Background information - Channel 9 site

Channel 9, Richmond

In December 2011, Council approved the redevelopment of the Channel 9 site in Richmond with some important conditions. 

In early May 2012, Council announced that developer Lend Lease had submitted a revised development plan that met all of Council's conditions. More information about the revised development plan is available on the Channel 9 site, Richmond webpage.

The below page aims to provide some background about what has happened in regards to the site in recent years.

Design and Development Principles
Decisions on the planning process
Changes made to draft Development Plan
Decision to exhibit proposed Amendment and draft Development Plan

Design and Development Principles

Anticipating the sale of the site, Council adopted Design and Development Principles for the Bendigo Street site in 2008.

Formed with input from the local community, the Principles provide a guide for future owners and developers of the site as to an acceptable outcome. They served as the basis of discussions between Council officers and potential purchasers, including Lend Lease, about the site’s future.

Key elements of the Principles include:

  • Integrating any new development with the surrounding neighbourhood by breaking up this large site into smaller blocks
  • Encouraging similar building form and height in the areas closest to the surrounding neighbourhoods, while stepping up building height towards the centre of the site to a height similar to the height of the existing heritage buildings
  • Retaining and reusing the existing heritage buildings on the site and protecting and enhancing any existing views to these heritage buildings
  • Encouraging a mixed use development, including space for community and cultural activities with possible links to media and the arts, local theatre and art galleries
  • Re-creating the original street grid and re-introducing the original streets, where possible, to ensure that the site is accessible and well connected to the broader neighbourhood
  • Incorporating environmentally sustainable development principles in the design, encouraging some affordable housing and encouraging design excellence.

Here are the comprehensive pdf format Design and Development Principles (389.31kB), as adopted by Council in October 2008.

Decisions on the planning process

At a Council meeting in December 2009, Council decided to seek authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare an Amendment to Yarra Planning Scheme which would facilitate the redevelopment of the site. The Amendment would propose several changes, including the rezoning of the site from Industrial 1 Zone to Mixed Use Zone.

At that meeting, Council decided to support the use of a Development Plan Overlay rather than other planning mechanisms. Council also decided that the new owner would need to provide a Development Plan (master plan) for Council to consider before Council sought feedback on the Amendment.

These decisions were aimed at providing Council and the community with a clear sense of what was being proposed for the site earlier in the process.

If the Amendment is adopted and a draft Development Plan approved, a planning permit application would still need to be submitted to Council.

Council would need to be satisfied that the permit application was generally in accordance with any approved development plan.

Under the DPO process, the permit application would not be advertised and community members would have no right to appeal to VCAT against any planning permit issued.

Changes made to draft Development Plan

Vivas Lend Lease submitted a draft Development Plan for the site to Council in September 2010.

At its October 2010 Council meeting, Council resolved to defer public exhibition of the draft plan so that further discussion could take place with the developer about key areas of concern. The concerns included that Council’s Design and Development principles for the Bendigo Street site, adopted in 2008, provide for a maximum building height of five storeys. Other concerns included the absence of a community facility (such as a childcare centre), the need for more detail about the envisaged parking needs and opportunities for more public open space. Vivas Lend Lease subsequently revised its draft plan.

Here is Lend Lease's responses to some of the issues raised:

pdf format Lend Lease Response - Building Heights and Setbacks.pdf (2.00 MB)
pdf format Lend Lease Response - Residential Quality and Diversity.pdf (548.95 KB)
pdf format Lend Lease Response - Landscaping.pdf (1.99 MB)
pdf format Lend Lease Response - Heritage and Community Precinct.pdf (655.70 KB)
pdf format Lend Lease Response - Ecologically Sustainable Design.pdf (165.52 KB)

Decision to exhibit proposed Amendment and draft Development Plan


At its December 2010 meeting, Council decided to put the Amendment and the revised Development Plan out for community feedback.

The resolution of that meeting was:

That Council:

(a)  note the response by Vivas Lend Lease to the concerns raised in the Council resolution dated 19 October 2010 and now formally seeks community input on the future of this site, as detailed in the Draft Development Plan and Amendment C104

(b) having regard to the response received from Vivas Lend Lease to the issues raised in the Council resolution dated 19 October 2010, resolves to:

(i) exhibit Yarra Planning Scheme Amendment C104 in accordance with Section 19 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 for a minimum period of one month

(ii) seek public comment on the revised draft development plan for the Channel Nine Site, 22 Bendigo Street, Richmond, December 2010, as included in Attachment 6 to the reportand this exhibition be run concurrently with the exhibition of Amendment C104, and

(iii) that this exhibition period run for six weeks and

(iv) that the public exhibition of Amendment C104 and the Draft Development Plan include the following:

  • notice in the Government Gazette
  • notices in local papers including advertorials
  • information about the Amendment and Draft Development Plan sent to all property owners and occupiers in the area bounded by Bridge Road, Burnley Street, Swan Street and Burnley Oval and the Boulevard
  • information on Council’s website
  • information available at Richmond Town Hall, Richmond Library and Burnley Neighbourhood Centre, and
  • the provision of either a 3D model or a digital 3D equivalent of the development plan, located in a prominent place (for the model) or on the website (for a digital modelling), and

(c) note that placing these on exhibition does not imply Council endorsement of either the Draft Development Plan or the Amendment C104, and

(d) notes the proposal by the developer that prior to commencement of the development, the proponent will provide a bank guarantee to the value of $50,000 to the City of Yarra for future public transport improvements to Bridge Road and/or Swan Street, Richmond. The bank guarantee could be drawn down by Council and used for proposed works by Yarra Trams, Department of Transport, or VicRoads to carry out public transport improvements along Bridge Road and/or Swan Street.

Further Information
Sherry Hopkins
Coordinator – Strategic Planning
9205 5374 

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