Issuu on Google+

Key Issues Discussion Paper – Consultation Draft Prepared by David Lock Associates with assistance from: SGS Economics and Planning GTA Consultants On behalf of the City of Yarra July 2010


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________1

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0

INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................................................2

1.1

Study Area........................................................................................................................................................................2

1.2

Purpose of the Issues Paper............................................................................................................................................3

1.3

Purpose of the Structure Plan..........................................................................................................................................4

1.4

Timeframe of the Structure Plan......................................................................................................................................4

1.5

Policy Basis......................................................................................................................................................................5

1.4

Process of Developing the Issues Paper..........................................................................................................................5

2.0

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT....................................................................................................................................6

2.1

Regional Context..............................................................................................................................................................6

2.2

The Place..........................................................................................................................................................................7

3.0

KEY TRENDS AND INFLUENCES..................................................................................................................................11

3.1

Demographic.....................................................................................................................................................................11

3.2

Social................................................................................................................................................................................11

3.3

Environmental...................................................................................................................................................................12

3.4

Economic..........................................................................................................................................................................12

4.0

KEY ISSUES....................................................................................................................................................................14

4.1

Themes.............................................................................................................................................................................14

4.2

Land Use...........................................................................................................................................................................15

4.3

Built Form..........................................................................................................................................................................29

4.4

Public Realm......................................................................................................................................................................34

4.5

Access and Movement.......................................................................................................................................................44

5.0

CONCLUSION...................................................................................................................................................................45


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________2_

1.0 INTRODUCTION The issues and challenges facing the future of our activity centres are complex and inter-related and require forward-looking and integrated responses. This discussion paper seeks to draw out these issues and identify what priorities Council should consider when developing a Structure Plan that will guide future development and change within the study area.

1.1

STUDY AREA

The study area is shown in Plan 1. It is bounded by Punt Road to the west, the Yarra River corridor to the south, Loyala Grove to the east. A point roughly halfway between Swan Street and Bridge Road has been designated as the northern boundary.

1.2

PURPOSE OF THE ISSUES PAPER

This Issues Paper outlines a range of issues that are both existing and emerging within the Swan Street study area. These issues have been identified from a range of sources, including observations of the area and consultation with residents, business owners, State Government representatives and Council staff. The issues presented in this paper are intended to provoke discussion regarding the content of a Structure Plan that will be prepared for the area.

Plan 1: Study Area


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________3

1.3

PURPOSE OF THE STRUCTURE PLAN

Melbourne 2030 is the long term planning strategy for metropolitan Melbourne that proposes that Melbourne must change in a sustainable way. The strategy supports the greater use of public transport, so that more people can have convenient access to the many services, recreation facilities, shopping and employment opportunities that exist in our activity centres. Further, the strategy encourages households to locate close to main public transport stops and routes. A Structure Plan provides a long term framework to guide development in and around activity centres. Such planning must recognise that gradual change occurs through the actions of the many stakeholders who regularly make decisions about land use, capital works and development. A Structure Plan identifies changes to improve the range of land uses, the built form, accessibility and circulation, and the provision of public transport. This includes changes to improve the amenity of a centre for its users, including the design of civic spaces and streets to enhance community life and a sense of identity. The Structure Plan will a document to guide the delivery of a shared vision for Swan Street by all stakeholders including being used as a reference document by Council Officers to guide development in the area. It will help developers, service providers and investors by providing guidance that reflects Councilâ€&#x;s Strategic Vision. In particular the Structure Plan will be used by Council to: manage growth and change in the study area. influence future planning scheme decisions and permits for new development. coordinate better community services. plan traffic and transport measures. plan physical changes to streets and streetscapes. guide both public and private sector investment. advocate for and coordinate action by government agencies and bodies.

