Some controls have been introduced. Too late for much of the bank, and appear to favour minimum rather than maximum restrictions, but any controls are better than none.
The public relations statement is below:
Yarra Planning and Environment Act 1987
YARRA PLANNING SCHEME
Who is the planning authority?
This amendment has been prepared by the Minister for Planning who is the planning
authority for this amendment.
The Amendment has been made at the request of Yarra City Council.
Land affected by the Amendment
The Amendment applies to land in the City of Yarra adjoining the Yarra River, from the
confluence with Darebin Creek to Punt Road. The extent of the land generally coincides with the current Environmental Significance Overlay, in the Yarra Planning Scheme. It includes a mix of parkland, residential, Industrial and commercial or mixed use land.
What the amendment does
The Amendment introduces interim provisions, for a two year period, to protect the City of Yarra’s segment of the Yarra River from inappropriate development while Council works with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and other relevant councils to prepare permanent planning controls for the river corridor between Richmond and Warrandyte.
The Amendment replaces the existing Design and Development Overlay 1 (DDO1) and the
Environmental Significance Overlay 1 (ESO1) with new schedules to strengthen protection
of the key values along the Yarra River corridor. The existing overlay provisions are to be
replaced by new more succinct and contemporary objectives and in particular mandatory
building height and setback provisions in DDO1. The Amendment implements the City of
Yarra, Yarra River Corridor Strategy, Planisphere, 2015. It also makes some changes to the
extent of both DDO1 and ESO1, in particular to align boundaries of DDO1 with property
boundaries. The existing DDO1 does not align with property boundaries in many areas.
The Amendment makes the following changes to the Yarra Planning Scheme:
Replaces the Schedule to DDO1 with a new Schedule
Replaces the Schedule to ESO1 with a new Schedule
Includes the City of Yarra, Yarra River Corridor Strategy, Planisphere, 2015 (the
Strategy (2015)) as a reference document in the DDO1 and ESO1.
Strategic assessment of the Amendment
Why is the Amendment required?
The Amendment introduces interim provisions, for a two year period, to protect the City of Yarra’s segment of the Yarra River from inappropriate development while Council works with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and relevant councils to introduce permanent planning controls along the River between Richmond and Warrandyte.
The Victorian Government has committed to introducing stronger planning controls to
protect Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River from inappropriate development in advance of the
establishment of a Yarra River Trust.
On 12 August 2015, The Minister for Planning hosted a ’roundtable’ meeting with council
mayors and heads of Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and the Port Phillip Catchment
Management Authority outlining the action the Victorian Government is taking to strengthen existing planning policy and controls for the Yarra River.
A workshop was then undertaken with representatives from various councils and authorities to collaborate on the development of a new strengthened planning policy for the entire Yarra River along with discussion on an approach aimed at implementing consistent planning controls for the Yarra River between Richmond and Warrandyte within relevant planning schemes. This work is now progressing and it is anticipated that draft amendments will be placed on public exhibition by mid 2016. The City of Yarra is participating in this group amendment process.
The Amendment implements the findings of City of Yarra’s, Yarra River Corridor Strategy,
Planisphere, (2015) (the Strategy). The Strategy identifies the unique and sensitive riverine environment of the Yarra River within the City of Yarra and outlines a number of planning control measures aimed at minimising overdevelopment and loss of vegetation.
The Strategy identifies that The City of Yarra’s unique mix of commercial and industrial land adjacent to the Yarra River is under pressure for change of use and redevelopment into higher density, mixed use or residential development. The Strategy also identifies that existing discretionary height and setbacks controls have had limited effect in managing over development of private land adjacent to the Yarra River resulting in some development outcomes that are out of scale and proportion to the river and its setting. It recommends use of mandatory controls to address this issue.
The interim DDO1 and ESO1 Schedules provide contemporary planning control direction
and guidance on a number of strategic issues associated with development adjacent to the
Yarra River focused on the need to protect existing vegetation, for built form to be setback
specified distances from the Yarra River and limited in height to minimise and/or eliminate the potential for overdevelopment.
The interim provisions are considered to strike a reasonable balance between the objective
of protecting the river corridor from further encroachment, recognising the pattern of existing development and anticipating future changes in development activity.
How does the Amendment implement the objectives of planning in Victoria?
The Amendment is generally consistent with these objectives, and, in particular seeks to
implement the following objectives:
To provide for the protection of natural and man-made resources and the
maintenance of ecological processes and genetic diversity.
To secure a pleasant, efficient and safe working, living and recreational
environment for all Victorians and visitors to Victoria.
It does this by strengthening the Planning Scheme provisions which protect the corridor.
