Planning & Development
The FRA Committee monitor major developments in Fitzroy. Contact us if you know of and are concerned about a development that will impact on you, your neighbours or the suburb.
The City of Yarra website provides some information to assist objectors. See also www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning/planning-applications and the kits provided through the National Trust.
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.
The FRA have also developed a Strategic Planning 101 Information Sheet to assist residents in understanding Council planning processes and procedures.
Important Planning Changes
Planning amendments and change is ongoing in the city of Yarra, the following is a summary of the major changes from the past 2 years and their current status:
Design and Development Overlays (DDOs) – ONGOING
In September 2022 Yarra had a YourSay consultation on a suite of twelve in-development DDOs. The consultation includes height limits and set backs across Fitzroy and Collingwood. The FRA responded to this consultation as did many residents (500 responses were received). An updated set of DDOs was then put to the Planning Minister in December 2022. Despite numerous follow ups, these DDOs remain in draft.
The FRA is strongly urging the Minister and Yarra Council to have these DDOs adopted. While we do not necessarily all agree to every height limit and decision within these documents, they do set out the rules and expectations, which make it clear to ALL, what is acceptable and what is not. Without these DDOs in place, we are continually seeing developers seek application for buildings that far exceed these requirements. This can be traumatic for residents and tiring for the community and Council to continually fight these. The DDOs will set a clear guideline to Developers so they know prior to purchasing land for development what is and is not acceptable. It also creates transparency for residents as to what may be built in the future around them.
Yarra Statutory Planning Delegations (March 2022) – CLOSED
Significant changes were adopted in March 2022, the key one is that to force a planning decision to a Committee it must have more than 15 individual objectors. More details about these changes are available in our Changes to the Yarra Statutory Planning Delegations
St David Street, Fitzroy (PLN22/0992) – IN PROGRESS
A six storey hotel with two bars catering for 152 people. The building is much larger than what is allowed on the site (under the proposed DDO) and potentially has traffic / safety implications for Exhibition St / wind tunnelling on St David St. The key concern from the FRA is how this building supports the need for housing – do we really need another hotel and two more bars when we have so many vacant buildings on Brunswick St? We also question how 2 unisex toilets is enough for staff and 152 people in the bar space and are concerned that public urination will rise should the development go ahead. Finally, we also feel that some consideration should be given to a car sharing scheme, EV charging, end of trip facilities (somewhere to shower / change) and a higher number of bicycle sites. Read the FRA Objection here.
224-228 Smith St, Collingwood (PLN22/0917) – IN PROGRESS
An oversized apartment building. The FRA has added its objection to this building because it sets a precedent for Fitzroy. The developers have ignored the proposed ‘Mandatory’ height and setback limits in the DDO. This makes a mockery of the DDOs and we feel they should be enforced. The setback at the rear is likely to create a wind tunnel and the building is not sympathetic to the heritage buildings around it. This matter is still being considered by council so you can still add your objection here.
151-159 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy (PLN22/0143) – IN PROGRESS
A mega 10 storey medical centre / hotel / hospital that dominates the corner of Victoria Parade and George Street. The FRA and 47 others lodged objection to this building on account of it being double the allowable height in the DDO, having insufficient setbacks and aggressive design, the development being in breach of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, safety concerns with the design, residential amenity concerns caused by overshadowing, noise, wind tunnels and contamination, insufficient traffic or parking planning and is inconsistent with the heritage of the area. This matter is still being considered by council so you can still add your objection here.
235 Napier Street, Fitzroy (PLN21/0375.01) – CLOSED – SUCCESSFUL
A new proposed oversized hotel, restaurant, and café, with no parking in a residential area. The FRA opposed the size and setback of the building, the function of the building given the potential for reduced residential amenity (noise and disruption of hotel in a residential area), the lack of parking and therefore impact on surrounding area and most importantly on the safety of the community given the lack of planning around drop off and pick up of patrons on a bike commuter street. The site is now back up for sale after failing to obtain a permit. The approved permit for the site is a 6-storey set of apartments with parking. This is consistent with the other buildings on this side of Napier Street. View the FRA objection here
28 Johnston Street, Fitzroy (PLN22/0028) – CLOSED – SUCCESSFUL
Skinny 8 storey residential development and office. This building makes little sense given the surrounding buildings and was proposed to be a series of tiny apartments stacked upon each other. With over 34 objections, this matter went to VCAT and was decided in May 2023 in favour of the Yarra Council. View the FRA objection here
The FRA Committee welcomes and supports the role of individual members who along with their neighbours take on developments that impact on their residential amenity and more broadly Fitzroy’s liveability and sustainability.