Media Releases 2012
State Government throws open the door to developers near Richmond Station
29 June 2012
The State Government is pushing ahead with its plan for a massive redevelopment of Richmond Station even though it has not asked local residents whether this is acceptable to them.
Yarra Mayor Cr Geoff Barbour said he was horrified by a Ministerial Amendment, published in today’s Government Gazette, which facilitates major redevelopment in the Richmond Station Precinct.
“The Minister for Planning has today made it law that high scale and high density developments will be supported in the Richmond Railway Station Precinct,” Cr Barbour said.
“Council and local residents have had no say whatsoever in this decision even though it will have a massive impact on the surrounding community,” he said.
“Council has been consulting with the local community on a structure plan which would determine what kind of redevelopment is acceptable in this area.
“Now, the State Government has come in over the top of us all and sent a clear message to developers that the area in and around Richmond station is ripe for the picking.”
Cr Barbour said Council had sought more information from the Minister last year after he publicly announced his vision for a 20-storey redevelopment of Richmond Station.
“The Minister has chosen not to consult with Council and I can only speculate that is because he knows we would not support anything which totally disregards community concerns,” Cr Barbour said
He said the gazetted Amendment changed the State Planning Policy Section to include the Richmond Railway Station Precinct within Central Melbourne.
A new strategy had also been added to the State Planning Policy Section: “Support major development opportunities for high scale and high density mixed residential and commercial precincts” in Richmond Railway Station Precinct among other areas including Docklands, Fishermans Bend and E-Gate.
Cr Barbour said Council remained the authority responsible for determining future applications for development in the railway precinct but the Minister had the power to override Council’s decisions at any time.
“We don’t even know how much of the area near the station falls within the railway precinct as determined by the Minister,” Cr Barbour said.
“We will seek a meeting with the Minister and his department so we can find out more about what is planned and then let residents know.”
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