VCAT has overturned Moonee Valley Council's refusal of Oz Property Group's 21 storey mixed use tower.

DEVELOPERS of a controversial 21-storey tower proposal in Flemington want to get the project under way ­almost six years since plans were first submitted.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal overturned Moonee Valley Council’s refusal to allow 300 apartments at 1 Ascot Vale Rd after the developer applied to increase the number from the approved 219.

The building will remain at 21 storeys, with the number of three-bedroom and serviced apartments ­reduced and the number of one-bedroom apartments ­increased.

The council refused the proposal in August because of its impact on traffic, car parking and infrastructure and it argued the scale was inappropriate for the former Racecourse Hotel site.

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Oz Property Group director Raghav Goel said while a sales launch was still months away, they were keen to progress the project after years of delay.

“The idea is not to waste any more time and hit the ground running as soon as possible, with most of the planning issues now out of the way,” Mr Goel said.

He said the increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic with an additional 81 apartments would be “negligible” compared to the 219 apartments.

Residents and the council have led a long campaign against the project, which was first submitted to the council in 2008 as a 27-storey building.

The plan, which was ­altered several times, was approved at 21-storeys and 219 dwellings at VCAT in 2010.
Cr Nicole Marshall said the decision was a disappointing result for residents, who believed their concerns about the traffic implications around the notorious roundabout at Epsom, Ascot Vale and Racecourse roads had been ignored.

Mr Goel acknowledged there was community ­resentment about the proposal but believed it would “activate the area” with a convenience store, restaurant, cafe and employment opportunities in their serviced apartments.

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