Government blocks Hotel Windsor’s $330m revamp

The Victorian Government has killed off plans for a $330 million redevelopment of Melbourne’s historic Hotel Windsor.

The Andrews Government has refused to grant a permit extension to the hotel’s developers, who need to finish the works by March next year, which is unlikely.

The hotel’s owners, the Halim Group, were planning to demolish part of the Spring Street hotel and build a 26-storey luxury hotel at the rear of the building, asking for a permit extension until August 2023.

But Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the developers had failed to secure finance or shown a “real willingness” to start construction.

“The developers have failed to secure finance or show a real willingness to get construction started despite having nine years to do so,” Wynne said.

The Halim Group’s proposed 26-storey hotel is almost 92m high and nearly 52m taller than the current 25m mandatory height control on Spring Street and the 40m height limit at the rear in Windsor Place.

“If the same application for development was brought to me today, I would have to reject it immediately — planning rules and community expectations have changed,” Wynne said.