Media Releases 2012

Mayor meets with Planning Minister

09 August 2012

Richmond Station Swan StreetYarra’s Mayor and senior staff have met with the Planning Minister to discuss planning issues affecting the municipality including the Richmond Station Precinct.

Mayor Geoff Barbour said the Minister provided important clarification on some matters and gave Council a good hearing on its concerns.
Cr Barbour said the Minister had clarified his recent decision to introduce a planning amendment (VC92) to facilitate “high scale and “high density” development in the Richmond Station Precinct.
“The Minister assured us that the amendment only applies to railway land and not surrounding streets,” Cr Barbour said.
“This is welcome news because we had been concerned that towering buildings were going to be encouraged in the station’s surrounds,” he said.
The Minister told Council he was keen to see Richmond Station revitalised but he did not have a fixed position on how high development above the station should be. He said Council would have a role in assessing any plans that are submitted by developers for the site.
Cr Barbour said Council had also raised with the Minister a recent recommendation by an independent planning panel that a proposed planning amendment for Smith Street be abandoned.
The amendment sought to implement some of the objectives outlined in the Smith Street Structure Plan, which Council had developed after many years of consultation with residents, traders and landholders.
Cr Barbour said the Minister had agreed it would be a waste to throw away the work that had been undertaken. He encouraged Council and the Department of Planning and Community Development to continue to work together to find a resolution.

  Council also raised with the Minister what it believed could be serious unintended consequences from the State Government’s proposed changes to some of Victoria’s planning zones.
“We have several concerns about the proposed changes to commercial zones, including that they could allow supermarkets to open in some of Yarra’s streets without community consultation,” Cr Barbour said.
He said the Minister listened to Council’s concerns and said his department would look into them further. He invited Council to make a fuller submission on the proposed zone changes.
Cr Barbour said Council had also reiterated an invitation it had made to the Minister last month to attend a public meeting in Yarra to discuss local planning issues.
He said the Minister was unable to attend on the dates that have been nominated by Council so far. In coming days, Council will provide further suggested dates to the Minister.

Further information
Ainslie Gowan
Communications Coordinator
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700

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