Court to decide fate of controversial plan for St. Kilda Triangle
The St. Kilda foreshore is a much-loved area of the City of Port Phillip and Greater Melbourne. The area features six hectares of verdant gardens with three avenues of palm trees that frame the nearby Port Philip Bay. But that vista will change forever if the $300 million project being proposed by Sydney developer Citta Property Group for a nearby site goes ahead.
Citta’s plan, which calls for 180 shops, a 90-room hotel, cinemas and a hospitality precinct that accommodates 8000 people and 1200 cars, will take up 85% of the St. Kilda Triangle site. Opponents say that such a plan is at odds with the definition of a “public purpose” and an “inappropriate use of Crown land”. Those opposed to the plan now number nearly 7000 and the City is bombarded with resident and bidders alike who are crying foul. One of those bidders, Linfox Property chief Andrew Fox is reported in the local newspaper as saying his firm was locked out of the bidding process. But Port Phillip Council chief executive David Spokes said, “Clearly losing bidders are always disappointed”. He added that he “categorically rejects the suggestion that the community has not been consulted.
Opponents of the plan are mounting a last ditch Supreme Court legal challenge in the hope of sinking the project altogether.