URBAN DESIGN REVIEW POLICY ANALYSIS
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Executive Summary 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Background 1.2 The Design Response 1.3 Architectural Statement
1 1 2 3
Section Two Urban Design Review 2.1 Preamble 2.2 Background 2.3 Preface 2.4 Key Urban Design Findings 2.5 Definitions 2.6 Site Conditions 2.7 Physical Site Context 2.8 Heritage 2.9 Urban and Streetscape Character 2.10 Building Heights and Form 2.11 Significant Views 2.12 Residential Amenity 2.13 Subdivision Pattern & Urban Typology 2.14 Mobility 2.15 Policy Framework 2.16 Policy Framework 2.17 Specific Design Objectives 2.18 Key Influences Establishing a Critical Context 2.19 Key Urban Design Responses 2.20 Broader Context: “Urban Composition” 2.21 Critical Mobility Context 2.22 Critical Context Urban form – Composition 2.23 Critical context: Urban form – Streetscapes 2.24 Critical context Urban Form – Height 2.25 Design Direction
5 5 6 8 10 10 10 11 13 14 16 18 18 19 20 22 24 26 27 27 28 29 29 30 30
Section Three Policy Analysis 3.1 Overview 3.2 Camberwell Junction Activity Centre 3.3 Land Use 3.4 Design and Built Form 3.5 Heritage 3.6 Car Parking and Public Transport 3.7 Further considerations
33 34 34 36 42 42 42
Section Four Conclusion
Section Five Appendices
Executive Summary The Place: Camberwell Station: • Is a mixed use development (shops, offices and apartments) accommodated within two architecturally-designed buildings which are separated by an open-air plaza. • Does not result in the modification to or demolition of the existing station buildings and maintains key historical sightlines in and around the station precinct in accordance with heritage controls. The majority of the proposal is located outside of the heritage overlay area. • Provides basement parking for 306 cars, including 76 ‘commuter’ public spaces (as per the existing car park). • Introduces an open-air plaza - “The Place” – lined with shops (eg. cafes) adjacent to Burke Road which will be a pedestrian-friendly public space next to the station complex. • Provides pedestrian connectivity to all station platforms directly from Burke Road, including disabled access. • Promotes sustainable land use and living, through reducing reliance on car-based travel, encouragement of public transport use and through the incorporation of ESD features. • It will increase the safety and functionality of the station precinct through the provision of new direct and visible pedestrian connections to the station platforms. • It will also improve night lighting around the station complex, in particular along Railway Walk.
1.0 Introduction This report has been prepared by Urbis Pty Ltd on behalf of CSTP Pty Ltd. This report is in support of the development of the site at 2R Cookson Street, Camberwell for a mixed use development with associated basement car parking and landscaping. The key components of this report comprise: • An Urban Design Review; and • Planning Policy Assessment. In preparing this report we have inspected the site and surrounds and reviewed the relevant planning controls and policies pursuant to the Boroondara Planning Scheme. Further, we have reviewed background documentation relevant to Camberwell Junction and Camberwell Railway Station, including the following: • Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993, prepared by the Cities of Camberwell and Hawthorn; • Adopted draft Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, including the Officer’s Report. • Camberwell Station (draft) Urban Design Framework (UDF); • Various Council Officer Reports; • Camberwell Junction Structure Plan Review – Land Use and Key Development Site Analysis, prepared by Hansen Partnership Pty Ltd for the City of Boroondara, December, 2004; • Camberwell Junction Structure Plan (draft) Economic Analysis prepared by SGS Economics and Planning for the City of Boroondara, 16 February, 2005; • Camberwell Junction Masterplan Review – Social Planning Background Analysis Report (final draft), prepared by BG Urban Solutions for the City of Boroondara, February, 2005; • Camberwell Junction Structure Plan – Precinct Plans, prepared by Hansen Partnership for the City of Boroondara, September, 2005; • Camberwell Station Precinct Issues Paper, September, 29th, 2004; • Boroondara (draft) Integrated Transport Strategy April, 2006; • Camberwell Structure Plan – Transport Existing Conditions, prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff for the City of Boroondara, 6 January, 2005 • Documentation associated with Amendment C55 to the Boroondara Planning Scheme, including the Panel Report;
Further, we have had regard to the following documentation associated with the proposal: • Architectural drawings prepared by Wood Marsh Architects; • The Traffic and Car Parking Report prepared by Cardno Grogan Richards; • Heritage Report by Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants; and • Landscape Plan and Report prepared by John Patrick Landscape Architects.
The subject site is owned by the State Government with VicTrack being the public land manager. In February, 2002, VicTrack appointed a preferred tenderer, Tenterfield Pty Ltd, in relation to the development of the land. At the Council meeting in March 2003, Council resolved to write to the State Government requesting that the redevelopment of the station be underpinned by a thorough strategic process. Consequently, Council established a working group and engaged a number of consultants to undertake a strategic review of the development opportunities and constraints of the subject site. This culminated in the preparation of a draft Urban Design Framework (UDF) which contained three outcomes for the subject site: • Option 1 – No Development • Option 2 – Community Development • Option 3 - Development
Comment from the public was sought in relation to options 1 and 3 contained within the draft UDF. The recommendation of the officer’s report prepared by Council’s Planning Department was the adoption of ‘Option 3 – Development’, subject to a number of modifications. In considering the officer’s report at its meeting on 23 May, 2005, the City of Boroondara Councillors deferred consideration of the matter on the basis that further investigation be undertaken as to the possibility of relocating the Camberwell Library to the subject site as part of any new development (Option 2 – Community Development). The submitted proposal is generally consistent with the conceptual layout plan detailed within Option 3 of the draft UDF. The proposal provides floorspace which could accommodate a community use, such as a library. The points of difference with the conceptual layout of Option 3 are discussed later in the planning analysis. A by-product of the preparation of the draft UDF for the subject site was Council’s request to the Minister for Planning for a heritage overlay to be applied to Camberwell Station. Amendment C55 was gazetted on 1 June, 2007 and approved the application of a heritage overlay to part of the site in accordance with the recommendation of the independent panel appointed to consider submissions in relation to the proposal. The station is of local heritage significance. The application of a heritage overlay to the subject site places an additional layer of policy to consider in determining the appropriateness of the development proposed for the site. Heritage objectives compete with other policy considerations, including urban design objectives relating to the public realm, safety, access, context, meeting demand for retail, office and residential floorspace and net community benefit. Part of the proposal is located on land subject to the heritage overlay. As detailed in the supporting report from Lovell Chen Heritage Consultants, the proposal represents a sympathetic response to the site’s heritage context.
1.1.1 Camberwell Junction Structure Plan Review In 2004, Council commenced a review of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993 which is implemented via the Camberwell Junction Policy at Clause 22.02 of the Boroondara Planning Scheme. At its meeting on 7 November, 2007, Boroondara Council resolved to seek community comment on the Draft Structure Plan. The Councillors supported the Planning Officer’s recommendations in relation to the Draft Structure Plan, subject to a number of minor modifications. Urbis, on behalf of CSTP Pty Ltd, lodged two submissions in relation to the draft Structure Plan following public exhibition raising issues in relation to several aspects of the Structure Plan. At the Council meeting on 27 October 2009, the draft Structure Plan was adopted by Council. Council has indicated that the next stage is to seek approval from the Minister for Planning, via a Planning Scheme Amendment, to incorporate the draft Structure Plan into the Boroondara Planning Scheme.
Corner of Burke Road and Cookson Street.
Shop (ground level) and offices (first and second floor levels).
Amendments to the original plans
3 storeys in height.
The Cookson Street building
MATERIALS: Predominantly of a glass construction with a ‘curtain’ of terracotta louvres. The Railway Walk building
Existing car park fronting Burke Road and Railway Walk.
Shops and office spaces (podium levels) and apartments (above the podium). Basement car parking.
An overall height of 8-9 storeys contained within two distinct building components comprising: • A 2-3 storey podium along Burke Road, Railway Walk and the plaza. • A 6 level apartment building sited on top of the podium.
1.2 The Design Response The composition of uses and floor area/apartments numbers of the overall proposal is as follows:
MATERIALS: A varied palette of materials will be used to differentiate between semi-public spaces (eg. seating areas for cafes) and key pedestrian areas connecting Burke Road to the station platforms. Planter boxes will provide landscaping.
An overview of the design response is as follows:
FLOOR AREA / NO. OF APARTMENTS
The podium level contains tinted green glass set behind patterned black steel columns, except for the ground level shopfronts along Burke Road and part of the Railway Walk facade which have clear glazing. The apartments are finished with silver reflective glazing.
A public plaza located over the railway lines to the immediate east of the existing Burke Road bridge.
• Public meeting place • Direct pedestrian link to station platforms • Entrance to the office and residential foyers • Kiosks • Outdoor seating for shops
855 square metres, including a rectangular-shaped area of approximately 22 x 25 metres.
Due to a confluence of factors, including a change in market conditions, the proposal as originally lodged with the City of Boroondara in November, 2007 has been amended to, amongst other matters, decrease the quantum of office floorspace and to enable an increase in the number of apartments. The changes are summarised as follows: Cookson Street building:
• Setback the south-eastern corner of the Cookson Street building to open the pedestrian view line to the stair and lift providing access to the northern station platform. • Provide wider staired access (increased from 1.5m wide to 2.2m wide) from the plaza to the northern station platform to improve pedestrian amenity. • Provision of shower and change facilities in the Cookson Street building for retail and office staff. • Provision of additional water tanks to accommodate run-off from the terrace and to service the Cookson Street building and the adjacent garden. RAILWAY WALK BUILDING:
• Deletion of the above podium level office floorspace and replacement with 118 apartments, including alterations to the built form. • Internal reconfiguration of the car parking levels, including an increase in the area of basement level 4. The number of car parking spaces has not changed. • Increase in the size of Shop 8 (1155sqm to 1248sqm). • The building has increased in height by: − 3.3m (i.e. 1 residential storey) in comparison to the height of the apartments in the original scheme; and − 5.1m-6.65m (i.e. 1.5 – 2 residential storeys) in comparison to the height of the office levels in the original scheme. • Provision of clear glazing for the Burke Road shopfronts and turning the corner into Railway Walk. • Alteration to the office foyer and introduction of a separate apartment foyer accessed via the plaza. • Provision of water tanks to the east of the basement to service the apartments and commercial tenancies. The Plaza:
• Provision of three kiosks on the plaza to promote additional convenience and activity. • Deletion of the plaza walkway along the northern and eastern sides of the southern (Railway Walk) building to improve safety through reducing the potential for places of concealment.
• Art installation (illuminated art discs) along the side elevation of the Railway Walk building. Installation is to be at eye level and comprise a series of round disc panels which are illuminated to create both a major light source and visual interest. • The ‘illuminated art discs’ are also to be hung above head height along Railway Walk. • Provision of entrance doors to office lobby off Railway Walk, including the provision of an entrance canopy. • Remove the solid wall to Shop 7 along Railway Walk and replace with clear glazing to provide an active edge. • Deletion of the staired connection to Railway Walk for safety reasons, as mentioned above. Why changes have been made to the original plans? • To address design and safety issues raised by Council and to respond to the State Government’s ‘Safer Design Guidelines’. • To improve pedestrian flow and accessibility between the terrace and the northern station platform. • To provide a more significant residential offering in line with State and Local Planning policy which seeks to increase the number of permanent residents within established Activity Centres.
1.3 Architectural Statement The development of Camberwell Station has been designed to unify vacant land adjoining the station, provide for better access to the platforms, protect the existing station buildings and integrate the station with Burke Road via an open Plaza. The design is centered around a large public plaza. The plaza which provides a direct link between Burke Road and the station is framed by the proposed buildings either side of the rail lines. The Plaza acts as a social space off Burke Road with seating, gardens, kiosks and feature sculptural works. There would be direct access to the station platforms including disabled lifts.
The building on the corner of Cookson Street and Burke Road is a three level building with ground floor retail and two levels of commercial space. The building is designed to hold the corner and is similar in height to the existing two level building on the north western corner of the Burke Road and Cookson St intersection, and much lower than the hotel directly opposite. The glass façade is of light bronze to the upper two levels and clear glass at ground level and is enhanced by the ‘curtain’ of terracotta louvres which run the full length of the building on both sides. The louvres emphasise the front façade to Burke Road and acts as a shading canopy to both pedestrians and the building interior. The terracotta cladding makes reference to the masonry and terracotta roofscapes throughout Camberwell and particularly the station buildings. At night it is envisaged with soft back lighting, the building will appear like a soft lantern. The building on the Southern side of the Plaza is designed using a different architectural language from the Cookson St building and articulates the three different uses of the building; retail, office and residential. The podium levels are read as a three storey building that holds the southern corner of the site. The horizontal parapet combined with the stepped fall of the site along Burke Road means the building varies from 8.9m at Plaza level to 13m at Railway Walk. The building in the larger context of Burke Road steps in height with the neighbouring buildings. The façade is constructed of mild steel columns that intersect to create a fine pattern across the entire façade with glazing set behind that articulates the shop divisions at the lower level and creates visual interest above. Its design breaks the strong vertical and horizontal profiles of rectangular buildings. The podium reinforces the retail edge along Burke Road and activates the Burke Road street frontage and the Plaza. The active street frontage is consistent with the existing Burke Road shopping precinct. Along Burke Road there is a glass canopy above shop level to provide weather protection. Railway walk is to be activated and illuminated by a series of back lit ‘art’ discs set into the wall of the building at eye level. This is further enhanced by a series of suspended light discs above the walk. The idea is to both illuminate and give the space a sense of intimacy.
The apartment building is a two tiered form with the first four levels sculpted and articulated to simultaneously emphasise the form and reduce the visual bulk of the building. The top two levels are detailed the same but set further in from the lower floor providing large terrace balcony spaces. Generally all balconies are set within the ‘skin’ of the building further reinforcing the form. The setbacks and tapering facades adjusts the perspective from street level and relates the building to the existing larger office buildings beyond. It allows for an increased space between adjoining buildings and reduction of bulk as the building increases in height. Access to the apartment lobby is off the Plaza, recessed behind the intersecting steel columns. The location of the apartment lobby creates constant activation of the public plaza ensuring safe access to the platforms for commuters and other members of the public. The overview architecturally has been to create a series of buildings which integrate with each other, articulate different uses by design, step away from Burke Road, open to the Plaza and surrounding streets and draw focus to the existing station buildings.
