with the area, and has no resemblance to the cultural values of the surrounding area. It is proposed to be a massive modern structure overshadowing an old and character filled shopping precinct – it is completely out of place. We believe developers must respect the Character of our Historic City and Shopping Centre, and allow a development to be approved, which is so alien to the neighbourhood, and so unsympathetic to the local community. This proposal is at complete odds to the character of the area. The proposed Dimmeys development will change this heritage site forever. 3. DENSITY The influx of 83 new residential apartments will place enormous pressure on already inadequate infrastructure, i.e. traffic-clogged roads, insufficient parking and overcrowded public transport. 4. HEIGHT & BULK The Yarra Planning Scheme guidelines state that Built Form. Clause 21.05-2 Strategy 17.2. development within activity centres should generally be no more than 5-6 storeys for the site. This proposal is double the guideline. This proposed development would dominate the site thus overtaking the existing heritage clock tower as the primary focus and landmark, which is contrary to the Yarra Planning Scheme. (This is expanded further in the document). 5. TRAFFIC & TRANSPORT This proposed development will critically impact upon the surrounding traffic grid. It will impact as vehicular traffic attempts to manouvre its way onto and off from Swan Street for entry and egress to the development site. At this stage the development traffic report says the existing system will easily integrate the additional traffic generated form this site. We disagree. Also as there are perceived problems with gaining access and egress to the site, an additional number of vehicles will be further displaced as they attempt to park in the adjoining residential streets both at the rear of the site and to the North of the site. The proposed development will lead to an increase in parking problems in Green Street and other adjoining residential streets. Much has been made about the use of the car park in Railway Place. The same Company currently owns this property and no assurance has been seen of its continuance into the future as car park and could possibly be developed and therefore any vehicles would be displaced into the surrounding streets. 4


6. PARKING We dispute Richmond Icon Pty Ltd.’s claims in its traffic report of ample on street parking in surrounding areas. The immediate vicinity already supports many people beyond residents including shoppers, football crowds, cricket crowds (MCG), soccer games AAMI Stadium and rugby families, primary schools, churches, which take up parking in residential streets that don’t have enough street parking for existing residents. 7. PROPOSED USES ON SITE The applicant proposes many uses on this site. Each of the uses we believe will generate additional problems associated with its use. There is the residential component, which will produce an increase use of the site, which it currently does not have. There will be a proposed Office type use and its associated activity generated by additional individuals on the site. There is the proposed change to having separate and increased shop / retail style activity on the site. And there are the proposed art and craft centres, which will also generate its own increased activity and use of the site. 8. ON & OFF-SITE AMENITY The proposed development is an overdevelopment of the site for its proposed uses and increase capacity to engender a multitude of uses on the one site. We believe this increase in use will cause loss of amenity to existing and surrounding property owners and have a detrimental affect on their capacity to exist with such a massive development. 9. MURAL, GREEN STREET – REMOVAL OF MATERIAL FOR AN OPENING ETC. The proposal to remove and then replace a part of the Mural in Green Street to create an opening is excessive and unnecessary. The City Power sub station should be moved to Byron Street and the Entrance to Towers re-configured to enable the Mural to remain intact. The destruction of the mural to create an opening is facile. The Mural is part of the heritage fabric and should not be discounted as mere folly to play with and then re-instate. 10. OVERSHADOWING AND LOSS OF LIGHT There will be: • lighting from the towers shining into habitable rooms, and open spaces • noise from the 83-plus apartments. • Loss of sunlight and natural light to the area. This will affect pedestrians, nearby houses and Swan Street shops. Due to the height of the tower many surrounding houses will have their sunlight blocked at various times of the day. 11. LOSS OF PRIVACY The proposal will have significant impacts on adjoining properties. The development will create a loss of privacy from overlooking windows. 12. LOSS OF AMENITY The proposal would cause a loss of amenity to existing surrounding residences. The proposal will allow overlooking and create a loss of privacy with 83 apartments looking into habitable rooms and existing open space. Green Street will be turned into the access road for all commercial vehicles servicing the proposed supermarket. The increased traffic will lead to a loss of amenity for those properties and occupiers, which immediately adjoin the subject site in Green Street. Particularly the increased noise associated with commercial vehicles delivering to the new supermarket. Already 5


this is a major issue to residents comfort, and increasing this activity outside habitable will destroy exacerbate the loss of amenity out lifestyle and our health.

