VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne recently released the Victorian Planning Authority's 2017-18 Statement of Expectations, which outlines all planning projects that the Minister expects the Authority to work on throughout the current financial year.
The Statement is updated on an annual basis to reflect Victorian Government policies and public priorities, including the recently-released Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 and Homes for Victorians documents that seek to help shape Victoria's approach to managing strong population growth.
One key feature of this year's statement is an increased focus on planning for strategic development sites – areas in inner and middle-ring Melbourne identified for urban renewal – to help deliver on Plan Melbourne's target for 70 per cent of new housing to be created in already established suburbs.
In a statement last week, VPA Chief Executive, Stuart Moseley, said the Authority has a key role to play, primarily by supporting the redevelopment of designated sites and areas.
"Many of these are close to jobs, transport and facilities and renewal has huge potential to create vibrant, walkable, mixed-use communities. The VPA is committed to working with all parties in these areas to enable quality development outcomes," Mr Moseley said.
The Minister has also directed the VPA to prepare precinct structure plans (PSPs) for 17 new communities in Melbourne's growth areas. This program, announced earlier this year, will result in enough zoned land for an additional 100,000 housing lots.
The VPA will also have a greater emphasis on assisting in the regions, working on projects in Shepparton, Wodonga and Bendigo.
The 'Streamlining for Growth Program' is continuing, which provides grants to councils for projects that result in new housing, jobs and infrastructure. Of the program's $4 million annual budget, half has been allocated to regional councils to help plan for the growth of Victoria's regional cities and towns.
Some of the new projects in the 2017-18 plan include:
Defence Site Maribyrnong
The VPA is working closely with the Commonwealth and the City of Maribyrnong to progress a planning framework that will facilitate the redevelopment of Defence Site Maribyrnong. The location of this site and its historical use by the Department of Defence present some key considerations for future development, particularly in relation to land contamination, transport access, heritage and the Maribyrnong River interface. Notwithstanding these considerations, the site represents a major strategic redevelopment opportunity.
Caulfield Station Precinct
The VPA is leading the preparation of a structure plan for the Caulfield Station Precinct in collaboration with Glen Eira and Stonnington councils. Several key activities attract workers, residents and visitors to the area including Monash University's Caulfield campus, Caulfield Racecourse, Glen Eira College, retail outlets, parks and recreational areas. The structure plan will promote transit-orientated development and identify opportunities for growth in employment, education, housing and associated activities. We will also work with the Melbourne Racing Club and our government partners to seek to unlock future shared recreational use of racecourse land.
The VPA will be reviewing the current planning controls for the Preston market site and updating them where necessary. This review will offer the opportunity for the site to redevelop, while simultaneously protecting the future of the market and surrounding neighbourhood.
The Minister has currently applied temporary interim mandatory height controls to the market footprint until June 2019 to protect the character of the market – giving the VPA sufficient time to consult with all relevant stakeholders. We will be working with Darebin City Council and consulting with stakeholders and the community to create permanent controls for the market.
Heidelberg Train Station Precinct
The VPA is working in partnership with Austin Health and local and state agencies to prepare a master plan for the Heidelberg Station and the Austin Hospital precinct. This plan will look to improve access between the train station and the hospital and will explore integrated development opportunities in and around Heidelberg Major Activity Centre.
The plan will complement upgrades to the Hurstbridge line.
Lilydale Quarry Redevelopment
The VPA will be assisting Yarra Ranges Council with the preparation of a comprehensive development plan for Lilydale Quarry. This area is a strategic site for urban renewal. A comprehensive development plan will outline future development for the site, to make room for residential and community activities.
The VPA will also continue work on a number of key state-significant precincts, including:
Parkville National Employment and Innovation Cluster
The Parkville National Employment and Innovation Cluster (NEIC) is an internationally significant employment hub on the doorstep of Melbourne's central business district. The VPA is working to prepare a framework plan for the precinct, located just north of the Melbourne CBD.
This framework plan will be developed in partnership with the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office, which was recently established by the Victorian Government to drive jobs and economic development through the commercialisation of research. The framework plan will assist government in making best use of its assets and help to identify future investment priorities and future changes to planning policies.
Flinders to Richmond
The VPA is working closely with state and local government partners to progress a planning framework for the Flinders Street Station to Richmond Station urban renewal precinct, including the Southbank Arts Precinct.
The precinct is of great cultural significance and has a long history of welcoming people from near and far to gather and celebrate sport, art and life. The collection of sporting, art and cultural venues contributes to Victoria's world-famous liveability and helps place Melbourne on the global stage, attracting millions of visitors each year. The precinct also takes in Melbourne's most prized gardens and public spaces - including Kings Domain, Yarra Park and the Yarra River.
Planning for the precinct will be done in conjunction with DEDJTR and will set clear objectives for the precinct's future.