Victoria

New Southbank Structure Plan proposed

Melbourne City Council will next week consider a new structure plan for Southbank, with the Council calling it the "most significant overhaul" in Southbank's 30 year history.

The Draft Southbank Structure Plan 2010 will be considered at Council's Future Melbourne Committee on Tuesday 11 May. It proposes new zoning and development controls to improve street level amenity, initiatives to improve walking and cycling and the establishment of new community centres.

Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee Chair, Cr Peter Clarke, said the plan provided a roadmap for Southbank's rejuvenation over the next three decades, taking into account the needs of Melbourne's growing population.

"Southbank is already on a path of significant growth in its resident and worker populations. The Southbank Structure Plan shows how to accommodate this growth through good urban planning and design in order to boost the liveability, prosperity and sustainability of the area," Cr Clarke said.

The Council has developed eight objectives to shape the future of Southbank. These include: connection and integration with the central city and Yarra River; improvement of the public realm; and attractive, connected and permeable streetscapes. One of the most ambitious objectives is to deck the CityLink tunnel, to allow for better integration of Southbank.

The Structure Plan proposes changing to zoning to Capital City Zone in order to allow for "complementary land uses" and recognise Southbank's role as part of the central city. New planning guidelines will consider an individual building's impact on the overall streetscape as well as environmental standards.

The plan proposes the establishment of three local activity centres in Southbank that will feature community, commercial, retail and residential facilities and services. The local activity centres are proposed to be located at City Road (focused around the former Boyd School site), along Sturt Street and a long-term proposal to cover and develop over the entrance of the City Link tunnel.

Work on the former City Road local activity centre will commence this year and is expected to continue for four years. The project will include refurbishment of the heritage school building for community facilities, construction of a 30-storey residential and a commercial complex with shops.  Community facilities will include a library, maternal and child health services, artists' studios and an urban park area. Cr Clarke said the project "will bring in vital services and help inject new life and economy into the precinct."

The plan projects Southbank will have the capacity to cater for 74,000 residents in 2040 and beyond, as well as 56,000 workers.

Council's Future Melbourne Committee will be asked to approve a six week community engagement process for Southbank. It is scheduled to commence on Wednesday 12 May. Following public consultation, a final plan will be developed which will then become an endorsed City of Melbourne policy.

Further information on the Southbank Structure Plan is available from the City of Melbourne's website at <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/southbank>.

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