Minister rejects interim height controls for Highett

29 April 2015

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has rejected Bayside City Council’s request for interim mandatory height controls to residential areas within the Highett Activity Centre.

Bayside Mayor Cr Felicity Frederico said that the Minister’s decision to decline the proposed mandatory planning heights is a disappointing outcome.

“In December last year Council wrote to the Minister for Planning to request the introduction of interim mandatory height controls for the residential areas within the Highett Activity Centre,” Cr Frederico said.

“Council’s decision to pursue mandatory controls for this area came in response to calls from our community to provide more rigid controls around building heights in this part of Highett.

In declining the Minister said that interim plans were unwarranted because the existing controls;

  Do not prevent Council from assessing the merits and impacts of proposed developments in this area; and that

The amendment did not raise an issue of State or regional importance or that public interest would be served by immediate action.

The next step for Council would be to review the Highett Structure Plan (2004), however this poses a risk as it would potentially lead to taller height controls and greater densities.

“The Highett Activity Centre is identified as an urban renewal precinct under the State Government’s Plan Melbourne,” Cr Frederico said.

“Plan Melbourne identifies urban-renewal precincts like Highett as areas for higher-density and any structure planning would need to account for this new state government policy.

“There is already a precedent for taller buildings in this activity centre with some neighbouring residential areas in the City of Kingston already allowing for buildings of up to 5 stories, far higher than the existing controls in Bayside.

“Bringing forward a structure plan review process in the Highett Activity Centre would put the area at risk of being rezoned for much higher development by State Government planners.

“As a consequence Council is not willing to pursue a structure planning process that would risk high-level development for this area that is both out of step with the Bayside Housing Strategy and the expectations of our community.”

Under the current scheme of preferred height limits Council has the ability to assess the built form of a proposed development and whether it would have an undesirable impact on the character or amenity of the area.

Page last updated: 29 Apr 2015