1.4

TIMEFRAME OF THE STRUCTURE PLAN

The Structure Plan is intended to take a long term view. It will consider: Short term plans for the next 5 or so years to about 2016 Medium term plans for 5 to 10 years to about 2021. Longer term plans for the period beyond 10 years to about 2031


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________4_

1.5

POLICY BASIS

Under Melbourne 2030, the State Government‟s long-term Metropolitan planning strategy, Swan Street is designated as a Major Activity Centre. This strategy directs that Structure Plans - planning tools to guide the future use and development of activity centres - be prepared. The Structure Plan will consolidate and build on previous and current work to reflect a coordinated, strategic approach to guiding future growth and change within the study area. The preparation of the Structure Plan will take into account a number of policies and strategies including: Melbourne @ 5 Million the City of Yarra Planning Scheme the Inner Melbourne Action Plan Economic Development Strategy (2009) Yarra Open Space Strategy (2006) Cremorne and Church Street Precinct Urban Design Framework (2007) Channel 9 Design Principles East Richmond Station – Access and Amenity Improvements (2009) Other Council documents

1.6

PROCESS OF DEVELOPING THE ISSUES PAPER

To assist in the development of the Issues Paper, Council has established a key stakeholder group comprised of various residents, business owners, State Government officials and Council officers. This group will provide Council with a consultative mechanism throughout the duration of the project throughout the planning process.

In July 2010, the key stakeholder group was convened and asked to assist in the identification of issues present within the study area. This workshop was informed by background analysis prepared by the consultant team which included: David Lock Associates – town planning and urban design SGS Economics and Planning – economic and land use GTA Consultants – traffic and transport A record of the issues identified at this workshop and the background reports prepared by the consultant team is provided in the appendices of this paper. All facts and figures presented in this paper have been dervived from these reports.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________5

The draft Issues Paper will be placed on public exhibition where the community will be invited to comment on the identified issues and questions. Following this period, the draft Issues Paper will be revised as necessary and will be used to inform the development of a Structure Plan for the study area.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________6_

2.0 BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT This section of the Issues Paper „sets the scene‟ by providing an overview of the study area and its context.

2.1

THE REGIONAL CONTEXT

The close proximity of the study area to the Melbourne CBD is a highly significant characteristic, creating important social and economic relationships. The Swan Street Major Activity Centre is one of five Major Activity Centres in the City of Yarra (shown in Figure 1). These centres share a number of shared characteristics including: All are strip shopping centres characterised by linear, elongated strips of a predominately low scale. Relatively intact heritage fabric first established to serve local communities more than one hundred years ago. They operate independently, seeking out different market niches. They draw on customers from across a broad region (metropolitan Melbourne and beyond), as well as serving local communities. Less than a quarter of turnover comes from expenditure by Yarra residents (23%). Figure 1: Activity Centres in City of Yarra

A large proportion of spending in the centres is for „comparison goods‟, such as clothing, household goods, entertainment, hospitality and services. By contrast, local „convenience shopping‟, such as weekly household shopping at supermarkets are lacking in a number of areas, leaving gaps in services to local neighbourhoods and sections of our community. All face traffic, transport, and public space challenges due to their location on major through roads which serve as space for pedestrians, cyclists, trams, cars and trucks. A mix of buildings and subdivision patterns from the 19th Century which has had a long term effect on the underlying character of these centres – Victorian era buildings, long narrow blocks, rear lanes and street paving. The study area is also in close proximity to the Chapel Street Major Activity Centre. The network of nearby activity centre and their relationships with the study area significantly influence the role, functioning and identity of the study area.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________7

2.2

THE PLACE

The urban structure of a place is a key determinate of the way it is perceived, the uses it supports, its vitality and energy, and its character and identity. The pattern of development, the natural assets it possesses, the framework of streets and the associated transit and open space infrastructure are the building blocks that influence the use and form of any urban area. The following section identifies and describes those elements that define the structure of the Swan Street Structure Plan study area. Urban Structure The study area is comprised of a number of elements that give it a unique and identifiable structure as shown in Plan 2. These include: a strong rectilinear street pattern. the major arterial roads of Swan, Church and Burnley Streets. the core retail areas of Swan Street, Burnley Village and portions of Church Street. peripheral sales areas in eastern Swan Street and parts of Church Street. the two major rail corridors and three train stations (Richmond, East Richmond and Burnley). large district parks anchoring either end of the study area, and internal local open spaces. Yarra River and environs. the CityLink gateways at its exits/ entrances at Punt Road and Twickenham Crescent. a compact urban form that is highly walkable, legible and inherently energy efficient. a diversity of residential neighbourhoods and dwelling types.

