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City-zone to get bigger

18 Mar 2012

Planning Minister Matthew Guy has announced a plan to expand the capital city zone to allow for higher density living within the City of Melbourne.

Southbank, along with the CBD and Docklands, already falls into the capital city zone but under the new proposal so would sections of St Kilda Rd, and sections of the western and northern sides of the municipality.

Mr Guy stressed that this was a long-term plan, and needed to be treated as such, saying: “It is important to realise this is a 20 to 50 year vision – it will not happen overnight, but we need to provide leadership and opportunities.”

He also said he wanted to hear from Melburnians about their views on higher density living.

“Many people are concerned about high-rise towers dominating quiet suburban streets, so we need to ask if high-rise should be primarily concentrated in the inner city to take growth pressure off Melbourne’s existing suburbs, while also capitalising on existing infrastructure,” Mr Guy said.

Mr Guy also wanted it to be known that this was not an opportunity for open slather high rises.

“It doesn’t mean we will have Rialto-size buildings in every part of it, but what you will have is greater density and greater height throughout an expanded CBD,” he said.

Mr Guy suggested that this was a great opportunity to see the city continue to grow, saying: “Melbourne’s CBD only had a few hundred residents in 1990. Today, over 30,000 people call the CBD, Southbank and Docklands home. We need to continue the discussion about how to provide inner city living opportunities for those who desire it.”

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