13. OPEN SPACES Richmond Icon Pty Ltd is using the proximity of the existing White Street Park as an excuse not to provide adequate green open space within the development. This is an unacceptable incursion into public parkland. Richmond Icon Pty Ltd should be required to lower the density of its development to allow for open space. Overshadowing by the Richmond Icon Pty Ltd 10 Storey tower will further compromise the White Street Park. 14. EAST RICHMOND STATION AND PUBLIC WALKWAY We oppose the increase in commercial vehicular trucks and cars using Green Street and proposals to access the site and shops. Railway Place will be under considerable stress to cope with all the additional Commercial vehicles, and the increased usage of Railway Place at the entrance to the East Richmond Station will compromise the heritage value of this historic station. 15. REDUCTION IN THE PROVISION OF CAR PARKING SPACE (S) REQUIREMENTS OF THE YARRA PLANNING SCHEME The applicant has requested a reduction in the provision of on-site vehicle parking. This means visitors to the site and any increase in shop patronage will result in no vehicle parking for the surrounding streets of Green Street, White Street, Chestnut Street, Stanley Street and Clifton Street. 16. INCREASED VEHICLE AND PEDESTRIAN USAGE OF THE SITE FOR ART AND CRAFT CENTRE AND EXHIBITION DISPLAYS The proposal is to use the land for high-density usage of the site, which has a roadway on three sides and a railway line on the other side of the site. The proposed Art and Craft Centre, and its need for visitors and displays and exhibitions, as well as residential dwellings, office and retail (shops) activity on this site is an overdevelopment of the site land use. 17. INCREASED USAGE OF THE SITE TO ACCOMMODATE OFFICES, AND THE ASSOCIATED WORK FORCE REQUIRING PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR ACCESS AND EGRESS TO THE SITE. The proposal is to use the land for offices and its associated business usage. The site is restrictive in area and capacity to accommodate high office use and personnel on site. 18. ROAD WORKS TO GREEN STREET: NARROWING OF GREEN STREET TO INCREASE THE WIDTH OF THE FOOTPATH AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE TOWER. The proposed road works are unnecessary and will cause restrictive use of Green Street (Railway Line to Swan Street) for commercial use of this site for access and egress, but also cause gridlock as Heavy Commercial vehicles attempt to manoeuvre entry to existing rear shop premises in Swan Street and provide goods to the existing Coles supermarket. The roads are already of insufficient capacity to accommodate the increase usage of large commercial vehicles. There will be an increased use by pedestrians as local office workers walk from Swan Street to the Green Street railway underpass tunnel, and they will have to compete with an increase in Commercial vehicles at the entrance to the tunnel, which is also at the rear of the site. We cannot support removal of any more car parking spaces to widen the footpaths, simply to create a doorway to the tower. 19. INCREASE OF BICYCLE USAGE IN THE UNDERGROUND RAILWAY TUNNEL IN GREEN STREET AND ASSOCIATED STREETS, AND INSTALLATION OF A BICYCLE PATH IN GREEN STREET (ODDY’S LANE – SWAN STREET). REDUCTION IN THE PROVISION OF BICYCLE PARKING SPACE (S) 6


