The central city's two planning bodies have been on other sides of the ledger in recent years, with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and State Planning Minister Matthew Guy both publicly butting heads over many contentious planning applications.
As far back as 2012 when Lord Major Doyle referred to 'urban ghetto' higher density living precincts, and either side haven't quite been able to find common ground. During September 2014, City of Melbourne called for the release of planning advice/documents in order to publicly demystify the rationale over a handful of big ticket projects which were given the green light by the incumbent Planning Minister.
The gulf between the two bodies was exacerbated this week with reports that the intended 447 Collins Street proposal had been rejected by Matthew Guy, even after City of Melbourne took the unusual step of giving support for the tower which would overshadow Southbank. Further 168 Victoria Street which will be known as Hemisphere Apartments was approved by the Planning Minister this week, despite overshadowing the State Library forecourt at certain times of the year.
So it came to be yesterday that Planning minister Guy released departmental officer reports relating to the decisions made regarding all central city planning applications. City of Melbourne yesterday evening released the following statement:
The City of Melbourne acknowledges the decision by Planning Minister Matthew Guy to publish advice from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure for planning applications that fall within his authority. The decision is consistent with a resolution of the Future Melbourne Committee of 9 September 2014.
Chair of Planning, Cr Ken Ong, said the City of Melbourne was experiencing unprecedented growth and the publication of Departmental advice would help to inform the planning process.
During this period of rapid growth, there has been a marked increase in the number of applications falling within the Minister’s responsibility. Many of these developments are of major importance for the City and there is a wealth of information behind each decision.
Deputy Chair of Planning, Cr Stephen Mayne also welcomed the decision.
The Minister is to be commended for making the planning process more open and transparent, said Cr Stephen Mayne, Deputy Chair of the Planning Portfolio. Since 2013, the City of Melbourne has published advice from Council officers on large planning applications before the Minister.
Today’s announcement completes that process, allowing any interested person to obtain and scrutinise the expert advice from the Minister’s department Cr Mayne concluded.City of Melbourne statement
The resolution is available for viewing from the City of Melbourne's website.
Lead image courtesy Flickr - chjsbny.