An urban design framework proposal for Cremorne is likely to go on display within the next few months, Yarra City Council's planning department says.
Director of Planning and Place Making Bruce Phillips told the April 19 council meeting the framework was currently in development and councillors would be briefed on it early in May, with the proposal "hopefully" ready to exhibit to the public in a couple of months.
An "urgent need" for development guidelines for Cremorne had been raised by a public submitter, who wanted reference to the issue written into Yarra council's planning scheme amendment, C269yara.
Lawyer Nick Sutton, appearing on behalf of property owner and developer Riseheath Pty Ltd, argued Cremorne was "in urgent need of a structure plan" and the intention to develop one should be flagged in C269yara in order that it not be overlooked or not be given priority.
Mr Sutton said Cremorne's low-rise buildings and "interesting laneways", which had drawn creative industries and technology companies to the area, were now threatened by the "major wave" of development there.
The suburb is being promoted as a major growth area by the state government. However, the review and update of planning policy that would provide a consistent framework for development in Cremorne is still to be done by the council.
Yarra City has undertaken to start consultation on the planning work this year, and while Mr Sutton said he wasn't aware of any preparation for it having yet occurred, Mr Phillips said the work is underway.
Mr Sutton said while there is no framework new development proposals are effectively being assessed on a case-by-case basis, with a lack of overarching strategy.
"And in effect, this has resulted in VCAT becoming the de facto planning authority and determining the planning for the area in a virtual policy vacuum."
Cremorne Community Inc president Gary Shadforth said his group, which had been established in large part due to burgeoning commercial development and a perceived lack of council attention, was launching a survey this week seeking to establish the "prime concerns" of local residents and workers.
The survey is at: https://cremorne.org.au/survey/