Two key planning policies set to reshape West Melbourne

West Melbourne continues to evolve with the suburb subject to a steady flow of new developments, as evidenced by the roughly 3,000 apartments in development and currently noted within Urban Melbourne's Project Database.

With the boom in high density and high rise projects looming large over the suburb, City of Melbourne have gone about enacting two separate pieces of policy in order to better manage and facilitate the rapid change that is descending upon West Melbourne.

With either yet to be finalised, there remains the opportunity for the community to provide feedback on these two key policy implementations which are outlined below:

West Melbourne Structure Plan

City of Melbourne continues to work through the intricacies of creating a comprehensive structure plan for West Melbourne.

With community consultation as a cornerstone of the study, the aim is to guide/manage the residential precinct within the suburb as higher density living becomes increasing prevalent in the area. With maintaining the area’s unique character and heritage at the heart of the intended structure plan, an initial round of public consultation has been held in order to garner opinion.

Phase 2 of community engagement for the West Melbourne Structure Plan is imminent according to the project's webpage.

West Melbourne Waterfront

Perri Projects' working image for West Melbourne Waterfront

As outlined by Urban Melbourne earlier in the year, a stretch of West Melbourne waterfront is up for renewal by way of City of Melbourne's Amendment C221 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme.

WMW Developments is a venture between Perri Projects and Qanstruct, who are jointly seeking the right to develop the land which would first require rezoning from Commercial 2 Zone to Mixed Use Zone.

In keeping with the Dynon Urban Renewal Area objectives, buildings of up to 14 levels are expected while 7% of the 28,337sqm site area is slated to be dedicated open space. Residential, commercial and retail uses are prevalent, with the project split over four stages.

Currently the public has the opportunity to provide written feedback on the proposed amendment until 20 May 2016.


West Melbourne Waterfront looks to be a lay down misère, but it's West Melbourne's structure plan that is of interest, specifically the published comments associated with the first round of public feedback.

Some patently ridiculous comments such as turning West Melbourne into an arts precinct and E-Gate into a park or maintaining a two level height limit throughout (something about a horse and gate) provide little by way of meaningful responses. These suggestions tend to come across as the opinions of those who aren't living in the land of reality.

But of course in between the pointless droll there are ideas with merit. Extending the tram line north along Spencer Street, improved pedestrian access, a new bus link to the Parkville Employment Precinct and mandatory inclusion of green space for higher density projects shape as ideas of merit.

Invariably with manure comes the opportunity for enlightened ideas to grow; ahh the joys of public opinion!


Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.