Planning, protecting and building a suburb for all

In the latter part of 2016, FRA was actively involved with a number of resident groups in the City of Yarra to seek planning reform and improve heritage protection to achieve our objective: to keep Fitzroy liveable.

As part of the Yarra Residents’ Coalition, we hosted a packed town hall meeting on 17 November 2016 to hear residents’ views on over-development in the City of Yarra. All motions were fully supported by those who attended, and the resolutions were submitted to Council for its meeting on 22 November . (See Council minutes)

Subsequently in March 2017 the Mayor of Yarra, Cr Amanda Stone, led a delegation of representatives of the Coalition to meet the Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning, to discuss the resolutions. Whilst there have been developments, such as the release of Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 since the initial November meeting, the resolutions remain largely unfulfilled.  The Coalition reported on its efforts to achieve planning reform at a further town hall meeting in April 2017.

In June 2017 we joined with other resident groups across Melbourne to seek planning reforms.

Updates on our activities are included in our newsletter.  Contact us if you wish to be on our distribution list.

Planning 

FRA meetings are an opportunity to discuss planning issues, and in some cases residents may wish to object to particular developments.  The City of Yarra website provides some information to assist objectors.  See also www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/planning-applications

Concerns relating to major developments in Fitzroy are frequently discussed at FRA meetings. The City of Yarra website also shows the current major developments under consideration.

Major developments currently before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) are also listed.

National Trust Advocacy Kit
The National Trust of Australia has produced a free online resource to support those who want to advocate for the protection of places of cultural heritage. This is a welcome resource and includes, for example, an advocacy guide for people who may be wanting to object to an Application for a Planning Permit for properties covered by a Heritage Overlay.

Improving neighbourhood amenity

Can we live in a ‘Night-time Economy’?
Fitzroy is the epicentre of the night-time economy in the City of Yarra with Smith, Brunswick, Johnston and Gertrude streets. We are also the suburb that is experiencing a high growth in residential apartments in close proximity to the activity centres that are the collective spines of Fitzroy. The impact of the night-time economy is of concern to many residents. The increasing number of bars and clubs and the expansion of existing establishments with additional patrons is affecting the well-being, safety and amenity of residents. The late night and early morning trading, together with a lack of diversity in our activity centres, is threatening their vitality, safety and function.

The adoption of Amendment C209 into the Yarra Planning Scheme in 2018 allows for licensed premises with a capacity of more than 200 patrons to be located in core entertainment precincts including Brunswick, Smith and Gertrude streets. Understandably there continues to be a high level of concern, disquiet and uncertainty across our residential community given recent planning approvals by the Council. FRA has raised community awareness in a number of cases involving licensed premises and advocated on behalf of residents.

Community graffiti management trials
In July 2018 the City of Yarra initiated a community graffiti trial project in selected neighbourhoods across the city to initiate and evaluate action on graffiti, waste and litter. FRA is participating in one area. Updates will be included in our regular newsletters.