Above the podium is a six level apartment building. The building is set back in all directions with all facades sloping inward or outward to appear as a shimmering crystal of soft silver glass. Due to the different angles, the building will appear subtly different on all facades; a similar aesthetic yet different form is presented when viewed from different locations and as one moves along the surrounding streets. The singular use of material emphasizes the sculptural form.
section two URBAN DESIGN REVIEW
2.1 Preamble This Urban Design Review, prepared for the Camberwell Station on behalf of CSTP PTY LTD, provides a concise overview of the urban design influences, issues and attributes informing development of the commercial, retail and public “Plaza” that abut the station and Burke Road frontage.
2.2 Background Urbis has been requested to: Undertake a review of the relevant strategic policies, including (but not limited to): • The Boroondara Planning Scheme: Amendment C55, Camberwell Station Heritage Overlay Panel Report (January 2007) to clarify City of Boroondara’s intent and suggested design direction.
• Provide an urban design overview and design direction for the proposal, particularly with respect of streetscapes at Burke Road, Cookson Street and Railway Walk, and interfaces to the Railway Station Precinct, and overall building heights, scale and proposed new urban form and appropriate architectural expression.
This Urban Context Review is part of an overall integrated and comprehensive response that describes the planning, heritage, access and mobility, and design characteristics of this important strategic site. This review constitutes one component of CSTP PTY LTD’s consideration for the Camberwell Railway Environs Redevelopment.
Furthermore, we have prepared a concise urban design paper addressing: • New urban form of the redevelopment, as it is informed and influenced by its critical context but not, in this case, by heritage issues which are covered by Lovell Chen, Heritage Consultants. • Building heights, which provide an appropriate urban design site response. • New streetscapes and active frontages, as these reflect and enhance the surrounding areas.
• Camberwell Junction Structure Plan (1993) • Draft Urban Design Framework for Camberwell Railway Station (2004)
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2.3 Preface The advent of railways in Melbourne throughout the 19th century provided a catalyst for expansion and growth of our metropolis and provincial Victoria. Rail lines were the panacea of the industrial revolution. The axial “cartwheel” configuration that accessed the city centre, in concert with the now defunct mid circle network, provided the comprehensive transit network inherent in “modern” cities. Railways continue to be a vital component of any functional and integrated transit system. Historically though, major Railway Stations and surrounds were created as the true TOD’s (Transit Oriented Developments), eg Glenferrie Station which provides abutting modest services and retail offer, proximate to a main street shopping area. Recently, Sydney, has demonstrated, the ability to highly activate major station precincts. One can only surmise that geographical and topographical influences, “higher” (and more aggressive) land values, a better appreciation and ability at “integrating” land uses and architectural styles, has driven these outcomes. Unfortunately on the other hand, Melbourne has not embraced or facilitated this type of development.
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Major interchange stations, including North Melbourne, Richmond, Footscray, South Yarra and Caulfield which are highly suited to intensification, have all failed to attract “acceptable” renewal projects and remain underutilized, outdated and reasonably dysfunctional, measured against world standards. In part, the Camberwell Principal Activity Centre provides a comprehensive diverse, eclectic mix of retailing goods and services. The Burke Road environs have undergone substantial and effective upgrades and beautification over the recent past and it appears to be a thriving, energetic and “colourful” “main street” with a good ambience. The speciality shopping choice is comprehensive and “intact” even though Burke Road proper stretches for over 1500 metres. Surprisingly, the overall shopper experience is still quite pleasant and enjoyable, not withstanding the sheer scale, disparity and subsequent dispersed land at uses at Camberwell Junction. Holistically, it is acknowledged that good quality urban outcomes require thoughtful consideration with carefully managed and implemented land use mixes, access and mobility networks and physical (public realm), human scale features. In this context, a number of urban design challenges exist in the redevelopment of the station precinct; namely:
In short, the three key urban design principles informing and guiding redevelopment of the Camberwell Station precinct:
• To safeguard the “acknowledged” cultural and physical heritage. Much emphasis has been placed on the importance of the existing railway structures, platforms and Station with a clearly defined “no build” zone established by a recent Planning Scheme Amendment within an urban design context. It is envisaged that this initiative provides the “required” set backs and subsequent sightlines to best maintain the heritage importance of this station. For this reason, the key urban design consideration is not whether a new additional development is appropriate but more “what is the site responsive design outcome?”.
• Should create a highly activated and human scale environment and experience. • Rejuvenate the station precinct. • Embrace and enhance the locational heritage attributes.
• Maintaining and enhancing the “established” Main Street ambience. The “feel” and experience created by the Activity Centre is unique in part, as a result of the physical presence of the Burke Road Main Street and convergent intersecting streets. Any redevelopment needs to safeguard this quality and character, whilst introducing new shopper and customer amenity and better integrating key activities; including the Railway station. • Ensuring a human scale outcome. Human-scale is often confused with built and physical form. Romantic as it may seem, in the case of the “human scale” qualities of Camberwell Station, it has more to do with the “intimate” yet robust and “cheek to jowl” layout and configuration of shops, malls, arcades and “outdoor spaces”. These traits and characteristics should be safeguarded and enhanced as a key objective of redevelopment.
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2.4 Key Urban Design Findings The key urban design findings informing the development of the Camberwell Station environs provide an opportunity to: • Create a “modernised, functional and safer” transit node; • Retain “important cultural and physical” heritage features and artefacts; and • Further “activate” the public realm to enhance and complement the Camberwell Activity Centre, and specifically, the ‘Main Street’ experience.
Height > 15 metres
Landscape setback to be provided minimum 3m
Height 10 - 15 metres
Streetscape of Heritage significance
Height 5- 10 metres
Commercial / Residential Interface
Height 5 metres
Potential landmark building
Sites of Heritage Significance
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Existing landmark building
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2.6 Site Conditions
A useful start in establishing the preferred design direction for the Station Environs could be to agree and confirm “common” definitions and “catchwords”.
Comprehensive extensive site and context analysis has been undertaken for Camberwell Junction over many years. This document does not seek to reanalyse or recast previous urban design studies.
Urbis has, in this case, utilised the excellent work done as part of the Draft Urban Design Framework for the Railway Station Precinct. This analysis work is located in Appendix [i]. We have incorporated the relevant section under each category and provided a summary of the criterion, features and attributes informing the railway environs.
Acknowledged – accepted; Appropriate - suitable or proper; Amenity – a pleasant or useful feature; Pleasant – agreement to mind, feelings or senses; Useful – of use, serviceable, producing or able to produce good results, high creditable or efficient; Character – the collective qualities or characteristics; Characteristic – typical, distinctive (with characteristic expertise), characteristic feature or quality; Successful – a favourable outcome; Human scale – proportions rightfully held to belong to any person; Overwhelm – overpower Proportion – the correct or pleasing relation of things or parts of a thing; Robust – uncompromising and forceful; Contemporary – Following modern ideas in design; Diverse – of different kinds; Myopic – short sighted; Relevant – related to the matter in hand. Heritage – valued objects and qualities.
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The definition of site conditions follows the format contained in the Draft UDF.
2.7 Physical Site Context The draft UDF states: Areas of concern for the Junction remain, however when compared to some. of these other examples and more generally to optimal solutions. These concerns include: • The unattractive presentation of many of the areas dominated by carparking and the relative lack of integration of carparking into the landscape and built form of the Junction; • The absence of high quality public open space within the retail core, where people can enjoy some relief from traffic and noise; • The relatively poor integration of the northern retail precinct with the southern precinct; • The lack of investment in public transport infrastructure, in particular enhanced commuter facilities, access for people of all ages and abilities, absence of real time information about services and the relatively poor regulatory and interconnectivity of services. This has resulted in an increased reliance on carparking to service the area; • The through traffic within the Junction that results in barriers to pedestrian movement;
• The relatively low quality of new commercial building stock when compared to earlier heritage stock. This is particularly evident when these buildings are measured in terms of peer and industry awards and recognition; • The relatively small provision of soft landscape areas and pedestrian priority areas; • The significant extent of pedestrian links still characterised by poor levels of lighting, formal surveillance and active interfaces; • The lack of good north-south interconnectivity through the precinct east and west of Burke Road; • The relative isolation of community facilities and services from public rail transport and the retail hub; and • When compared the some of the earlier mentioned retail strips, the precinct lacks short-term accommodation. In addition, there is a lack of accommodation for households seeking reduced car dependency and proximity to services and public transport, particularly given its aging demographic and role as a centre for commerce and government services.
2.8 Heritage The draft UDF states: In conclusion the heritage report and inspections of the site, together with the local planning scheme support the retention of the station buildings and their enhancement north of the stabIing area and an integrated approach with valued heritage stock in Cookson Street and Burke Road.
Specifically, Urbis fully supports and acknowledges the retention and enhancement of key structures within the station environs. Furthermore, we believe that surrounding heritage as defined broadly streetscapes and “landmark buildings”, provide a robust critical context that can easily and where appropriate support contemporary architectural forms and expression.
The report does not support a position of no change and indeed broader State heritage policy seeks to ensure that heritage buildings remain viable and relevant and wherever possible, are adapted to ensure access for all irrespective of their mobility. The report sees little merit in the remaining shops on Burke Road and their relocation/reconstruction within the southern precinct is possible. It should be noted that the definition of “Heritage streetscapes” contained in this document does not constitute a Heritage overlay or control, but rather “a valued quality or object” and has been derived from the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, December 1993.
Heritage Buildings Heritage Streetscapes
Commercial / Residential Interface Heritage Overlay C55 Amendment Site Boundary
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2.9 Urban and Streetscape Character The draft UDF states: In conclusion the physical evaluation of the area supports the following propositions: • That changed configurations to carparking, access, streetscape interface arrangements and uses, landscaping, and above ground uses south of the station could lead to an enhanced urban environment; • That the areas of the site south of the station and north of existing commercial office development on Railway Parade, provide significant potential for enhanced public open space and landscaping; • That the safety and visual interest of the area would be improved through the development of some uses at street level along pedestrian access routes and overlooking the Station characterised by extended hours of use; • That the area south of the railway station could be developed to provide for an enhanced interface with the heritage station and improved informal surveillance of the railway station. That this development could be achieved without overshadowing adjacent residential areas and in a form consistent with the prevailing scale of development and characteristics already established for the Cookson Street interface; • That grade separation of carparking and pedestrian movement could result in improved links to Burke Road and Railway Parade; and • That reconfiguration of the existing shops to better connect with the southern retail precinct would provide for both improved weather protection and retailing opportunities for consumers and enhanced pedestrian links between the northern and southern Burke Road retail areas. Urbis believes that redevelopment along Burke Road provides an opportunity to activate the pedestrian realm whilst making a positive built form contribution to the established streetscape character.
Height > 15 metres
Landsscape setback to be provided minimum 3m
Height 10 - 15 metres
Streetscape of Heritage significance
Height 5- 10 metres
Commercial / Residential Interface
Height 5 metres
Potential landmark building
Sites of Heritage Significance
Existing landmark building
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2.10 Building Heights and Form The draft UDF states: “The built form of the precinct is largely characterised by buildings of considerable above-ground mass with small windowed areas in large masonry walls and high levels of transparency at their interface with primary retailing spines. Subdivision patterns to Burke Road are narrow and generally between 5.5 and 12m, resulting in a variance of façade treatments at relatively small intervals. Exceptions exist in Cookson Street where a greater mix of large and small subdivision coexists.”
Urbis considers that the conclusion in the Draft UDF of building form and height provides a myopic and distorted interpretation of the existing critical composition and features informing site development. We feel strongly that the Qantas Building in particular overwhelms the immediate context. Equally, the “robust qualities” of the Palace Hotel opposite creates a visually dynamic built form composition. This urban context paradigm traditionally reinforces street corners with higher buildings, that create landmarks.
Commercial / Residential Interface Heritage Overlay C55 Amendment Site Boundary
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6 Height > 15 metres Height 10 - 15 metres Height 5- 10 metres Height 5 metres
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2.11 Significant Views The draft UDF states: In conclusion the physical evaluation of the area supports the following propositions: • That the views into the station from Cookson Street, Burke Road Bridge and the pedestrian bridge, and out from the station access bridge and Railway Walk to the City and residential hinterIand contribute to a unique set of characteristics for this locality not available in other locations within the Junction; • That the areas of the site south of the Station, could have enhanced views to the Station and Cookson Street if stabling areas and carparking were reconfigured; • That existing connections between the Camberwell Station and Railway Parade end Burke Road are generally poor; • The views from the station and pedestrian bridges looking south could be enhanced through the reconfiguration of pedestrian bridges and walkways, carpark and stabling and building interfaces and inclusion of improved areas of landscaped pedestrian space in conjunction with high quality built form. • That potential exists for incorporation of buildings south of the Railway Station and active track network without obstructing key views into or out of the site; • That these new buildings and uses could enhance the experience of pedestrians moving to and from the Station from the south and for those travelling north and south down Burke Road; • That uses to the Burke Road frontage should have a predominantly retail frontage on ground level and that commuter carparking and other such services could be configured below street level; • That the retention of generous setbacks from the Railway Station to the south for pedestrian promenade areas would ensure the provision of wind protected sunlit public open space; and • That provision of these thoroughfares could enhance visual surveillance of the station area.
Important views exist within and into the Railway Environs. These views
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must be maintained. It appears that from an urban design perspective the key challenge for new development will be to: • provide complementary built form outcomes. • “frame” critical views as suggested in the heritage overlay Amendment C55. • create new vantage points and viewlines. • “diffuse” undesirable views and vistas.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Corner Burke Rd & Broadway Rd SW Corner Burke Rd & Burwood Rd NE Burke Rd bridge NE Station carpark & Burke Rd N Station bridge W Station bridge SW Corner Harold st & Burke Rd SE Camberwell Junction S
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2.12 Residential Amenity
Urbis considers that the issue of amenity to be an “absolute” proposition; “amenity – a pleasant or useful feature”.
The draft UDF states:
In this case, a slight contradiction exists in the analysis and synthesis of residential amenity. Put simply, we believe that the residential uses directly abutting principal activity centres and main street environs cannot expect the same amenity characteristics found in “hinterland” neighbourhoods.
In conclusion the physical evaluation of the area supports the following propositions: • The footprint for development identified in the 1993 Camberwell Junction Structure Plan west of Railway Parade would not result in overlooking or overshadowing of residential areas subject to built form being of a scale similar to existing abutting built form; 51 of street networks across the Station for vehicle movement would • Linkages not5 enhance the residential amenity of streets particularly to the north of the 0 station; • Enhanced levels of surveillance of streets and increased pedestrian grade 80 78 activity around the station would enhance the perception of safety for residents moving through the station to surrounding residential areas; • Modestly, scaled development south of the Station is unlikely to 78 unreasonably impact on residential amenity; and • Servicing of the exiting site should remain from streets characterised by commercial activity, i.e. Burke Road and for Railway Parade and 7not 7 Cookson Street or Fairhoim Grove.
