Planning extension for ‘eyesore’ site

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Sign of demolition: Wreckers move in to demolish the former Ambassador Hotel function centre earlier this year. Picture: Gary Sissons

Sign of demolition: Wreckers move in to demolish the former Ambassador Hotel function centre earlier this year. Picture: Gary Sissons

LONG-RUNNING attempts to redevelop the site of the former Ambassador Hotel function centre are set to run for at least another couple of years.

Councillors at this month’s public council meeting last Monday (8 August) unanimously voted to allow a further extension until March next year.

A planning permit to build a four-storey apartment complex at the 325 Nepean Hwy, Frankston site after previous owners were unable to begin construction had lapsed.

Planning consultant Richard Umbers, on behalf of mortgagee Jack Gringlas of the Jadig Group, asked councillors for an extension of time on the planning permit so the land can be sold to a new developer.

“While there are purchasers showing strong interest in the land they will not enter into a contract of sale to purchase the land until the planning permit has been extended for a further two years,” he said at the council meeting.

Mr Umbers told council Mr Gringlas had spent $345,000 demolishing the Ambassador function centre in February, despite having no legal obligation to do so, as a goodwill way to demonstrate he is committed to the site’s sale and redevelopment.

The demolition had stopped “anti-social and criminal activities by illegal occupiers”, according to Mr Umbers.

Councillors praised Mr Gringlas for demolishing the building and backed the extension of the planning permit but did not it will continue to be “an eyesore” until it is developed.

Council stipulated the building of the apartment complex must begin by January 2018.      

First published in the Frankston Times – 15 August 2016

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