Objectives in the DDO1 and ESO1 will provide clearer guidance for building form and
design, landscaping and tree planting and management and protection for ecological
systems along the corridor. Both the overlays acknowledge and aim to improve the
important role played by the corridor providing for tourism, recreation and a more liveable city. In addition, DDO1 will include mandatory height and setback provisions to protect the Yarra River corridor from inappropriate development.
How does the Amendment address any environmental, social and economic
The proposals are intended to protect the value of the corridor for public parkland,
recreation, tourism, heritage and cultural significance. By protecting the corridor the
proposals are likely to have positive economic implications. The proposals may restrict some aspects of future development along the interface between the public corridor and private land but any adverse economic impacts from this should be outweighed by the wider benefits to the local and metropolitan economy.
The proposals include vegetation and environmental protection in the ESO1 provisions. This will help sustain the remnant plant and animal communities in parts of the corridor such as Yarra Bend Park and Burnley parklands. A key objective is to retain and improve the tree canopy as a feature of the corridor.
The Yarra River corridor helps define the character of the municipality. It is part of the
history of the area before European settlement and includes significant Aboriginal cultural
heritage and important associations. The corridor also provides opportunities for recreation, sport and an escape from the predominantly urban nature of our suburbs. It is part of a network of parkland which connects to other waterways and path links across metropolitan Melbourne. It provides opportunities for a range of social interaction as part of activities in or adjoining the corridor.
Does the Amendment address relevant bushfire risk?
Bushfire is not considered a significant risk in the areas affected by the Amendment.
Does the Amendment comply with the requirements of any Minister’s Direction
applicable to the amendment?
Direction 9 – Metropolitan Planning Strategy
Plan Melbourne includes clear policy for waterway corridors in general and the Maribyrnong and Yarra River in particular. Plan Melbourne supports the introduction of mandatory provisions to protect these corridors. The relevant Initiative indicates… ‘ There is a need to balance the tourism, recreational and cultural values of Melbourne’s foreshore and waterways with development opportunities.’
The Amendment proposals are consistent with the directions and initiatives in Plan
How does the Amendment support or implement the State Planning Policy
Framework and any adopted State policy?
The amendment provides for the fair, orderly, economic and sustainable use and
development of land and as such gives effect to the State Planning Policy Framework
On 21 December 2015 Amendment VC121 was introduced updating the State Planning
Policy Framework. Amendment VC121 introduced a new Clause 12.05 ‘Rivers’ and a new
Clause 12.05-2 ‘Yarra River protection’ planning policy. This Amendment responds to the
policy intent of this new policy. The policy provides:
a. a clear objective statement in the form of a ‘statement of significance’
providing the policy context and identification of the Yarra River’s importance
to Melbourne and its communities. This is supported by various existing and
previous metropolitan strategies;
b. four (4) key principles and associated policy direction which are consistent
with the strategic intent focused on protection of the environmental and
landscape values of the Yarra River which is supported in a range of planning
strategies, studies, local municipal strategic statements; and
c. a clear list of reference documents that are important in sourcing additional
information to support decision making.
How does the Amendment support or implement the Local Planning Policy
Framework, and specifically the Municipal Strategic Statement?
The Yarra Planning Scheme Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) indicates the Yarra River
is a key part of the framework which establishes the character of the city. In the section
dealing with Built Form there are a number of references to the Yarra River.
21.05-2 – Urban design
Objective 16 – To reinforce the existing urban framework of Yarra.
Strategy 16.1 Reinforce the Yarra River Corridor as the key ecological and open space
element of the urban framework.
Strategy 16.2 Maintain and strengthen the preferred character of each Built Form
Character Type within Yarra.
Strategy 16.3 Maintain key vistas along the Yarra River Corridor.
The municipality is divided into ‘character types’. Within this structure the Yarra River
Corridor is further divided in character types which vary along the length of the corridor.
21.05-3 – Built form character
Extract from table at 21.05-3
Structural element Built Form Character Type
Park Landscape River Edge – where the river bank adjoins an
area of parkland, a golf course or landscaped grounds
Leafy Suburban Residential River Edge – where the river bank
abuts the vegetation dominated backyards of low density, garden
Current and Ex-Industrial River Edge – where the river bank
adjoins an area once dominated by industry or an area of
industrial buildings mostly still in use for that purpose
Freeway River Edge – where the river bank adjoins a freeway
These character types provide the basis for the structure of the current Amendment. The
provisions in the new DDO1 modify the names but use this character type approach. Some
of the character types have been further sub-divided. Importantly the Amendment develops and applies the current approach in the MSS and is consistent with the objectives and strategies in it. Having established a built form framework the MSS then includes a specific section on the Yarra River.