Importantly, we consider that due to the existing physical separation, new built form at the station will have no adverse impact or influence on established residential amenity.
In fact, we feel that building height is but one characteristic that directly influences amenity.
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The draft UDF states: The existing subdivision pattern along Cookson Street and Burke Road should be reflected in the surface articulation of any development, knitting the building volume into the historical urban form of the precinct. Fundamentally, Urbis concurs with this proposition of providing a context influenced and site responsive urban typology. The rhythm, modulation and expression of new building footprints should reflect all of the key influences, in this case, the “finer grain” building, plus: • • • • •
2.13 Subdivision Pattern & Urban Typology
The railway structures themselves ACER Buildings Qantas Building Vicroads Building The Palace Hotel
2.14 Mobility The draft UDF states: In conclusion the evaluation of the area supports the following propositions: • The alignment of access ways south of the station should be reconfigured to more closely match desire lines (shortest direct route) to Railway Parade and Burke Road; • Generous pedestrian promenades that minimise vehicle/pedestrian conflicts in association with improved lighting, and uses that encourage increased pedestrian activity and indoor/outdoor activity at the ground and upper level, would improve perceptions of pedestrian safety; • Direct lift and escalator access should be provided to the western end of the north and control platforms and on the pedestrian bridge to the central platform; • The feasibility of the relocation of the tram stop to the Burke Road bridge should be investigated in conjunction with a widening of the pedestrian path area; • The feasibility of incorporating a turning circle and single bus stop on Railway Parade to better connect train and bus services should be investigated; • The provision of enhanced shelter to pedestrian routes through and to the south of the station linking the Station to Burke Road and Railway Parade should be investigated;
• The reconfiguration of part or all of the traffic movements from Burke Road into the commuter car park should be investigated; • The potential for removal of a small area of train-stabling to better connect the station to Railway Parade and enable more efficient configuration of car parking should be investigated; • The potential for retail infill of the Burke Road frontage south of the bridge in accordance with the planning scheme should be examined; • The potential for the development of ground floor uses linking Railway Parade and Burke Road alignments south of the, station and creating a new activated link to the station should be investigated; • The examination of the potential for above ground uses that provide enhanced passive after hours surveillance and improved aspect to the station precinct in the southern interface should be examined; and • Local streets should be protected from non-residential traffic and parking (CIause 22.03 of the Local Planning Policy Framework in the Boroondara Planning Scheme).
Urbis believes that good urban design requires a highly legible, permeable and accessible physical outcome; a mobility network with a clear hierarchy which accommodates all users. The Railway Station Precinct offers a number of key opportunities namely: • An established perimeter urban structure and highly functional “abutting” Main Street. • A gently sloping topography. • An existing “simplicity” of subdivision layout and configuration the station itself. All in all, the site context appears to provide a functional, “pleasant” mobility structure. Unfortunately in detail this is not quite the case for the following reasons: • The cutting escarpment condition that creates a substantial level change. • “Convoluted” accessibilty internal to the station. • In association with the level change, the existing spur which creates a physical barrier. • Peak hour traffic movement along Burke Road limits accessibilty.
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2.15 Policy Framework
Policies and Initiatives
This document does not “reanalyse or recast” previous urban design studies or recommendations, but simply utilises the objectives and initiatives expressed in the Council’s UDF, structure plans and other relevant policies and reports. The following policies are of relevance to the issues of urban design and redevelopment of Camberwell Railway Station Precinct.
2.15.1 State Government Policy
Direction 1.1 (A More Compact City): • Build up activity centres as a focus for high-quality development, activity and living for the whole community. Direction 5.1 (A Great Place to Be): • Promote good urban design to make the environment more liveable and attractive. Direction 8.4 (Better Transport Links): • Coordinate development of all transport modes to provide a comprehensive transport system.
2.15.2 Boroondara Planning Scheme
Sustainability and Living: Planning for sustainable growth notably in locating new development for habitation, work and services in close proximity to good public transport and in conjunction with the enhancement of the public realm, valuing heritage and building sustainable framewrorks for new development.
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Clause 17.01 – Activity Centres: • To encourage the concentration of major retail, commercial, administrative, entertainment and cultural developments into activity centres (including strip shopping centres) which provide a variety of land uses and are highly accessible to the community. • Incorporate and integrate a variety of land uses, including retail, office, education, human services, community facilities, recreation, entertainment and residential uses where appropriate. • Provide good accessibility by all available modes of transport (particularly public transport) and safe pedestrian and cycling routes, and to encourage multi-purpose trip-making to such centres. • Maximise opportunities for the co-location, multiple use and sharing of facilities. • Provide attractive environments for community activities.
Clause 18.01-2 Declared Highways, Railways and Tramways • Higher land use densities and mixed use developments should be encouraged near railway stations, major bus terminals, transport interchanges, tramways and principal bus routes. • Pedestrian access to public transport should be facilitated and safeguarded. Clause 19.03 – Design and Built Form To achieve high quality urban design and architecture that: • Reflects the particular characteristics, aspirations and cultural identity of the community. • Enhances liveability, diversity, amenity and safety of the public realm. Local Policy Planning Framework (LPPF) Clause 22.02 – Camberwell Junction Policy • This policy applies to all applications for use and development in the area shown on Map 2 attached to this policy.
Clause 22.02 – Policy Basis • This policy seeks to inject renewed confidence into the Junction from an economic and retail point of view, whilst at the same time ensuring that redevelopment occurs in an orderly, proper and sympathetic manner. Clause 22.02-2 – Objectives • To achieve high standards of design and development and to protect the amenity of surrounding residential areas and within the Junction itself. • To reinforce the north-south axis of Burke Road strip. • To improve pedestrian access within the Junction. • To maintain and enhance the distinctive shopping character of the Camberwell Junction’s retail environment. • To maintain the scale and character of the Junction’s buildings and spaces and to improve the quality of the pedestrian environment. Clause 22.02-3 – Policy: • The development of the vacant land at Camberwell Railway Station links the northern and southern sections of Burke Road. Housing • Living above shops be encouraged. • Medium density housing close to the Junction be encouraged.
• Uses which operate beyond normal trading hours be encouraged. • A range of community facilities to provide for the needs of all sectors of the community and for recreation and leisure purposes be provided.
Traffic and Parking • Local streets be protected from non-residential traffic and parking. Scale and Character • All new developments respect the present character and scale of the Junction. • Sympathetic refurbishment of existing buildings be promoted. • A high level of interaction between the streets and public spaces and private spaces be encouraged. Pedestrians • Priority be placed on the needs of the shopper and a pedestrian and the opportunities for pedestrian access throughout the centre be maximised. • The quality, appearance and safety of pedestrian areas be improved. Heritage • Heritage buildings shown on Map 3 attached to this policy be retained and preserved. Note: Map 3 includes the Camberwell Railway Station building and platforms. • Any alteration be sympathetic. • Conservation, enhancement and reinstatement of elements of heritage and streetscape significance such as post supported verandas, façade signs, and colour schemes be encouraged.
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2.16 Policy Framework Views and Gateways • Important views to and from the centre are maintained and enhanced and new vistas within the centre be created. Note: • The structure plan identifies the area south of the station as a potential development site. • The Height and Setbacks diagram identifies a footprint for development that extends to the eastern alignment of commercial properties abutting the eastern side of Railway Parade (ie. Beyond the elevated pedestrian bridge) and includes the stabling lines to the south of the southern railway track. • The Station site has an eleven metre height limit along Burke Road for a distance of fifteen metres back from the Burke Road frontage. The building form of the remainder of the site is to be to site specific guidelines or development approval. Clause 22.05 – Heritage • New buildings and works be compatible with the characteristics of the individual building and area, and undertaken generally in accordance with any Council prepared guidelines. • The design, bulk and setback of any new building be responsive to existing heritage assets. • Landscaping be in keeping with the character and appearance of the heritage area and heritage building/asset.
Clause 22.08 – Office Use and Development Policy: • To be located close to public transport and other support services. • Encourages building heights to generally reflect the scale of the surrounding commercial uses whilst recognising that new office developments will increase building heights in certain areas. • Creates streetscapes which maintain interest and provide a rich visual environment. • Ensures that parking structures or areas do not adversely affect streetscapes and adjoining residential uses. • Minimises pedestrian and vehicle conflict. • Peripheral areas of, and key sites within, Camberwell Junction are noted as preferred areas for office development.
• Ensure that new development is site responsive and designed to a high standard and that creative and innovative design solutions are encouraged. • To ensure that the City has its own distinctive urban character identity, setting it apart from other areas in Melbourne. • To identify and protect all areas, clusters and individual objects of heritage, cultural, aboriginal, townscape and landscape significance. • To conserve vegetation which contributes to the character of the City. • Protect gateways and landmarks which create a sense of identity for our community. • Enhance and promote key commercial urban character features that contribute positively to the City’s economy. • Maintain and promote the City’s treed and leafy environment.
Clause 22.10 – Retail Centre Policy: • To strengthen and consolidate the role of the Camberwell Junction Shopping Centre as the premier activity centre in the City. • Office, residential and community infrastructure that enhances the vitality of a shopping centre be encouraged above retail premises, if appropriate.
Clause 21.06 – Environment:
Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) Clause 21.04 – Vision: • A clean, safe secure city in which to live, learn and work. An evolving city, proud of its diverse heritage and sensitive to its environment.
Clause 21.05 – Urban Character
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• To encourage all new development in the City, both domestic and commercial, to be energy efficient and environmentally clean and sensitive. • To enhance the well being of residential and commercial environments for future generations. • Create “Urban Village” communities in low traffic environments, close to services and public transport.
In essence, Urbis considers that the planning policy within an urban design context informing and guiding development of the Camberwell Railway station environs within the broader Activity Centre context seeks to: • Ensure that the existing character of Camberwell Junction is maintained, reinforced and enhanced. • Safeguard the “heritage features and attributes” of the precinct and provide “sympathetic” new design responses. • Create a reactivated Burke Road proximate to the station. • Ensure the station environs are safe, secure and easily accessible for the community and commuters alike. • Provide a contextually compatible and site responsive built form response of architectural excellence.
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2.17 Specific Design Objectives As previously mentioned, extensive almost “exhaustive” amounts of work has been undertaken with respect to Camberwell Junction and in this case, the Railway Station. The urban design principles expressed in the relevant council policies and initiatives and included in the draft Camberwell Railway Station Urban Design Framework, includes: 2.17.1 Heritage Considerations 1. Protect and enhance the significance of the heritage place (style and feel) eg. Palace Hotel, Camberwell Station north of stabling area, Davies Building etc. 2.
Recognise and enhance the contribution of the railway and surrounds to the social and cultural history of the area (identifies the need to first articulate the social and cultural history which may not be visible but relate to identities or events of local significance that relate specifically to these environs).
3. Ensure the design, bulk, and setback of any new buildings is responsive to existing heritage assets (Camberwell Junction Structure Plan 1993).
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Ensure any change is sensitively integrated with the existing heritage character of the station consistent with local planning policy and the principles for the management of heritage places outlined by Heritage Victoria.
3. Ensure that any development and use maintains and enhances active interfaces and interaction with the abutting public realm and access ways. 4. Develop and enhance the landscape character of the environs through:
2.17.2 Urban / Streetscape Character 1a. Protect the gateways and landmarks that create a sense of identity for the community (from LPPF) including the relationship of Cookson Street, Burke Road and the Camberwell Station. 1b. Conserve vegetation which contributes to the character of the Station environs ie. Cookson Street embankment. 1c. Maintain the scale and character of the Junction’s buildings and spaces and improve the quality of the pedestrian environment (from LPPF). 1d. Preservation of the ambience (existing landscape character, heritage scale, topography) and sense of openness. 2. Extend the Burke Road retail in conjunction with the proposed public promenade to provide activated, safe pedestrian connection to the station.
• The removal of non-contributory fencing, planting and landscape elements and upgrading with new planting and fencing responsive to the prevailing landscape and heritage character. • The development of a new high quality soft and hard landscaped areas for the embankment, screens, security fences and pedestrian walkways and new building elements south of the Station. 5. Ensure all new development of built form and public space is characterised by excellence in design and construction. 6. Ensure all new materials and finishes are selected with regard to aesthetic quality, durability and their responsiveness to the existing valued urban character. 7. Develop new high quality landscaped public squares and promenades south of the station.
Ensure new development is informed by the subdivisional and individual built form characteristics of the precinct, notably the high degree of articulation, design, and individual character given the buildings, and the absence of monolithic form in valued heritage elements. Encourage the provision of extensive canopies and sheltering connections between surrounding streets and station.
9. Upgrade and improve pedestrian access / movement (eg. Disability access) through the Camberwell Station area and to public transport.
Urbis fully supports and endorses the strategic design direction outlined in the documentation, policies and strategies underpinning the Camberwell Activity Centre and in particular the Railway Station environs. Put simply, it appears that the strategic direction for the redevelopment of the Railway Precinct seeks to create a highly activated pedestrian friendly and, above all, safe transit node by retaining the sites and surrounds heritage whilst creating development of architectural excellence.
In detail though we believe that there exists a diverse design outcome and solution that addresses these objectives. Specific to this review is to development a strategy which addresses the challenge of accessing the station and activating street frontages, providing a viable new facility which improves and enhances the established urban composition and important physical characteristics of this precinct.
10. Improve public transport integration through enhanced proximity, lighting, security, signage and information, commuter waiting areas and amenities and the quality and directness of pedestrian connections. 11. Develop strategies that facilitate increased pedestrian and bicycle movement and use of intermodal public transport and reduce reliance on private car usage in and around the Camberwell Station precinct. 12. Develop a high quality signage strategy (eg. Way finding, integration of signage) and system that integrates information of importance to pedestrians and commuters. 13. Reinforce the North-South Burke Road Strip through the development of vacant land at Camberwell Station south of the Burke Road Bridge.
Heritage Overlay Site Boundary
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2.18 Key Influences Establishing a Critical Context From an urban design perspective: The substantive features which influence the Camberwell Activity Centre and in particular the Railway Station precinct include: • The contextual diversity and variety of surrounding land uses comprising: - The abutting Burke Road Main Street Precinct - The dominant office precinct to the south - Established residential areas beyond and which encompass the Activity Centre. - Very limited passive and active recreation uses - In particular, the proximity of the Main Street Activity Centre and the influence of the railway station create very defined pedestrian desire lines and linkages to key destinations. - A unified streetscape experience with some high building forms - Limited shopper amenity and comfort, usually associated (and required) in modern retail facilities.
