Draft Johnston Street Local Area Plan

Johnston Street streetscape

The Draft Johnston Street Local Area Plan is intended to guide future land use, urban design and public realm improvements for the Johnston Street activity centre and study area.The study area extends along Johnston Street from the Yarra River (Abbotsford) at the eastern end through to Smith Street (Collingwood) in the west, as shown on the map below.


Community feedback was sought on a revised draft Local Area Plan in April and May 2015 to factor in a number of significant planning policy changes that had since been introduced at the state level, including the introduction of new commercial, industrial and residential zones and the metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne.

Consideration of Submissions

Council officers have reviewed the submissions received and have made a number of revisions to the plan which will be considered by Council on 24 November, 2015. A report has been prepared that will be presented to   Council at the following Council meeting:

  • Tuesday, 24 November
  • Fitzroy Town Hall from 7pm (Enter from Napier Street, Fitzroy)

View the Johnston Street Local Area Plan & supporting documents

A copy of the revised Local Area Plan and supporting background documents can be viewed using the links below:

Full Johnston Street Local Area Plan document - note this is a large file (24.33 MB):

pdf format JLAP FINAL DRAFT - NOVEMBER 2015 (24.33 MB)

The plan has been broken in to smaller parts for easier downloading: 

Appendix A - Policy Basis:

pdf format Johnston Street Local Area Plan - Appendix A - Policy Basis.pdf (1.06 MB) 

Appendix B - Built Form Analysis and Recommendations - full document - note this is a large file (20 MB):

pdf format Johnston Street Local Area Plan Appendix B - Built Form Analysis & Recommendations (20.22 MB)

Appendix B has been broken in to smaller parts for easier downloading: 

Appendix C - Tenerry Crescent - full document - note this is a large file (9.17 MB):

pdf format Appendix C - Trenerry Crescent (9.17 MB)

Appendix C - Trenerry Crescent:

Appendix D - Economic Advice:


What has changed in the revised plan?

Since consulting the community in 2012, there have been a number of changes at the state planning level including changes to the commercial, industrial and residential zones. 

The new metropolitan planning strategy, Plan Melbourne, was released in 2014. Plan Melbourne specifically identifies land along the eastern side of Hoddle Street (along the Hurstbridge/South Morang railway line, from North Richmond Station to the Eastern Freeway) as an Urban Renewal Corridor. 

What this means is that this land, due to its location near public transport, has been identified by the State Government as suitable for a more diverse mix of activity, potentially including higher density residential and commercial growth. 

To reflect Council's vision for parts of the Johnston Street study area, and in response to the directions set out in Plan Melbourne, Council has revised its built form recommendations. The changes recognise the potential for some parts of the study area to accommodate higher densities of residential uses and growth in employment opportunities. 

Council's built form recommendations for future development include preferred maximum building heights along Johnston Street and Hoddle Street South of 6–7 storeys and taller buildings with a preferred maximum height of between 8 - 12 storeys north of Victoria Park Station, along the eastern side of Hoddle Street approaching the Eastern Freeway. 

What remains the same in the revised plan?

The plan continues to recommend changes in land use that encourage the development of commercial, retail and residential activities close to train and bus networks. 

Victoria Park Station remains a key element in the planning for Johnston Street, providing access to and from the activity centre and connecting local residents to the CBD. 

Accommodating future housing and population growth close to the station is an important direction that has been maintained in the plan. Generating activity around the train station has a number of benefits including improved pedestrian safety at different times of day, as well as creating a lively community along Johnston Street. 

Functional public spaces and pedestrian connections can shape how an activity centre is perceived and used by local residents, as well as visitors. Maintaining and improving the existing pedestrian connections is a key aspect for enhancing the accessibility of the Johnston Street activity centre and overall study area. 

Future land use opportunities

Johnston Street has the potential to become a more vibrant, liveable and accessible place with a diverse mix of commercial activity occurring at street level and commercial and residential uses occurring at upper levels. The plan seeks to encourage pedestrian activity at street level so that pedestrians engage more with shops and cafes. The plan also identifies opportunities for concentrated forms of development close to Victoria Park Station so people can live and work closer to public transport. Living clusters around the station will contribute more street activity and help to form an important hub in the future. 

Urban design and built form 

The design of new developments will be expected to respond to the unique character of parts of the study area, respecting its heritage and respecting the interface with laneways, neighbouring residential properties and the Yarra River corridor (east of Trenerry Crescent). Developments should also help generate street activity in a positive way by improving the interface with the public realm and providing opportunities for passive surveillance of the street to improve pedestrian safety and amenity.

What is the purpose of the Local Area Plan?

The Local Area Plan will be used to manage and guide change for the Johnston Street Activity Centre.  The Plan provides focus and direction on matters such as new development, changes in land-use and activity, physical changes to streets and public areas, design of buildings, transport and sustainability. 

The Local Area Plan sets out a proposed vision for the future of the Johnston Street Activity Centre and includes a series of objectives and strategies that outline how that vision would be achieved. 

It will be used to:

  • Provide guidance in decision making for new development,
  • Coordinate better community services,
  • Improve active transport, including pedestrian and cycling access and movements,
  • Plan physical changes to streetscapes,
  • Guide public and private sector development, and
  • Advocate for, and coordinate action by government departments and agencies.

The plan focuses on four key themes:

  • Land use – The type of activities the community would like to see and how change to activities (such as shopping, restaurants, offices, community facilities and housing) should be managed.
  • Built form – What the centre should look like in 10-20 years and the factors that should be considered in the design of new development.  Within the study area, eight key precincts have been identified and ‘Built Form Character Guidelines’ have been prepared for each precinct.  The guidelines outline the preferred future character and maximum building heights for each precinct.  Preferred maximum building heights range from 2-3 storeys to 5-6 storeys.  
  • Public spaces – Proposed changes in public areas, including the streets, parks and civic spaces. 
  • Access and movement – Identifying improvements to pedestrian, bicycle and public transport access. 

The study area

The study area for the Johnston Street Local Area Plan extends along Johnston Street from the Yarra River (Abbotsford) at the eastern end through to Smith Street (Collingwood) in the west, as shown on the map below:

Johnston Street Structure Plan study area

Further Information
Evan Burman
Strategic Planner
9205 5075

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