Plan to curb “inappropriate” Yarra River development

The Victorian government has introduced new planning controls for a 42-kilometre stretch of the Yarra River corridor, running from Richmond in Melbourne’s inner-east to Warrandyte in the city’s north-east.

The new planning controls will replace the existing but inconsistent overlays in the various municipalities and are intended to protect the Yarra River and its banks “against inappropriate development,” the government said in a statement.

The controls include two new overlays. A Design Development Overlay will be applied to specific areas of private land immediately adjacent to the river and will set out mandatory building heights, development setbacks and overshadowing controls. A Significant Landscape Overlay will be applied to the wider landscape setting of the Yarra corridor and will manage the siting and design of buildings and the removal of trees and earthworks.

The new planning controls are part of the Yarra River Action Plan, which will also see the creation of a new independent body called the Birrarung Council. The council will include the traditional owners of the land and representatives from environment, farming and community groups. The council will provide independent advice to the government on all matters concerning the Yarra River.

The Yarra River Action Plan follows the Victorian government’s introduction of interim planning controls in January 2016.

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