Mulpha takes S’pore firm to court in Sydney

MELBOURNE: Mulpha International Bhd is suing Singapore’s Stamford Land Corp Ltd in a Sydney court today over the redevelopment of the Sir Stamford Hotel at Sydney’s Circular Quay.

Stamford Land plans to transform the hotel into an A$400 million (RM1.21 billion) apartment block, but battle lines have been drawn over how planning and heritage authorities have handled the project, The Australian newspaper reported.

Mulpha, headed by executive chairman Lee Seng Huang, who took over the reins from his billionaire father Lee Ming Tee, is suing Stamford Land, controlled by Singaporean tycoon CK Ow, over plans to convert the Sir Stamford, with the building set to double in height.

Mulpha owns the InterContinental Sydney and adjoining Transport House, which sits behind the Sir Stamford.

The demolition of the Sir Stamford and its replacement with a 19-floor tower would affect the view from the InterContinental, including that of the Opera House.

Mulpha alleges that not only did the New State Wales Heritage Council misinterpret large sections of local planning controls, but also the City of Sydney did not forward all negative public submissions about the proposal to the Heritage Council.

According to the newspaper, planning controls call for a 35m to 45m building overlooking the Botanic Gardens, with the tower set back by 10m.

Stamford wants the building to rise 22.5m along the street line, and is arguing for a smaller set-back, in parts of only 6.2m, according to a report prepared by urban planning firm Architectus for the Heritage Council.

The project has yet to receive council approval, but the City of Sydney found the set-back was “appropriate” and referred the proposal to the Heritage Council, which was “prepared to issue an approval”, according to the summons. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 27, 2014.


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