Amendment C286 - Public open space contributions

We are proposing to increase the open space contributions from developments that subdivide land in Yarra, to help support our growing population. This change would be introduced through an amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme, known as Amendment C286.

Yarra’s Open Space Strategy was adopted in September 2020 and informs this amendment. It identified the public open space needs of existing and future residents of Yarra, gaps in the provision of public open space and opportunities to address those gaps. Currently the amount, quality and accessibility of open space varies considerably across the suburbs of Yarra. 

Panel Report

The Panel’s interim report was received on 14 April 2022 and became a public document on 3 May 2022.

To view the Panel Report please click here.

What is open space?

Open space is land that is set aside for outdoor recreation, enjoyment and nature conservation and is open to the sky. 

Public open space includes public parks, gardens, reserves, waterways and squares. 

Private open space is all open areas that can exclusively be used by residents of a home or building. It includes back yards, balconies and rooftop gardens. 

Access to open space is important for not only our physical health but also mental health and wellbeing. It is important that we exercise more and be outdoors in the fresh air and natural sunlight to balance our indoor lifestyles and increasing reliance on electronic devices.

Why have we developed this Amendment?

This Amendment is designed to help us better meet the need for public open space in the City of Yarra. 

Over 85% of Yarra’s population lives in medium and high-density housing, compared with 33% in Greater Melbourne. This means that our residents have less private open space available to them and they rely on public open space. 

As an inner city municipality, Yarra’s population is expected to grow by 40% in the next 15 years. Forecasts also expect a 47% increase in workers visiting the area in this time. This will significantly increase the demand on existing space in Yarra. 

The extent of forecast growth varies across different parts of Yarra. Many of the areas that are forecast to change the most are former industrial and manufacturing areas which historically did not have public open space. With increased numbers of people working and living in the former industrial precincts there is an increased need to provide it. 

What does the Amendment do?

The Amendment proposes to update the public open space contribution rate for all subdivisions. This is a recommendation from Yarra’s Open Space Strategy. 

Under the Amendment, any development in the City of Yarra that subdivides land would be required to provide a contribution to public open space at a rate of 10.1%.

This is more than double the current rate, which is 4.5%.

The Amendment also updates Clause 22.12 which provides guidance on the collection of open space contributions.

Amendment documents

Supporting documents

What stage is the Amendment at?

This Amendment is at the fourth stage and will go to an independent planning panel hearing. 

This hearing has been set to begin on Monday 6 December 2021 and is necessary because we were unable to resolve all the submissions that were made to the amendment. This will give everyone who made a submission the opportunity to present their case to the panel.

The hearing will run from Monday 6 December to Friday 17 December 2021 and Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 February 2022.

Fourth step in planning scheme amendment process