YARRA City Council has approved a $400 million redevelopment of the former Channel 9 site in Richmond, subject to the maximum height being reduced to six storeys and a number of other conditions.
At its meeting last week, Council adopted an Amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme that will facilitate the redevelopment of the Bendigo Street site for housing.
While approving the overall redevelopment, Council specified that the Amendment provide for a maximum height of six storeys on the three hectare site, two storeys lower than developer Lend Lease's proposal.
Council also required that Moore Street be retained as a dead-end street, and that 5 per cent of the total number of dwellings be provided as affordable housing run by a registered housing association.
Yarra Mayor Geoff Barbour said Council would now request that the Minister for Planning approve the Amendment.
Once the Amendment is approved, a detailed permit application will then be submitted to Council. For the permit application to be approved, it will need to be generally in accordance with the development plan approved by Council.
Cr Barbour said Council had worked hard to get an acceptable outcome for the local community, doing what it could to protect existing residential amenity and improve surrounding infrastructure.
"We have made it clear that the maximum building height needs to be reduced to six storeys," Cr Barbour said, adding that six storeys would be more in keeping with the low-rise character of the surrounding streets.
Cr Barbour also said increased traffic was a concern but Council would continue to advocate for more public transport services. Lend Lease has committed to provide $50,000 towards future public transport improvements in the Bridge Road/Swan Street area.
He said while residents had raised concerns about the redevelopment increasing demand for on-street parking, a long-standing Council policy meant that the site's future residents would not be eligible for resident or visitor parking permits.
"This is a large redevelopment within an existing close-knit community of narrow streets, so you can understand residents' concerns that it will change their neighbourhood," Cr Barbour said.
"However, there is general community acceptance that the site should be redeveloped, so we have done our best to minimise the negative aspects and expand the positive."