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• An established and functional movement and public transport network focused on the railway line, tramline and bus system and hierarchy of roads and pedestrian / cyclist paths. • Limited shopper amenity and comfort, usually associated (and required) in modern retail facilities. • The dominance of the orthogonal grid form and subdivision layouts which creates a highly legible, well defined urban fabric particularly along Burke Road, Trafalgar Road and Stanhope Grove. • An “openness and looseness” of built form, particularly to the station itself and the intersecting side streets that compounds the sometimes hard climatic conditions, particularly strong prevalent winds. • A pleasant streetscape character, particularly within the residential hinterland.
In short, Camberwell Railway Station and environs is a diverse, complex and somewhat convoluted amalgam of uses, functions, movement systems and built form. This precinct is surrounded by a pleasant, sometimes austere residential urban environment, and configured within a “grid” structure. In this context, there exists an opportunity to “harness” and enhance these physical qualities and characteristics, in particular to: • Improve pedestrian safety and amenity and station accessibility • “Repair” the existing “hole” in the Burke Road streetscape, whilst maintaining existing heritage qualities and significant sight lines of the station and beyond. • “Reactivate” the immediate surrounding corner order commercial uses. • Provide on fully integrated landscaped, and secure public respite area.
2.19 Key Urban Design Responses A number of specific design issues at a contextual and local level will inform redevelopment of the Camberwell Station Precinct. The analysis and resolution of these aspects will assist in defining an appropriate urban design outcome and include:
2.20 Broader Context: “Urban Composition” The existing structure and characteristics of the Camberwell Junction Precinct Activity Centre provides the “shopping and social experiences” for the surrounding communities. The centre is functional, attractive and largely intact as a Main Street. Furthermore, the wider region enjoys a large range and choice of shopping, entertainment and cultural experiences. Encircling the activity centre itself is a further diverse layer of land uses ranging from government and private offices, peripheral sales, and “quasi” commercial to the established residential hinterlands in particular to the east and west. Put simply, this composition is a result of the linear nature and layout of Burke Road itself, that stretches from Prospect Road, Seymour Grove to the south and Rathmines / Canterbury Roads to the north.
Consistent Composition- Urban Context Prominence of Burke Road and North- South Activity Centre Orientation Generally Zero Frontage Setbacks
Varied Composition- Urban Context Landmark Slope Down Burke Road Large Subdivision Allotment Inconsistent Streetscape Expression
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The Camberwell Junction Activity Centre is characterised by a variety of building styles, forms and architectural eras. There exists a diversity of streetscapes, particularly a diversity along Burke Road, where significant heritage “features” sometimes dominate. Building heights range from one to three levels with absolute heights ranging from five to over 15 metres. In this context, and not withstanding the continuous and integrated “ground plane” experience, the overall streetscapes is quite varied due to: • Diverse subdivision typology • Inconsistent building façade, modulation rhythm and expression • Sloping topography falling to the junction
It is for these reasons, that from an urban design perspective there does not appear to be an overwhelming or dominant “unified urban composition”, not withstanding the building frontage setbacks.
Conversely, there are a number of consistent features and physical characteristics that inform the broader urban context, including: • The prominence of Burke Road streetscape as the principal activity spine • The North-South orientation of this activity centre • Generally, uniform zero frontage setbacks to the major streets
As a result, the station precinct development should
Furthermore, as is often the case in established “strip centres” and “historic” streetscapes, there is an opportunity to “mark and reinforce” street corners, as is achieved with the Palace Hotel. These new corner treatments need to be site responsive to provide a complementary built form outcome.
• Reinforce the “established” zero frontage setbacks • Create an “interactive” subdivision typology which “balances and combines” all outmost patterns and sizes • Reinforce the Burke Road and Cookson Road corner, whilst enhancing the “heritage” features and important sightlines. • Maintain significant sightlines with and outwardly of station environs.
Composition Opportunities- Urban Context New Corner Element Critical Sightlines “Interactive” Subdivision Typology Reinforce the “Established” Zero Setbacks
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2.21 Critical Mobility Context Good urban design requires a highly legible, permeable and accessible physical outcome; a mobility network with a clear hierachy which accomodates all users. The Camberwell Station Precinct has a number of key characteristics informing the critical mobility context: • An established perimeter urban structure and highly functional “abutting” Main Street. • A gently sloping topography • An integrated transit network, including heavy and light rail and bus services. • An existing simplicity of layout configuration and composition of the broader activity centre that is functional, comfortable and pleasant. All in all, the specific context provides a permeable and quite secure mobility structure. At the same time the immediate railway station precinct does not ‘contribute’ to providing a safe and pleasant pedestrian user experience. The key imperative for the redevelopment of the Camberwell Station with respect to mobility, is to create a functional, safe and highly permeable movement structure and hierarchy.
2.22 Critical Context Urban form – Composition
2.23 Critical context: Urban form – Streetscapes
The requirement to safeguard and enhance the existing historic station buildings and subsequent retention of key viewlines toward the Central Business District (CBD) provided the basis for the AWC55 – Heritage Overlay.
As highlighted in the body of this Urban Context Review, Urbis believes that the key urban form and streetscape elements informing the station environments, include
The adoption of this overlay creates clearly delineated, potential new building footprints. As such, this “no build’ zone affords a great opportunity to create a new public realm “offer” immediately abutting and connecting the station to Burke Road. Furthermore, the established, though inconsistent, “finer grain” subdivision typology, so admired in the Activity Centre, provides the catalyst to introduce “modulated” and smaller scale footprints in this location. This could be achieved through:
• The unified streetscape experience along Burke Road exemplified by buildings to frontages that are punctuated at the railway crossing. • A diversity of architectural form, styles and expression. • The “open and loose” built form surrounding the site, particularly to the south, and variation in building heights and envelopes. • A generally pleasant streetscape character.
• New ground level retail and food and beverage uses. • Attracting a diversity to this new retail offer which would occupy a variety of tenancy sizes, and activate the new plaza.
As a result, the redevelopment of the station provides an opportunity to activate the immediate Burke Road frontage and introduce a new public realm experience to the station itself. This could be achieved by: • Adopting the Palace Hotel established corner, higher built form paradigm and reinterpreting this design approach on the Burke Road/Cookson Street corner. • Introduce a new streetscape experience; in particular at the proposed “Central Plaza” which affords exceptional solar access through a northerly orientation whilst maintaining the critical east-west view corridor. • Exploring a variety of architectural forms and expression, which are new to this context.
This will be achieved by: • Creating a comprehensive pathway, open space and “change of level” structure. • Directly separating pedestrian and vehicular traffic, thereby reducing potential conflicts. • Upgrading and enhancing established movement network, in particular to create a quality urban outcome to Burke Road.
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2.24 Critical context Urban Form – Height This Urban Context Review has highlighted that the existing specific urban form and height informing the station environs is varied and inconsistent. We stressed that in contrast with the draft UDF, we felt that this immediate context is “overwhelmed” by the existing Qantas building, in terms of building height. Not withstanding, there appears not to be a consistent building massing within this critical context. Moreover for these reasons there is the opportunity to: • “Diminish” the visual impact of the Qantas building, as viewed and appreciated from the station environs. • Create an “interpretive” and contemporary design outcome which adopts an innovative architectural vocabulary.
We must therefore lock in a robust, appropriate design response that not only considers the present conditions of the site, its interfaces and existing users, but also how future users of the site itself, adjoining properties, the station and the shopping strip will use this site and surrounds for many years to come. The Place - Camberwell Station represents a development opportunity which is not afforded in such a prime inner urban location. The existing surplus land along the rail line, the surface car park and its immediate proximity to an established Principal Activity Centre with major street addresses is not easily replicated. Mixed use including residential development along major transport routes, particularly at inter-modal hubs in Activity Centres and especially Principal Activity Centres, is a vital component of urban sustainability as outlined in Melbourne 2030 as it maximises the use of established infrastructure and encourages and justifies the upgrading of existing facilities in their vicinities. The form of development proposed at Camberwell Station is a vital component of this urban regeneration because:
2.25 Design Direction The urban design direction emanating and derived from this review process should inform the redevelopment of the Camberwell Railway Station environs. The objectives principally address and provide guidance to two fundamental issues, namely: • Ensuring that the proposal creates a functional, pleasant, and safe mobility structure and public respite areas. • Complementing and enhancing the established urban form, character and ambience of the “Burke Road Main Street” and station environs, in particular with respect to composition, streetscapes and new (appropriate) building heights. From an urban design perspective, Urbis considers that the proposed development of the station environs provides a contextual and site responsive, well articulated and contemporary design outcome. Once a built form outcome, particularly one in multiple ownerships is established for this strategic site it will be “fixed” for a considerable period of time. The projected multiple ownerships of the residential apartments and retail will render further wholesale redevelopment of this site highly difficult for the foreseeable future.
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• It will help to reduce motorised trips for both local day to day activities and it encourages commuting by public transport; • It will help to maximise the built form opportunity of this highly connected and well serviced locale; • It will maximise the use of existing physical and social infrastructure; • It will contribute to the vitality of the shopping centre by retaining expenditure and reducing “leakage” from the shopping centre catchment; • It will help repair the “urban fabric gap” in the existing streetscape created by the railway bridge along with the surface car park; and • It will avoid the very real potential to “underdevelop” this strategic site if the above strategies are not implemented. The key urban design elements which specifically contribute to this outcome include: 1. Mobility Structure The “revamped” mobility network creates a new and highly permeable movement structure and hierarchy focused on a new “public plaza”. Accessibility and subsequently, safety is substantially improved through new surveillance and activation of the precinct. Importantly, new forms of access to the platforms now form an integral part of the station environs. The plaza features clear sightlines with “smoothed” edges to eliminate areas of limited surveillance with the added advantage of increased surveillance from above the station platforms. Kiosks are placed to maximise sightlines and surveillance. The access to the lifts and stairs on the southeast corner of the “pavilion” has ample width and clear sightlines from/to the top of the stairs and the station platform below.
2. Urban Form - Composition The adopted design direction for the new development creates a highly layered and refined building typology particularly at the ground plane public realm. The new composition continues the well established street rhythm and modulation of Burke Road but in a contemporary manifestation. The proposed Cookson Street corner pavilion creates a new building-in-theround as a highly articulated “folly” which anchors the northwest corner of the site and complements the building height and scale of the Palace Hotel opposite. Most importantly, the higher built form is recessed into the site by the fall of the local topography and the stepped semi-conical form of the taller element to balance the visual dominance of the existing Qantas building. 3. Urban Form – Streetscape As a streetscape expression, the proposed architectural response substantially enhances the “Burke Road – Main Street” experience. Moreover in concert with the proposed plaza, there is the opportunity to create a new intimate and activated “streetscape”. More importantly, the streetscape composition of the design serves to repair the “urban fabric gap” in the existing streetscape created by the railway bridge along with the surface car park to establish a fully functional continuous Main Street “experience” in keeping with the other parts of the Burke Road strip. 4. Urban Form – Building Heights Varied and modest proposed building heights reflect the existing low to medium scale urban composition of this critical context. The design direction adopts a clearly stepped building formation in direct response to the surrounding building heights. The articulation and modulation of the building form itself will create a play of light and shade which will add visual interest while breaking up the apparent bulk of the building. Combined with the overall slope of the areas’ topography this will help to “visually absorb” much of the building’s apparent height particularly from more distant viewing positions. In addition to the built form, the composition of the new plaza as it steps to respond to the level change of Burke Road and the clearance required above the rail line below affords the opportunity to create new immediate and distant viewing and vantage points.
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section three PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
3.1 Overview The ‘Policy Context’ section of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993 states that Camberwell Junction was designated as one of Metropolitan Melbourne’s fourteen ‘District Centres’ in 1981. These centres were the preferred locations for development outside of the Central Activities District (CAD). In 1993, these centres were re-labelled ‘Activity Centres’ by the then Minister for Planning with the preparation of ‘growth plans’ - now referred to as ‘structure plans’ - for Activity Centres encouraged. This policy direction coincided with the preparation of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993 by the cities of Camberwell and Hawthorn to guide the future use and development of the Activity Centre. As discussed throughout this report, the 1993 Structure Plan earmarked the subject site for future development and identified preferred land use and built form outcomes. Since 1993, the policy landscape has changed on the back of a strongly performing economy, the release and adoption of Melbourne 2030 by the State Government, the rise of resident action groups voicing resistance to development within the established residential suburbs and an increased focus on sustainable land use and development, amongst other influences. Also arriving on the landscape during this time is the Priority Development Panel (PDP), which has been set-up by the State Government to facilitate significant development which assists in the implementation of the objectives and goals of the SPPF, in particular development within Activity Centres. Despite being identified as a redevelopment site within the 1993 Structure Plan the subject site has since remained underutilised having regard to its Activity Centre context. The evolution of Activity Centre planning since 1993 is perhaps best put in context by considering that significant development applications are now assessed on the basis of whether they comprise “in” or “out” of centre development. With this principle in mind, the delivery of quality land use and development outcomes on significant sites, which are a finite resource within established Activity Centres is paramount to ensure that state and local policy objectives are implemented.
As discussed later in this report, the proposal seeks to diversify and enhance the role of Camberwell Junction Activity Centre through the development of an underutilised site in a prominent “in-centre” location. The proposal consolidates the immediate precinct of Burke Road through the introduction of compatible land uses and built form whilst also making a significant contribution to the public domain through the creation of a high quality public space with convenient and disabled-friendly linkages to Camberwell Railway Station. The proposal also introduces high quality, contemporary architecture to the Burke Road streetscape and secondary site frontages which contributes positively to the identity of the Activity Centre. The SPPF and LPPF contain overlapping and competing policy themes which guide the future use and development of the subject site. These are summarised below. Each heading forms the basis of the assessment of the proposal against the relevant policy considerations of the Boroondara Planning Scheme, which is found in the following sections of this report.
1. Camberwell Junction Activity Centre: • Consolidate and enhance the role and identity of the Camberwell Junction Activity Centre. This is to be achieved, amongst other means, through encouraging compatible land uses such as retail and office whilst also promoting a variety of housing forms within the Junction. • Encouraging the redevelopment of significant vacant and underutilised sites. In relation to the subject site, encourage the development of the vacant land at Camberwell Station to link the northern and southern sections of Burke Road. • Maintain important views and continue to emphasise gateways to the Activity Centre.
2. Design and Built Form: • Encourage high quality design and built form outcomes which contribute positively to the public domain and respect the scale and character of the Junction. • Limit the impact of new development within Camberwell Junction upon the established residential surrounds. This includes considerations relating to land use, built form, traffic and car parking. • Public open space is to be underpinned by principles of good urban design. It must be attractive, functional and safe with good solar penetration. • Provide a high quality pedestrian environment, including linkages to the railway station, with interaction between public and private spaces.
