Sunday 22 November 2015

Amending Building Heights Around QVM

Last Sunday we published an article about proposals for the Munro site, particularly the Planning Scheme amendments that would allow high-rise buildings to be constructed on the site.

The market has long been the subject of height restrictions around its borders so as to protect the amenity of the area and reduce things like over shadowing. As the city encroaches on the market and particularly as we prepare to shift the current market car park to the Munro site, the city is looking to increase those heights to allow appropriate building construction to take place.

A meeting was held at the International Centre on Elizabeth St. on Thursday 19th November and the city presented an explanation of its planned amendment. Full details are available on the City of Melbourne website here. A number of traders and management representatives attended the meeting.

At, we are not city planners but we will attempt to give you a layman’s view of the discussions on Thursday. The area of immediate concern for QVM involves the Therry St. and Queen St. frontages opposite the market. The planning amendment seeks to increase mandatory street frontages rising to 20 metres in those locations. That is up to roughly 5-6 stories with the current buildings being around 2-3 stories. Of course behind those frontages there may be constructed high-rise towers but with a minimum of 10 metres setback.

It is understood that the high-rise buildings will be a podium and tower construction (see diagram) with tower separation and building designs that will minimise shadowing and the impact of wind. The location of the Munro Site and the positioning of the market in relation to the sun, means that shadowing impact is expected to be minimal for our market. It is not yet clear to traders just how much impact these tall buildings will have on the light available to the market (sun shadowing aside) or the impact of wind that can arise as a result of building construction.

Another aspect of the Planning Amendment concerns re-zoning the market from a Capital City Zone (which may be considered a general CBD business zone) to a Public Use Zone. Other Public Use Zone locations in Melbourne include The University of Melbourne, The Exhibition Buildings and Royal Melbourne Hospital. The current car park will be re-zoned to Public Park and Recreation Zone.

There will no doubt be more for traders to consider as preferred building plans are released over coming months. In the meantime submissions on the Planning Amendments must be submitted in writing by 4th December 2015.

Note: information contained on this website does not constitute advice and may not be accurate. Parties who may be impacted by the matters discussed here are urged to obtain their own advice.

23/11/2015 14:47:02 Amending Building Heights Around QVM "DDO11 states:Podiums fronting Therry Street and Queen Street north of Franklin Street should have a minimum podium height of 10 metres and must have a maximum podium height of 20 metres. Podiums fronting other streets should have a minimum podium height of 20 metres and must have a maximum podium height of 40 metres.

When I asked at one of the meetings why it was necessary to state a minimum podium height, no answer was given.   It seems counter intuitive to insist on a minimum 3 story podium when what exists now is 2 stories and fits perfectly with the scale needed on the street.  

The participate website at first glance does't seem to offer anything more than an outline of the planning amendment and overlays as if we should all know what DD011 and DPO14 mean.  Be sure to look further down into the ""Document Library"" to find what you need to make it understandable. " Catherine Underhill  
Thanks for your input Catherine - Ed