Councillors knock back Woolworths’ Elsternwick plans

Councillors knock back Woolworths Elsternwick development

(Image: Glen Eira City Council)

Glen Eira councillors have rejected Woolworths’ proposal for a 14-storey development in Elsternwick for being “excessive” and “overly dominant”.

Woolworths had planned to build a complex featuring a supermarket, as well as 181 residential units, on the site of a former ABC building on Selwyn St.

The plan sought to develop a 10-storey building and a 14-floor tower on site, along with community spaces, basement carparking and a cafe.

Councillors unanimously voted against the planning permit on February 5 after receiving 187 objections from residents and local groups, as well as a petition with 1,787 signatures.

Glen Eira Mayor Cr Jamie Hyams said the proposal didn’t meet the council’s planning scheme requirements despite the site’s suitability for higher-level development.

“The height, form, scale and design detail of the proposed development is excessive and will appear overly dominant from the immediate surrounding streets and in views along Glen Huntly Rd,” he said.

“The design quality of the design does not elevate to the bar of ‘architectural design excellence’ to support such a large development on the land.

“In addition, the relationship of the uses at ground level within the proposed building and the dominance of car use within Selwyn St would significantly compromise the role of this street as a cultural precinct.”

Noise and traffic concerns were also cited. Additionally, the Stop Elsternwick Towers group raised concerns that the new building would overshadow the surrounding area.

Woolworths purchased the site, located at 10-16 Selwyn St, from the ABC for about $45 million in March 2017.

The supermarket chain first submitted its development plans to the council in February 2018 and then amended its proposal in November last year.

The council decision comes amid the redevelopment of the Coles Elsternwick supermarket on Glen Huntly Rd.

The Coles supermarket, which has been closed since late 2017, is set to reopen later this year, as part of a seven-storey mixed-use project.

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