Emerald Tower, Brisbane
The building was to be developed on a 1529 square metre site at 555 Queen Street, Ann Street and Clarke Lane by Emerald Developments (Aust) Pty Ltd. The planned residential tower was to contain five-star luxury apartments and penthouses. Emerald Tower would be Brisbane's fifth tallest building if completed. Construction was planned to start at the beginning of 2007.
Proposed in 2002, Emerald tower did not meet with a favourable reaction from Jim Soorely, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane at the time, who was not a proponent of tall buildings. This is despite Emerald, at only 230 metres, not being a tall tower by international standards. The Brisbane City Council, however, were unable to stop the development, as the building complied with all regulations and zoning requirements, and so the Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, asked the state government to stop the project. The Queensland Government agreed, and on 20 July 2004, Queensland Planning Minister Desley Boyle used her powers to take over the assessment process for the development. In 6 October 2004, Minister Boyle refused permission for the construction of Emerald Tower, stating that "Were Emerald Tower to be constructed, I believe it would be in direct conflict with the broad principles identified by the Brisbane City Council as desirable for the State's capital."
Emerald Developments (Aust) Pty Ltd applied to the Supreme Court of Queensland in March 2006 seeking a declaration that Minster Boyle had improperly refused the application. The Chief Justice agreed with the developers and found that the Minister had determined the application by reference to statutorily irrelevant considerations and had overstepped her powers in blocking the project.
The Minister was ordered to reassess the application only against the town plan upon which Emerald was initially found to be in compliance. On 14 June 2006 she refused the application once again. The developers indicated they will appeal this latest decision.
- ^ The Australian, 18 April 2006
- ^ Orient Hotel entry on Queensland Heritage Register
- ^ Release: State considers future of Brisbane's tallest building
- ^ Release: CBD planning controls and Emerald Tower refused
- ^ Towers – a Ministerial Call-in Saga from Deacons.com.au