New planning controls to activate streets

By Sunny Liu

Developers will not be allowed to build ground-level car park in the CBD and Southbank under the new C308 urban design policy package.

Amendment C308 will replace the existing Design and Development Schedule 1 (DDO1) with a new Schedule 1, with the aim of activating buildings’ street frontages in the Hoddle Grid and Southbank.

Under the amendment, developers will be required to build only underground car parking and use less than 40 per cent of a building’s ground floor for building services.

Car parks in new Southbank buildings must be “sleeved” with active uses and configured to be adaptable to future uses

Also, the required 80 per cent of active retail street frontages on a building’s ground level will be expanded for more activation.

Amendment C308 is to compliment C270, which specifies minimum setbacks from streets, building separation, overshadowing and wind requirements.

At the February 20 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, councillors endorsed the C308 amendment and sought authorisation from the Planning Minister to prepare and exhibition the amendment.

The City of Melbourne’s planning portfolio chair Nicholas Reece said C308 would significant improve buildings’ design quality.

“In my view, C308 and the design guide that accompanies it is the one of the most important things that the City of Melbourne will do in this term. And it’s all about lifting the design standards,” Cr Reece said.

“The new set of planning controls will adopt a far more rigorous focus on the street and surrounds. We want to drive a new focus on how buildings in the city work at the eye level,” he said.

“The days of new developments being no more than spread-sheets in the sky are over. We want to make sure every building gives more back to the city than it takes and this begins with design excellence and quality build,” Cr Reece said.

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