The State Government has released the new draft Fishermans Bend Framework and proposed draft planning scheme amendment controls to guide the long-term development of the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area until 2050. The new provisions are proposed to replace the existing interim design guidelines and controls.

As an extension to Southbank and Docklands, Fishermans Bend has an area of approximately 480 hectares which is more than twice the size of the current Melbourne CBD and is Australia’s largest urban renewal site.

Fishermans Bend includes five precincts namely the Capital City zoned Montague, Wirraway, Lorimer and Sandridge precincts and the industrial zoned Employment precinct encompassing land within both the City of Melbourne and City of Port Phillip.

It is intended that Fishermans Bend will support the growth of Melbourne by accommodating 80,000 residents and 80,000 jobs by 2050. In relation to residential development the precinct has so far seen only 6 per cent (approx.) of total approved dwellings constructed (Based on 7, 870 dwelling approvals) since it was re-zoned to the Capital City Zone in 2012.

The vision of the document is based around eight sustainability oriented goals and includes the following key initiatives and controls.

Key Elements

The key elements of the revised framework plan are summarised below

1. Public Transport– The framework has a strong focus on public transport and walking/cycling, with a target that 80 per cent of trips will be made by sustainable transport. Projects identified include the expansion of the CBD tram network and three potential new metro stations. Car parking rates for new development will be capped at 0.5 cars per dwelling and one car per 100m2 for employment uses to encourage alternate transportation.

2. Floor Area Ratio (FAR) – FAR controls are proposed for both residential and commercial floor space with the aim to cap projected population densities within each precinct and to maximise the provision of commercial floor space to facilitate a mixed-use renewal area where jobs and homes are within convenient proximity.

The FAR controls are calculated by dividing the total floor area of a building by the total site area.

The FAR controls vary for each precinct and the framework outlines minimum commercial floor area requirements for the core areas of the Wirraway, Sandridge, Montague and Lorimer precincts.

The FAR controls are intended to be mandatory for residential development unless an agreed public benefit is provided via a floor uplift scheme. The FAR can be exceeded in the ‘core’ areas if additional commercial floor area is provided.

 3. Floor Area Uplift- Introducing a Floor Area Uplift (FAU) to enable a developer to exceed the defined FAR control in exchange for making a contribution of an agreed public benefit. Agreed public benefits to allow uplift will be based on the following order of priority:

  • Affordable housing – for every one affordable housing unit delivered the developer can construct an additional 8 dwellings.
  • Community infrastructure – every 100m2 of community infrastructure will enable an equivalent residential floor area.
  • Public Open Space – for every 26m2 of public open space delivered (above minimum requirements) will enable an additional equivalent residential floor area.

It is understood that within the core areas FAU can be achieved through the provision of additional commercial floor space.

 4. Height and Setback Controls - The strategy proposes to retain mandatory 4 storey height controls along the lower scale interfaces with South Melbourne and Port Melbourne and proposes otherwise discretionary height controls ranging from between 4 and 24 storeys. An ‘unlimited’ height area is nominated to include central locations of the Lorimer and Sandridge precincts. 

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Source: Ratio