Barangaroo redevelopment officially authorised

AUTHORISATION for the $6 billion contract for commercial development of Barangaroo, Sydney was officially signed this week.

In December, Lend Lease was selected by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority, which manages the redevelopment of Barangaroo on behalf of the NSW Government, as the developer for Stage 1 of Barangaroo.  The project is expected to be completed over the next 10 to 15 years and is reported to be the largest CBD development in the history of Sydney.

The authorisation allows for the execution of the contract between the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Lend Lease, providing Lend Lease with the rights to build commercial, residential, retail, hotel floor space and public domain within the southern part of the precinct.

Lend Lease to acquire Ch 9 Melbourne site for planned residential development

LEND Lease today has entered into a conditional agreement to purchase a three hectare parcel of land in Melbourne with plans for a $400 million residential development.

The site, currently occupied by GTV Channel 9 and located in Richmond, approximately three kilometres east of Melbourne's CBD, was purchased from General Television Corporation Pty Ltd. Channel 9 is scheduled to vacate the site within the next 12 months.

Lend Lease's apartment business, Vivas Lend Lease, is planning a masterplanned residential development on the site with an end value of approximately $400 million.

Lend Lease Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr Steve McCann, said the acquisition is in line with Lend Lease’s strategy of securing prime inner urban sites in the key growth markets of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Vic Government fast-tracks Aldi and Woolworths hardware stores

The Victorian Government has potentially allowed for a reported $191 million worth of retail expansion by fast-tracking new Aldi stores and Woolworths hardware stores in Victoria.

On Monday, Planning Minister Justin Madden announced that the planning assessment for five new Aldi stores and 12 Woolworths large format hardware stores across Victoria would be fast-tracked.

Woolworths entered the $24 billion hardware sector last year with the acquisition of Danks Holdings Limited, a joint venture with American home improvement retailer Lowe's, the second largest home improvement retailer worldwide and the 7th largest retailer in the U.S.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

GAIC defeated in Victorian parliament

The Planning and Environment Amendment (Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution) Bill was defeated in the Victorian Legislative Council yesterday, with 19 votes against and 18 for.

The defeat also means that Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) will not expand as proposed, as the Victorian government has consistently said that such an expansion will not proceed without support of the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC).

Planning Minister Justin Madden's plea failed to win support and as expected, the GAIC was rejected by the upper house.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

NSW release new transport plan; axes CBD Metro

The NSW Government has released a new metropolitan transport plan for Sydney, the Metropolitan Transport Plan: Connecting the City of Cities.

NSW Premier Kristina Keneally on Sunday announced the $50.2 billion plan, which axes the $5 billion CBD Metro, reinstates a northwest rail link and proposes a new express rail service to western Sydney.

The transport plan includes $3.1 billion for new trains, $2.9 billion for additional buses, $225 million for six new ferries, and a $500 million expansion of the current light rail to Sydney's inner west.


NSW Government amends Lower Hunter Regional Strategy: opens way for development

NSW Planning Minister Tony Kelly has revealed that changes have been made to the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy and that the government expects new proposals to be re-lodged for controversial housing developments at Catherine Hill Bay and Huntlee in the "coming months".

Mr Kelly stated that amendments to the Lower Hunter Regional Strategy have removed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that were negotiated with developers, described by the Land and Environment Court as "land bribes". Under the memorandums, the developers agreed to donate conservation land they owned to the state government as part of a deal that would allow them to develop the remaining land. This included 600 houses at Catherine Hill Bay and a $1.8 billion residential development at Huntlee, with nearly 8000 homes.

30 year plan to grow a better, vibrant Adelaide

Premier Mike Rann today launched the final 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide that puts the building blocks in place for economic growth and prosperity for the next three decades.

"The 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide is the most comprehensive planning strategy ever adopted by a State Government," Mr Rann says.

"This plan prepares us to maximise the opportunities provided to our State from the estimated growth in population during the next three decades.

"This isn't a Plan that will sit on a shelf gathering dust. This is a living and breathing document that provides the catalyst for energising developments that will make Adelaide one of the world's great liveable, competitive and climate resilient cities.

Southern Expressway to be duplicated

The South Australian Government on Wednesday announced plans to duplicate and "end the farcical one-way regime of the Southern Expressway" to enable traffic to flow both ways. 

The $445 million project will duplicate the Southern Expressway and include a new interchange at Darlington.

Construction is due to begin at the end of next year and expected to be completed in mid-2014.

The 20 kilometre road was opened in 2001 and allows commuters to travel from the city's southern suburbs in the morning. The direction is reversed in the afternoon to allow traffic to flow from the city to the south.

SA Premier Mike Rann criticised the Southern Expressway  as a "perfect example of an 'interim measure' that was badly planned, poorly designed and hugely expensive to fix," adding that "duplication of this expressway was an inevitable project that this Government has brought forward so that we can integrate our transport infrastructure, without wasting millions on interim measures."