The Role of the Area The urban structure supports the various roles and uses of the area. These uses are integrated to form the unique place that is valued by existing residents and visitors. These roles and uses include: a local retail and service centre with a mix of office and commercial uses. a dining and entertainment destination with both a regional and tourist focus. a major multi-modal transport hub. host to important community facilities and services including an emerging education and training role. an emerging homewares destination.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________8_


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________9

Character and Identity Over time, a place develops its own local character and identity. This is in part determined by the urban structure and roles and uses of the area. Cultural icons add diversity and other significant elements are layered up and build upon the urban structure, land uses and roles. This delivers and contributes to the unique richness and diversity, character and identity of a place. Swan Street and its environs has a rich history and culture which contributes to it having one of the most iconic and strong local identities in Australia. It is a place that has been celebrated in written word and song - such as in Paul Kelly’s Leaps and Bounds - and our art and culture. It features prominently in the mind’s eye of many Australians. Key features that contribute to this identity are shown on Plan 3 and include: the Swan Street retail core and peripheral sales areas. the Yarra River and environs. the two major rail corridors and three train stations, and the tram corridors along Swan and Church Streets. significant views from two notable high points. the large district parks anchoring the two ends of the study area. key iconic buildings including: o

Dimmeys

o

Richmond Maltings site (Nylex)

o

GTV 9

o

Kangan Batman TAFE

o

St. Ignatius Catholic Church

o

Bryant and May factory buildings.

a diverse range of activities and cultures. its close relationship with the CBD, sporting precinct and major recreational assets. a rich cultural legacy reflected in the numerous historic buildings and streetscapes and a former industrial character in many areas. a strong sense of community ‘village-like’ feel. a strong business environment and presence of locally owned businesses.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________10_


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________11

3.0 KEY TRENDS AND INFLUENCES This section of the issues paper outlines a number of key trends and influences that will affect the future growth and development of the study area. Facts and figures presented in this section have been derived from the technical background reports attached in the appendices of this paper and from various Council sources. Population and household growth figures are derived from a best fit basis and incorporates some land outside of the study area.

3.1

DEMOGRAPHIC State Government population projections suggest a population of about 90,000 in the City of Yarra by 2031. The estimated population of the Yarra south of Bridge Road area was 15,354 in 2006. The residential population of the Yarra south of Bridge Road is expected to reach around 21,795 residents by 2031. The vast majority of residents (74%) originate from Australia. Other countries of origin represented in the study area include China, Greece, India, Italy, New Zealand, UK, USA and Vietnam. The age profile of the area is projected to follow a similar pattern up to 2031 with the highest number of people aged between 25-39.

3.2

SOCIAL An additional 2,514 dwellings are expected to be needed to meet the local population growth between 2011 and 2031. Household sizes are expected to continue to decline meaning that relatively the number of households and dwellings will increase at a greater rate from just over 33,000 households in 2006 to nearly 44,000 in 2031. Single person households are becoming a more significant proportion of total household types. The number of persons per household has been becoming smaller. Increasing proportion of people with a Bachelor or Higher Degree qualification with a subsequent decrease in the number of people with no qualifications. Increasing numbers of managers, professionals and intermediate clerical, sales and service workers. Decreasing numbers of labourers and intermediate production and transport workers. Highest proportion of population have an average weekly income of between $2,500 - $2,999 and $3,000+.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________12_

3.3

ENVIRONMENTAL Increased recognition of „climate change‟ issues and the need to promote ecologically sustainable development that reduces energy consumption, minimises water use and waste, and utilises more sustainable materials. The need to adapt urban areas to be more resilient to the likely impacts of climate change. Recognition of the need to preserve and enhance areas of environmental and heritage significance. Increasing transport stress from congestion both on the road network and public transport – causing pollution and disruption in and around the activity centre. Increasing priority given to restoring the Yarra River as a waterway and metropolitan open space corridor.

3.4

ECONOMIC Inner city strip shopping centres have been rejuvenated by specialised retail offerings including fashion, hospitality, entertainment and home-wares. These centres are an important part of the local economy drawing expenditure from a wide region. Significant change in the structure of employment occurred in the study area between 1996 and 2006, with strong growth in property and businesses services, retail and the finance and insurance sectors, and a decline in wholesale and manufacturing sectors. The regional emphasis of the study area is in business services, retail and cultural activities with a local strength in wholesale, construction and industry. The number of small businesses employing between one and four people has been increased between 2004 and 2007. Yarra is likely to be an increasingly attractive location for office development and office-based employment Growth is likely in business services and „new economy‟ employment of an increasingly skilled workforce replacing declining employment in manufacturing Strong employment growth is expected, due to a higher job density as a result of growing business services and population-driven activity associated with replacement of land and space intensive manufacturing and wholesaling activities.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________13