3. Heritage: • Conserve and enhance elements of streetscape and heritage significance. • The design, bulk and setback of any new building(s) is to be responsive to existing heritage assets.
4. Car Parking and Public Transport: • Encourage a reduction in the reliance upon car-based travel and an increase in the usage of public transport. • Provide an appropriate level of on-site car parking having regard to the nature of the proposed land use(s). The design response of the proposal has also been formulated having regard to the significant amount of background documentation prepared for Camberwell Junction and Camberwell Railway Station. Specifically, the design response of the proposal is informed by ‘option 3’ of the UDF which was prepared for the site by Council. As mentioned previously, ‘option 3’ was identified by the community as the preferred development option. The design response of the proposal develops the vision of option 3 further to ensure that a high quality outcome underpinned by principles of good urban design is realised on the site.
3.2 Camberwell Junction Activity Centre
• As discussed later, the provision of retail and office floorspace responds to an established demand within the Activity Centre for these land uses; and
Camberwell Junction is identified as one of Melbourne’s Principal Activity Centres within the Metropolitan Strategy (Clause 12) of the Boroondara Planning Scheme. The following policy themes of the Metropolitan Strategy are relevant to the proposal:
• The design and built form of the proposal responds to the site’s context, including the railway station environs which have heritage value. This is discussed in detail later in this report.
• Encourages the concentration of new development within designated Activity Centres, particularly on vacant and underutilised sites, to alleviate redevelopment pressure upon established residential areas.
The overarching objectives of the SPPF extend to the LPPF which includes the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) and local policies such as the Retail Centre and Camberwell Junction Policies.
• Seeks to achieve goals in relation to the consolidation and diversification of the role of Activity Centres.
3.2.1 Retail Centre and Camberwell Junction Policies
• Encourages an appropriate mix of uses, including retail, office and residential, to locate within Activity Centres. • Encourages the preparation and implementation of local planning policies, including structure plans, to guide future land use and development within Activity Centres. • Prefers Principal Activity Centres with good public transport links - such as Camberwell Junction - to grow in preference to other centres with poor public transport links serving the same catchment. These overarching policy objectives are consistent with those found throughout the SPPF, including clauses 16 (Housing), 17 (Economic Development) 18 (Infrastructure) and 19.03 (Design and Built Form). The proposal is consistent with the broad policy objectives of the SPPF. In particular, the design response: • Comprises an infill development on a prominent site within an established Activity Centre with exceptional access to public transport; • Proposes to introduce land uses onto the site which are compatible with those on nearby land which will consolidate and diversify the role of the Activity Centre; • Provides retail, office and residential floorspace in a contemporary built environment providing good levels of internal amenity; • The proposal contributes to the identity and sense of place of the Activity Centre through innovative and contemporary architecture, as well as the creation of a high quality public space;
The Retail Centre policy, which applies to retail centres throughout the City of Boroondara, identifies Camberwell Junction as a ‘Major Regional Activity Centre’ which plays the role of a “major retail, office and entertainment centre with extensive convenience and specialty retail activities with Metropolitan-wide reputation”. The Retail Policy gives effect to the Camberwell Junction Policy, which in turn seeks to implement the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993. The ‘Preferred Land Use’ plan contained within the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan 1993 identifies the subject site as forming part of a railway corridor which is located adjacent to: • A core retail precinct along Burke Road to the south;
As mentioned previously, Urbis has made submissions on behalf of CSTP Pty Ltd to the draft Camberwell Junction Structure Plan recently adopted by Council which is to ultimately replace the 1993 Structure Plan. The submissions raise key issues in relation to the preferred development outcomes for the station complex detailed within the draft Structure Plan. Whilst the draft Structure Plan has been adopted by Council, it will require approval via a Planning Scheme Amendment to be incorporated into the Boroondara Planning Scheme and on this basis has been afforded limited weight in the assessment of the proposal.
3.2.2 Land Use Public Use Zone
The subject site, including the airspace over the railway line and the existing car park adjacent to Railway Walk, is zoned Public Use (PUZ4) and is reserved for ‘Transport’ purposes. The table of uses contained within the Public Use Zone allows for the land to be used for transport purposes without a planning permit subject to such use being conducted by or on behalf of the public land manager. Further to the above, the table of uses contains a number of additional as-of-right uses which are subject to compliance with particular conditions. The remainder of land uses identified within the Boroondara Planning Scheme require planning approval within the Public Use Zone, noting that there are no prohibited uses listed.
• An office precinct focussed around Railway Parade to the south-east.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Public Use Zone, the written consent of the public land manager must accompany a planning application not conducted by or on behalf of the public land manager. This consent has been provided by VicTrack for this planning application.
The structure plan identifies the existing conditions of the subject site as containing a carpark whilst also identifying the subject site as a ‘Potential Development Site’. In relation to the subject site, the Structure Plan seeks to:
As the proposed use of the land for residential, retail and office purposes is not to be conducted by or on behalf of the public land manager, a planning permit is required for the use of the land and for buildings and works.
• A secondary retail precinct along Burke Road to the north; and
“Encourage development on the Camberwell Railway Station with retail frontage to Burke Road”. This objective is reinforced within the Camberwell Junction Policy (Clause 22.02) as follows:
The subject site has three main interfaces, as mentioned below, two of which are subject to different land zonings: • The Burke Road retail spine, including Railway Walk - Business 1 Zone;
“The development of the vacant land at Camberwell Railway Station links the northern and southern sections of Burke Road”. As such, the Structure Plan prefers the continuation of the Burke Road retail spine to extend across the subject site filling in the existing gap in the streetscape. This objective is achieved by the proposal.
• The Railway Parade office precinct - Business 2 Zone; and • The railway station environs - Public Use Zone.
Having regard to the site’s location, the nature of surrounding land uses and the applicable planning controls and policies which are discussed in detail below, the site is ideally suited to a mixed use development which consolidates and diversifies the role of the Activity Centre. Based upon the above, the underlying zoning of the subject site is considered to be Business 1 for the following reasons: • A shop is an as-of-right use within a Business 1 Zone which allows for the use and development of the subject site to consolidate and reinforce the Burke Road retail spine, as sought by the Camberwell Junction Policy. This also allows for the provision of an active retail edge to Railway Walk. • An office with a ground level frontage in excess of 2m and/or with a floor area exceeding 500sqm is a permit required use in the Business 1 Zone., noting that exemptions exist for particular types of offices with customer service-based frontages. This ensures that offices do not occupy preferred locations for retail floorspace, however, allows offices to establish to the rear or above retail premises. The Business 1 Zone allows the use of the site to consolidate the established office precinct along Railway Parade and take advantage of the site’s Activity Centre locale and proximity to fixed rail service. Council’s Office Use and Development Policy encourages offices to locate on key sites within Camberwell Junction. • A dwelling is a permitted use within the Business 1 Zone which allows the site to accommodate residential land use within an established Activity Centre. This outcome is supported by the State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks which seeks to increase the permanent resident population of Activity Centres.
• There is significant untapped demand for higher density living in Camberwell Junction. This demand should be accommodated within the centre as much as possible, within environmental limits. If demand for housing is not ‘released’ in a sensitive way in Camberwell Junction, pressure for higher density development in established suburban areas can be expected as a consequence. • A ‘Base Case’ study has identified a demand of 261 apartments (within buildings of 5 storeys or more) between 2005-2015 within Camberwell Junction ranging in price from $275,000 to $1,125,000. • A ‘Maximum Forecast’ study identified a demand of 1053 apartments (within buildings of 5 storeys or more) between 2005-2015 within Camberwell Junction ranging in price from $275,000 to $1,125,000 (p.51-52). Retail
• Approximately 60% of retail spending by Boroondara residents is made outside the municipality. This large part relates to the limited retail ‘offer’ available within Boroondara, particularly in higher-order activities. Much of the escape spending flows to Melbourne, Whitehorse and Stonnington. Boroondara does however capture some spending from residents based in other municipalities, but the ‘balance sheet’ is negative, with escape spending equating to -21.5% (p. 65). • Boroondara and Camberwell Junction (as the principal retail node) could expand viable retail space to capture expected growth in spending and to pare back escape spending. It is estimated that an additional 125,000sqm of retail floorspace could be supported in the municipality between 2001 and 2016. In Camberwell Junction, the quantum of new space could be in the order of 37,000sqm in this period, with the breakdown being indicatively as follows:
3.2.3 Floorspace Demand Council engaged SGS Economics and Planning to undertake a floorspace demand analysis within Camberwell Junction. The draft report titled ‘Camberwell Junction Structure Plan Economic Analysis’, 16 February, 2005 contains floorspace projections for the Principal Activity Centre. In relation to future demand for residential, retail and office floorspace within Camberwell Junction, the SGS report details the following:
Clothing and soft goods
• Camberwell Junction is earmarked for mixed-use development over time, including housing development within the centre. This is a common objective of the 1993 Structure Plan and Melbourne 2030.
Hospitality and services
• In round terms, Boroondara’s activity centres will be in the market for between 47,000sqm and 143,000sqm of new office development in the ten years to 2011. Camberwell Junction will be one of the centres that will be competing for this demand. • Supply side factors will determine the locational ‘outlet’ for this regional demand. Given Camberwell’s existing strength as a regional centre for commercial/office development and its strength as a public transport location, it is reasonable to assume that the Junction could attract a large share of this demand, providing appropriate sites and building envelopes are made available for development (p.78). Since SGS completion their analysis, several large developments have been approved in Camberwell Junction, including “The Well” which has been constructed. Assuming that all approved projects are constructed, it is noted that the overall demand forecasts identified by SGS for Camberwell Junction are significant and on this basis “The Place” will not result in the oversupply of floorspace, particularly having regard to the current state of demand for housing throughout metropolitan Melbourne.
3.2.4 Land Use Design Response The proposed 2542sqm of retail floorspace, 4096sqm of office floorspace and 118 apartments respond to an established need for such floorspace within the Activity Centre, as identified within the SGS Economic Analysis. The location of the particular uses on the subject land respond to the surrounding land use pattern and the site’s varied interfaces. In particular, the creation of a continual active edge along Burke Road through the siting of retail premises framing a public plaza repairs the fragmented streetscape and marries the northern and southern retail precincts along Burke Road. This ensures a continual stream of activity along Burke Road which will benefit from improved access to the railway station.
The office floorspace represents a desirable commercial address for several reasons:
3.3 Design and Built Form
• The office is located on a site which has main road frontage within a Principal Activity Centre and is located adjacent to a premium railway station. The site is also serviced by tram and bus services which reduces the reliance on carbased travel;
Camberwell Junction has an established strip shopping centre character, which is derived from the predominantly double storey attached shops which line the Burke Road spine and extend along parts of Riversdale and Camberwell Roads. Interspersed between the shops and located in separate precincts are buildings of varying architectural sizes and scale which diversify the built form character of the Activity Centre.
• The office floorspace has an identifiable entrance off The Place, a public space which will experience a high level of pedestrian activity, thus providing commercial exposure; • The quantum of floorspace proposed is sufficient to attract a number of small businesses or a medium-to-large business. The apartments will increase the residential population of Camberwell Junction Activity Centre and diversify the housing stock within Boroondara. The 118 apartments are single and double bedroom and will appeal to both owneroccupiers, such as young or old couples without children, and investors who may rent the apartments to students (Swinburne University is two train stops to the west) or couples. The apartments are a desirable residential address for the following reasons: • The apartments have convenient access to the railway station which encourages a reduction in reliance on car-based travel, thereby addressing in a small way a contribution to a more sustainable environment. • The apartments are located within a Principal Activity Centre and have convenient access to shops including a supermarket, specialty retail, Camberwell Market, the Rivoli cinema, cafes, restaurants and many other services and facilities.
Larger allotments are generally located on the periphery of the Activity Centre or behind the main road spines and have been developed with buildings featuring floorplates designed to accommodate uses such as offices or large-format retailing. Taller buildings are also located in the office precincts located to the south of the six ways intersection on Burke Road, along Camberwell Road to the east, along the Burwood Road corridor to the west of the junction and along Prospect Hill Road and Railway Parade. The subject site presents a rare redevelopment opportunity within Camberwell Junction. Its substantial frontage to Burke Road allows for infill development along the street edge which will reinforce the Burke Road spine, whilst the depth of the site and its lack of direct interfaces with adjoining properties provides the leverage for a taller building component to be setback from the street edge. In this regard, the characteristics of the site place it in a strong position for redevelopment to take advantage of its location on the doorstep of a premium railway station in a Principal Activity Centre. The varied interfaces of the subject site demand a site responsive design and built form outcome which reinforces the land use pattern of the surrounds, provides a functional development with good levels of amenity, achieves policy objectives in relation to the role of Activity Centres and makes a positive contribution to the character of the area.
3.3.1 Factors influencing the design response
• The apartments are provided with satisfactory internal amenity, including balconies connecting to the main living area which provide desirable views having regard to the apartments elevation position.
The following characteristics of the site and surrounds are relevant considerations, amongst other matters, in relation to the design and built form response:
The apartments increase passive surveillance of the railway station environs which is a positive outcome considering that activity within the immediately surrounding area after business hours is limited.
• The subject site is influenced by both the strip shopping character and the larger scale buildings within the Railway Parade office precinct due to its relationship with Burke Road and Railway Parade. This demands a site specific response in terms of built form layout, scale, height and activation which draws upon and responds to the characteristics of the varied interfaces. In particular, there is a need identified within local policy and commensurate with principles of good urban design to ‘repair’ the currently fragmented streetscape of Burke Road to marry the northern and southern retail precincts.
The mix of uses achieves goals contained within the Camberwell Junction Policy and the Office Use and Development Policy in relation to retail, office and residential floorspace, which in turn satisfies objectives of the Metropolitan Strategy in relation to Activity Centres.
• The natural topography of the land falls across the site from north-east to south-west. The Burke Road footpath falls from RL63.25 at the corner of Cookson Street to RL57.09 at the intersection with Railway Walk. Railway Walk rises gently from Burke Road to RL63.71 at the southern end of the elevated pedestrian crossing. The varied levels around the site’s perimeter influence the siting of buildings and their finished floor levels to ensure smooth and efficient connections to the public domain. There is a need for any new development directly above existing railway lines to provide appropriate clearance heights. • The site is irregular in shape. The positioning of the railway station buildings, the railway lines and stabling yards influence the siting of new built form. • The layout and function of the railway station environs informs the siting and built form response for the subject land in terms of connectivity and safety. As policy goals such as increasing retail and office floorspace within Camberwell Junction as well as increasing the residential population are achieved, there will be increased dependency upon public transport within the Activity Centre, in particular the railway station. There is a need to improve pedestrian access to the station platforms for both able-bodied and disabled persons to improve its function and amenity. This is a fundamental consideration of the design response. • Amendment C55 to the Boroondara Planning Scheme applied a heritage overlay to parts of the railway station environs. This process analysed the various components of the station environs and determined their level of their significance. The design response is informed by the footprint of the heritage overlay, noting that it preserves a sightline from the southern end of the pedestrian footbridge to the south-western edge of the station buildings. This sightline is preserved as part of the design response. • The subject land currently contains 76 public car parking spaces which are used predominantly by commuters. VicTrack require the retention of 76 car parking spaces on the subject site as part of the redevelopment. This influences the provision of on-site parking and the number of basement levels required.
