News & Media Releases

Council seeks to establish working group for Walmer Street Bridge

24 November 2016

Council will request that the State Government convene a working group to provide further input into the design of the Walmer Street Bridge.

Works to and around the bridge are proposed by Salta as part of its redevelopment of 607-627 Victoria Street, Abbotsford.

Council last night rejected two options put forward by Salta (via the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as the responsible authority), and voted unanimously to seek to improve the design as part of a working group comprising community members and representatives of Boroondara Council.

Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone said Council’s resolution responds to strong sentiment from both sides of the river that the two options proposed for the Walmer Street Bridge were inadequate.

“Walmer Street Bridge is a key commuter route that provides an important link across the Yarra River,” Cr Stone said.

“Works to the bridge need to provide a safe and well-connected route for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as excellent public access to the river, Walmer Street and Victoria Street,” she said.  During the am peak on “Super Tuesday” in March this year over 500 cyclists used the bridge and we can expect these numbers to increase in years to come. The bridge and plaza need to accommodate this growth.

“We believe the current proposals, whilst an improvement on previous designs, fall short of our community’s aspirations for this important piece of infrastructure and for the integration of new development in the area,” 

“Through forming a working group, we seek to work with our community and our colleagues in Boroondara to ensure the design provides a safe and enjoyable journey for people coming to and from Yarra,”   

The complete resolution from Council’s meeting on 22 November appears below:

  1. That Council note the officer report on the referral matter from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning regarding the development plan application for the connections and interface works of the proposed Walmer Street plaza with the Walmer Street bridge design.
  2. That Council note the engagement with the community on 15 October, 2016 and other comments that have been provided to Councillors and the Yarra City Council. Council also notes that the significant majority of attendees at that engagement forum were not satisfied with either Option A nor Option B, and the unanimous request of that group that DELWP convene a working party of stakeholders to address the shortcomings of both options.
  3. That Council advise DELWP that neither Option A nor Option B in its current form is acceptable.
  4. That Council note that the opportunity to comment relates to proposed changes to relevant approvals by the then Minister for Planning in 2007, and that the Responsible Authority to determine the current proposed modifications by Salta (as the proponent), is the Minister for Planning. Council also notes the constraints on the design of a plaza by the VCAT approved basement entry from the development on the east side of Walmer Street.
  5. That Council resolve to respond to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning with the following comments, suggestions and requests in respect to both options presented:

(a)       Option A - comments:

(i)        the steps adjacent the bicycle switchback should be set back a minimum of 1m from the edge of the bicycle switchback to minimise conflict and maximise sight lines;

(ii)       opportunities should be provided for minimising the paved areas to provide additional soft landscaping opportunities; and

(iii)      that there be an extension of the shared path on Walmer Plaza to connect with the switchback; and

(b)       Option B - comments:

(i)        combine the paths west of the bridge to minimise the path space along the embankment to maximise landscaping opportunities;

(c)       Comments applicable to both options:

(i)        preparation of a Design Road Safety Audit to assess all movements along the shared paths including along the Bridge/Plaza / Yarra Embankment and Victoria Street;

(ii)       consider relocating the basement car ramps to the western side of Walmer Plaza in order to create further plaza space to the eastern side of the plaza;

(iii)      access into the Walmer Street basement car ramps to have a raised threshold level with the footpath;

(iv)      the extension of the Walmer Street Bridge widened to a minimum width of 3.5m;

(v)       the shared path between the basement car ramp and the building of No. 647 Victoria Street to have a minimum width of 3.5m;

(vi)      all shared paths to be delineated within Walmer Plaza through materiality and kept free of any obstructions such as planters, outdoor seating and the like;

(vii)     basement ramp entries to Walmer Plaza to show clear lines of sight for exiting vehicles and pedestrians;

(viii)    Walmer Plaza must be designed to support a 60 tonne point load from a mobile crane;

(ix)      location of the sections of the main drain through Walmer Plaza to be retained and those to be relocated to be clearly shown, including the location of access pits;

(x)       access pits must not be located within or in front of the basement ramp entry points;

(xi)      a drain diversion design (subject to Council approval) must be submitted to Council’s satisfaction. All costs associated with the drain diversion shall be borne by the permit holder;

(xii)     a lighting scheme is to be designed for Walmer Plaza; this must comply with uniformity requirements as per the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1158.3.1:2005.  Lighting for roads and public spaces - Pedestrian area (Category P) lighting - Performance and design requirements; and

(xiii)    the revised landscape plan to include the following information:

  1. cross-sections of the ramp access to assess opportunities for maximising trees and vegetation plantings; and
  2. details of surface materials to the satisfaction of the City of Yarra,

That these details should be required in addition to the information already outlined in Council’s response to the application provided on 18 May 2016.

  1. That Council request that DELWP convene a working group including community and officer stakeholders from both the Yarra and Boroondara City Councils to provide further input into the detail of a final improved design and which addresses all concerns raised for the Minister for Planning’s further consideration before approval of a final design:; and that the advice of a bicycle network expert be engaged during the final design.
  2. That Walmer Street is not described as a Plaza following redevelopment and should continue to be called Walmer Street to reflect its intended use as a thoroughfare.



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