While you were sleeping on Friday night, the Victorian Government gazetted new interim planning controls for the CBD and parts of Southbank, chief among them is the re-introduction of site plot ratios. A media release distributed at midday on Saturday states the City of Melbourne has been made a referral authority, after the council signed a memorandum of understanding with the Victorian Government.
All development applications arriving on the Planning Minister's desk before Friday will be assessed under the regime existing prior to the interim controls coming into effect. This means all projects shown in this video distributed by the Victorian Government will not be subject to newly gazetted interim controls.
The Government Gazette from Friday night states that the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme has been amended with the following:
A plot ratio - or FAR (Floor area ratio) - is a tool which relates to Gross Floor Area and prescribes the maximum density allowable for a development site. By way of an example, alongside other new controls as outlined in the link section below, a 1,000 square metre site in Melbourne's CBD will now only be permitted to have up to 24,000 square metres of Gross Floor Area.
The following image was distributed by the Victorian Government on Saturday showing the pre-interim control conditions in central Melbourne. No matter which way you look at it, the new plot ratio requirements appear to be very generous when compared to other cities which use them.
Schedules 2, 7, 40, 60 and 62 to the Design and Development Overlay deal with previous discretionary height controls now being mandatory.
Ordinance 22.01 (Urban design within the Capital City Zone) is probably where all architects will want to head to straight away and rounding out the mass-linkage of all the amended documents is Ordinance 22.02 (Sunlight to public spaces).
2016 is set to be an even busier year in the planning world for Central Melbourne. Fishermans Bend's review and now the CBD and Southbank's own planning review are set to be completed and published. Likewise, according to details embedded in a referral posted on the Federal Government's Department of Environment website, Melbourne Metro will have its planning and environmental assessment complete.
Based on reports in other media and the Victorian Government-supplied image above, we should expect to hear a lot about equitable development opportunities and density bonuses in the coming review period.
Urban Melbourne is interested to hear reaction from all sectors of the urban development industry, academia, the public sector and other stakeholders. We encourage to send your comments to [email protected]. Received comments will not be attributed to the source should we decide to use them in a future article. If any individual wishes to go on the record, we may invite them to write an op-ed.
Lead image credit: GlennWilson