The “Magnolia” a 15 storey apartment tower under construction in Hepburn Road, corner of Short Street will be the highest building in Doncaster when completed later this year. The maximum height of the project is proposed at 46.1 metres above the natural ground level to the highest point.
This proposal 3D Views 20hepburn on Doncaster Hill was lodged with council nearly five years ago when local developer interest had waned somewhat, well before the current crop of overseas developers had arrived on the scene. During this period Council would agree to give special consideration to any developer who was prepared to purchase and consolidate small blocks of land. The previous permit holder had purchased four houses at 20-24 Hepburn Road and 1 Short Street to create a large enough area (3114 m2) to accommodate the development in return council agreed to increase the height of the project
project from the existing 40 metre maximum height to 46.1 metres to “squeeze in” 188 apartments, a density ratio of land area of only 16. 56 m2 per dwelling, a very high density compared to the Pinnacle apartment building in Doncaster Road at approximately 27 m2.
The proposal drew 73 objections from residents in the areas opposite the proposal. Among the grounds were that the proposal should have been located on the main road along side other apartment towers and not in residential areas where it would overlook and overshadow private dwellings protected by a one dwelling restrictive covenant. There would have been far more objections had council’s advertising revealed that Car Stackers would be proposed for the majority of development’s parking requirements. There was plenty of space on the Hepburn Road signage to confirm there would be mechanical parking but instead the extra space was filled in by writing the address of the property twice. (see Hepburn Road sign on the left).
Left hand click on full screen for various Car Stacker models
When Sharon, a resident objector at a council submitter’s meeting, asked why details of the Stacker parking were not mentioned on the block signage, the head of planning replied that there was a planning number on the sign board and if anyone wanted further information they should have gone to the council, quote the number and they could look at the plans during office hours. An “expert” who was employed to give evidence on the function of the mechanical parking said that it took only 20 seconds to store or retrieve a vehicle in the system which was later confirmed as a lie by agents for the manufacturers of the system who confirmed it could take more than two minutes in certain circumstances.
The Manufacturer of the system said;”Please bear in mind that when using electrical gates, a user must also close the gate before driving away. As long as the gate remains open, the machine will not move around, and only the user that opens the gate may close the gate, as a safety measure. So in the event you have two users turn up within the same few minutes, the second user will have to wait a total of 118 seconds, plus the time it takes for the first user to get in their car, drive away. With manual gates, the gate opening and closing times are however long it takes for a user to get out of their car and open the gate”.
Thankfully the new owner of the land would not entertain mechanical parking and changed the plan to include five levels of normal basement parking.”We would only use a mechanical parking system in case where there are site constraints that would preclude normal basement parking”.“Limited mechanical parking might be okay in small commercial buildings but not in high rise residential buildings”. “We were surprised that council would approve their use on a building of this size”
The plan had also been amended when it was revealed the plan did not meet the Metropolitan Fire Brigade regulations regarding evacuation in the case of emergency.