Sunsets Not Skyscrapers petition to reverse Scarborough towers approval

Sunsets Not Skyscrapers members Janet Pettigrew (Right) with Mike and Marilyn Needham, Fran Maloney, Della Cameron, Jason Thwaites and John Kirkman. Photo: Matt Jelonek
Sunsets Not Skyscrapers members Janet Pettigrew (Right) with Mike and Marilyn Needham, Fran Maloney, Della Cameron, Jason Thwaites and John Kirkman. Photo: Matt Jelonek

SUNSETS Not Skyscrapers is renewing efforts to reverse approval of the 3 Oceans towers development in Scarborough.

The group is opposed to creation of the 43-storey and 33-storey development and has collected nearly 900 signatures on a petition requesting Planning Minister Rita Saffioti direct the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority board to rescind approval.

Scarborough MLA Liza Harvey tabled the petition on behalf of the group in State Parliament on Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Robyn Murphy said the group wanted the board to adhere to the 12-storey maximum height limit prescribed in the Scarborough Planning Framework.

“This is particularly unacceptable given we were involved in extensive consultation leading up to the adoption of the Scarborough Master Plan in 2016, which specified height controls for the Scarborough Beach area,” she said.

They are still collecting signatures on a petition to be presented by North Metropolitan MLC Alison Xamon next week and referred to the Environment and Public Affairs Committee.

The group is also seeking access to the minutes of the board’s meetings last December, when the original proposal was refused, and June, when it was supported.

“We want to know what had changed to such an extent that the new board took the extraordinary decision to reverse the previous board’s thorough design review, expert advice and subsequent rejection of the towers as oversized and lacking in design excellence and community benefits,” spokesman Kieran Kelly said.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions about why the new MRA Board abandoned the height limits in the Scarborough Master Plan.

“This planning framework was the result of extensive public consultation, it had community support, and was less than two years old.”

MRA chairman George McCullagh previously said the discretion over additional height was “appropriate” because the proposal aligned with the long-term vision and objectives for Scarborough as set out in the planning scheme.

Mr Kelly said they were also concerned that 3 Oceans’ developer contribution was based on the 12-storey height limit instead of the buildings’ proposed heights, the development did not comply with the affordable housing policy and the project cost had reduced from $450 million to $250 million.