THE City of Port Phillip is furious that Planning Minister Matthew Guy has announced plans to rezone Fishermans Bend ”out of the blue”, and has appealed to the government to allow it input into any major decisions.
Acting mayor Frank O’Connor said the council became aware of Mr Guy’s plan to expand the central city zone to Port Melbourne only through the media.
”We find it very surprising we weren’t given any forewarning – the City of Port Phillip … is far better placed to understand the key issues and the impacts on the community,” he said.
Councillor O’Connor said the council’s mayor, Rachel Powning, recently met Mr Guy and senior bureaucrats to brief them on the council’s own strategy for urban renewal in South Melbourne, the result of an exhaustive two-year consultation process with the community and local businesses.
The future of this plan is now uncertain.
”What we were very clear about was that we didn’t want to create another Docklands or Southbank because they lack that soul to make them good, liveable communities,” Mr O’Connor said.
”If it’s going to become a residential area we think it’s vitally important that it’s part of City of Port Phillip.”
Mr Guy will rezone 240 hectares of land at Fishermans Bend into four new CBD-style mini-suburbs in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne to accommodate 50,000 future residents, with government development agency Places Victoria to oversee the changes for the next 30 years.
The new suburbs of Wirraway, Sandridge, Montague and Lorimer would include high-rise apartment buildings, townhouses, offices, parks and art galleries, Mr Guy said.
Fishermans Bend will now fall inside the capital city zone and Mr Guy will rule on planning applications that are taller than four storeys, involving more than 60 dwellings or more than 10,000 square metres of floor space.
Elsewhere in the city the trigger for ministerial intervention is set much higher, at 25,000 square metres.
CBD residents have long complained that in the capital city zone they have no right of notification about neighbouring developments, no right of objection and no right of appeal over decisions taken by the minister on applications in excess of 25,000 square metres.
But the zoning at Fishermans Bend has been amended to give residents some rights, including notice and review rights for developments that might be of ”community concern”, including nightclubs, taverns, brothels and adult bookshops.
The rezoning also raises questions about the provision of schools, with the area already struggling to cope with demand for both primary and secondary schooling and an Education Department feasibility study under way.
■David Vorchheimer, Premier Ted Baillieu’s key planning adviser, will be replaced by Stuart Worne, the executive officer of the Planning Institute of Australia’s Victorian division. Mr Vorchheimer will return to the private sector.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.