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Local planning power

11 Feb 2016

Local planning power Image

Locals who wish to stay in tune with new developments in Southbank may be interested to discover that there is indeed a way to do so without having to endure tiring research.

While the service has been available since 2014, the City of Melbourne’s (CoM) interactive development activity monitor is now easier to access than ever following a revamp of the council’s website late last year.

The development activity monitor is part of an interactive mapping system, which was first introduced on the CoM website in 2011 and provides information on everything from historic maps to essential services.

By heading to the CoM’s website, clicking on “City Maps” and the “More”, you can access the interactive development monitor, which provides up-to-date planning information on every site in the municipality.

Clicking on any individual site can reveal information about approved permit applications, planning controls as well as the site’s history and area size.

A spokesperson for the City of Melbourne said that, while the maps were only updated twice a year, the activity monitor was amended regularly on a separate spreadsheet with latest information.  

“The data is comprehensive and updated twice a year,” the spokesperson said.

“The City of Melbourne’s Smart City Office manages the development activity monitor and is responsible for keeping it up to date with the latest planning applications.”

Of course this doesn’t mean that the information provided on the surface of the map tells the whole story.

Southbank Local News found a number of “approved” sites, such as Handover House and 25-29 Queensbridge St, which haven’t in fact been approved for any developments as such.

As the spokesperson pointed out “approved” can mean a planning permit approval of any kind, such as a promotional billboard on the side of Handover House.

The site at 25-29 Queensbridge St, which was originally home to the approved The Falls development, has since been sold with an active permit to Schiavello as part of its plans for Queensbridge Tower.

By clicking on “more details” of a site, one can see details of both determined and undetermined planning applications.

“’Approved’ means that a planning application has received a town planning permit from the relevant authority. That may be from the City of Melbourne, VCAT or the minister,” the spokesperson said.

“In some cases, applications that have been approved and subsequently amended may show the original ruling while the data is updated on the development activity monitor.”

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