VICTORIA – New laws promote high rise corridors

HIGH rise apartment blocks along leafy transport corridors will be given a green light if new planning laws pass State Parliament, critics say.

Amendments to the planning scheme to be considered by Parliament today will encourage developers to build bigger and higher density buildings next to bus, tram and train lines.

The strategy to create new employment corridors in areas from Avalon Airport to Werribee, Caulfield to Dandenong and Ringwood to Box Hill are also included.

Planning Minister Justin Madden describes the changes as “minor”, to encourage more intense development in areas with good amenities.

The Opposition, which supports the parts of the legislation that allows the expansion of the urban growth boundary, says the push to high-rise living along bus routes could lead to “unliveable” growth plans like Sydney’s in the 1980s.

A spokeswoman for Mr Madden, Stacy Nivert, said amendments enshrined aspects of the Melbourne@5million planning document into Victoria’s planning scheme.

“We have been encouraging greater density housing in existing areas since 2008 when we first announced the need for 316,000 new dwellings in these parts of Melbourne,” Ms Nivert said.

Green wedge groups and planning groups plan to rally against the changes on the steps of Parliament today.

Opposition Planning spokesman Matthew Guy said developments of four or five storeys along suburban bus lines designated as major transport routes were a concern.

“We don’t want to turn Melbourne into Sydney . . . and as unliveable as Sydney, which is what these changes will do,” he said.

Matt Johnston
From: Herald Sun
June 22, 2010 12:00AM
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