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank receives approval for $105m, 10-storey building

BENDIGO and Adelaide Bank last week received development approval for a $105 million 10-storey green-star office building on Hindmarsh Square.

The building, designed by Hassell, was approved by the State Government's Development Assessment Commission last Thursday.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank project director Stella Thredgold said that while internal approval is still pending, the development approval was a major milestone for the company. A final decision on the construction of the new headquarters should be made by the end of March, with the building expected to be completed by 2012.

When complete, the new building will consolidate the company's three separate Adelaide offices and be home to 900 employees.

Two towers planned for Darwin city

A CONSORTIUM wants to build two 24-storey residential and commercial buildings on the edge of Darwin city centre, creating a total of 120 homes, as well as offices and shops.

The project, reported to cost up to $80 million, is being developed by a new consortium called JJH Developments.

The proposed site for the development is the old railway corridor running below McMinn Street to the Daly Street bridge, on the edge of Darwin's city centre.

Approval for Campsie residential redevelopment

The NSW Government yesterday announced approval of the first stage of a large residential redevelopment of the former Sumbeam and Victa factories at Campsie, located southwest of Sydney.

Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the first stage of the Clemton Park Village project would be completed by the end of 2011. The approval allows demolition of existing buildings, subdivision and construction of the first stage, which consists of a 58-unit development and childcare facility.

It was stated by Mr Kelly that a further four stages will be submitted to Canterbury Council for approval.

Mr Kelly said that at completion, expected by the end of 2015, the site would allow for 550 units, 50 high-care beds in a residential aged care facility, and 4,415 square metres of retail area.

Three Sydney landmarks receive State heritage protection

THE NSW Government this week announced that three Sydney landmarks – the Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Town Hall and Luna Park – were listed on the State Heritage Register.

Premier Kristina Keneally, Planning Minister Tony Kelly and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore made the announcement at Sydney's Town Hall on Tuesday.

At the announcement, Ms Keneally said that the "three sites embody the history and identity of Australia's global city" and that the State heritage listing "will also ensure that they are protected and can be enjoyed for generations to come." Ms Keneally added that "it is impossible to think about Sydney without these three landmarks."

Melbourne City Council endorses Swanston Street plan

MELBOURNE City Council's Future Melbourne Committee this month endorsed the Swanston Street redevelopment design concept and approved the commencement of Stage One, which will see a new civic space incorporating a platform tram stop constructed in front of the State Library Victoria, between Little Lonsdale and La Trobe Streets.

A further report will be presented to Councillors prior to Stage Two work commencing in mid 2011. That report will respond to any further issues that impact on specific stakeholders including trams, delivery and service vehicles, taxis, buses, horse drawn vehicles, as well as retaining Swanston Street as a key parade street.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Late-night entertainment plan to make Melbourne vibrant, safer

MELBOURNE City Council last week approved a funding boost to promote late-night entertainment in the city.

The Council is investing up to $117,000 to broaden the scope of late-night entertainment on offer in the city, which will enable major arts festivals to trial late-night programming that is hoped will broaden the number of arts events on offer and activate Melbourne into a vibrant 24-hour city.

Festivals to receive additional funding for late-night programming are the International Comedy Festival, International Jazz Festival, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

2009 Victorian bushfires: spotlight on planning and building regulations

THE Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission this month turned its attention to planning, building and fuel-management practices in the lead-up to Black Saturday.

Among the topics already discussed were the inadequacy and lack of implementation of the Wildfire Management Overlay (WMO), vegetation control and that too many people were living close to the bush.

Counsel assisting the commission, Melinda Richards, stated that "the importance of land use planning as a bushfire risk mitigation measure has been recognised for some time."

Ms Richards said on Monday 8th February that "over the next 60 hearing days the evidence will focus on how land use planning in Victoria deals with bushfire risk mitigation, how well that has occurred and is occurring, whether there are aspects of the way in which the Victorian land use planning system addresses bushfire risk that could be improved and, if so, how."

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Planning system reforms are undemocratic and lack justification: MAV

Proposed changes to the Planning and Environment Act threaten to remove community involvement and add uncertainty and cost to Victoria's planning system, warns a Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) submission.

Cr Bill McArthur, MAV President said local government supported the need to continually improve the planning system - particularly with the challenges of a growing population and current economic downturn - but not at the expense of good planning outcomes or democratic involvement.

"Communities should be concerned. The erosion of council roles in the planning system means less community input to the decision-making process.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Sydney requires integrated transport body to make plans and take charge: SMH

"AN integrated body is needed to make plans and take charge. No matter how visionary a transport plan may be, it will succeed only if it is supported by a strong management structure committed to its long-term implementation."