Nearly 10,000 additional jobs (net change) are expected to be accommodated in the study area between 2011 and 2036. An estimated 145,000 square metres of additional office floorspace is expected to be absorbed in the study area to 2036 and 40,000 sqm of additional retail, accommodation and restaurant floorspace during the same period. Land prices have risen sharply in recent years, reducing housing affordability and reducing the proportion of the local population able to afford home-ownership.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________14_

4.0 KEY ISSUES 4.1

THEMES

The discussion of the issues has been described around four key themes. These themes provide a useful way of understanding and organizing the identified issues. These themes will be used in the development of the Structure Plan. The four themes are: Land Use – the type and location of activities that occur. Built Form – the style, form, and character of buildings and their relationship with the public and private domains. Public Realm – the public areas of a place including the streets, parks, and civic spaces within an area. Access and Movement – the way that people and goods move into, through and within an area.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________15

4.2

LAND USE

Land use can be thought of as the location and type of activities that occurs within an area. The study area has a diverse mix of land uses that contribute to the way it functions and its identity. The key land use activities with the study area discussed in this paper include: The Stakeholder Group has identified a number of issues related to land use within the study area through the process of mapping their likes and dislikes of the study area as shown in Plan 4. The issues identified have been summarised as follows: Land use mix and diversity. Land use appropriateness/ conflict. Employment generation. Gateway uses and quality. Underutilised land. Further discussion of these issues if provided below under the following headings: Retail. Offices. Residential. Industrial and wholesaling. Education.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________16_


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________17

Retail Retail activity is the engine of the activity centre, contributing to the vibrancy and character of the economic activity of the area. There is currently a substantial amount of retail floorspace in the study area. The heart of this activity is an approximately 600m long, core retail strip running along Swan Street. Closely related to this area are two retail strips that have less of a core retail focus and contain a mix of peripheral sales uses (e.g. furniture showrooms, car dealership, homeware stores, panel beaters, etc.) along the eastern end of Swan Street and Church Street, south of Swan Street. The larger study area also has a large number and variety of businesses that provide local shopping and entertainment opportunities. Significant considerations associated with retail include: The way in which local retail uses meet day to day needs. The local retail mix and its distribution across an area provide opportunities for visitors, residents and workers to access the goods and services required to meet their daily needs. In general, areas with a diverse retail offer are better equipped to meet these needs locally and can contribute to a more „localisedâ€&#x; environment that bring strong environmental and social justice benefits such as reductions in 1 travel distances, provision of jobs locally and increased accessibility to less mobile people . The study area currently contains a relatively diverse range of specialty shops that cater to the day to day needs of both workers (particularly in the daytime) and local residents. These include uses such as mini-marts, cafeâ€&#x;s, restaurants, pubs, shops, etc. which are generally clustered in the core retail area on Swan Street (between the rail overpass and Church Street) and are anchored by a medium sized supermarket (Coles) and a large discount department store (Dimmeys). Other clusters of retail activity in the study area include several neighbourhood corner stores and a medium sized retail cluster at the Burnley Village (focused around the intersection of Swan Street and Burnley Street). It has also been suggested that the number of retail uses in parts of Church Street is growing, with cafes, takeaway food premises, convenience shops, etc. establishing and providing support to the growing number the larger format retail uses and offices operating in this area. Retail activities in the study area are characterised by a strong emphasis on convenience type retailing such as supermarkets, takeaway food premises, newsagents, bottle shops, etc. These uses cater strongly to the day to day needs of users rather than the occasional purchase of more expensive, luxury goods or for comparative shopping purposes.

1

Flannigan, Nigel (2004). Localism: Fundamental Rationale for Activity Centre Policy. Presentation at the Fourth Main Street Conference, Melbourne.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________18_

One of the issues present with the current mix of retail is the relatively limited access to fresh, healthy foods. While there are some premises offering fresh food including a supermarket, specialty food shops (a butcher, a baker, fishmongers, etc., there are also a high concentration of takeaway food premises and convenience stores selling highly-refined, packaged foods. This makes the local choice between healthy food and less nutritious food more difficult for many people and can lead to poor dietary choices and increase health risks. The distribution of convenience type retail uses within the study area is generally focused at the western half of Swan Street. This leaves the eastern portion of the study area relatively less-retailed, although these areas have access to other retail options such as the Bridge Road Major Activity Centre and the Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre that supplement local access. However, there may be opportunities to improve the local retail offer to enhance accessibility in this area.