3.3.2 Policy Context Also relevant to the design response is the current policy climate in relation to development within Activity Centres. As mentioned previously in this report, the policy landscape in relation to development within Activity Centres has changed significantly since the preparation of the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 1993. This is acknowledged by Council having commenced a review of the 1993 Structure Plan.
For this reason, it is considered that height and setback policy control contained within the Camberwell Junction Policy is overridden by the objectives and strategies contained within the SPPF in relation to the development of Activity Centres. In particular, Clause 19.03 (Design and Built Form) requires new development to respond to its context based upon a comprehensive site analysis, which has been undertaken in relation to the proposal. The site’s context and built form response is discussed in detail in the following sections. It is considered that, in considering the site’s context, an important aspect of Camberwell Junction is maintaining the built form scale at the Burke Road street edge. This is an objective of the Camberwell Junction Policy. The Camberwell Junction Policy prefers an 11m height limit for new buildings fronting Burke Road and it is noted that the Railway Walk building is generally compliant with this requirement given the maximum height of the Burke Road podium is 13.5m. In terms of setbacks for building levels above the podium, it is considered that an appropriate outcome can be achieved having regard to the site’s context without the need to apply the prescriptive setback suggested under the Camberwell Junction Policy (ie. 15m).
3.3.3 Draft Urban Design Framework (2004) It is relevant to note that the design response has been informed via a detailed analysis of the UDF prepared by Council following the ‘Camberwell Station Precinct Issues Paper, September, 2004’, in particular, the preferred outcome of the community - ‘Option 3: Development’. This option is underpinned by the following three redevelopment principles: • Improved pedestrian connectivity to the railway station platforms, including disabled access; • The provision of public open space within the railway station environs; and • Increased activation of the railway station environs through the introduction of land uses such as retail and community uses. The above principles form the basis of the design response for the subject site, however, have been developed further having regard to objectives contained within the State and Local Planning Policy Framework, including clause 19.03 (design and built form). The main point of difference between the design response proposed by Wood Marsh Architects and that shown in ‘Option 3’ of the UDF is the inclusion of a building (the ‘Cookson Street building’) at the corner of Burke Road and Cookson Street. As discussed later, the presence of this building is fundamental to repairing the Burke Road streetscape and marrying the existing retail uses to the north and south of the subject site along Burke Road.
Further, this building ensures that the public plaza is a well defined and truly active space. This addition to Option 3 of the UDF is appropriate and justified on the basis that it achieves the overriding objective of delivering a functional, integrated development with high quality public open space on the subject land.
• The redevelopment of the car park site adjacent to the station complex is an outcome encouraged by the ACDG of surrounding railway stations with active uses. The existing use of this land as a car park is not the highest and best use. The development integrates surrounding land with the station complex.
From a broader perspective, the design response must strike an appropriate balance between achieving state and local policy goals in relation to Activity Centres whilst being respectful towards the established and preferred future character of its surrounds.
• The mix of uses proposed provides for around the clock activity which promotes a safer environment through passive surveillance.
3.3.4 Relevant Guidelines An assessment of the proposal against the guidelines mentioned below is provided in the following sections of this report: • Activity Centre Design Guidelines; • Safer Design Guidelines; and • Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development. Many elements of the various guidelines are of no or limited relevance to the proposal. It is also noted that many elements and design suggestions contained within the guidelines overlap and seek consistent outcomes. The assessment below provides a summary of the proposal’s response to the relevant objectives and design suggestions of the various guidelines. Activity Centre Design Guidelines
• The plaza is a public space which is integral to the design response and provides a public space in a prominent precinct within a Principal Activity Centre. It extends the active edge of the shopping strip to the doorstep of the railway station providing an entry and exit point to Burke Road in the midst of activity. The extent of transitional space between the station platforms and activity centre is minimal. The design response promotes a sense of place and a safer environment for commuters. In many respects, the design response is similar to the Toorak Road entry/ exit to South Yarra Railway Station which has an interface with retail uses and provides a high level of passive surveillance for commuters. Another example of bringing activity to the doorstep of a railway station is the revamping of the internal plaza of Flinders Street station. A row of small retail tenancies is provided along the St. Kilda Road edge of Flinders Street Station as well as the provision of kiosks and associated seating within the plaza. • The pedestrian access routes to the station platforms provide clear lines of sight and will also be subject to passive surveillance from numerous vantage points in and around the station environs.
Element 2 – Train Stations and Public Transport Interchanges
• The minimum width of the stairs providing access to the middle and southern platforms is 3m.
‘Element 2 – Train Stations and Public Transport Interchanges’ of the Activity Centre Design Guidelines (ACDG) specifies objectives and design suggestions in relation to ‘Station and Interchange Environs’.
• The throat of the plaza walkway to the stairs and lift providing access to the northern platform is 4.4m. The width of the stairway to the northern platform is 2.2m.
The design response is underpinned by key objectives contained within Element 2 of the ACDG:
• Bicycle parking is provided for workers, commuters and shoppers.
• The proposal seeks to encourage public transport use through substantially improving access to the railway station via a direct pedestrian link to Burke Road. This strengthens the relationship of the station with the Burke Road retail strip and tram service and improves the function and safety of the environment.
• Night lighting is provided along Railway Walk (illuminated discs) and for the plaza. This contributes to a sense of place for the proposal and is an important safety aspect of the proposal. In relation to the other Elements contained within the ACDG, the following comments are made in relation to the proposal:
• The provision of lifts enables disabled access to the station platforms, noting that the current access arrangements to the station platforms are not compliant with DDA requirements.
The design response comfortably fits in with the established pattern of development in and around the Burke Road retail strip. In particular: • The proposal replicates the fine-grain subdivision pattern of the Burke Road retail spine at ground level along the Burke Road edge. • The proposal ‘repairs’ the Burke Road streetscape and provides a continual active edge with a zero setback to the footpath. • The proposal increases passive surveillance in and around the station environs. In particular, the active retail edge along Burke Road turns the corner into Railway Walk which provides for passive surveillance of this public walkway. Passive surveillance is also enabled through the use of a predominantly transparent building elevation along Railway Walk. • The proposal provides for a mix of land uses, including shops, offices and housing, which extend the hours of activity within the centre. The uses requiring larger floorplates, such as office, are sited to the rear of the finegrain retail tenancies or above ground level to maximise active edges adjacent to pedestrian spaces. • On-site parking is provided below street level which minimises the break in the Burke Road retail edge. • Weather protection is provided for the majority of the Burke Road footpath. • The dimensions and orientation of the plaza maximise solar access. • Provision is made for public seating and landscaping within the plaza, as well as areas for seating associated with cafes and restaurants to promote people watching. Furthermore, the plaza provides a close-up, elevated view of the station buildings and platforms which will promote trainspotting. • The proposal does not modify or alter the heritage buildings of the station complex. • The proposal incorporates ESD features, including rainwater capture and reuse.
Safer Design Guidelines
The proposal is consistent with key objectives of the Safer Design Guidelines (SDG). The development will significantly increase the level of activity within the immediate vicinity of the railway station environs culminating in more eyes on the street. The design response has internalised the back of house areas for the retail and office tenancies which maximises the extent of active and/or transparent building edges to Burke Road, Cookson Street, the plaza and Railway Walk. This promotes passive surveillance and pedestrian activity in and around the development. The main plant areas have been located to the rear of the Railway Walk building adjacent to the railway line which is an appropriate response in the context of the site’s varied interfaces. A summary of the proposal having regard to the objectives and design suggestions contained within the SDG is as follows: • Clear sightlines are provided for pedestrian routes. The plaza does not contain places of concealment due to the use of curved/angled walls. • Upper level commercial tenancies and the apartments are provided with an outlook over the plaza, the station complex, Cookson Street, Railway Walk and Railway Parade which provides for informal surveillance. • The planter boxes at the Burke Road edge act as retaining walls and will not result in the creation of places of concealment nor will impede pedestrian viewlines due to plantings. • A management agreement will be executed to ensure that the appearance of the plaza and overall site is of an appropriate standard on an ongoing basis. • The positioning of the office and apartment foyers draws activity into the plaza which assists in surveillance around the clock. The foyers are well defined through architectural expression and will be appropriately lit. A direct line of sight is available from the plaza to the lifts servicing both the offices and apartments. • The office and apartment foyers are separate which allows for the implementation of individual security systems. • Public seating is provided on the plaza. • The location of the car park entry off Burke Road allows for visibility into the car park.
• The basement car park levels have been designed to minimise places of concealment. The lift lobbies have been provided with generous dimensions where possible to provide clear sightlines for pedestrians. • Lighting is to be provided within the car park. • Appropriate line marking to denote pedestrian routes within each car park level will be provided. • Appropriate signage for the railway station entry/exit will be provided in consultation with the transport authority.
Railway Walk interface
The varied topography of Railway Walk and the presence of the stabling yards influence the design response at this interface. The location of the at-grade vehicle entry/exit to the basement car park off Burke Road also has a bearing on the nature of the use of the internal floorspace adjacent to Railway Walk. The design response incorporates a variety of active and passive design elements along Railway Walk. These elements are unified through a public art display in the form of a lighting system based around illuminated discs. The lighting system will ensure that Railway Walk is a safe pedestrian route. Specifically, the design response addresses Railway Walk in the following ways: • Through the provision of a retail tenancy on the corner of Burke Road and Railway Walk with a glazed façade along Railway Walk. This allows for views from the tenancy into Railway Walk. • A covered entrance to the corner office tenancy off Railway Walk which will promotes activity. • A glazed façade along Railway Walk adjacent to the internal car park accessway to allow for views between the car park and Railway Walk. • Public art in the form of illuminated light discs attached to part of the building elevation fronting Railway Walk and hung above Railway Walk. • The use of glazing for the podium level elevation along Railway Walk which provides upper level tenancies with an outlook over Railway Walk. The outcome for Railway Walk is an improvement in surveillance and lighting which will make this pedestrian accessway more attractive for commuters and shoppers.
Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development
The Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development specify relevant elements which relate to the proposal. The residential component of the development is located above the commercial spaces within the Railway Walk building. All apartments enjoy views due to their elevated position. The housing product on offer responds to the declining household size within Boroondara with the location and apartment sizes likely to be an attractive mix for young couples or students who value a convenient lifestyle. An assessment of the proposal against relevant elements within the guidelines is as follows: • The use of a podium and tower is a building typology commonly applied to infill development sites where the context includes an established scale along the street edge.
• The footprint of the apartment levels maximises the northerly aspect of the site. The amenity of the south-facing apartments is considered to be appropriate, in particular having regard to the views enjoyed by these apartments. • Appropriate acoustic treatments will be incorporated into the construction of the apartments to ensure insulation from noise associated with the railway station. • All bedrooms of the 118 apartments have access to natural light, except for the second bedroom of 8 apartments (2.05 / 2.08 / 3.05 / 3.08 / 4.05 / 4.08 / 5.05 / 5.08). It is considered that the amenity of these 8 apartments is satisfactory on the basis that the second bedrooms are approximately 5-6m from the living room windows (principal living area) and will obtain access to light due to their close proximity to these windows.
• The zero setback of the podium of the Railway Walk building along Burke Road reinforces the existing hard-edged character of the Burke Road spine. • The siting and scale of the Cookson Street building responds to the character of the street edge. The design of this building provides a civic presence at the entrance to the station which contributes to the sense of identify of the activity centre.
A detailed discussion of the design and built form response of each element of the proposal is provided below.
• The irregular footprint of the apartment levels prevents the entire mass of the building being read at the same time from ground level. In other words, sections of the apartment building move in and out when viewed from ground level which breaks up the length and mass. • The siting of the two buildings and curved form of the plaza pull back away to maintain a strong visual connection between the station buildings and Burke Road and to preserve the historical views from the station footbridge. • The plant area for the Railway Walk building is setback from the edges of the roof to ensure that it will not be visible from ground level. • The residential offering includes 52 x 1 bedroom (including 3 bedsits) and 66 x 2 bedroom apartments. This adds to the diversity of the housing stock within the activity centre and broader region. • Each apartment is provided with quality views due to their elevated positioning.
• The siting of the building results in a retail presence along the southern side of Cookson Street. The northern side of Cookson Street is regenerating as a retail pocket and the design response consolidates the existing commercial land use within this sub-precinct. • The Cookson Street building defines the northern edge of the plaza. This is an important element of the overall design response in controlling the pedestrian environment between the connections proposed to the railway station platforms off the plaza and Burke Road.
• Each apartment is provided with secure storage space within the basement. • Each apartment is provided with a balcony of ‘usable’ dimensions. A number of one bedroom apartments are provided with ‘Juliette’ balconies which represent an extension to the living area.
• The apartment levels are articulated in form and finished with silver, reflective glazing which will assume a lightweight appearance.
• The Cookson Street building provides an essential built form ‘anchor’ on the corner of Burke Road and acts as a counterbalance for the Palace Hotel within the Burke Road corridor. The design response for the Cookson Street building includes an angled setback to Burke Road, a ridgeline which sits below that of the Palace Hotel and a lightweight and transparent appearance which contrasts with the heavy appearance of the Palace Hotel.
3.3.5 The Cookson Street building The Cookson Street building is a fundamental ingredient of the overall design response for the subject site. Its provides a retail presence on the corner of Burke Road and Cookson Street whilst also providing an active edge to the northern side of the plaza which continues to the doorstep of the station platforms. The positioning of this building on the corner of Burke Road and Cookson Street is derived from principles of good urban design which seek to provide an attractive, controlled and functional pedestrian environment within an Activity Centre context. The design of the building provides a civic presence along Burke Road which will emphasise the entrance to the station complex. An analysis of the role of the Cookson Street building having regard to the relevant considerations of the Boroondara Planning Scheme, including Clause 19.03, is as follows:
• The presence of the Cookson Street building is also important in defining the character and function of the plaza. It ensures that the plaza is surrounded by activity along its northern and southern sides which adds to its identity and amenity whilst also providing passive surveillance. The design response creates a formal, active and attractive public plaza which is appropriate for a highly-utilised pedestrian environment. • The angled setback of the Cookson Street building to Burke Road invites pedestrians into the plaza through a gentle transition from the Burke Road footpath. This design response also provides for ramped access for disabled persons. • The height of the building limits the extent of overshadowing of the plaza throughout the day. • The building includes rainwater tanks which will assist in catering for the needs of the adjacent landscaped embankment. • The design and materials of the Cookson Street building respond to its siting within the heritage overlay which applies to the railway station. The use of soft terracotta colours respond to the colourings of the railway station building rooftops, with the contemporary architecture of the building providing a high quality addition to the streetscape which adds to the identity and recognition of the station environs below street level.
