257 Albert Street, Brunswick VIC 3056

The construction of a six storey building, including the partial demolition of the existing building with a reduction (to zero) in car parking

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website 26 days ago. It was received by them 3 months earlier.

(Source: Moreland City Council, reference MPS/2020/528/A)

10 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Sam Hemphill commented

    Zero parking you say?

    Why?

    How?

    Why are there parking rules if they can just be bought off?

    Particularly with a 6 story building in the middle of an extremely congested area.

    Council needs to answer this.

  2. Kat S commented

    Agree with Sam. Why and how? Is everyone living there definitely not owning a car? Driving down Albert St is already a nightmare...why add to it?

  3. Geordie commented

    Sam and Kat, it’s a Perfect spot for a building with no parking; on a rail line, with a dedicated bike track (which will be even more dedicated with level crossing removal), a tram line a block away and a bus stop out front. There’s also most major amenity within walking distance of the site.
    This is exactly the development Melbourne needs, (medium density, in activity Centres, surrounded by public transport) if you want to look at a car focused development, google Kalkallo and tell me which you’d prefer to live in.

  4. Kat S commented

    Geordie - Unfortunately, that 'perfect' scenario you describe is not reality at the moment. If you can guarantee that everyone in that building will behave as you expect them to and they will not have a car nor will they burden the council with an application for a street permit to clog up the streets because the developer doesnt want to allow for car spots then i am okay with that. On site car parking can be be coverted to any number of uses. Excess car parking on streets like Albert st, which is a 2 way street make it a one way st, giving way the whole way along it. This isnt safe for cars, pedestrians, cyclists...anyone in the community.

  5. Claire Plummer commented

    Dear Planning Authority,

    1) What is the process for which developers can ignore the car parking rules?

    2) Is Moreland Council committed to the car parking rules?

    There is no ABS to support people who live in apartments don’t own cars.

    Regards
    Claire

  6. Kate commented

    Each apartment should have allocated parking for each bedroom and a ratio of parking provided for visitors instead of having them all park in front of my house.

    Albert St is narrow and it is dangerous driving down that street.

    No parking =more profits for developers and no obligation to contribute to appropriate parking. Small streets like Albert Street should not have 6 storey apartments in them. Poor long standing neighbours having apartment dwellers watch every move. We have no rights anymore.

    Brunswick is not Kalkallo. However, developers in Kalkallo should be made to fund transport and schools rather than lining their own pockets and not expect government to provide in new estates.

  7. Shauna-Marie Wilson commented

    The subject land is zoned Mixed Use 1 (MUZ1) in the Moreland Planning Scheme.

    The proposal is a high quality contemporary response to the avant garde context of Brunswick and responds positively to Clause 32.04-14 of the Moreland Planning Scheme.

    The proposal will not generate any unreasonable visual bulk nor overshadowing of the public realm nor adjacent sites.

    The proposal responds positively to the Decision Guidelines and Strategic Context.

    The subject site is located upon the northern side of Albert Street which adds support to any likely overshadowing being both brief and not unreasonable for the emerging character.

    The application is consistent with the relevant policies and objectives of the Moreland (Merri-bek) Planning Scheme and should be supported.

    I have read and concur with, the Planning and Urban Context Report prepared for the Applicant by Tract.

    A range of State Government and Moreland City Council policies have informed the development of the Brunswick Structure Plan. In turn, the Structure Plan will act as a tool to implement some elements of these policies.

