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New interim controls over density and built form in the central city were gazetted without warning late on Friday 4 September 2015. Amendment C262 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme introduced:
- A new schedule to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO10) which contains mandatory controls in relation to maximum podium height and minimum tower setbacks, and a discretionary maximum plot ratio (density) control.
- Mandatory maximum height controls in place of the current discretionary height controls in DDO2 (CCZ), DDO7 (Former Fishmarket Site Northbank), DDO40 (River Environs), DDO60 (Southbank) and DDO62 (Bourke Hill).
- Mandatory requirements in the Central City Zone except Fishermans Bend (CCZ1-3) in relation to overshadowing of the north bank of the Yarra River and wind impacts.
- Changes to Clauses 22.01 (Urban Design within the Capital City Zone) and 22.02 (Sunlight to Public Spaces) to align with the interim controls above (replacing the previous 24m tower separation policy in Clause 22.01).
The Amendment also made the City of Melbourne a referral authority for all applications in the central city with a gross floor area (GFA) greater than 25,000m2.
Planners and urban designers have mostly sought to increase densities in Australia’s cities. Society’s low-density love affair has brought us unending sprawl, with all its social, environmental and economic ills. Attempts to rein in our metropolises’ spreading girth and create more sustainable, liveable and economically-efficient cities have focused on strategic increases in density to support public transport use and reach viability thresholds for local amenities within walking distance.
David Lock Associates has joined with a group of industry professionals to make a submission to the Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee set up by the Victorian government.
Issues related to the proposed application of the proposed zones by many councils were highlighted in a letter from 35 industry professionals featured in The Age.