Questions for discussion: o o

What activities are missing from the current retail mix and how can they be attracted to the area? Where should additional retail activity be directed to enhance local accessibility?

The influence of other centres on the type and character of local retail activities. As discussed, the study area has a high concentration of convenience type uses that cater to relatively small trade area that supports the local population. In this sense, the character of retail within the study area has assumed a role more similar to a large Neighbourhood Activity Centre than a Major Activity Centre of a comparable size and location. There are a limited number of „high-end, luxury shopsâ€&#x; that cater to larger, regional catchments operating in the study area. These uses include for example jewellery stores, specialty boutiques, electronics, etc. This can partly be attributed to the close proximity and relationship that the Swan Street Activity Centre has with neighbouring activities, particularly to the CBD, Bridge Road and Chapel Street.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________19

These areas are premiere retailing districts in Melbourne and even in Australia, and have developed a critical mass of higher end retailing activities. This makes the Swan Street Activity Centre a relatively less attractive location for these types of businesses to establish. Rather than competing with neighbouring centres, niche retail opportunities that complement the broader, regional retail context could be identified and pursued within the study area. Questions for discussion: o o

How can retail activities complement the retail offer of the large, nearby centres? What are the opportunities for developing niche retailing roles in the study area and how can these be pursued?

The vitality of the retail sector and its influence on the character and prosperity of the area.

Observations of retail activity within the study area as well as anecdotal evidence from local residents and business operators suggest that the retail vitality in the area is not a strong as it could be. The area has a relatively high turnover rate of businesses and there are currently a significant number of vacant or for lease buildings present within the retail core. This can be attributed to a number of reasons including: poor physical environments. inadequate buildings and premises. a lack of integration with other uses that have potential business synergies. missed opportunities to draw trade. a mismatch of uses with the needs of the local population. competition with similar locations which have better physical environments, facilities, access etc.

Questions for discussion: o o

What are the key strengths of the local retail sector and how can they be built upon? What should the character of the retail offer look and feel like?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________20_

The significance of the hospitality industry and its role in the activity centre. The hospitality sector plays a prominent role within the activity centre, providing a major-draw card to the area and gives it a strong regional and tourist focus. Restaurants, pubs and live music venues attract a range of visitors who spend locally, and generate activity that contributes to the vibrancy of the area. This importantly includes night-time activity associated with licensed venues. Hospitality uses are mainly clustered within two key nodes anchoring each end of the core retail area. The close proximity of the study area to the nearby sporting and entertainment precinct (including MCG, Olympic Park, Rod Laver Arena, Rectangular Stadium, etc.) creates unique and important business opportunities in the study area. Activity generated in this area can often lead to dramatic surges in the number of users of the centre and many hospitality uses capitalise on these opportunities (particularly on the western end of Swan Street). Whilst the operation of hospitality activities contributes to the local economy and vibrancy of the area, they can also create adverse impacts (especially as related to night-time activities). Issues with noise, property damage, and violence are prevalent, especially at the interface of these uses with more sensitive uses such as residential. Many incidences of anti-social behaviour are alcohol-related, and the clustering of licensed, entertainment venues can often amplify the negative impacts, concentrating issues at certain locations. This can lead to conflict, especially for residents living nearby. A significant cluster of higher quality, sit-down restaurants has developed in an area along Swan Street, immediately east of Church Street. These uses mostly have a cultural theme such as Greek, Italian, French, and Indian. This cluster is situated in a relatively intact heritage cluster that sits on a key topographical feature in the study area, and this location is one of the higher quality, urban environments within the activity centre making it ideal for this type of activity. However, this location is also in close proximity to a low amenity area located just east of these uses. Activities here include, a service station and carwash, and fast food premises. Improvements to this area could help strengthen this restaurant cluster and attract new like-businesses to this area. Questions for discussion: o What and where are the key opportunities for the consolidation / further development of hospitality uses? o How can conflicts between hospitality uses and other uses be minimised / better managed?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________21

The increased presence of large format retailing. The study area contains a number of larger format retail uses such as furniture and car showrooms. Within the study area, these uses are generally clustered within two main areas along Church Street (south of Swan Street) and the eastern end of Swan Street. The Church Street area mainly contains homeware-focused uses and this location has emerged as a distinct and significant homemaker precinct. The eastern end of Swan Street has a more mixed range of larger format uses, many with furniture retailers, trade supplies shops and auto-related businesses including panel beaters and car showrooms.