REQUIREMENT OF THE YARRA PLANNING SCHEME The applicant has requested a reduction in the provision of Bicycle Parking spaces. This will not encourage Bicycle users to park bikes within the site. This reduction of Bicycle Parking space(s) is contrary to the Yarra Planning Scheme and is not sustainable and encourages increase green house vehicle emissions. The proposed reduction in bicycle parking requirements within the Dimmeys site is completely against all principles of reducing green house gases and encourages vehicle use and associated increased parking problems in adjoining residential streets. The developer is reducing bicycle parking on-site and also encouraging vehicle access to the site. 20. REFURBISHMENT WORKS TO THE FAÇADE The proposed refurbishment will result in a loss of heritage fabric. 21. REMOVAL AND RE-INSTATEMENT OF THE GREEN STREET MURAL TO ACCOMMODATE A NEW ENTRANCE DOORWAY TO THE TOWER. The proposed mutilation of the mural 3m wide x 2.7m high new opening (near the existing galvanised steel fence) and so-called relocation of the removed mural, to be relocated inside, behind the newly installed locked doorway entrance to the Tower is absurd. The Mural is part of the heritage fabric of the building. Every day families, schools and other individuals come to examine, appreciate and photograph this famous mural. Some people spend considerable time there appreciating and discussing the components of the mural. To suggest that this mural be removed is unnecessary. This is a world famous mural, and a key part of the heritage and culture of Richmond and the surrounding area. 22. REPLACEMENT ICON The developer is proposing to replace one existing dominant Icon with another. The Historic Clock Tower will no longer be the dominant landmark. The 10 storey tower will become the dominant landmark for the site. The developer is also proposing to install a new ‘mural’ on the boundary wall, which faces the railway line at the rear of the site.

23 THE YARRA PLANNING SCHEME ESTABLISHES THE RELEVANT PLANNING FRAMEWORK ON WHICH TO ASSESS THE DEVELOPMENT. The Yarra Planning Scheme includes: Zoning and overlay controls; the policy framework; and the particular and general provisions and a number of reference documents provide criteria for the land use and development components of the proposal. 24. These provide a framework to determine the appropriateness of the height of the proposal. Whilst the various planning documents are guidelines they do provide the vision and the necessary avenue to determine under the Planning Scheme what changes to the site are feasible. 25. We contend that it is the Planning Authorities principal vision that it is ‘to retain Yarra’s identity as a low urban form with pockets of higher development’ (Objective 17). Which is further documented and detailed as part of the Planning Scheme: Strategy 17.2 Development on strategic redevelopment sites or within activity centres should generally be no more than 5-6 storeys unless it can be demonstrated that the proposal can achieve specific benefits such as: • Significant upper level setbacks 7


• Architectural design excellence • Best practice environmental sustainability objectives in design and construction • Provision of affordable housing 26. We feel that the Planning Policy is clear in its intention, and that the proposal as presented, fails to meet the circumstances in that: • •

The setback is insufficient for the building in its proposed size, the tower will dominate the site, and distract from the adjoining Dimmeys Clock Tower. There is no avenue of rendering and blending this building with the existing surroundings, especially when it is of such magnitude, when viewed from the East and West, and also when viewed from the North and South.

27. The Architectural context is of a purely repetitive and sterile juncture. The views from the public realm are consistent with mass height, and bulk, in the form of continuous and solid lines in glass form. There is no excellence displayed or portrayed in the form or rhythm of the building. The building is just a repetition of mass bulk. 28. The tower building is located in the South-West corner of the site, primarily facing East & West, and does not provide environmental sustainability, or meet the main objectives for this development in the way the building is orientated. 29. The bulk and domination of the site does not lend itself to the surrounding and adjoining areas. The actual tower design is flawed in that it detracts from the quality of the restoration of the site. 30. The development is deficient in the provision of any affordable housing for the site. 31. We agree with many in the community that the tower height is both excessive and intrusive into the public domain, and that the proposal fails to adequately respond to the design challenges, and vision for the site, and the development should not exceed the guideline height, which are 5-6 storeys. 32. We do not believe that the proposed development in its present form, meets the Yarra Planning Scheme Objective (20), which is: ‘to ensure that new development contributes positively to Yarra’s urban fabric’. 33. The planning documents state: Strategy 20.1. ‘Ensure development is designed having particular regard to its urban context and specifically designed following a thorough analysis of the site, the neighbouring properties and its environs’. 34. We contend that this current proposal has not adequately taken into consideration any of the context and adjoining land use, and in particular the character, and scale. There is a responsibility to appropriately manage intensive development on such activity sites, which are large sites and are part of an activity shopping precinct. 35. Swan Street is a designated major activity centre. Planning objectives seek to retain streetscape, reinforce the pattern of development, and the character of the street, while encouraging high quality contemporary architecture and maintain (and where needed, 8


