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Development height overhaul

13 Sep 2015

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Minister for Planning Richard Wynne launched the central city planning review alongside Lord Mayor Robert Doyle earlier this month, in what is the first overhaul of Melbourne’s CBD planning since the late 1990s.

Over the next 12 months, the State Government will work closely with the City of Melbourne, local businesses, residents and the development industry to introduce the strategic plans.

Interim planning controls are now in place over that 12-month period, including height limits and plot ratio controls, as part of the plan to bring central planning rules up to date.

Mr Wynne said that the CBD and Southbank lacked planning controls for density and amenity, which are found in many international cities, and that Melbourne’s current densities would not be allowed in New York, Tokyo or Hong Kong.

“There has been a massive appetite in our CBD and Southbank and it’s important we get our planning controls right,” he said.

“There hasn’t been a significant update of the central city planning rules since 1999, and it is our duty and obligation to bring plans in line with our evolving CBD.”

“Melbourne’s planning scheme needs to balance scale and density occurring in our city, protecting heritage and character while preparing the city for more growth.”

“We want a system that delivers for the people of Melbourne and Victoria. This review will deliver certainty and consistency of outcomes and ensure our fantastic city remains a world beater.”

Minister for Creative Industries and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley said the new planning controls would help ensure Southbank remained an attractive place to live.

“The new planning controls that will make sure that the plot ratios around enlightened streetscapes, setbacks, contributions from developers to civic spaces, separations between buildings and other things that go to the built form of Southbank form a part of the overall package of making Southbank an attractive place,” he said.

In establishing the review, Mr Wynne has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Melbourne and council has been made a referral authority for planning permits before the State Government.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the review signaled a new era of closer collaboration between the Minister for Planning and the City of Melbourne.

“The Memorandum of Understanding strikes a balance and continues the economic development of the city, which is so important for the prosperity of Melbourne and Victoria,” he said.

“Equally, Melbourne is special and we need to pay attention to the built form in order to maintain the liveability of the city that we love so much.”

Proposed changes will be available for consultation next year to bring the community’s voice into the discussion. The Melbourne Planning Scheme is expected to be updated in the second half of 2016.

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