A significant issue with larger format uses such as these is related to their space-intensive nature as compared to other retail activities given the „bulkyâ€&#x; nature of the goods that are sold. Associated with this characteristic, they often require good car access to transport large goods, which can contribute to ingrained car dependency and the creation of less walkable places. They also have traditionally presented poor interfaces to the street resulting in low amenity and often unsafe urban environments (see built form section for further discussion). The homeware focus that these two peripheral sales areas have assumed are considered to complement the broader role that Richmond plays as a metropolitan destination for homeware goods. Both precincts have important synergies to nearby activity centres such as Bridge Road, Chapel Street and Victoria Gardens, particularly the IKEA which is a major regional homewares destination. There may be further opportunities to strengthen these synergies to support existing businesses as well as developing new ones. However, the question of whether these uses are appropriate in inner-urban environments such as this requires further discussion around where these uses should locate and what form they should take.

Questions for discussion: o o

What should the ongoing role of large format retailing be and where should it be encouraged? How can large format retailing activities be further consolidated / strengthened?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________22_

Office The provision of diverse office spaces are important to retaining and attracting businesses that create a strong local economic base. They also generate significant activity, particularly during the daytime, and lend trade that supports other businesses in the area. Significant considerations associated with office uses include: The role of business and its influence on the character and prosperity of the area. The former industrial character of the area and its good access by a range of transport options has created a wide range of redevelopment opportunities that have led to a variety of spaces for new businesses to occupy. Local businesses range from small businesses with just few employees, to large corporate headquarters. This presence provides a strong and robust local economic base that also supports other local businesses such as food cafes, restaurants, office supplies, commercial printers, etc.

The Cremorne (south of Swan Street and west of Church Street) and Church Street precincts contain a high proportion of commercial businesses within the study area. Many new office spaces have been recently constructed here leading to a significant increase in office floorspace in the area. The area immediately north of Richmond Station also contains a number of office spaces, mainly through the conversion of former large industrial / warehouse buildings. Other significant areas of office space are located within the core retail areas, particularly on upper levels above ground floor retail uses.

The strong forecasts for jobs described in Chapter 3 will likely continue to drive the demand for commercial uses in the study area. This growth, while important to the local economy, can also have negative effects such as increased stress on the transport network (including further traffic congestion), increased demand for parking and amenity impacts on sensitive residential areas.

Questions for discussion:


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________23

o How can the business mix and character be improved and how can business synergies be strengthened? o How should the demand for additional office floorspace be managed and where should it be directed? The opportunities for the development of alternative business types.

While there is a strong focus on traditional commercial businesses, there are also a number of alternative business activities occurring in the study area. The former industrial legacy of the area and its diversity of buildings and spaces, and relatively low-rent in certain areas have supported the start up of new businesses and the emergence of creative businesses such as artists‟ studios and galleries. These businesses are important to diversifying the local economic base, participating in the emerging „knowledge economy‟, and providing cultural contributions to the area. The appearance of numerous, small business start-ups signals a strong, robust business environment. These businesses can grow quickly, and can create important economic and social benefits to the area, provided that they can be retained in the study area. Notably, many art galleries have begun to cluster in the side streets running off the east side of Church Street (south of Swan Street). This area is seemingly beginning to crystallise into a discreet cultural precinct within the study area. The strategic location of the study area and its proximity to other businesses, services and amenities, also make it an ideal location for home businesses. These live / work opportunities can take a range of forms and contribute to stronger self-containment and „localisation‟ of the area. They also have a number of environmental benefits such as minimising the need to travel for work. There is evidence that a significant and growing number of home businesses are operating in the study area. Questions for discussion: o o

What are the opportunities for non-traditional businesses such as creative industries, home / work businesses, start-up businesses, etc.? How can these uses be encouraged / retained?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________24_

