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Plan Melbourne – Melbourne’s next 40 years_____

Plan Melbourne – Melbourne’s next 40 years

Plan Melbourne, released today by the State Government, aims to shape Melbourne to 2050. Released as a draft for public submissions, it contains 7 objectives, 41 directions, and 115 initiatives, and is scheduled for implementation in early 2014.

The Plan contains a range of initiatives, ranging from the expected (ho hum), to the surprising (humdinger) and the controversial (dust off the placards). Finally there are initiatives that were expected, but didn't make the Plan (AWOL).

Expected initiatives within the Plan include:
  • A heavy reliance on activity centres and renewal areas to accommodate more of Melbourne’s growth, with far less emphasis on established areas of detached housing.
  • Significant residential growth in previously announced urban renewal precincts including Fishermans Bend, Arden-Macaulay and E-Gate.
  • A new Metropolitan Planning Authority with powers to plan state-significant sites and precincts, and oversee delivery of the Plan.
  • The establishment of 5 new metropolitan sub-regions - Central, Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western - as the basis for planning co-ordination and setting housing growth targets.
Surprising initiatives of the Plan include:
  • A permanent metropolitan boundary to replace the existing Urban Growth Boundary with a ‘locking in’ mechanism to be determined.
  • A serious push towards decentralisation through the use of Regional Victoria as a ‘release valve’ when the growth areas fill, especially in towns like Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Broadford, Kilmore, and Wonthaggi.
  • A massively expanded Central City - to be Australia's largest commercial and residential centre by 2040 - at the hub of an "Integrated Economic Triangle" of employment, ports and transport links.
  • The Metro 2 Project - rerouting the Epping and Hurstbridge lines though a new tunnel to Melbourne University and ultimately Fishermans Bend.
  • The identification of dozens of new urban renewal precincts like Cremorne, Collingwood, North Richmond to Victoria Park, and at Hampton, Jewell, Alphington and Essendon Stations.
  • A possible future airport in outer south-east, with potential locations between Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang identified.
Controversial initiatives of the Plan include:
  • A "code assessment approach" to multi-unit development, meaning that development which meets enhanced ResCode standards in certain areas - such as the new Residential Growth Zone - are exempt from notice and third-party appeals.
  • The majority of new dwellings - 600,000 of a total 1,046,000 - will be built in established areas (an established/growth areas split of 57/43%).
  • Continued expansion of the freeway network, including the East-West Link (with sweeteners like new boulevards and tram upgrades added), and investigation of the North East Link (Greensborough to the Eastern Freeway).
Expected but missing (or downgraded) initiatives of the Plan include:
  • Low scale unit development in established suburbs (the ‘Mum and Dad’ builders) – the housing focus is on high density and detached housing, with less in between.
  • Outer urban rail extensions, such as Mernda and Epping North, are not included, and others such as Rowville have been delayed.
The Plan and associated information can be found at the Plan Melbourne website.

Submissions are open on the Plan until Friday, 6 December 2013.

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