Written by Marc Pallisco
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 21:53
THE Yarra City Council has approved the $400 million redevelopment of Channel Nine's long-time Bendigo Street studios, in Melbourne's inner east.
A copy of a council statement is below:
Redevelopment of Channel 9 site approved with conditions
Channel 9, RichmondYarra Council has approved a $400 million redevelopment of the former Channel 9 site in Richmond subject to the maximum height being reduced to six storeys and other important conditions.
At its meeting last night, Council adopted an Amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme which will facilitate the redevelopment of the Bendigo Street site for housing.
While approving the overall redevelopment, Council specified that the Amendment provide for a maximum height of six storeys on the three hectare site, two storeys lower than developer Lend Lease’s proposal.
Council also required that Moore Street be retained as a dead-end street, and that 5% of the total number of dwellings be provided as affordable housing run by a registered housing association.
Yarra Mayor Geoff Barbour said Council would now request that the Minister for Planning approve the Amendment. Once the Amendment is approved, a detailed permit application will then be submitted to Council. For the permit application to be approved, it will need to be generally in accordance with the development plan approved by Council.
Cr Barbour said Council had worked hard to get an acceptable outcome for the local community, doing what it could to protect existing residential amenity and improve surrounding infrastructure.
“We have made it clear that the maximum building height needs to be reduced to six storeys,” Cr Barbour said.
“Six storeys will be more in keeping with the low-rise character of the surrounding streets, and will hopefully result in a less dense development overall.”
Cr Barbour said increased traffic was a concern but Council would continue to advocate for more public transport services. Towards that end, Lend Lease had committed to provide $50,000 towards future public transport improvements in the Bridge Road/Swan Street area.
He said while residents had raised concerns about the redevelopment increasing demand for on-street parking, a long-standing Council policy meant that the site’s future residents would not be eligible for resident or visitor parking permits.
Cr Barbour said the positive features of the redevelopment included Lend Lease’s commitment to provide a 400 m2 community centre that would be run by Council and to meet a five star energy rating set by the Green Building Council of Australia.
“This is a large redevelopment within an existing close-knit community of narrow streets, so you can understand residents’ concerns that it will change their neighbourhood,” Cr Barbour said.
“However, there is general community acceptance that the site should be redeveloped, so we have done our best to minimise the negative aspects and expand the positive,” he said.