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Samma Group wins approval for Camberwell Junction tower


Almost 13 years after a development proposal in leafy Camberwell sparked a popular uprising led by renowned thespians Geoffrey Rush and Barry Humphries, another apartment tower on Burke Road has been given the green light.

A 12-storey building above three levels of basement car parking will go ahead next to the elliptical glass Aerial buildings on Camberwell Junction, after winning approval following a legal battle in Victoria’s planning tribunal.

Another building will go up next to Aerial Apartments in Camberwell Junction. Another building will go up next to Aerial Apartments in Camberwell Junction. Photo: Tim Doutre

Stiff opposition from the local council and residents failed to stop the tower.

More  than a decade ago, Camberwell was the site of a long-running and successful protest against government rail authority VicTrack’s efforts to push through a large development next to Camberwell Station.

The VicTrack proposal, 400 metres up the road from the new tower, was finally ditched in 2012 after a  residents waged a tireless campaign from 2004 onwards with the help of Rush and Humphries.

Melbourne-based development outfit Samma Group is behind the new proposal.

Samma controls Spec Property and several other development, construction and design businesses in Australia and Malaysia.

The 12-storey building at 699 Burke Road, a stone’s throw from the Junction, will include a ground floor cafe and forty-five dwellings.

ASX-listed Aveo Group’s (formerly FKP Property Group) 14-storey $150 million Aerial apartment complex next door was completed in 2012.

The local council initially refused the application because of excessive height, visual mass, design, non-compliance with policy, overdevelopment, car parking, internal amenity, overlooking and inefficient waste management systems.

It received 10 objections, including one from Aerial apartment’s body corporate.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed concerns about the building.

“We find this proposal is a well-considered response to the adjoining Aerial building in terms of its materials, forms, setbacks and height and it will comfortably fit into the Burke Road streetscape,” the tribunal stated.

Camberwell Junction is likely to see a further onslaught of development proposals despite local developers Antony Quinert, Paul Tuddenham and Magnus Floden recently being sent back to the drawing board after their plans for two large towers up to 12-storeys on the corner of Monteath Avenue and Camberwell Road were rejected by the tribunal.


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