Scarborough: MRA says 12-storey contribution rate for ‘twin towers’ was “fairest method”

The Scarborough site for the approved 3 Oceans development.
The Scarborough site for the approved 3 Oceans development.

THE Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority says basing 3 Oceans’ developer contribution rate on the 12-storey height limit for the Scarborough area was the “fairest method”.

As part of approval of the Iconic Scarborough skyscrapers, the Chinese developer’s contribution payment is $734,366.

This is based on the maximum permitted base height of 12 storeys for the Scarborough redevelopment area and estimated development site area of 7276sq m.

If calculated by the building’s approved tallest tower of 43 storeys the required contribution would be $2.63 million and $4.65 million if based on the two towers combined height of 76 storeys.

An MRA spokeswoman said the rate was linked to the development potential of a site and not directly related to the actual height of a proposal.

“The decision to base the rate on the base height limit was considered to provide the fairest method for levying contributions across the redevelopment area in its entirety,” she said.

Developer contributions are designed to help the City of Stirling and MRA deliver infrastructure upgrades in the area.

But 3 Oceans is also required to fund “all road upgrades required for the development to integrate with the surrounding road, cycle and footpath network”.

MORE: Residents question Stirling mayor’s support for Scarborough ‘twin towers’

Amid growing noise from locals concerned about the development’s height, the MRA stressed the revised plans represented a “meaningful reduction in scale”.

As part of mediation, it recommended the floor space align with the yield of a compliant 18-storey development and though it was 4000sq m greater than this, a report by the MRA said it represented only a 7 per cent excess and was a 13 per cent reduction from the original proposal.

“The developer has chosen to deliver an almost equivalent yield to that of an 18-storey development, but in a taller, more slender development outcome with the amount of parking proposed is considered consistent with master plan expectations,” a spokeswoman said.

MRA chairman George McCullagh said in approving the development, the board acknowledged Scarborough’s role as an activity centre under the State’s planning framework and noted the site was earmarked for significant development in the Scarborough Master Plan, “presenting a unique development opportunity”.

“The MRA employs an outcomes-based planning approach with each development application assessed on its individual merits in the context of the surrounding amenity, community sentiment and strategic value of the location,” he said.

The MRA did not answer specific questions about whether it had suggested a design of 18 storeys or less during mediation with 3 Oceans and why the community benefits could not be achieved at a lower height.