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Council plans for active streets

08 Mar 2018

Council plans for active streets Image

By Sunny Liu

Developers will not be allowed to build ground-level car park in Southbank and the CBD under the new C308 urban design policy package.

Amendment C308 will replace the existing Design and Development Schedule 1 (DDO1) with a new Schedule 1, with the aim of activating buildings’ street frontages in the Hoddle Grid and Southbank.

Under the amendment, developers will be required to build only underground car parking and only use less than 40 per cent of a building’s ground floor for building services.

Car parks in new Southbank buildings must be sleeved with active uses and configured to be adaptable to future uses.

Also, the required 80 per cent of active retail street frontages on a building’s ground level will be expanded for more activation.

Amendment C308 is to complement C270, which specifies minimum setbacks from streets, building separation, overshadowing and wind requirements.

At the February 20 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, councillors endorsed the C308 amendment and sought authorisation from the planning minister to prepare and exhibition the amendment.

The City of Melbourne’s planning portfolio chair Nicholas Reece said C308 would significantly improve future buildings’ design quality.

“In my view, C308 and the design guide that accompanies it is the one of the most important things that the City of Melbourne will do in this term. And it’s all about lifting the design standards in Melbourne,” Cr Reece said.

“The new set of planning controls will adopt a far more rigorous focus on the street and surrounds. We want to drive a new focus on how buildings in the city work at the eye level,” he said.

“The days of new developments being no more than spread sheets in the sky are over. We want to make sure every building gives more back to the city than it takes and this begins with design excellence and quality build,” Cr Reece said.

Southbank Residents’ Association president Tony Penna told the meeting that such a review was “long overdue”.

“As we are well aware, Southbank doesn’t have much land remaining that doesn’t have a planning approval … As we have seen in the latest census, vehicle use continues to be on the decline, with 30 per cent of car parking spaces not being utilised. So (the amendment) is certainly a positive,” Mr Penna said.

“We hope there is enough undeveloped parts of Southbank for C308 to have a lasting, practical and worthwhile outcome,” he said.

The new planning controls also promote a more attractive and walkable pedestrian environment through introducing additional pedestraian connections on buildings’ street level.

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