• It ensures continual activity along the Burke Road street edge which is critical for marrying the existing retail uses to the north and south of the subject site, which is a key objective of the Camberwell Junction Policy. The creation of a public space extending along Burke road from the corner of Cookson Street to the south of the railway line, as suggested within the draft UDF (option 3), does not sufficiently repair the fragmented Burke Road streetscape and represents a poor urban design outcome.
3.3.6 The Railway Walk Building The Railway Walk building contains two distinct built form elements which accommodate three different land uses, being retail, office and residential. The two building elements are as follows: • The podium which comprises a glazed green facade with black, patterned columns which extends from Burke Road through to Railway Parade and is bound by the plaza to the north and Railway Walk to the south. The podium contains retail and office floorspace. • Six levels of apartments located on top of the podium and setback from the street edge and all sides of the podium. The apartments are contained within an angled, reflective silver-glazed building envelope which has an irregular-shaped footprint on top of the podium.
parapet height between the southern edge of the podium and the adjoining building is not out of proportion with height variations within the existing Burke Road streetscape. At its northern end, the parapet height of the podium is similar to that of the Cookson Street building, which in turn, has a similar height to the Davies Building across Cookson Street. In terms of the podium’s finishes: • The transparent green glazed façade softens the podium’s appearance to Burke Road. The penetration of natural light into the podium will provide depth to this elevation. Further, the provision of individual signage and shop window displays for each tenancy will add visual interest and depth at pedestrian level.
The Podium’s ‘fit’ with the Burke Road streetscape
The podium has a zero setback to Burke Road and Railway Walk. Retail tenancies are located at the ground level of the podium along Burke Road with the southern-most retail premises turning the corner into Railway Walk for a distance of approximately 15m. A quantum of office floorspace is provided above the retail tenancies within the building envelope of the podium. The entrance to the office tenancy which sits directly above the ground level retail tenancy at the corner of Burke Road and Railway Walk is located off Railway Walk. The design response provides the retail and office tenancies within the podium with an outlook over Railway Walk which promotes passive surveillance. Clear glazing is provided for the ground level shopfronts of the retail tenancies fronting Burke Road to respond to the fine-grain subdivision pattern. This clear glazing also turns the corner into Railway Walk for a distance. The provision of individual signage and shop window displays for these tenancies will assist in the integration of the building into the Burke Road Streetscape and reinforce the fine-grained response to this street edge. The podium contains a consistent parapet-line along the Burke Road frontage. Specifically, the height of the parapet ranges from 10.2m to 13.625m above footpath level at the northern and southern ends respectively due to the fall of the land. Internally, this creates a part-two and part-three level building with the floor levels contained within a glass façade presenting to Burke Road. The height of the parapet towards the southern end of the building extends above the 11m height specified within the Camberwell Junction Policy. The parapet (RL 71.70) sits approximately 3.5m above that of the adjoining building across Railway Walk to the south (RL 68 approximately). The Burke Road streetscape contains numerous examples of variations in building height of one storey or more between properties. The difference in
• The black feature columns at the top corner of the southern end of the Burke Road façade angle down towards the adjacent double storey building which assists in appropriating the height transition by drawing the eye down on an angle across Railway Walk to the adjacent building. • The black angled columns provide a visually interesting, contemporary skin to the building which emphasises the individual tenancies at ground level. The angling of the thicker columns ‘up’ the hill above the canopy also assists in stepping the building up the hill visually.
• Is located adjacent to an office precinct along Railway Parade which contains taller, robust buildings with large floorplates; • Is located adjacent to the side elevations of retail and office buildings across Railway Walk; • Abuts a railway track to the north which provides separation from the station buildings; • Is located on the southern side of the railway station which ensures that future development does not overshadow this public area; and • Is a deep site with a substantial frontage to Burke Road. • The site’s location, interfaces and dimensions, in particular its depth, lend the site to development with a substantial built form response. As mentioned previously, the use of a podium and tower is a building typology commonly applied to infill development sites where the context includes an established scale along the street edge with opportunities for taller building elements beyond the street edge. This is an appropriate design response, in principle, for the subject site for the following reasons:
The height of the Railway Walk building responds appropriately to its context for the following reasons:
• The different design detail and finishes adopted for the podium and the above-podium apartment levels provide a clear distinction between the street wall and the taller component beyond. This ensures that the podium is read as the primary element in the streetscape as a pedestrian which assists in reinforcing the established scale of the street edge and reducing the prominence of the above-podium levels.
• State and local planning policy encourages intensive development within Principal Activity Centres, particularly on underutilised site in centres able to cope with change. Camberwell Junction is a Principal Activity Centre which is second in importance in the development of metropolitan Melbourne only to the Central Business District.
• The building envelope of the apartment levels has been carefully formulated to provide both vertical and horizontal articulation to reduce its visible mass. This assists in providing an appropriate height transition from buildings on surrounding properties and the podium level below. The above-podium building envelope includes:
• The site represents an opportunity for intensive development due to its main road location, frontages to the public realm and the nature of surrounding land uses and built form. In terms of its immediate context and interfaces, the site:
• Setting the apartment building back from the podium on all sides to create a clear separation between the podium and apartment levels.
Height of the Railway Walk building
• Does not have direct interfaces with adjoining buildings, being separated by Burke Road and Railway Walk; • Is isolated from the residential hinterland;
• Sloping the facade of the apartment levels away from the podium edge towards the centre of the site on all sides of the building to taper the built form. • The provision of a setback between apartment levels 4 and 5 which reduces the mass of the building by stepping back the top two levels and further tapering the above-podium level as it increases in height.
• The provision of punched openings in the apartment building providing for balconies adds to the visual interest and depth of the façade. • The irregular footprint of the apartment levels above the podium prevents the entire mass of the apartment levels being read at the same time when viewed in the round. Sections of the apartment building move in and out when viewed from ground level which creates visual interest and breaks up the building mass. • The use of silver, reflective glazing provides the apartment levels with a lightweight appearance which will reflect the sky. In terms of the impact of the proposal on adjoining properties, it is noted that: • The proposal does not generate any unreasonable overshadowing having regard to the context of the site and surrounding properties. The overshadowing of the Burke Road footpath during the morning period (9am11am approximately) on 22 September is considered to be an acceptable outcome having regard to the site’s Principal Activity Centre context. The overshadowing of the station platforms by the plaza is considered acceptable having regard to the transitional nature of this space. • The Railway Walk building is separated from the existing commercial buildings to the south by Railway Walk which provides a lightcourt ensuring ongoing access to natural light for these buildings. In terms of the height of the building having regard to the site’s broader context, the skyline of Camberwell Junction is punctuated with taller buildings when viewed in the round. The site is located two-thirds of the way up the Burke Road North Hill which contains tall office buildings at its peak. When viewed from the south along Burke Road, the 8-9 storey building will be read amongst this backdrop. Furthermore, a 6 storey building has been approved at 19-23 Cookson Street which will also add a further silhouette to the skyline of this precinct. Views of the proposal from the south-east along Prospect Hill Road will be interrupted by the office buildings along Railway Walk. Views to the south from the Burke Road North Hill are panoramic due to the topography and the development will be set against the backdrop of the broader Activity Centre. The excavated railway corridor allows for views from Cookson Street through to the Railway Parade office precinct. The railway corridor will continue to provide separation from the commercial precinct to the south of the railway station, including the proposed development, from the residential area along Cookson Street. In light of this separation, the height of the proposal does not impact upon the residential properties along Cookson Street.
To the west, the Burke Road retail spine provides a buffer between the subject site and the residential hinterland. The broader topography surrounding the subject site slopes down to the west which will result in view of the proposal being interrupted by buildings along the Burke Road spine, including the Palace Hotel.
• The proposal includes a large, public plaza which has good access to sunlight throughout the day. In an overall sense, whilst solar access to part of Railway Walk is being reduced, the proposal is providing the public with greater access to public space with good solar access in a location with better amenity.
Interface with Railway Walk
• The anticipated reduction in pedestrian activity along Railway Walk increases the importance of ensuring that passive surveillance and lighting of this pedestrian link is provided. As discussed previously, the design response proposes passive surveillance of Railway Walk through the use of a glazed building edge along Railway Walk and proposes lighting along Railway Walk. These design elements will ensure that this section of Railway Walk does not become an environment which pedestrians do not feel safe to use.
The design response to Railway Walk has been discussed in the assessment of the proposal against the Safer Design Guidelines in relation to safety and surveillance. These matters are not repeated in the analysis below which discusses the impact of the built form of the proposal on Railway Walk. The two most significant changes to Railway Walk resulting from the proposal are: • A loss of sunlight to the section of Railway Walk located adjacent to the Railway Walk building; and • The anticipated reduction in pedestrian activity resulting from the provision of a direct pedestrian connection between the station platforms and Burke Road. A discussion of the proposal in relation to these issues and other built form considerations is as follows: • Railway Walk gradually rises as it extends from Burke Road to Railway Parade. This results in the podium level of the Railway Walk building varying in height from two-to-three storeys along this interface. It is considered that this scale is consistent with other buildings located within the Activity Centre which abut public spaces. Above the podium level, the apartments are setback from the podium edge and angled towards the centre of the site to maintain an outlook open to the sky along Railway Walk. • The zero setback of the Railway Walk building and its height will result in a loss of access to sunlight during the day for pedestrians utilising Railway Walk between Burke Road and Railway Parade. On balance, this is considered to be an acceptable outcome for several reasons: • Railway Walk is located adjacent to a strategically significant redevelopment site located within a Principal Activity Centre. It is considered unreasonable to preserve solar access to this section of Railway Walk in this highly urbanised context, particularly having regard to the improvements to the pedestrian network proposed as part of the development.
3.3.7 The Place Central to the redevelopment of the subject site is the creation of a public plaza - ‘The Place’ - which seeks to improve access to and appreciation of the railway station environs. The Place emphasizes the entrance to the station through enabling ‘destination’ views of the station buildings from the plaza. The Place also plays a critical role in repairing the Burke Road streetscape through drawing together the northern and southern precincts of the Burke Road retail spine and continuing this active edge to turn the corner into The Place to create a vibrant public realm on the doorstep of the station platforms. In this regard, the presence of the Cookson Street building is fundamental to the success of The Place. An open corner at Cookson Street, as suggested in Option 3 of the UDF, would fail to sufficiently repair and reactivate the Burke Road streetscape as the gap between new retail floorspace on the southern section of the site and the existing retail across Cookson Street would remain too great. This would result in the public space lacking identity and vibrancy which would culminate in the public space being underutilised in its context. The positioning of buildings on either side of the plaza provides a visually interesting and safe boulevard for pedestrians entering and exiting the station environs. This creates a well defined public space with a strong sense of identity and promotes passive surveillance. The design response ensures that the plaza acts as both a transitional space for commuters and a destination space for shoppers. The use of varied paving materials for the plaza clearly defines the path connecting the Burke Road footpath to the entrances to the station platform from the retail domain. The separation distance between the buildings fronting the plaza enables the retail uses and any associated outdoor seating to be setback sufficiently so as to not present obstacles to commuters accessing the station platforms via the plaza, in the manner which outdoor seating along parts of Burke Road obstructs the flow of pedestrians. This design response creates an environment which is an ideal public meeting place within the heart of Camberwell Junction, something which is currently absent and sought within ‘Option 3’ of the UDF.
The design response proposed under Option 3 of the UDF represents a lost opportunity to enhance the pedestrian experience entering Camberwell Junction via the station environs. Option 3 proposes to transport passengers directly from the station platforms to the Burke Road footpath with commuters then having to walk further to engage with the Activity Centre. The presence of Cookson Street to the north creates a sense of isolation for the exit point to the station under Option 3. The design response under Option 3 proposes a transitional pedestrian environment. It fails to sufficiently re-energise this precinct of the Activity Centre by delivering an outcome whereby commuters immediately enter the Activity Centre upon alighting from the railway platforms (eg. South Yarra Station). The Place adds a new dimension to Camberwell Junction through the provision of high quality public space in the core retail centre. Specifically, The Place will significantly improve existing conditions for the following reasons: • Camberwell Railway Station is a ‘Premium Railway Station’ located on the Principal Public Transport Network. As the objectives of State and Local Planning Policy to increase the permanent population within Activity Centres and to reduce the reliance on car-based travel are implemented, there will be increased usage of public transport, in particular Premium Railway Stations. The proposal upgrades access to the railway station environs, including provision for disabled access, which caters for the anticipated increase in public transport usage into the future. • The proposal improves the functionality of the station by providing direct access to each station platform via Burke Road. Presently, access to each platform is only available via the elevated pedestrian bridge, with the exception being the northernmost platform which can be accessed via the ramps connecting to Cookson Street. The improved connections to the railway platforms provide a direct transition to the tram service along Burke Road and to the Burke Road retail strip. The improved pedestrian environment will encourage increased usage of public transport. • The existing access arrangements to the station platforms do not comply with disabled access requirements. The Place provides for disabled access to platforms. These works are being undertaken by the developer on behalf of VicTrack. • The introduction of an after hours population to the immediate environs of the station promotes passive surveillance of the pedestrian network surrounding the station. • The Place allows for improved views to the west of the city skyline which provides a contextual backdrop for the station environs. In this sense, the main corridor of vision which coincides with the airspace over the railway line to the west of Burke Road is maintained and enhanced by the proposal.
• The Place provides improved views of the Camberwell Station Railway Buildings which increases the appreciation of its heritage.
3.6 Further considerations
The State and Local Planning Policies which apply to the proposal have overlapping guidelines and objectives. Discussion in relation to relevant policies is both explicit and implicit within the above sections of this submission.
The design response is discussed in detail in the accompanying submission from Lovell Chen & Associates having regard to the Heritage Overlay which applies to part of the development site. The proposal takes advantage of the site’s potential for connectivity to the railway station, whilst also being respectful towards the significant heritage elements of the station environs. The Railway Walk building is sited to maintain the sightline from the southern end of the elevated pedestrian walkway as evident in the boundary of the heritage overlay. The design of the Cookson Street building draws upon the character of the railway station building and represents a sensitive design response to the heritage environs.
