Melbourne city planners have warned a rush of skyscrapers in the CBD's north could transform city streets into “canyons”.
Five towers at least 55 storeys high have been recently approved near the top end of the Elizabeth Street.
A 75-storey apartment building by Shanghai developer Jeff Xu is the latest to be planned and would be the tallest skyscraper in the area if built on the north-east corner of Franklin and Elizabeth Street.
The 239-metre tower would become home to 622 new homes, including several of 43-square metre one-bedroom apartments.
Just across the road at 450 Elizabeth Street, planning minister Matthew Guy recently approved a 67-storey building.
Melbourne City Council planners have warned another tower at this intersection would magnify their concerns.
“To replicate this building's form with a taller tower, without any setbacks on the northern side of Franklin Street, would result in a canyon effect that would create an oppressive pedestrian experience,” the council report said.
“This would be further exacerbated if the building form were to be repeated along Franklin and Elizabeth streets.”
The matter will come before the council on Tuesday night, but is unlikely to be entirely without some drama.
The Lord Mayor and his team have declared a conflict of interest because of cash received from developer Jeff Xu during the 2012 election, a donation which still remains under review after allegations it was not properly disclosed by the Doyle team.
The five councillors will dismiss themselves for the vote, leaving the decision whether to officially resist the development to the Labor, Greens and independent councillors, including Cr Ken Ong.
Cr Ong said he would oppose the project in its current form.
“Height is less of a concern than how it treats the street and neighbouring properties,” he said.
Other towers recently approved in the northern corner of the CBD include:
• A 56-storey tower at 23 Therry Street;
• A 71-storey tower at 500 Elizabeth Street, the site of the former Stork Hotel;
• A 67-storey (218 metre) tower at 450 Elizabeth Street;
• A 56-storey tower on the north eastern corner of A'Beckett Street and Elizabeth Street;
• A 55-storey (178 metre) residential tower at 398 Elizabeth Street.