New interim built form controls proposed by The City of Yarra

June 2018
Skipping Girl Sign, Victoria Street Richmond. Source: The Age (2014)

New interim built form controls proposed for the Bridge Road Activity Centre, Victoria Street Activity Centre and the Collingwood Mixed Use Precinct

As the November election looms, another inner Melbourne municipality will be asking the Minister for Planning to approve new interim built form controls, without notice.

At a Council meeting on Tuesday night, the City of Yarra resolved to lodge a Planning Scheme Amendment request with the Minister for Planning seeking new controls within the Bridge Road Activity Centre, Victoria Street Activity Centre and parts of the Collingwood Mixed Use Precinct.

A request under Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, requiring no public exhibition or consultation, will be lodged with the Minister by the end of June 2018 to:

  • Introduce an interim Design and Development Overlay (DDO) Schedule for the southern portion of the Collingwood Mixed Use Precinct;
  • Introduce an interim DDO Schedule for the Bridge Road Activity Centre;
  • Introduce an interim DDO Schedule for the Victoria Street Activity Centre; and
  • Nominate a number of properties for inclusion within the Heritage Overlay or the Victorian Heritage Register.


Victoria Street and Bridge Road Activity Centres Study Area. Source: Bridge Road – Victoria Street Built Form Framework (David Lock Associates 2018)

The proposed controls contain both mandatory and preferred building height, setback, street wall height, building separation and shadow requirements, as well as other provisions. Accordingly, the Amendment has the potential to have significant implications on development outcomes within these precincts.

Importantly, the interim DDO controls sought do not include transitional provisions, meaning that all live planning permit applications and future amendments to existing permits would be affected by the new controls.

The Amendment is intended to establish a holding position whilst further strategic work is undertaken by Council to inform permanent controls, which it is anticipated will be pursued through a conventional Amendment process, including formal exhibition. 

Proposed DDO23 Area within Collingwood Mixed Use Precinct. Source: Draft DDO23 (City of Yarra 2018) 

Whilst further built form guidance within these areas is welcomed in principle, particularly with respect to the provision of greater certainty for both the community and developers, their capacity to promote the health and vitality of these centres is also an important planning consideration.  

Is the use of mandatory built form controls for activity centres within inner Melbourne appropriate, particularly when considering State planning policy objectives? Has Council got it right?

For more information or advice on how the Council’s proposed controls may impact land affected by the Amendment, please contact Elle Harrington or your existing SJB Planning contact.

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