Nightingale back on track

Photography: Andrew Wuttke

Breathe Architecture’s high profile plans for a second take on The Commons apartment complex could be back on track.

Undeterred by its recent setback and buoyed by a swell of community support, the firm has lodged a new planning application for Nightingale with Moreland City Council. A planning application was submitted for the progressive development in Brunswick, in November 2014. Moreland City Council received 177 letters of support and 3 objections for the proposal. The council approved the first stage of the project; in February 2015, the Moreland City Council Urban Planning Committee voted unanimously to grant a planning permit to Nightingale Florence Street.

Late last year the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) overturned Moreland City Council’s approval. The proposed Nightingale project, adjacent to a train station and bike path, was designed with no car parking spaces, to break away from car-centric culture and to allow the cost of car spaces to be redirected towards social and environmental elements such as the rooftop garden.

Moreland council’s approval for the project was overturned by VCAT in October 2015 after a neighbouring property developer lodged an objection based on the lack of car spaces. Victorian planning laws require one and two bedroom apartments to have at least one car space allocated to them. Councils can waive this requirement, which is what Moreland did in the case of Nightingale and previously, The Commons.

Breathe Architecture’s webpage reads, “This is incredibly disappointing for the Nightingale purchasers, the Nightingale team and the entire Nightingale Model. Contracts of sale for all 20 apartments were signed, a builder had been appointed, and it was full steam ahead for a December 2016 completion date.”

Three days after VCAT overturned the council’s planning permission, Breathe Architecture lodged a new planning application with Moreland City Council with one change to the design; the addition of 3 car spaces accessed off the rear lane. The Nightingale project is expected to be delayed for between 6 and 12 months. Jeremy McCloud, architect at Breathe Architecture, says, ‘We wait anxiously for the City of Moreland to once again support Nightingale and her 32 residents.’
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