Yarra River Corridor
The Yarra River Corridor has a topography that is visually undermined by larger scale
development sited too close to its banks. In addition, there are a number of distinct types
of landscape and built form through which the Yarra River passes. While there are
stretches of the Yarra River Corridor in which buildings have a strong presence, upstream
from the section dominated by the Monash Freeway, the natural features of the Corridor
should predominate. There is a need to protect and enhance the landscape qualities of
the Corridor, as seen from within the Corridor, and vantage points outside the Corridor.
To maintain the character of the Corridor it is important to recognize that different forms
of development will be appropriate in different sections of the Corridor. Prescribing
maximum building heights and setbacks is necessary for some sections of the Corridor.
Objective 25 To ensure that development maintains and enhances the environmental,
aesthetic and scenic qualities of the Corridor.
Strategy 25.1 Apply the Design and Development Overlay Schedule 1.
Strategy 25.2 Ensure development in the Corridor upstream of Church Street, Cremorne,
keeps the overall scale of the development within the prevailing scale of
built form within the municipality.
Strategy 25.3 Use a combination of height, setback and vegetation screening to protect
and enhance the landscape qualities of the Corridor as a vegetation
dominated Corridor, particularly in views from roads, paths and rail
corridors and areas of public open space adjacent to the Corridor or on the
The Amendment applies these objectives and strategies by introducing a new stronger
DDO1 with mandatory setbacks and height restrictions. The two new overlays include
objectives which are consistent with the current MSS. It also continues to provide for
different forms of development in different sections of the corridor, as provided in the
character types and subsections of these character types. The Amendment includes
consequential changes to the MSS which change the titles of the character types but not
their structure or purpose.
Does the Amendment make proper use of the Victoria Planning Provisions?
The Amendment applies two overlays for purposes intended in the Victoria Planning
The purpose of the Design and Development Overlay (Clause 43.02) is:
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To identify areas which are affected by specific requirements relating to the design
and built form of new development.
The VPP goes on to indicate that a schedule may include requirements relating to:
Any other requirements relating to the design or built form of new development
The revised new DDO1 is consistent with this scope and purpose. Its objectives relate to:
Views from public spaces,
Visual impacts on the corridor,
Passive surveillance of public areas
Access to sunlight (particularly for open space)
Impacts of lighting
Avoid buildings and works, within 30 metres of the Yarra River to protect existing
The purpose of the Environmental Significance Overlay (Clause 42.01) is:
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To identify areas where the development of land may be affected by environmental
To ensure that development is compatible with identified environmental values.
The revised Schedule 1 to Clause 42.01 includes the following statement of environmental
Statement of environmental significance
The Yarra River and surrounding environment is a major conservation, ecological and
recreational asset in close proximity to Melbourne. The corridor comprises a wide range
of significant features inclusive of flood plain, escarpment, river rapids, grassland,
woodland, open pasture, active and passive recreation facilities, habitats for flora and
fauna, and conservation elements of pre and post European settlement. The continuous
corridor of vegetation along the river is one of its most important features because the
river is most commonly recognised as a heavily vegetated river corridor.
The environmental objectives relate to:
Protection of indigenous vegetation and canopy trees,
Increasing the indigenous vegetation cover,
Protecting natural landforms, natural stream geomorphology and geological
Protecting water quality (including runoff) in stream and streamside habitats,
geological features and indigenous riparian vegetation,
Conserving the River as a place for appropriate water based and land based activity,
Managing the River as a major element in the drainage system,
Bank stability and erosion,
Water and land based habitat and links along the waterway network,
Minimise the impacts of introduced flora and fauna,
Better facilities to enable public use
How does the Amendment address the views of any relevant agency?
The amendment has been considered informally by Melbourne Water, which commented on
the draft Strategy and in discussions with staff of the Department of Environment, Land,
Water and Planning. The Amendment proposals have not been formally referred to any
Does the Amendment address relevant requirements of the Transport
Integration Act 2010?
The amendment is unlikely to have significant transport implications. It may have some
implications for recreational and some commuter cycling and for walking along shared
walking and cycle paths and walking paths along and across the corridor.
Resource and administrative costs
What impact will the new planning provisions have on the resource and
administrative costs of the responsible authority?
The Amendment is unlikely to have a significant impact on administration of the Yarra
Where you may inspect this Amendment
The Amendment is available for public inspection, free of charge, during office hours at the
Richmond Town Hall
333 Bridge Road, Richmond
Collingwood Town Hall
140 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford
The Amendment can also be inspected free of charge at the Department of Environment,
Land, Water and Planning website at http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/public-inspection and on
Council’s website at http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/planning–building/Yarra-planningscheme/