Melbourne City Council last night demonstrated the Councils inability to provide good governance and proper planning.
The Council’s pride was wounded as the City of Melbourne faced reality that its planning scheme does not meet the demands of a growing and innovative city or facilitate good design.
There was acceptance that the proposed Australia 108 project was a quality development that would contribute to Melbourne built environment.
The City of Melbourne’s ego has been bruised as it realizes that the Council has become irrelevant to Melbourne’s planning system. The Council’s main objection is that Nonda Katsalidis’s FK Architects
does not comply with the City’s Planning Scheme provision and its established high limit of 100m. The Council has been sidelined in the planning process.
So impressed with the proposed design Deputy Chair of Planning, Cr Stephen Mayne, called on the State Government to make it a condition of the development that Nonda Katsalidis be retained as the projects Architect.
The City of Melbourne employes a fleet of staff and consultants all who are highly paid. Previously Cr Mayne had complained that the Council was only given 14 days to respond to the proposed development, however the council was able to consider and respond to the Minister within a week of being asked to respond to the Ministers invitation.
The problem is not the project design but with the Melbourne Planning Scheme.
The City Council planning system and its involvement in major projects has been in free fall ever since the City back-downed and supported the shift of the Melbourne Museum from the centre of the city to the outskirts. Whilst the Council remains an advocate in the planning process, it’s credibility and relevance is non exsistant. Until they become proactive and embrace good design and innovation all the winging and crying in the beer will not help.