New laws to protect Melbourne landmarks

Victorian planners vowing to preserve Melbourne icons including the Hoddle Grid and the Bourke Hill heritage precinct have released planning controls for public consultation.

The Andrews government and Planning Minister Richard Wynne have proposed to mandate minimum setbacks of 5m on all new inner city towers, in addition to tightening regulations for wind tunnelling and overshadowing effects in proposed central city planning provisions.

Other proposals include placing height restrictions on towers in the Bourke Hill heritage precinct, while leaving the rest of the city without any caps on height.

It is the first time since 1999 that planners have attempted to change planning controls for the centre of the city, and comes amid a broader campaign to update planning laws and processes throughout the state.

“We’ve done a lot of work towards controls which encourage innovation and promote quality design because we recognise the need to protect the character and investment value of the central city,” Wynne says.

Demand will remain strong in Melbourne and Sydney.

New planning laws are aimed at protecting Melbourne’s iconic CBD areas.

“We need consistent and clear rules for development in the city so future developments become new assets to Melbourne’s long-term livability.”

The changes come at a time banks have been reported to be black-listing pockets of Melbourne’s inner city for apartment finance, due to a perceived oversupply of low-quality apartment stock.

Melbourne CBD’s current apartment pipeline stands at 10,000 apartments under construction, with a further 21,000 approved and awaiting development, and another 18,000 awaiting assessment.

It is thought that the updated planning controls will assist in preserving the attractiveness of Melbourne apartments.

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