Advisory committee recommends green benchmarks for games village
The Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Justin Madden, today announced plans to ensure Melbourne’s 2006 Commonwealth Games Village achieved new environmental and urban planning benchmarks for the State.
Mr Madden said the guidelines followed an extensive process of community consultation by the Commonwealth Games Village Advisory Committee, chaired by Chief Panel Member for Planning Panels Victoria, Helen Gibson.
The Government and Village Park Consortium will now develop the final design of the Games Village incorporating the outcomes of this public consultation process.
“The Bracks Government wants to ensure the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games deliver sporting and social benefits to Victoria long after the Games have finished,” Mr Madden said.
“The independent advisory committee process has led to significant enhancements on our original plan, delivering a ‘greener’ Athletes Village and an urban precinct that will set the benchmark for future developments throughout Victoria.
“We will also deliver much improved transport after the Games which will ensure residents have appropriate levels of public transport access and that traffic flows freely through the area.”
Additional transport features, include:
A new bus route through the village;
Traffic lights at the intersection of Brunswick Rd and Gibson Avenue; and
Creation of a new road linking Brunswick Rd to the site. Mr Madden said the committee received 50 submissions from the community, local councils and residents and heard from more than 26 parties during 13 days of hearings. It made 130 recommendations including a revised design for the overall site.
“The Government has agreed to 128 of the proposed recommendations – more importantly we have an agreement with Village Park Consortium to deliver the games Village on time, on budget, and within the constraints imposed in the committee report,” Mr Madden said.
Mr Madden said the recommendations would deliver a Games Village that better reflected the environmental planning expectations of the 21st Century.
“This announcement reaffirms the Bracks Government’s commitment to create a green and sustainable Athletes Village – 6 Star energy efficient houses will be built and 5 Star apartments – well above the standards expected for comparable developments,” Mr Madden said.
Other key environmental features of the village include:
Recycling of grey water on site;
Alternative energy features;
Carbon neutral developments; and
Planting of new native trees.The Government has also improved on its plans for delivering on its commitment to provide 200 public and social housing dwellings.
“We have achieved greater integration of public and social housing across the site which is an excellent example of how non-private housing can be incorporated into a dynamic and contemporary housing development,” Mr Madden said.
Mr Madden said the Government had also accepted the views of the City of Melbourne and the City of Moreland to increase densities in line with the Government’s 2030 Planning Policy.
“We accept their position relating to appropriate densities for the conversion of a disused psychiatric institution to a thriving modern urban community,” Mr Madden said.
“The Advisory Committee also supports both councils’ view, that a variation in apartment building heights would provide a more dynamic and exciting addition to Melbourne’s urban form. The average height will remain six storeys, however three buildings will be 11 storeys to provide a counterpoint to the Melbourne Gateway.”
Mr Madden said the Government had also accepted the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to adopt a revised design that enables a greater number of heritage buildings to be retained.
“I’m pleased to approve a development that sees 9 heritage buildings, instead of 7, retained – showcasing the positive elements of the former psychiatric institution’s design,” he said.
The Government has also supported the Advisory Committee’s recommendation that 31 trees are of sufficient quality to be retained. An expert survey was undertaken to decide what trees merited retention.
“All trees that were classified as ‘low value’ in the independent report will be replaced with new healthy trees, positioned in the best way to enhance the urban design. The low quality introduced species will be replaced with varieties that are native to the local environment.
“There will be no net loss of trees as a result of the development with an extensive landscaping and tree planting program to be delivered, ” Mr Madden said.
A copy of the Advisory Committee Recommendations and the Government’s determination are available at www.dvc.vic.gov.au.