create) a high level of amenity to adjacent residential uses through the design, height and form of any proposed development. 36. We believe that the proposal does not meet these objectives. The proposed tower does not relate to its existing local surroundings, and is out of character with the main part of the Swan Street Activity centre. 37. Other planning Objectives (21), which this proposal fails to embrace, are: ‘to enhance the built form of Yarra’s activity centres’ The relevant part is specified in Strategy 21.1. This point requires development within Yarra’s activity centres to respect and not dominate existing built form. This proposal is the opposite of the detailed strategy. The proposed tower is repetition of unacceptable bulk. The proposal is out of proportion and scale to the Swan Street streetscape and the height of Dimmeys Clock Tower building. The proposed tower dominates the existing heritage clock tower, and replaces the iconic Dimmeys clock tower with a much taller and larger ten storey glass icon on the site. 38. Another part of the policy framework is the vision, to ‘protect views to Yarra’s valued landmarks….. to ensure they remain as the principal built form reference’. And in particular, to ‘ensure the profile… of new tall structures adds to the interest of Yarra’s urban form and skyline’. These are outlined in the Strategy 17.3 of the MSS document and Landmarks and Tall Structures Policy Clause 22.03 (attached). 39. The specific design response outlined in Clause 22.03-4 requires that: ‘New buildings within the vicinity of the following landmarks should be designed to ensure the landmarks remain as the principal built reference: ‘Ball Tower of Dimmey’s Swan Street’ 40. We believe that in formulating this policy, which was designed in consultation with the community, the current proposal fails to meet any of the design response indicators. The proposed tower height will exceed the existing Dimmeys Clock Tower and thus dominate the landmark site. Dimmeys would no longer be, or remain as the principal built reference. By siting the large glass residential tower in proximity to the existing Clock Tower, the proposed glass tower will dominate the site, and thus become the new icon of Swan Street. 41. This proposed development fails to meet the policy criteria for such a development, in that it is contrary to the policy in its design response. The design response fails the specific policy of maintaining and designing the development, whilst keeping the landmark Ball Tower of Dimmey’s Swan Street, as the principal built reference for the site. 42. We believe that, as this development does not meet the relevant Landmarks Design Response, that it should be rejected or redesigned to at least meet the planning scheme design principle and guidelines.



43. CONCLUSIONS 44. We feel the proposal does not meet the specified circumstances for development in activity centres, which are no more than 5-6 storeys in height. We feel that the applicant has not exhibited specified circumstances to warrant the proposal exceeding the 5-6 storeys in height and therefore the application should be rejected in its present form. 45. Whilst the documentation for planning and controls are specific, the Strategy of the MSS Statement is clear, that development within activity centres respect and not dominates existing built form. This proposed development in its present form does not meet the criteria, and the application be REFUSED to Grant a Permit. 46. The proposal is contrary to the Landmarks and Tall Structures policy framework, in its current form the proposal should be accepted or approved. 47. The proposal needs to be reviewed in light of the Minister for Planning approving the changes in Yarra Planning Scheme Amendment VC75. 48. OVERALL, we feel that given the changes in legislation, the proposals inadequacy to meet objectives and specified strategies for development and other planning policy framework; the proposed changes to the Green Street mural and roadwork, and impacts etc., lead us to the conclusion that the Planning Authority reject the proposed development in its present form, and this application SHOULD BE REFUSED and we formally OBJECT to the Grant of a Planning Permit to Richmond Icon Pty Ltd. PLN10/0734. Signed:

Allan Harris Secretary Save Dimmeys