Minister approves $330m Point Lonsdale development

A MAJOR development on the Bellarine Peninsula was last week approved by Planning Minister Justin Madden. The approved amendment and planning permit allow Stockland to commence the Point Lonsdale development, which opponents say will damage the area's sensitive wetlands.

Mr Madden said the combined amendment and planning permit sets additional planning controls for the developer, including an environmental bond to the subdivision complies with the Landscape Plan. The bond will be set at the rate of 120 per cent of final landscaping costs.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Vic Government launches new activity centre tools

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden has launched two new planning tools to help councils develop structure plans for Central Activities Districts (CADs) and other strategic areas.

The Victorian Government's planning document for Melbourne, Melbourne @ 5 Million, identifies 6 CADs – Box Hill, Broadmeadows, Dandenong, Footscray, Frankston and Ringwood. These areas are envisaged to be the focus of a substantial proportion of future employment growth and public investment, similar to the CBD but on a smaller scale.

Speaking at the Local Government Ministerial Forum, Mr Madden said the 'Activity Centres Toolkit: Making It Happen' and revised Structure Planning for Activity Centres Practice Note provides councils with clear guidelines.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

City of Melbourne endorses new MSS

MELBOURNE City Council this week endorsed the proposed municipal strategic statement (MSS) and amendment to the Melbourne Planning Scheme. The amendment will now be submitted to Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden for his authorisation to exhibit for public consultation.

The city's original MSS was introduced in 1999 and reviewed in 2004. City of Melbourne has said that a new MSS is required to respond to changes that have occurred since that time, such as altered demographic, economic, social and environmental landscapes; new state government policies and directions; and new local strategic policies.

Future Melbourne Committee (Planning) Chair, Cr Peter Clarke, said the strategy highlighted the need for new development in areas of the city that were vacant, underutilised and requiring repair and rejuvenation, while maintaining established residential areas.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

$150m Abbotsford development approved

YARRA Council has approved a $150 million development in Victoria Street, Abbotsford at a special meeting of council last night at Richmond Town Hall. Council voted 5 to 3 in favour of the application.

Yarra Mayor Cr Jane Garrett said the Council issued a Notice of Decision to Grant a Planning Permit to the applicant, Hamton JV, for a 586-apartment development at 677-679 Victoria Street, Abbotsford (also known as the Honeywell site).

The subject land is located on the northern side of Victoria Street in Abbotsford and zoned Business 5 (B5Z), which aims to encourage the development of offices or multi-dwelling units with common access from the street. The Yarra River forms the east and north boundary of the site. The site is also the last site in the City of Yarra, with the City of Boroondara located east of the site.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

City of Melbourne to consider new MSS

MELBOURNE City Council will this week consider a new Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) as part of its review of the planning scheme. Councillors will consider the plan at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday 13 April.

The city's original MSS was introduced as part of the planning scheme in 1999 and reviewed in 2004. The Council states that a new MSS is required due to changes that have occurred since that time. These include changed demographic, economic, social and environmental landscapes; the Victorian Government's new strategic directions including Melbourne @ 5 Million and The Victorian Transport Plan; and a number of new strategic policies relevant to the use and development as part of the Future Melbourne Community Plan (2009).

Future Melbourne Committee (Planning) Chair, Cr Peter Clarke, said "we are planning now for the development of our city over the next 20 years and the MSS demonstrates the approach we are taking to secure that vision for Melbourne. The MSS is about well-designed urban renewal, using land efficiently and effectively, about making this city a better place to live for years to come."

Cr Clarke said that while change will occur in some parts of the city, he said that substantial change will happen only in specifically targeted areas. "Other parts, like heritage-protected residential areas are expected to remain relatively stable," Cr Clarke said.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

2009 Victorian Urban Development Program Report released

THE 2009 Urban Development Program (UDP) Annual Report has been released, detailing supply and demand for residential (broadhectare and major redevelopment projects) and industrial land across metropolitan Melbourne and the Geelong Region.

In terms of residential broadhectare land supply, the UDP identified:

  • 201,071 potential lots on residential broadhectare land across metropolitan Melbourne and the Geelong Region;
  • A potential supply of approximately 138,462 broadhectare lots in Melbourne's growth area municipalities, of which 55% (76,001 lots) is Precinct Structure Plan approved; and
  • Future broadhectare lot supply of 48,250 lots in the Geelong Region, of which 23% (11,032 lots) is currently available to allow residential development.

In its analysis of major development supply, the 2009 UDP identified 1,419 redevelopment projects yielding an estimated 106,940 dwellings to be developed in the next 10 years. This consisted of 264 projects currently under construction with an estimated yield of 21,419 dwellings and 54,689 dwellings proposed for development within the next 5 years.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Camberwell railway station development approved by VCAT

THE CONTROVERSIAL application for a mixed-use development of the Camberwell Station precinct has been approved by VCAT. The applicant was CSTP Pty Ltd and the responsible authority was Boroondara Council.
In November 2007, CSTP Pty Ltd, applied to the Council for a permit to construct two buildings comprising dwellings, shops and offices and an open plaza. The Council refused the application on 31 grounds and in June 2008, CSTP Pty Ltd applied to the Tribunal for a review of the Council's decision.

