32 High anx­i­ety in the CBD

Sunday Herald Sun - - News - IAN ROYALL


SOME of Mel­bourne’s most recog­nis­able build­ings would never have been built un­der strict new planning laws, which the Prop­erty Council claims are sti­fling CBD growth.

Since the new reg­u­la­tions lim­it­ing high-rise con­struc­tion came into force two years ago, just two com­mer­cial of­fice build­ings have been ap­proved in the city.

Prop­erty Council ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Cres­sida Wall said the C270 con­trols needed im­me­di­ate amend­ments as the CBD’s work­force con­tin­ued to boom, amid fears the city will run out of room by 2036.

The tow­ers, some still un­der con­struc­tion, that would not be ap­proved now in­clude Collins Arch, 120 Collins, Wes­ley Place, and the Older­fleet and Mercer build­ings.

A re­port by Ur­bis, ti­tled Un­lock­ing Mel­bourne’s CBD and pre­pared for the Prop­erty Council, said new of­fice space was needed to house the city’s grow­ing work­force.

It found that the city cen­tre’s work­ing pop­u­la­tion is ex­pected to jump from 317,500 in 2016 to 480,400 by 2036, and that 50 per cent more floorspace is needed.

Ms Wall said the con­trols in­flex­i­ble and re­stric­tive.

“They sense­lessly ex­clude some of the best and most iconic build­ings that are defin­ing Mel­bourne’s cen­tre were as a vi­brant, in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive me­trop­o­lis,” she said.

“Mel­bourne’s CBD des­per­ately needs of­fice floorspace growth to sup­port the high-value jobs that are so crit­i­cal to our econ­omy and, for this to oc­cur, com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment must be sup­ported.’’

Op­po­si­tion Leader Matthew Guy, who was planning min­is­ter be­tween 2010 and 2014, has promised to amend the C270 con­trols if elected Pre­mier this month.

Planning Min­is­ter Richard Wynne de­fended the reg­u­la­tions and said they en­sured de­vel­op­ers gave some­thing back to the com­mu­nity, such as so­cial hous­ing, in ex­change ad­di­tional height or yield.

“Matthew Guy wants to abol­ish the very con­trols that were brought in to fix his mess and put a stop to de­vel­op­ers get­ting ev­ery­thing they want,’’ Mr Wynne said.

“We in­tro­duced the tough­est planning con­trols Mel­bourne has ever seen to pre­vent Matthew Guy’s vi­sion of a con­crete jun­gle of sky­scrapers and big pay­day for de­vel­op­ers hurt­ing Mel­bourne.’’ He said he did not want Mel­bourne to have the build­ing den­si­ties of Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore. for CBD build­ings that would not be ap­proved un­der the new laws re­strict­ing height: (181 Wil­liam and 550 Bourke streets) (11 Ex­hi­bi­tion St) ( 8 Ex­hi­bi­tion St) (121 Ex­hi­bi­tion St) (111-129 Bourke St) Un­der con­struc­tion: (130 Lons­dale St) (477 Collins St) (447 Collins St)

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