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Little’s Ilk win means big lift to Forrest Hill

Philip Hopkins
29th September 2010

DEVELOPER Paul Little has won the battle against a rival developer to build his $200 million Ilk project in South Yarra, giving the suburb’s growing Forrest Hill precinct a big lift.

Planning Minister Justin Madden yesterday approved a planning permit for Ilk, a 345-apartment project at 227 Toorak Road. Mr Madden had called in the project after a neighbouring developer – a joint venture between APN and the Palin family – lodged an objection to Ilk, alleging it interfered with the views from its proposed Capitol project at the corner of Chapel Street and Toorak Road. Mr Madden said the council had supported the development before one objection was lodged at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The VCAT hearing was called in, submissions were heard from all parties to the VCAT hearing and a recommendation was made to the Governor-in-Council, Mr Madden said. Ilk is a 25-storey development in the Forrest Hill precinct, an area bounded by Toorak Road on the south, Chapel Street on the east, South Yarra station on the west and Melbourne High School on the north. ”The Forrest Hill precinct is an important part of the South Yarra activity centre in inner Melbourne identified for regeneration to accommodate more intensive development,” Mr Madden said.

More than 20 separate projects totalling almost $2 billion – shops, offices, hotels and apartments – are set to turn the area into a mini-city or village within the upmarket suburb. It will have thousands of office workers and residents. The location, next to the South Yarra railway station, near major tram routes and close to arterial roads and the Monash Freeway, makes Forrest Hill – named after explorer Lieutenant Charles Forrest, who bought land there in 1840 – a showpiece for Melbourne’s urban consolidation. Stonnington City, which identified the precinct as a ”preferred activity zone”, plans urban beautification works.

Ilk includes ground-floor retail, a health spa, and car and bicycle parking. There will be a roof garden with landscaped courts, barbecues, a communal/dining area and a cinema room. Construction is due to start early next year.

Mr Little’s company, Little Projects, has several developments. These include a $70 million, 10-storey apartment block in Bay Street, Port Melbourne; a $100 million development of the former Tip Top Bakery site in East Brunswick; Halo Apartments, a 160-apartment joint venture with Macquarie Real Estate at 161 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda; and a luxury, 48-apartment block at Wattle Road, Hawthorn. There is also a 220-lot subdivision, Amberley, at Pakenham, which is a third sold

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