The pace of change in the economy and housing market since my last update in February feels like it is still accelerating. Fears that Victoria would experience a slow economic recovery and a flat housing sector seem a concern of the distant past. Please read on to hear what we have been up to at the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA).
SUPPORTING HEALTH AND EDUCATION IN MELBOURNE’s SOUTH EAST
The VPA’s plans for the Berwick Health and Education Precinct have been gazetted, paving the way for new homes, jobs and medical and learning opportunities for Melbourne’s south east.
The Berwick Health and Education Precinct Plan will enhance Berwick’s reputation as a cutting-edge health and education precinct and drive infrastructure, jobs and housing. COVID has emphasised the importance of suburban job hubs, and Berwick has huge potential in this context.
Located on 122 hectares of land located either side of Clyde Road, north of Princes Freeway and south of Berwick Village, this amendment supports recent expansions of the Casey Hospital and Chisolm Institute. It will encourage existing institutions in the precinct, Federation University, Chisholm Institute of TAFE, Insight Education Centre for the Blind and Vision Impaired, Casey Hospital and St. John of God Private Hospital to deepen their presence in the area.
The plan outlines a vision for the area that will ultimately result in up to 11,000 jobs, 700 hospital beds and 1,100 new homes. Residential and commercial uses will be encouraged to support and provide essential services to the growing precinct.
The VPA worked closely with the City of Casey on the plan and the council has further supported the initiative by re-zoning adjoining land for high-quality residential development.
This marks the third project to be approved as part of the VPA’s Fast Track Program, following gazetted plans for Bentleigh East Village and Pakenham East.
The Fast Track program aims to provide certainty for communities about future development, a pipeline of development for industry and future jobs and homes for Victorians as the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also delivers on the Victorian Government’s commitment to create well planned new communities that deliver affordable new housing and high-quality jobs for Victorians. This brings the tally to over 11,000 homes, 15,000 jobs and $3b in economic value that have been made permit ready by the VPA Fast Track Program.
If you would like more information please see our website here or contact Bonnie Mather.
CONSULTING WITH THE BRAYBROOK COMMUNITY
The VPA, in partnership with Department of Transport and Homes Victoria, is working with Maribyrnong City Council on the Braybrook Regeneration Project, which is focused on generating a strong future for one of the most diverse suburbs in Melbourne’s west. We are planning for more diverse and better designed housing, new and better parks, open spaces and environmental quality, improved urban design, better access to transport, and enhanced community infrastructure.
We are currently seeking feedback from the Braybrook community on our ideas outlined in a document called “Towards a Braybrook Urban Design Framework”. Community feedback on this document will inform our preparation of a draft Urban design Framework and draft planning scheme amendment which will be further consulted on in August 2021. This will complement the cutting-edge work being done in Braybrook by Homes Victoria to deliver the Government’s big housing build and the Future Homes initiative.
Once the planning process is complete, the final Urban Design Framework will be incorporated into the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme.
We’re currently advertising several community events which may be of interest to you. All event information, a community brochure and contact information is available on our Engage Victoria page or contact Michael Nolan.
SUPPORTING REGIONAL CITIES AND TOWNS
The COVID-driven uptick in demand for land and housing in the peri-urban region around Melbourne, and in key regional cities and towns more broadly, has been nothing short of remarkable. We are seeing sales and approvals skyrocket and available supplies of zoned land coming under pressure in many areas – which in turn is putting upward pressure on prices.
The VPA has a key role to play in working with Councils to identify and unlock land that can be brought to market to provide the jobs and the new and redeveloped housing that these towns need to support growing populations while retaining the characteristics that make them special places to live and work.
We are working through our Fast Track program to unlock development in a number of regional towns, and we are assisting regional Councils through the Government’s Streamlining for Growth program. But we know more is needed, and we are in active discussions with key regional Councils to inform a pipeline of regional projects moving forward.
If you have any questions or insights on how the VPA can work to boost regional growth please contact Gareth Hately.
VPA CHAIR JUDE MUNRO HONOURED WITH UDIA AWARD
Jude Munro’s great contribution to urban planning across Australia has been recognised with the awarding of Raymond J Peck Award by the UDIA. This award is in recognition of demonstrated long-lasting excellence in service to the urban development industry and the community in general.
The VPA was thrilled and proud on Jude’s behalf and fully endorses highlighting her outstanding contributions to Victoria’s urban future.
VALE ANDREW HERINGTON
I was saddened to hear the news that Andrew Herington passed away suddenly in April. Andrew was a former adviser to the Minister for Planning as well as the Treasurer. More recently, Andrew was working for the Commissioner for Better Regulation (BRV).
Andrew was a good friend to the VPA and a strong advocate for our role and work. His contribution was immense to public policy in Victoria over many governments and many years, and more recently he had a passion for planning and system improvement. We have expressed our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues on behalf of the VPA.