    Two key policies are the State Government’s Melbourne 2030:
    Planning for Sustainable Growth (Melbourne 2030) and Council’s Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS).
    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 41,200 people were living in the
    Brunswick SLA in 2006, an increase of 4 per cent
    since the 2001 census. The population grew more than in the previous census period (previously +1 per cent), with growth in Brunswick
    East particularly strong at 8 per cent. Further increases are expected with the population
    estimated to grow to 44,800 by 2021.
    However, the current growth rate is significantly higher than forecast, and this suggests that these estimates may be conservative.
    Household numbers in Brunswick grew at a faster rate than the population (5.9 per cent compared to a 3.3 per cent population
    increase). The average household size is decreasing, and at 2.2 people per household, it is significantly smaller than the Melbourne average
    of 2.6, and the Moreland average of 2.4 people. This is largely due to the high percentage of residents who live alone (30 per cent in 2006),
    and a decline in family households consisting of couples with children (21 per cent in 2001 down to 19 per cent in 2006).

    A summary of the housing issues facing the Activity Centre includes:
    Increasing pressure for Brunswick to accommodate a substantial number of dwellings in response to Melbourne-wide population growth;
    Higher density residential development often faces ***organised opposition*** by the local community [emphasis added];
    A lack of open space for future residential development in many urban renewal areas within the Brunswick Activity Centre;
    There is an identified lack of appropriate housing for particular socioeconomic groups;
    There is a need for a diverse range of housing options for diverse mobility, income and cultural groups.

    The State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) establishes that activity centres will be a focus for major retail, residential, commercial, administrative, entertainment and cultural developments, which provide a variety of land uses and are highly accessible to the community (Clause 11)

    Melbourne 2030: Planning for Sustainable Growth (2002) identified Brunswick as a major activity centre in the hierarchy of metropolitan Melbourne’s activity centres and as a focus for high-quality development, activity and living.

    Plan Melbourne 2017 – 2050 identifies the Brunswick Activity Centre as a major activity centre.

    These centres are defined as suburban centres that provide access to a wide range of goods and services. They had different attributes and provide different functions, with
    some serving larger subregional catchments. Major activity centres provide opportunities for more medium and higher-density development in middle suburbs close to jobs and services.
    Clause 21.02-3 of the Moreland Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), which
    states: Council is committed to creating sustainable neighbourhoods where people can walk to shops and services, employment, schools, public transport, parks and community services.

    The Moreland Activity Centre Framework 2014 contributes to Council’s vision for sustainable neighbourhoods by identifying a series of different sized activity
    centres across the municipality.
    Coburg, Brunswick and Glenroy Activity Centres are the larger centres in the framework.
    These three centres are identified to accommodate the most significant change of all the activity
    centres. Change and intensification should be consistent with the directions set out in the relevant zones and overlays and the following strategic plans – the Coburg Place Framework 2010 and Central Coburg 2020 Structure Plan 2006, the Brunswick Structure Plan 2010 and Addendum 2012, the Sydney Road/Upfield Corridor Strategic Framework Plan and the Glenroy Structure Plan 2008.

    In Brunswick the largest household type is lone person households (28.2%), followed by couples without children (26.1%) and both have increased since 2011. Group households also form a significant proportion of households in Brunswick (16.5%). Households with children have dropped in terms of % and numbers in Brunswick.
    The Sydney Road streetscape is experiencing significant redevelopment, and an emerging character is well established consisting of new mid-rise apartment buildings up to ten storeys comprising ground floor commercial uses and upper level dwellings, setback behind lower-scale streetwalls.

    Clause 2.3.2 Housing in the Brunwick Structure Plan Reference Document 2018 states there is a need to significantly increase the number of dwellings to meet the expected population growth.
    Clause 4.1.1 in the Brunswick Structure Plan Reference Document 2018 states Objectives to develop a vibrant activity centre by encouraging a range of land uses that support variety of activities, including higher density housing, industry, office, retailing, arts and entertainment, community services and cultural events.

