VCAT permits first tower of The Great Wall of Frankston

VCAT permits first tower of The Great Wall of Frankston

From the Mornington Environment Association (22/5/24)…

VCAT permits first tower of The Great Wall of Frankston

On April 19 VCAT approved the building of a 14 storey highrise retail and apartment complex at 446-450 Nepean Highway within Precinct 4, “The Promenade”, of the Frankston Metropolitan Activity Centre Structure Plan (FMAC). This is the foreshore and Kananook Creek area. 

Local community groups and others representing Port Phillip Bay and Mornington were dismayed at the decision which they feel will diminish Frankston’s appeal as a bay location as well as negatively impacting the amenity of the area. 

There were a number of concerning findings. 

The first is the precedent being set for future developments in this area. The Tribunal said “the context for this proposal is likely to include future development of a similar scale.”p.24, para 104 (Finding of VCAT permit application number 765/2021 ref. P1750/2022). This means this could be just the first brick in “The Great Wall of Frankston.”

Another concerning finding in relation to amenity was the Tribunal’s reliance on a previous Council assessment of the amenity impacts. They said “Council has already approved a building of similar height and scale and thus considered amenity impacts on the adjoining residential area is acceptable.” Shouldn’t the Tribunal be making their own assessment of the amenity impact of the building based on the FMAC Structure Plan rather than relying on a previous Council decision?

A third concerning finding relates to the visual bulk and height of the building. The Tribunal found the building would be highly visible. Despite this they said the heights and setbacks would not result in an unreasonable visual impact on the adjoining residential area. P.39. To put it another way, this means the Tribunal found it is reasonable to have a highly visible building provided that there are some setbacks. It is still a highly visible building.

The rationale behind the decision is the urgent need for increased housing throughout the state as well as the need to “activate” or reinvigorate Frankston.

With good planning both of these needs could be met without highrise buildings in this valued precinct.

Restricting high rise buildings to Frankston’s core CBD while limiting heights to 3 storeys in Precinct 4, “The Promenade,” would be a win win situation. Views to Port Phillip Bay from the CBD would be preserved while Precinct 4 could remain an area for rest and relaxation with limited restaurants.

A virtual wall of buildings on the beach side of Nepean Highway will make Nepean Highway look like any other major metropolitan road; diminishing Frankston’s coastal appeal.

If you feel strongly about this decision we would appreciate you emailing Sonya Kilkenny, the Minister for Planning and Transport:


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