Saturday, 11 November
The Planning Minister has approved amendment C190 (Part 1), implementing new planning controls for ‘Macaulay’, the area straddling Moonee Ponds Creek taking up parts of Kensington and North Melbourne. In essence, the amendment rezones industrial land to mixed residential and commercial uses, and implements new built form controls to guide heights and streetscapes.
The planning scheme amendment was initiated by Council in 2012, and so has been five years in the making – with part of the amendment (Shiel Street interface) still outstanding.
The disappointing news is that the Planning Minister rejected Council’s request to articulate how the State Government will ensure future public access to the Moonee Ponds Creek corridor. Council wanted land owned by VicTrack rezoned to ‘public park and recreation’. The Minister-appointed planning panel sided with VicTrack and recommended the site be rezoned to ‘mixed use’ (so as to inflate its value). In the end, the adopted amendment and the Minister’s decision split the difference, leaving the land zoned ‘industrial’ and without any plan for its acquisition.
With major State Government transport projects creating multiple creek crossings downstream (Metro rail tunnel and a series of bridges related to the Westgate Tunnel freeway proposal), and 15,000 new residents planned for the ‘Arden’ precinct, the obvious opportunity to coordinate government agencies and departments to ensure a high-quality linear park and creek rejuvenation remains elusive.
Without State Government coordination, Moonee Ponds Creek will continue to suffer, and government won’t be delivering public open space commensurate with the needs of a growing population.
More details about recent decisions and upcoming processes for planning in Arden and Macaulay is attached in the update report by Cr Rohan Leppert.