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.

Comment

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!

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