Residential Large portions of the study area are used for residential purposes. Land to the north of Swan Street outside of the retail strips is predominately residential, and there are significant pockets of residential to the south of Swan Street. These areas contain a variety of types and styles of housing ranging from single story, single-family homes to multi-level apartment buildings. Significant considerations associated with residential uses include: The implications of the increasing demand for housing in the area The high demand for inner – city locations such as the study area has created strong pressure for new residential development. Redundant industrial sites have provided many opportunities for this to occur, and many land uses have transitioned to residential uses and consolidated the importance of housing in the area. This process has resulted in a transition from an industrial past to a more residential future, and the character of the area has changed (further discussion on this is provided in the built form section). A good example of the changing of land use to housing can be seen in the area immediately north of Richmond Station where many large, former industrial and warehouse sites have been converted to contemporary apartments buildings.

Questions for discussion: o

How should the demand for housing growth be managed and where should it be directed?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________25

The potential land use conflicts arising between residential and other uses. Certain land uses can generate noise, smells, traffic etc. that impact on more sensitive uses such as residential. Historically, these uses were often located in the same areas, as evidenced in the study area (particularly in Cremorne), where pockets of residential are in close proximity to some industrial uses. Expectations for residential amenity are now substantially higher than in the past, and effective land use planning can manage conflict by providing sufficient separation between these uses. However, as the pressure for residential development increases, tensions between different uses can become significant.

Questions for discussion: o

How can conflict between residential and other uses be managed?

Industrial and Wholesaling Some of Melbourneâ€&#x;s first industrial uses were located within the study area, particularly around the Yarra River. This history has influenced the urban fabric, the social landscape and the economic base of the area and continues to exert an influence on the study area. Significant considerations associated with industrial and wholesaling uses include: The changing industrial landscape. The significance of industrial activities in the study area (particularly manufacturing) has been in decline for many years, mirroring wider State-wide and National trends. Many types of industrial and wholesaling activities have relocated outside of the study area to more appropriate locations with lower land values that are better equipped with modern facilities. The loss of these space-intensive industrial and wholesaling activities, combined with increasing land values in the area have created significant re-development opportunities. Many former industrial and wholesale sites will continue to play an important role in shaping the future development of the study area and their roles should be clearly identified.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________26_

There is currently only one relatively small area of industrial-zoned land within the study area, on the south side of Swan Street, west of Burnley Street. It contains a mix of business including warehousing, auto-related services such as panel beaters and car showrooms and trade supplies. Many of the businesses in this area support the local population and prevent people from travelling large distances to access goods and services. The role that this precinct will play in the future is an important consideration in preparing the Structure Plan.

Questions for discussion: o o

What types of industrial activities should be retained / encouraged? How can the study area be better equipped to adapt to the needs of modern industrial uses?

Education The role and opportunities of education uses within the study area. Education uses of all types bring people into the study area, many of them who do not reside locally. They generate activity and support the local economy. There are a number of important education uses in the study area, and further opportunities within this sector could be explored through the Structure Plan process. The Kangan Institute is located within the Cremorne Precinct and provides higher education opportunities. It currently offers courses in automotive, fashion and millinery, business, and sport and recreation. This campus is in a process of liquidating one of its two buildings, with automotive courses being relocated elsewhere, and a greater focus will be given to the fashion and millinery courses. Given the types of business uses already operating in this area and the variety of building types available, there could be new opportunities for local business linkages and synergies, particularly in the context of the emerging, alternative businesses as previously discussed. Richmond Primary School and St. Nicholasâ€&#x; School operate in the study area and generate significant activity as many of these students walk, cycle or use public transport to get to and from school. Ensuring the safety of these students within the study area should be a top priority and will encourage them to use more sustainable and active transport modes. The Australian Institute of Fitness is another education use operating in the study area. It is located on Church Street (near the intersection of Swan Street) provides training courses enabling people to become fitness instructors.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________27

Questions for discussion: o o

What are the opportunities for consolidating / expanding the role of education? How can the activity generated from education uses best be captured by the activity centre?

Underutilised Land The study area is undergoing in a period of transition from an industrial-based economy to a more service-oriented, knowledge economy. This has created pressure for changes in land use in many areas. Some locations in the study area have been revitalised through this process while others have fallen into decline and are underutilised to varying degrees. Significant considerations associated with underutilised land include: The opportunities for the redevelopment of underutilised land.

