The Fifth Estate: Impact Investment scores planning approval (with compliments) for Younghusband project

Impact Investment Group has won praise from the City of Melbourne for its plans to create “Victoria’s first carbon and water neutral adaptive reuse precinct”, following planning approval for stage 1 of its Younghusband development in Melbourne.

The stage 1 proposal breezed through the planning approval process with unanimous support from City of Melbourne and no appeals from the community or neighbouring businesses.

City of Melbourne councillor Rohan Leppert said the proposal was “one of, if not the finest planning application, I have had to consider since I was elected five years ago”.

“The amount of work dedicated by the applicant to repurpose this incredibly important heritage building is truly remarkable,” he said.

Located in Kensington, in Melbourne’s inner north-west, the development is set to transform a 100-year-old former woolstore spanning two blocks over 1.5 hectares into a mix of commercial office working spaces, retail and artists’ studios.

IIG hopes to attract “entrepreneurs, artisans, makers and technologists” with a broad range of floor sizes, with the first stage including more than 17,000 square metres of commercial space.

Sustainability will be key to development, with an equivalent five-star NABERS rating to be achieved across the entire project, and Passivhaus principles to be applied to all new builds.

The first stage will involve upgrading the heritage red-brick woolstore, retaining and reusing the existing structure and fabric in a bid to reduce embodied energy.

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PressAmalia Ridwan