Economic and employment analysis and advice help develop West Melbourne’s economy.

West Melbourne is a long-established area with a strong community, a diverse mix of housing, warehouses and businesses, and a rich cultural and architectural heritage.

In 2016, we worked with the City of Melbourne to understand the economic and employment profile of West Melbourne. Our study and recommendations informed the West Melbourne Structure Plan.

The West Melbourne Structure Plan guides the development of future growth in the precinct. Our analysis identified opportunities based on emerging local and broader trends. It considered:

  • the industrial and commercial land use profile
  • employment and economic trends
  • the retail and community services profile, and
  • the local and regional strategic context.

We identified a range of scenarios for the future role of the precinct, including realistic opportunities and trade-offs. Retaining economic activity was identified as a key priority. We also identified a range of potential statutory implementation mechanisms to support mixed uses within the precinct.

In 2019, the City of Melbourne's Planning Scheme Amendment C309 which sought to implement recommendations from their Structure Plan into the Local Planning Scheme was reviewed by Planning Panels Victoria.

SGS project leaders Julian Szafraniec and Andrew Spencer gave evidence on economics, employment feasibility and affordable housing at the planning panel hearing.

The planning panel's report supports many of the critical planning controls including:

  • using the Special Use Zone to deliver a real mix of uses
  • mandatory floor area ratios to provide greater clarity and certainty
  • minimum floor space provisions for employment uses
  • six per cent social housing
  • provisions to help retail buildings identified as special character buildings
  • maximum parking rates and a requirement for parking spaces to be held in common ownership.

In May 2022, the Amendment was approved by the Minister for Planning and published in the Victorian Government Gazette.

A significant win for the West Melbourne community, the planning panel report will support more balanced development as West Melbourne transitions into an important urban neighbourhood.

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