New permanent central city controls headed to independent planning panel

New permanent central city controls headed to independent planning panel
Alastair TaylorApril 26, 2016

The Planning Minister has unveiled new draft permanent central city planning controls that are now to be sent to an independent planning panel which will allow the public to make submissions.

Chief among the proposed planning controls for Melbourne's CBD and Southbank is the introduction of a floor area ratio (FAR) of 18:1. The interim controls released last year put in place a FAR of 24:1.

Projects will have the ability to exceed the maximum FAR in the central city if there is a demonstratable public benefit. The public benefits can take the form of public open space, office uses, public space inside the building or social housing contained within the building.

New permanent central city controls headed to independent planning panel
How floor area uplift will work. Image supplied

In the podium and setbacks space, by default podiums will be limited to 20 metres in height with the discretion to increase it to 40 metres to match existing streetscapes and on certain street corners. Towers will need to be set back at least five metres from the podium edge and likewise there will be a minimum side and rear setback of five metres for proposals which include a tower measuring 80 metres or less.

For proposals which include a tower taller than 80m, side and rear setbacks of 6% of the overall height will be required.

New permanent central city controls headed to independent planning panel
The proposed podium and setback regime. Image supplied.

Height controls will only apply to areas like Bourke Hill and there will be reinforced shadowing and wind controls, both mandatory and discretionary. The key public spaces that are to be protected by wind and shadowing controls are Federation Square, State Library of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Yarra, City Square, Bourke Street Mall and Boyd Park in Southbank.

The following diagram and video depict the possibilities under the new controls and compares it to the 'business as usual' scenario.

New permanent central city controls headed to independent planning panel
Development possibility: business as usual versus proposed new controls. Image supplied

The proposed planning controls have been devised with the input from City of Melbourne and the Office of Victorian Government Architect. The independent panel will begin public hearings in July, the planning controls are anticipated to be in place by the end of 2016. www.delwp.vic.gov.au/central-city

The images and video contained within this article were provided to Urban.com.au by the State Government of Victoria, CC 4.0

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

Editor's Picks

Six Degrees and Beulah lead the way for next era of sustainable homes and design
Abadeen & PERIFA to bring Woolloomooloo Wharf-inspired waterfront precinct to Putney
Coronation tops out Mason & Main, Merrylands second stage
From rooftop running tracks to piano bars: Melbourne's best apartments with significant resident amenities
‘Reverse sea changers’ return to city life as West End penthouse fetches $5.25 million