Controversial development on 'Honeywell' site in Abbotsford approved by VCAT

THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) last month approved a controversial $150 million development on the 'Honeywell' site in Victoria Street, Abbotsford. Yarra City Council had approved the application in April however a number of parties applied for a review of this decision at VCAT.

The proposal involves two planning permit applications for a significant redevelopment of the site. The two existing office buildings are to be replaced with a mixed-use development, consisting primarily of residential development. The second application concerned external works (such as a pontoon, landscaping works and connections to the Capital City Trail).

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Woolworths' hardware expansion receives boost

WOOLWORTHS' expansion into the hardware sector has moved ahead, following the approval of ten home improvement stores in Victoria by Planning Minister Justin Madden last month. The ten stores will be located in Melbourne and Ballarat.

Mr Madden said he had received the advice of the Independent Advisory Committee and approved planning permits for six of the developments and amended the relevant planning schemes to facilitate the other four proposals.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

$326m wind farm approved at Ararat

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden last month approved two planning permits for the use and development of a $326 million wind energy facility north-east of Ararat that will include up to 75 wind turbines.

Mr Madden said the Ararat Wind Energy Facility (WEF) will be capable of producing up to 247.5 megawatts of electricity, enough power for over 135,000 homes. The turbines will be located 9 to 17 kilometres north-east of Ararat on both sides of the Pyrenees Highway. 70 are within the Ararat Rural City and five within the Northern Grampians Shire.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Victorian Government unveils concept designs for $350m development at Footscray

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden last month unveiled concept designs for a $350 million mixed-use development to be built at McNab Avenue, Footscray, that will provide office, retail and residential uses.

The 1.3 hectare site adjacent to Footscray station will include government office space, new housing, student accommodation, and other community uses. The development is to be undertaken by Grocon, following an expression of interest process. Tenants in the new development will include the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Department of Justice, City West Water and State Trustees.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Victorian Government partially approves Stockyard Hill Wind Farm

A LARGE wind farm west of Ballarat has been granted planning approval, with Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden last month approving three permits for 157 turbines for the $1 billion Stockyard Hill Wind Farm.

The original application was for 242 turbines but planning permission for 85 wind turbines was refused due to the impact on the nearby Brolga bird population and the neighbouring historic Mawallock homestead.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Campbellfield to be home to Australia's largest IKEA

IKEA is set to expand its presence in Victoria, following Planning Minister Justin Madden's decision last month to approve a planning permit and rezoning of the Pipeworks Markets site in Campbellfield.

Once complete, the 41,000 square metre development will be home to Australia's largest IKEA. Mr Madden said the project would provide a $170 million boost to the local economy and create up to 400 ongoing jobs and 700 construction jobs.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Shaw River Power Station set to proceed

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden earlier this month released the independent assessment of the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and approved a planning scheme amendment to allow the Shaw River Power Station to proceed.

The Shaw River Power Station comprises a 1,500 megawatt gas-fired power station and will be located near Orford, in Victoria's south-west. The project also includes a 100 kilometre high-pressure gas pipeline from Port Campbell.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

No EES required for Section 1 of Regional Rail Link

VICTORIAN Planning Minister Justin Madden last week announced that an Environment Effects Statement (EES) will not be required for Section 1 of the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link project, subject to conditions being satisfied.

Section 1 of the Regional Rail Link project is from Moonee Ponds Creek in West Melbourne to Deer Park. Mr Madden said the proposed alignment for the rail project minimised the environmental effects of the project and was generally contained within the existing rail corridor.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

New bushfire guide released to help owners retrofit existing homes

A NEW guide to help over 470,000 homeowners in high bushfire risk areas retrofit existing homes was launched by Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden last week.

The guide has been developed by the Building Commission and CFA in consultation with fire specialists to help people improve their preparedness using the six Bushfire Attack Levels (BALs) as a benchmark.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Victorian Government approves half of Mortlake Windfarm proposal

PLANNING Justin Madden today announced the approval of a planning permit for the partial development of the Mortlake Windfarm. The Minister approved just over half of the proposed wind turbines to protect the nearby Brolga bird population.

The application was for a total of 97 generators in two clusters at Mortlake East and Mortlake South. The approval was for 51 wind turbines at Mortlake South, which will have a production capacity of 72 megawatts of energy per year.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Committee releases critical report on public housing in Victoria

VICTORIA'S Family and Community Development Committee has released its report investigating public housing in Victoria, the Inquiry into the Adequacy and Future Directions of Public Housing in Victoria.

The report, over 400 pages in length, states that decades of underinvestment and decreasing stock levels have contributed to the current gap between supply and demand.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

$75m Australian Catholic University expansion gets approval

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden yesterday announced that approval has been granted for a new National Centre for Health and Wellbeing at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Fitzroy.

The $75 million, nine-storey development will include lecture theatres, classrooms, staff areas, nursing laboratories, a gymnasium, café and bookshop and a rooftop garden, and will accommodate 2,000 students and 500 staff.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

The Melbourne Metropolitan Apartment Market - Sept Quarter 2010

ELEVATED activity levels in the metropolitan Melbourne apartment market have been widely documented in the electronic and print media in recent months.

On the demand side, overseas investors appear to be underpinning a number of sub-markets, delivering healthy 'off the plan' sales; notably, inner Melbourne encompassing the municipalities of Melbourne, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra.

Foreign investors are pre-disposed to higher density living and favour proximity to a Central Business District (CBD).

  • Written by Andrew Perkins

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