3.5 Car Parking, Traffic and Public Transport The site is well served by the existing public transport network, which will reduce the reliance on vehicle dependency. In particular, the site has access to the following public transport services: • Camberwell Railway Station, which accommodates the Alamein, Lilydale and Belgrave train lines; • The 75 tram route along Camberwell Road; • The 72 tram route along Burke Road; • The 70 tram route along Riversdale Road; and • The 612 bus route, which connects Camberwell Junction with Chadstone Shopping Centre. The closest bus stop is located 100m from the subject site. As discussed within the accompanying Cardno Grogan Richards Traffic and Car Parking Report, the proposal provides for an appropriate level of on site car parking to cater for the demand anticipated by the development. The proposal also includes the provision of 76 public car parking spaces for commuter use.
However, in response to relevant policy considerations which have not been discussed in light of the proposal, the following comments are made: • The proposal is consistent with the objectives and land use principles of Council’s Office Use and Development Policy. A number of policy considerations relating to design issues are not relevant to the office component due to its location above retail floorspace at ground level. • The building has been designed to conceal rooftop plants and the lift overrun from view from the public domain. The building also provides an internal loading bay which reduces noise levels associated with loading/unloading activity and maintains the amenity of residential land to the east. • The use of basement car parking ensures that car parking facilities do not dominate the front setback area. • Adequate provision has been made for garbage, recycling and bin enclosures within the basement.
section FOUR CONCLUSION
The Place, Camberwell Station: • Will be a vibrant community focal point that unifies land adjoining the station and reinvigorates the northern end of the Burke Road retail precinct. • Will deliver net community benefit through the provision of retail and office floorspace, increasing the diversity of housing choice and creating employment opportunities. • Has been designed to preserve the significant heritage elements of the station complex whilst allowing for adaptation to improve its functionality and amenity. • Provides a high quality, innovative and sustainable built form response which sensitively integrates with the surrounding area and increases the pedestrian permeability of the site. • Upgrades and enhances the operational requirements of the railway station, including the provision of disabled access. • Creates a safe and secure environment for all public transport users and the general public.
The Broader Context The Camberwell Junction is the commercial, governance and retail hub of the municipality. It has been characterised by an ability to retain key elements of built form heritage that have helped retain its character, whilst at the same tune enabling substantial new economic development to occur over time. An aerial photo and analysis of lettable space between the early 1980’s compared to now, would see substantially increased areas dedicated to commercial office space, carparking, entertainment, hospitality, infrastructure and shoptop development. Examples of projects undertaken during this period include the Railway Parade office precinct, the Rivoli multiplex redevelopment, the multi-deck carpark development, the railway stabling and commuter carpark, shoptop development in Cookson Street and the new Country Road and adjacent retail development south of Riversdale Road. The ongoing retention of heritage fabric in particular to Burke Road, and iconic structures such as the Rivoli façade, The Palace Hotel and Cookson Street facades have ensured that these changes have been able to occur whilst retaining the identity of the Junction. Another key element of the Junction has been the development of a range of pedestrian links between streets such as Burke Road, Camberwell Road and Railway Parade that have contributed towards safer and more attractive urban environments. Like Chapel Street, Bridge Road, Lygon Street, Puckle Street, Toorak Road and Church Street, the Camberwell Junction has enjoyed the resurgent interest by consumers in the richer diversity and atmosphere associated with strip shopping. The UDF draws from the heritage study undertaken by Bryce Raworth Pty Ltd (Conservation and Urban Design) April 2004. The commentary is as follows: • The Station has local heritage significance and forms part of a family of stations of similar character including Malvern and Hawksburn. • The Station is not of State heritage significance. • The buildings are generally in good condition and are characterised by evidence of adaptive change to meet changing operational and customer needs. • The areas of the station land and buildings south of the station make little contribution to this local heritage significance and offer potential for change.
Potential exists within the existing built form and the areas at the western end of platforms to provide improved access for people arriving from the north, east, south or west requiring access to the Station. • The Station is not of such heritage significance that it cannot be upgraded to meet changing expectations for passenger amenities and services. • The buildings forming the northern façade of Cookson Street contain a series of buildings that contribute to the heritage character of the precinct and these are noted in the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan mapping for the precinct along with buildings framing either side of the cutting to the western side of Burke Road (Page 3 Structure Plan). • The retention of the Station buildings is supported by the Boroondara Local Planning Policy Clause 22.02-3. • The landscaping forming the northern embankment of the station forms part of the local significance but offers potential for further enhancement. • The central span of the Burke Road bridge is of low significance and could be changed. • Gaps in the Burke Road frontage arising from the removal of the Coal Shed and gates lead to a discontinuity of the retail experience and unattractive views into the carpark. • The Bridge buttresses to either end of the Burke Road frontage provide a visually attractive ink to the station and visual continuity across the railway cutting. • The footpath width of the bridge is narrow and places pedestrians in close proximity to traffic.
The Carpark and Southern Interface • Car movement levels of approximately 17500 vehicles per day exist on Burke Road. Wherever possible it would be desirable to minimise car dependant uses reliant on direct access to Burke Road. • Where possible servicing of the site should not occur from the Burke Road frontage but rather from the rear Right of Way (ROW) and Railway Parade. • No provision for pedestrian movement has been provided for in the carpark area. • No provision for soft landscaping has been incorporated in the carpark area. • The carpark arrangement is highly inefficient as a result of the awkward triangulated footprint and takes up considerably more area than that which would be required with a rectilinear arrangement.
• The Burke Road corridor is characterised by two and three level older scale development that is broken at the interface with the carpark. Ground floor uses are generally retail and hospitality related. • Much of the area abutting the site is characterised by inactive frontages at night and many areas are also lacking in daytime activity. Neither is consistent with good urban design outcomes for an area of high public utilisation and pedestrian access. • The area south of the Station fronting Railway Parade is of recent vintage and is characterised by substantially proportioned commercial buildings. These buildings have generally not been designed to acknowledge their relationship with the station presenting either unbroken metal fences or precast concrete walls to the pedestrian street interface. • Significant potential exists for enhanced presentation of the southern interface to the station. The area offers potential for good access to northern light and views particularly towards the area north of the stabling yards.
Buildings Framing Either Side of Railway Parade • No buildings of heritage value exist in the interface west of and including the easternmost commercial building. • The connection to Railway Parade with ramp configurations is steep, indirect end poorly signposted and lit. • Visual connections to the station are poor and views are generally partially screened by railway infrastructure and stabled trains. • No quality public open space exists in the vicinity of the station within the commercial precinct despite the relative openness of the area and access to sunlight and protection from prevailing winter winds. • No abutting uses currently contribute to enhanced levels of informal surveillance of the public realm outside work hours. • There is no residential development in the commercially zoned areas south of the railway line.
Building Heights and Form A detailed survey was undertaken by Beveridge Williams Surveyors for the City of Boroondara. From this survey plans in Section 2.1 were prepared to show the scale of the buildings in the station area. The building heights figures illustrate that buildings of between 5-10m in height flank the Station buildings. Two structures, the Qantas building on Railway Walk, and the corner Tower of the Palace Hotel to the south and north west of the parking area respectively are taller than 15m. The analysis reveals that the roofline of the station buildings (relative level (rl) 55-60m) in the rail corridor cutting, is 5-10m lower than the street level (60— 65m). Access to the station is therefore by means of pedestrian ramps. The majority of the flanking buildings are at rI 70—8Om with the exception of the Second Church of Christ Scientist to the northeast, which exceeds rl 80m.
Views The Contextual drawings in Section 2.0 serve to show the significant views that enrich and characterise the Station precinct, 1. Views of Primary Significance
Attractive views, of primary significance, both into the site and outward, particularly to the City and resident hinterland are distinctive attributes of the site. These include: • City views from the southern portion of the Pedestrian Bridge; Halfway Walk and Burke Road Bridge • Station views from the Burke Road Bridge and Cookson Street • Station views from Railway Walk and the pedestrian bridges 2. Views of Secondary Significance
Views of secondary significance include: • View from Burke Road arising from the recent demolition of the former heritage coal storage building 3. Private Views
Private views, whilst existing from commercial and residential properties in the precinct should not be unduly protected in a vibrant and changing commercial context such as the Camberwell Junction.
4. Obstructed or Unsightly Views
The following views are regarded as obstructed or unsightly views where opportunities exist for enhancement: • The areas of Railway Walk east of Fairholm Grove that have their city views largely obstructed by poorly arranged vegetation. • The views towards Cookson Street with the Station in the foreground are currently obstructed by stabling infrastructure and poorly conceived landscaping. • The-views towards the Station from Burke Road are currently obstructed by stabling infrastructure and car parking. • The views to the rear of shops, rail stabling, southern commercial buildings and commuter car park from the station and pedestrian bridge are generally unattractive and are to the sides or backs of buildings rather than a frontage.
Residential Amenity • The separation of road networks servicing the commercial precinct from roads largely servicing residential areas north of Cookson Street and East of and including Fairholm Grove, minimises unnecessary conflicts or loss of amenity to these areas. • The area around the Station and Palace Hotel have been identified as the area of greatest safety concern within the Camberwell Junction precinct in survey work undertaken independent of this study (refer Boroondara Community Safety Survey 1999). • The walkways south of the Station are generally characterised by significant evidence of graffiti arising partly from the poor natural surveillance associated with low levels of activity in the area. • The residential areas north of the Station are generally not affected by overshadowing or overlooking arising from development within the Station precinct. • Traffic egress to Burke Road in lieu of Railway Parade potentially results in some traffic movements into Cookson Street. • The building envelope for development identified in the planning scheme finishing as it does to the east of the pedestrian ramp might result in some overlooking and overshadowing impacts to adjacent residential development in Fairholm Grove, • Little high quality open space exists in the activity centre in the vicinity of the Station for nearby residents.
Movement and Access The location of tram stops and bus stops, their distance from the Railway station, access, movement, inactive frontages. and shortfalls are as follows: The physical surveys show that: • The access to the station is convoluted and poor from all major access points in Railway Parade and Burke Road. • The Boroondara Community Safety Survey 1999 indicates that the Station and Hotel are perceived areas of danger at night. • Camberwell Police advised that the number of incidents at Camberwell Station was not higher than other nearby Stations, albeit that Camberwell Station is a staffed station and others in the network are not. • Modal integration of transport is poor. • Disability access to the station and between transport modes is poor. • Access from commuter car parking to the station is indirect. • Commuter parking access to the station is poor, as it is located at a distance of 235 metres from the Station platform. • Access to commuter car parking heightens pedestrian/vehicle conflicts in Burke Road. • Interfaces with pedestrian walkways are characterised by low levels of active interface and negligible night time activity leading to diminished perceptions of safety and security. The central platform has only a single point of escape. • No direct access is available from the central platform to Burke Road despite this being a primary destination. • Significant levels of modal interchange occur between trams and buses and the aging nature of the population is likely to see this increase overtime. • Location of buses and trams is not readily apparent from the station and vice versa. • Inappropriate screen planting exists along many of the walkways. • The continuity of the Burke Road retail strip is interrupted by the commuter car park entrance. The station and environs are difficult to access from the bus stop owing to intervening busy road crossings and the significant uphill gradient for much of the distance between the transport nodes. • Provision for cyclists in the Camberwell Station precinct is poor. • The train stabling area undermines the ability to conveniently access the Station and Railway Parade, and arises from recent decisions to relocate City stabling areas to Camberwell. Given property values and the intensity of use and development in the Camberwell environs and the anticipated strategic role of the centre as a Principle Activity Centre, relocation to a lower intensity use area in the medium term must be considered. • The pedestrian pathway across the Burke Road bridge is narrow and unnecessarily hostile to pedestrians. • The shape of the parking area is inefficient and the long walk has unattractive and inactive interfaces.
4. Assess the traffic and carparking implications of buses using Railway Parade to access an on- site turning area.
Boroondara Council appointed GTA Consultants to undertake an assessment of a number of traffic issues. The following is a summary of the results: 1. Consider the suitability of relocating the existing Burke Road tram stop adjacent to the Camberwell Railway Station
• Relocation of the tram stop adjacent to an access point to the Camberwell Railway Station clearly has merit. • Relocation of the pedestrian signals should be undertaken in conjunction with relocation of the tram stop. • There may be an opportunity to incorporate the relocated pedestrian signals with a potential upgrade of the vehicular access to the Station Car Park. • Some on-street car parking would be lost’ as a result of relocating the tram stop. 2. Evaluate the capacity of Burke Road to accept additional traffic associated with any development of the site and the number of car parking spaces that could be accommodated.
• There is generally adequate capacity at each of the intersections to accommodate a reasonable number of additional left turning vehicles. • There is virtually no capacity for Burke Road to absorb any additional right turning traffic from the Station Car Park (at anytime in either peak period) or from Cookson Street, particularly between 4:45pm and 6:00pm. 3. Consider the suitability of retaining the carpark access onto Burke Road or using Railway Parade for access.
• Existing sole vehicular access to an expanded Station Car Park from Burke Road could be retained if the access was controlled with traffic signals; • If the Burke Road access was not upgraded to traffic signals, an expanded Station Car Park would most likely require the provision of an additional secondary vehicular access point; • The most suitable additional access point would appear to be from Railway Parade. However, the adjoining Railway Parade/Prospect Hill intersection would require upgrade works to support additional traffic at this location.
In order for Railway Parade and the Railway Parade/Prospect Hill Road intersection to meet the minimum design standards to accommodate buses, construction works are likely to be required. The scope of construction works may include, but not be limited to: • Widening of Railway Parade at the intersection with Prospect Hill Road; • Removal of five kerbside parking spaces along the western side at Railway Parade • Narrowing of the footpath along the western side of Railway Parade; • Assignment of the westbound right through lane on Prospect Hill Road to a shared through and right turn arrangement; • Removal or repositioning of the traffic island on prospect Hill Road between Railway Parade and Station Street; and • Changes to the configuration of the Railway Parade and Station Street intersections with Prospect Hill Road.
5. Investigate the appropriateness of providing some from of pedestrian facility at the Prospect Hill Road / Railway Parade intersection.
• A substantial conflict point between turning vehicles and crossing pedestrians currently exists. • The current pedestrian facility between Railway Parade and Station Street should be replaced with a more formal pedestrian facility. • Pedestrian activated signals are unlikely to be justified based on pedestrian crossing movements alone. • Pedestrian crossing facilities could be included, with any changes to the configuration of the Railway Parade and Station Street intersections with Prospect Hill Road. • The installation of traffic signals at the Railway Parade and Station Street intersections with Prospect Hill Road would provide controlled movements for both traffic and pedestrians.
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