    Proposal responds positively to all Objectives within Brunswick Structure Plan Reference
    Document 2018 4.2 Housing Proposal responds positively to Objectives within Brunswick Structure Plan Reference Document
    2018 4.4 Transport and Movement.
    Proposal responds positively to the Sydney Road/Upfield Corridor Strategic Framework

    Proposal responds positively to Clause 32.04 Purpose of the Moreland (Merri-bek) Planning Scheme:
    To implement the Municipal Planning Strategy and the Planning Policy Framework.
    To provide for a range of residential, commercial, industrial and other uses which complement the mixed-use function of the locality.
    To provide for housing at higher densities.
    To encourage development that responds to the existing or preferred neighbourhood character of the area.
    To facilitate the use, development and redevelopment of land in accordance with the objectives specified in a schedule to this zone.

    Proposal responds positively to Clause 21.02 of the Municipal Strategic Statement C159 which states:
    Significant growth is encouraged within Moreland’s three large Activity Centres and in Moreland’s twelve Neighbourhood Centres activity centres designated for growth (as listed below). Increased housing densities in the form of apartments and townhouses are encouraged in these activity centres. In these locations, neighbourhood character is expected to change over time, commensurate with the role and size of the centre in the overall network of centres.
    ____________________________________________________
    PARKING

    The reduction in carparking, even though it is to zero, sought by the applicant is unremarkable and aligned with the emerging character of the area.

    Analysis of car ownership in 2021, indicates 25% of households in Brunswick had access to two or more motor vehicles, compared to 38% in City of Merri-bek. 20.6% of Brunswick households in 2021 had no car ownership.

    On Census Day 2021 in Brunswick, 22.2% of people travelled to work in a private car, 9.3% took public transport and 9.8% rode a bike or walked. 44.4% worked at home.

    The number of employed people in Brunswick increased by 1,572 between 2016 and 2021.

    The largest changes in the method of travel to work by resident population in Brunswick between 2016 and 2021 were for those nominated:
    Worked at home (+6,456 persons)
    Tram (-1,602 persons)
    Train (-1,523 persons)
    Car - as driver (-1,223 persons)

    The major differences in persons between the method of travel to work of Brunswick and City of Merri-bek were:
    A larger percentage of persons who worked at home (44.4% compared to 36.1%)
    A larger percentage of persons who travelled by bicycle (6.1% compared to 2.8%)
    A larger percentage of persons who travelled by tram (4.7% compared to 2.5%)
    A smaller percentage of persons who travelled by car (as driver) (21.1% compared to 34.5%)

    Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016 and 2021. Compiled and presented by .id (informed decisions).
    ___________________________________________________

    The proposal responds positively to the following:
    Brunswick Structure Plan Reference Document 2018
    1.5 Strategic Context
    1.6 Planning Policy Context
    Structure planning for Brunswick has been informed by the State and local planning policy
    frameworks and other higher order strategic plans, as follows:
    The State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) establishes that activity centres will
    be a focus for major retail, residential, commercial, administrative,
    entertainment and cultural developments, which provide a variety of land uses
    and are highly accessible to the community (Clause 11).
    Metropolitan planning strategy has established an expectation for sustainable
    urban growth and the development of activity centres to provide communities
    with convenient access to a wide range of goods and services and to facilitate
    vibrant local economies.
    Melbourne 2030: Planning for Sustainable Growth (2002) identified
    Brunswick as a major activity centre in the hierarchy of metropolitan
    Melbourne’s activity centres and as a focus for high-quality
    development, activity and living.
    Plan Melbourne 2017 – 2050 identifies the Brunswick Activity Centre
    as a major activity centre. These centres are defined as suburban
    centres that provide access to a wide range of goods and services.
    They had different attributes and provide different functions, with
    some serving larger subregional catchments. Major activity centres
    provide opportunities for more medium and higher-density
    development in middle suburbs close to jobs and services.
    Clause 21.02-3 of the Moreland Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS)
    2.1 Demographic Trends
    The proposal responds positively to the surrounding context, the location on a declared road, the activity centre location, the Zoning, and the trends in household sizes and population.
    2.2 Existing conditions
    The emerging character is an eclectic one of increasing high density housing, significant
    population growth and a diversity of housing types and the proposal responds positively to the emerging character of the area as well as the future vision for the area broadly defined in the City of Moreland Planning Scheme.

