Victoria

Victorian Government releases 'refreshed' Plan Melbourne and unveils proposed changes to residential zones

THE Victorian Government last week released the 'refreshed' Plan Melbourne, which aims to guide the growth of Melbourne for the next 35 years and provide a strategy for supporting jobs, housing and transport.

The plan includes 9 principles to guide policies and actions, 7 outcomes to strive for in creating a competitive, liveable and sustainable city, 32 directions outlining how these outcomes will be achieved and 90 policies detailing how these directions will be turned into action.

As part of the plan, population and housing growth will be kept within the existing urban growth boundary by the development of growth areas and the selective redevelopment of underutilised areas within existing communities.

With the city's population expected to reach almost 8 million by 2050, the plan reinforces the principle of '20-minute neighbourhoods' where residents may still commute out of their area for work but most of their daily needs will be a short walk, bike ride or public transport trip away.

Other key policies include:

  • Support the central city to become Australia's largest commercial and residential centre by 2050.
  • Plan for the redevelopment of major urban renewal precincts in and around the central city to deliver high-quality, distinct and diverse neighbourhoods offering a mix of uses.
  • Facilitate the development of national employment and innovation clusters.
  • Facilitate an increased percentage of new housing in established areas.
  • Plan for and define expected housing needs across Melbourne's regions.
  • Streamline decision-making processes for social housing proposals.
  • Create ways to capture and share value uplift from rezonings.
  • Support streamlined approval processes in defined locations.
  • Create a metro-style rail system with 'turn up and go' frequency and reliability.
  • Promote urban design excellence in every aspect of the built environment.
  • Improve neighbourhoods to enable walking and cycling as a part of daily life.
  • Require climate change risks to be considered in infrastructure planning.
Plan Melbourne 2017-2050

To support the implementation of Plan Melbourne, Mr Wynne also announced proposed changes to residential zones that would remove the cap on how many dwellings can be built on a lot, but introduce new requirements including a mandatory percentage of garden space.

The proposed changes follow a review of the implementation and application of the new residential zones that were introduced in 2013. The review found the zones had been implemented in an inconsistent manner across Melbourne.

Under the proposed garden space rules, lots between 400-500 square metres require a 25 per cent minimum garden area, lots between 501-600 metres need 30 per cent, and lots larger than 650 square metres must have a 35 per cent garden area.

More information is available from the Plan Melbourne website at <http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au/>.

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