Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Port Melbourne - you should see us now!

The Port Melbourne traders' association launched their new logo on the side of these 'pedapods'.

The body of the cab is made from recycled plastic.

Sunrise over Beacon Cove

A blazing red sun slipped above the Beacon Cove towers at about 7.45 this morning

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's going on with Princes Pier? (5)

The deck on the shore side of the Pier has largely been removed.

The $14m allocated to Princes Pier will not be enough to finish these deck works, let alone restore the Gatehouse.

Local member, Martin Foley, is trying to secure further funding to finish the job.

Fishermen were out at the tip of the pier on this beautiful day.

We want to see the Gatehouse restored and the deck safe for access for all

Garden City Reserve update

  • Quotes are being obtained for tree planting and garden bed establishment to take place in April

  • Tree and plants – planting will start late April and will include at least one or two community planting days of 4000 tube stock of native plants

  • 150 native and exotic trees have already been ordered and are growing on

  • The playground design is now being documented for tender, ready for tender by mid to late March and subsequent building

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Women fill the South Melbourne Town Hall

Port Phillip women packed the South Melbourne Town Hall for International Womens Day.
Kavisha Mazzella had all guests singing the Women's Anthem commissioned by Mary Crooks and the Victorian Women's Trust.

'Women in Planning - is gender an issue?' was a rich theme that generated interesting perspectives from the 3 speakers.

Kellie Burns reminded us that the most basic of necessities - public toilets - should be a pre-requisite rather than an afterthought in planning for our cities and introduced us to the Women's Planning Network.

Janet McGaw challenged us, and architects, to come out of the building and into the public realm and engage with people through kindling imagination and memory.

Dr Carolyn Whizman encouraged councillors to be proactive by anticipating and planning for the environmental and other challeges of the future, rather than reacting to particular projects.

It was a beautiful event.

'Mr Port Melbourne'

At today's Junior State Life Saving Championships, Kevin Bracken was awarded a life membership of the Sandridge Life Saving Club in recognition of his dedicated commitment to the Club over many years.
Kevin has been with the Club in good times and bad. He continued to patrol the beach when it was down to 4 members. He is still patrolling.

The Club's Nippers programme which only started late last year were keen participants in the championships.

As Malcolm Freake OAM and President of the Club said in presenting the award: 'Kevin is Mr Port Melbourne'

Town Planning Application for 87 to 101 Bay St (1)

There is a significant planning application for 87 to 101 Bay St for an eleven storey building. It is not the first application for part of the site. There is already a valid permit for part of the site, granted by VCAT. Since that time, the site has been enlarged, and the current owner has an application before Council.

In 2007, Council refused an application from Central Equity for part of this site. Central Equity appealed the decision to VCAT. After considering the grounds for refusal, VCAT approved the application.
VCAT's decision considered the matter of height in some detail and concluded for various reasons that it was acceptable. This means that the matter of height has now been considered by the Tribunal and so Council can not argue the matter again. Key arguments from the Tribunal decision are reproduced below. All text within ' ' are taken from the VCAT decision.

Central Equity Ltd v Port Phillip CC [2007] VCAT 1029 (13 June 2007)

'The council decided that it would refuse the grant of a permit on a number of grounds.
In summary, the grounds of refusal assert that

  • the building is too high given the site is adjacent to heritage buildings and residential properties;

  • the building fails to provide a satisfactory transition in height from the lower built form elements to the north and the taller built form elements to the south;

  • the proposal is contrary to the thrust of the planning scheme’s policies particularly with respect to neighbourhood character and urban design.

The Tribunal member responded as follows:

First, it is relevant take into account the strategic context of the site. The site is located within the Bay Street Activity Centre. This centre is identified as a Major Activity Centre under the metropolitan strategy Melbourne 2030. This is significant because the strategies with Melbourne 2030, as outlined in clause 12 of the scheme, support mixed use development and investment in this type of centre. Intensive redevelopment can be contemplated in centres of this type that are able to cope with substantial chang

Second, it is also relevant that the broader strategic policies set out in the SPPF are consistent with and underpinned those in the MSS. Under clause 21.05-12 of the MSS, the site is located within the Port Melbourne Mixed Use Growth Area. It is an area where change is contemplated. Specifically, the change that is envisaged in this “growth area” is reflected in the DDO1-3 provisions which contemplate built form outcomes that are very different to those that have traditionally existed. While 2 storey Victorian buildings have traditionally existed in this part of Bay Street, the DDO1 control contemplates much taller buildings, irrespective of whether the “preferred” 19.5 metre or “absolute” 31.5 metre heights are applied to new development.

Third, it is relevant to take into account that since the late 1990s there has been substantial change given the emergence of several multi-storey buildings along this part of Bay Street. This development largely reflects the direction given by policy and guided by the height limits that are set out in the DDO1-3 provisions. Based on what has occurred and approved, it is my view that the rate of change in this part of Bay Street has been somewhat aggressive.
The key issue in this case is whether the building height is appropriate. It was the council’s contention that the proposed building is too high in that it fails to provide a reasonable transition from the lower heritage buildings to the north up to the taller elements in the precinct that are found further south along Bay Street.

In relation to the impact of the tower elements on the heritage buildings to the north, I agree with Mr Lovell’s view that the relationship between the old and the new is acceptable given the context. The context is such that along this part of Bay Street, new multi-storey buildings have been constructed cheek by jowl with the remnant Victorian fabric. This occurs further south along Bay Street and on the opposite side. The proposal will be no different. The proposed building will provide a relatively simple, almost benign backdrop against which the former post office and police station as well as the shop buildings to the north will be viewed. The former police station, court house and adjacent shop buildings will still retain prominence on the corner.

In my view, the overall height of the building is acceptable given the context and character of the precinct within which the site lies.'

Nippers state championships

A grey and cool weekend at Sandridge has been transformed into an energetic and colourful scene.

It is astonishing and inspiring to witness the determination of these young people and the support of the life saving clubs represented.

Congratulations to Life Saving Victoria with the Sandridge Life Saving Club.

Thank you also to Port Melbourne Rotary and the Port Colts for supporting the event with sausage sizzles.

Nearly finished!

Roadworks between Esplanade East and Dow St
The works begun on the 2 December 2008 are scheduled to be completed by Friday 13 March 2009. The completion time for the project had to be extended by approximately 2-3 weeks due the re-work associated with the kerb and channel and the extreme weather conditions that had been experienced over the preceding few weeks.
A section of approximately 30m of concrete kerb and channel had to be removed and reconstructed, at the contractor’s expense, as it did not meet Council’s standards. The budget is not affected.

The purposes of the works are to:

  • make it easier to cross the road

  • make provision for cyclists

  • slow traffic

  • provide 11 extra parking spaces see post of 17 February

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clean Up Australia Day

Friends of Port Melbourne's Foreshore hosted Clean Up Australia Day at Sandridge Beach today.
People came from the Clean Up Australia Day website, the Uniting Church congregation in Bridge St, and from Sandridge.
It was satisfying to 'springclean the house' of the Sandridge foreshore and the Webb Dock east park.
One person counted the cigarette butts he collected - 320!