    2.3 Key Issues
    Activation, emerging character, under-utilisation of existing lands, revitalisation and the need to
    avoid dereliction of the area.

    3.1 Vision for Brunswick
    This area will continue to develop as a lively urban space, sought after by new residents and small businesses, due to its good public transport connections, great local services and its place at the forefront of Melbourne’s cultural scene. Proposal responds positively to the vision.

    3.2 Principles
    7. Access, services, facilities and accommodation for all
    People of all abilities, incomes and cultures will have access to public facilities, services
    and housing within Brunswick

    4.1 THEME 1: LAND USE PATTERN AND ACTIVITY
    BRUNSWICK ACTIVITY CENTRE
    Positively responds to objectives and strategies:
    4.1.2 Encourage a mix of uses, including retail, office, commercial, entertainment and
    community, to strengthen the role of the three corridors as a major concentration of
    activity and as a community and civic focus.
    4.1.3 Support higher density residential development
    4.2 Theme 2: Housing
    Proposal responds positively to strategies and objectives.

    4.4 THEME 4: TRANSPORT AND MOVEMENT
    Reduction in carparking requirements respond positively to strategies and objectives.
    The location of the site and reduction in carparking requirements respond positvely to the CIty of Moreland Climate Action Plan via a promotion by the proposal's design and chosen site, of increased active and public transport use.
    There is an emerging character of 17 metre preferred heights in the DDO for the Sydney Road corridor.

    This highlights the true emerging character of the area as one of increasing housing densities close to declared roads in Major Activity Centres.
    Indeed the emerging character of the site and surrounds is one of high population growth,
    increasing housing heights and density, eclectic and ambitious design vision, and mixed use construction in activity centres.
    Noting in detail the true emerging character of the area and that "context" includes emerging character as captured by both existing recent development activity and the Moreland City Council Planning Scheme documents, I would support the granting of a permit.
    Perhaps the expectations of the surrounding residents need to be managed, noting the emerging character and future vision of Council articulated for the area in the planning scheme.
    Given the emerging character, planning scheme and surrounding uses, overshadowing impacts of the proposal are less remarkable than previously suggested by other submitters.
    _______________________________________________

    THE LAW AND THE OBJECTIONS MADE TO THE APPLICATION, SUMMING UP

    If the objector's submissions were to be given any credence, the proposal must still be granted a permit as I say it is acceptable on the basis of the precedents in:
    Knox CC v Tulcany [2004] VSC 375 18 VPR 229
    Rozen & Anor v Macedon Ranges Shire Council & Anor [2010] VSC 583 (14 December 2010)
    Knox v Tulcany confirms that "acceptable" is the standard that needs to be met by planning applications. So planning proposals do not need to be ideal or perfect, but equally they cannot be sub-standard.
    The burden is upon Objector's to show that the Application fails to respond "acceptably" according to the threshold in Knox v Tulcany, to the matters within Clause 65 of the Victorian Planning Principles.

  8. Claire Plummer commented

    That’s a great 2021 statistic, approximately 80% of households in Brunswick access one car and approximately 25% of households access two cars. It supports why parking rules should be adhered.

  9. Jack commented

    Have to agree with Claire here. Great we can reduce off street parking on developments somewhat— but to none? It doesn’t work with the statistics at all.

  10. Geordie barker commented

    So... traffic is a major issue in the area, but y'all want the development to HAVE carparking? Those two things don't align.

    I live in a building with no carparking in Brunswick, there are three apartments in the building that have cars, and all pay to park in a neighboring building's carpark (which is 50% empty at any given time).

    Personal car ownership isn't a thing to be championed or encouraged, it's a thing to be phased out. Also allows apartments (on average) to be $80k cheaper, pretty handy in a climate crisis!

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