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) this week advocated for an integrated and strong governance structure for transport, in order to secure appropriate funding and resources, resist short-term political considerations and to effectively manage the whole public transport system.

The article states that without such a governance structure, it is likely that any plan will fail. As evidence of such failures, the article cites the fact that since the 1940s, at least six major public transport plans have been announced for Sydney, while only "a fraction of the promises were honoured."

New trains for Melbourne stalled

NEW trains for Melbourne's metropolitan rail system have been delayed, with the first new train that was introduced for service last December still not in operation.

The new trains, which were a feature of the $38 billion 2008 Victoria Transport Plan, have not yet begun regular operation.  Under the plan, the Brumby Government ordered 38 X'trapolis trains (18 were already ordered prior to the plan, 20 were ordered as part of the plan), with new trains scheduled to be added to the rail system every month this year.

In December last year, Acting Premier Rob Hulls and then Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky joined passengers on the 10.13am Glen Waverley service to mark the first day of the new train's service.  But that same day, the train was sent back to the workshop with problems including issues with its electronic communications and digital display units. It has since remained out of service.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Brisbane's first 24-hour bus service due next month

BRISBANE'S first 24-hour bus service, the CityGlider, will start next month to coincide with the opening of the Clem7 tunnel, according to the Brisbane Times.

The first CityGilder bus stops are to be built shortly, with buses to run in a loop between West End, South Bank, the CBD, Fortitude Valley and Newstead. It is expected the service will have frequency of 5 minutes during peak times and 15 minutes at other times.

The 24-hour CityGlider service was announced as part of last year's council budget and is estimated to cost $4.5 million a year.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Queensland

Secretly constructed 'castle' ordered to be demolished (UK)

THE High Court has ruled that a castle-style home must be demolished after the owner failed to obtain planning permission, instead concealing the 'castle' behind straw bales and tarpaulin.

Robert Fidler, 61, who built his mock Tudor castle, hiding it during construction and for some time afterwards behind straw bales and a tarpaulin, this week lost a high court battle to prevent its demolition. The 4 bedroom home, located in Surrey, about 64 kilometres south of London, includes ramparts, turrets and cannons.

Planning authorities found out about the unauthorised structure in 2006, after Mr Fidler and his family had already spent four years living there. Mr Fidler was issued an enforcement notice in March 2007 requiring the castle's demolition on grounds he had erected it without planning permission.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: World

Swim at the Yarra? Pool and fitness centre idea floated

AN outdoor pool may be built on the banks of the Yarra River, according to The Age today.

A consortium called Birrarung Pools and Melbourne Lifeform Development said in a statement that it was "exploring the feasibility of establishing a special-purpose community pool and aquatic and fitness centre adjacent to the Yarra River."

"The multi-use facility comprising swim, gym and bike pursuits would occupy a site on the banks of the Yarra River near to and west of the popular Melbourne Aquarium" said that statement, adding it would incorporate "world-leading environmental standards."

The Age states that the consortium includes architects, engineers, environmental consultants and sports administrators.

The consortium has said that it has received positive support from a number of "major enterprises in the city," and that copies of the scheme have been submitted to both Melbourne City Council and the State Government.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Victoria

Brisbane's first toll road set to open in March

BRISBANE'S first inner-city toll road, the Clem Jones Tunnel (Clem7), is set to open as early as March, with the operator of the toll road, Rivercity Motorway, announcing to the ASX on Monday that it has received "20 business days notice" from the builder Leighton Contractors and Baulderstone Bilfinger Berger Joint Venture.

While the building completion date is less than 20 business days away, an independent verifier of the project will have up to three weeks from the completion date to formally certify that the toll road and tolling system are ready for the tunnel to open.

The Brisbane Times reports that Lord Mayor Campbell Newman has confirmed that the toll road will open to traffic early next month (March). Car drivers will be charged a $4.28 toll per journey toll to use the tunnel.

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Queensland

December 2009 building approvals increase: Tas and Vic lead the way

BUILDING approvals in Australia grew by a seasonally adjusted 2.2 per cent in December 2009, and by 53.3 per cent compared to December 2008 figures, according to data released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Seasonally adjusted, nearly $8 billion worth of building was approved in December.

Victoria (+4.6%), Queensland (+2.2%) South Australia (+0.5%) and Western Australian (+3.3%) recorded more private sector house approvals this month according to the ABS. New South Wales recorded a slight decrease (-0.3%) in private sector house approvals. There was no seasonally adjusted data available for Northern Territory and ACT.

Overall, all states except New South Wales (-12.7%) achieved gains in the number of total dwelling units approved. Seasonally adjusted data shows that Tasmania recorded growth of 21.7 per cent in December, Victoria (+11.1%), Queensland (+4.0%), Western Australia (1.3%) and South Australia (0.1%).

  • Written by Urbanalyst
  • Category: Australia

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