In July last year, VCAT issued an interim decision, stating that while the proposal "represents an acceptable 'in principle' design response to the site's physical and strategic context," a number of issues were identified including setback, station access and internal amenity. The applicant was given the opportunity to prepare amended plans. The Tribunal also stated that "the proposal strikes the correct balance between seemingly conflicting planning scheme objectives."

Whilst the Council and objectors wanted low key and low scale development around Camberwell Station, the applicant believed the site warranted much larger development and the Tribunal agreed, saying that the proposal "responds in a more balanced manner to these policy influences [planning scheme objectives] and also to the cultural and heritage significance of the site."

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Madden approves Southbank development

DAYS after the Planning Minister Justin Madden fast-tracked a $50 million, 30 storey development at Southbank, Mr Madden has announced that he has approved an amendment to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme to allow for a major mixed-use development proposed by Dheeraj & East Coast property company.

The subject site is located at 400-430 City Road, Southbank and the proposal includes three residential towers of up to 39 storeys and consisting of 1274 residential units; a fourth hotel tower with 288 rooms; retail and showroom space; and car and bicycle parking.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Williamstown site controversially rezoned residential

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden late last month announced that he has rezoned the former Port Phillip Woollen Mills site in Nelson Place, Williamstown as residential, in preparation for residential development.

An independent advisory committee will be appointed to recommend planning controls to be applied to the 2.7 hectare site and Mr Madden said the site can "provide much needed housing in a vibrant inner city location."

Mr Madden stated that the rezoning does not endorse any proposal for the site but that it was important to have controls to guide any future development. He said the decision to rezone the site provides certainty about the future for the Woollen Mills site.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Vic Govt reaches agreement with development industry: GAIC still likely

LATE last month, the Victorian Government announced it had reached agreement with the peak development industry bodies on a formula for funding infrastructure within an expanded urban growth boundary, known as the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC).

The GAIC was intended as a charge to fund for infrastructure and services in growth areas. It was to apply to land brought into the UGB from 2005 and zoned for urban development, with the purchaser of the land liable for payment of GAIC when they buy land in the growth areas at a cost of $80,000 or $95,000 per hectare. The GAIC was expected to contribute approximately 15% or $2 billion of the cost of providing infrastructure and services in the growth areas. The defeat of the GAIC in parliament by the Upper House effectively ended the government's plan for urban growth, as outlined in Melbourne @ 5 Million.

The Liberal Party stated that they supported the GAIC in principle, but that they were not prepared to accept the GAIC proposal without changes, including the timing of when the levy was payable.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Vic Govt fast-tracks $50m Southbank residential and retail development

PLANNING Minister Justin Madden last week announced that a $50 million proposed development at Southbank has been fast-tracked.

The subject land is located at 248-252 City Road, Southbank, and the proposal includes a 30-storey building including 207 residential apartment, ground level retail space, a gym, and bicycle and car parking.

Mr Madden said development needs to reflect changing needs and lifestyles and that Melbourne needs to provide a range of housing choices. "Southbank was established as an inner-city neighbourhood with a mix of high-density residential and commercial development," he said.

The proposal has been called in from Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), and if approved, construction will begin mid-2010.

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Conditional planning permit issued for Windsor Hotel

THE CONTROVERSIAL Windsor Hotel development looks likely to proceed, with Planning Minister Justin Madden granting a conditional planning permit for the proposed $200 million refurbishment and redevelopment (on the 18th of March).

Mr Madden said he accepted the recommendation of the independent advisory committee to grant the permit. "The Advisory Committee found that in terms of the permissions required under the Melbourne Planning Scheme there was no reason why a permit should not be granted," Mr Madden said. "In fact it found that without the redevelopment the hotel would only decline and that the expanded hotel required at least 300 rooms to make the refurbishment economically viable."

The restoration and redevelopment would make the Windsor Hotel a 5-star, 332 room hotel and there are four major elements to the proposal:

  • Written by Urbanalyst

Public transport use results in higher activity: report

BUS Association Victoria (BusVic) research has found that people who use public transport in Melbourne get far more exercise compared to people who use private transport, such as cars, motorbikes and taxis.

Analysing data from the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA), BusVic found that people who used public transport on a particular day spent an average of 41 minutes walking and/or cycling as part of their travel. This is over five times more physical activity than those who use only private transport, who on average spend 8 minutes walking or cycling as part of their travel.

In a breakdown of the results, BusVic found that:

  • People who used public transport for some of their journey averaged 41 minutes of walking and/or cycling;
  • People who used public transport for their whole journey averaged 47 minutes of walking and/or cycling;
  • People who used private transport (cars, taxis and/or motorbikes) for their whole journey averaged 8 minutes of walking and/or cycling; and
  • The overall Melbourne average was 15 minutes of walking and/or cycling as part of a travel journey.
  • Written by Urbanalyst

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