Several areas within the study area are considered to be underutilised and not achieving the highest and best use of the land. These areas often result in poor amenity and unsafe urban environments and can cause a number of negative implications. Ensuring this land achieves the highest and best use possible will deliver a number of benefits that will contribute to the quality of life experienced by both existing and future residents. However, these development opportunities need to be carefully managed to respect community aspirations and concerns. A notably significant underutilisation of land within the study area occurs around the three train stations. While these areas have a number of negative qualities, particularly as related to the public realm (see public realm section for further discussion), they also possess development potential. In particular, Richmond Station (the busiest train station outside of the CBD) and its surrounds, and Burnley Station (and the proximate and underutilised retail cluster of Burnley Village) present great opportunities to better utilise land within the study area. Given the strategic importance of these areas in the context of emerging social, environmental and economic trends that will likely see the importance of train and light rail services significantly amplified, these areas have tremendous scope for new, „Transit Oriented Developmentâ€&#x; (TOD). TOD can better connect new residents to the public transport network and help reduce reliance on the car and fossil fuels.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________28_

The study area has a significant amount of transport infrastructure including numerous roads, the two tram lines and tram stops, the CityLink Highway, and the two large rail corridors. Changing land economics in the area could provide new opportunities for development above or adjacent to these assets that maximise development potential in the area. For example, decking over the CityLink may provide for new development opportunities that better link the study area to the Yarra River which is currently separated by this significant barrier. There are a number of surface carparks in the study area that in many cases represent an underutilisation of the land. In the future, these areas may provide important redevelopment opportunities. Questions for discussion: o o

Where are the areas of underutilised land that should be targeted for improvement? What should this land be used for?

The integration of land uses. The relationship between different land uses can generate both positive and negative effects. The study area contains several land use precincts where similar activities are encouraged to cluster. The distinct separation of these land uses is a key characteristic of the area. While there are significant advantages to this pattern such as business synergies generated from like-uses, there may also be a number of disadvantages. While historically there has been a need to separate land uses, it is now not always necessary and there are many benefits for mixing land uses. This trend has been occurring in the area, particularly in areas where residential components have been added to the local land use mix. There may be new opportunities to better integrate the land use precincts by improving physical linkages (i.e. new paths, roads, etc.) or by broadening the mix of land uses in a particular area.

Questions for Discussion: o o

How can the integration of land uses be improved? Where are the key areas that integration can be improved?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________29

4.3

BUILT FORM

Built form refers to the height, scale, massing and detailed design of the buildings and their relationship to other buildings and spaces such as roads, public transport, open spaces and community uses. Buildings are places where we live, work and learn and their quality affects not only the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants, but also of the wider community. They take energy, water and materials to construct, maintain and operate, and impact on the ecology of both the local and global environment. Their form conveys key messages in the community; about the type of place that it is, the activities that occur within it and what the local identity is. The Stakeholder Group has identified a number of issues related to land use within the study area through the process of mapping their likes and dislikes of the study area as shown in Plan 5. The issues identified have been summarised as follows: Built form quality. Built form character. Sustainable development. Heritage character of buildings and streetscape. Built form responsiveness to the site and location. Density. Appropriate transition/ interface between different built form types and scales. Building and public realm interface – treatment, quality and activity. Railway station and environs - quality, character and amenity. Development adjacent to transit assets. Tall buildings – appropriateness, identity and character. Iconic and landmark buildings – character and identity. Adaptive reuse of buildings.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________30_


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________31

Significant considerations associated with built form include: The wide variety of built form across the study area. The study area has an eclectic mix of buildings with a range of forms, types and styles, both old and new. These buildings reflect needs of the past, but also the present and even the future. There are variations of built form character of the study area ranging from the larger grained development near the Yarra River to the smaller grained, residential neighbourhoods north of Swan Street. This diversity is a key strength of the study area as it provides a wide range of spaces in which many types of activities can occur. In terms of housing, a diversity of living spaces is required to ensure a rich socio-economic and cultural mix. For example, while single family dwellings might be suitable for larger families, they may not be appropriate for single person households. Ensuring this range of housing types are available can allow people to stay in the area, even as they progress through different life stages that have different housing needs. Similarly, ensuring a wide diversity of business spaces can provide for a number of different jobs that match the skills of local residents, diversify the local economic base, and provide interest and culture within the study area. In many ways the variety of buildings and spaces within the study area has been integral to the success of the place. Ensuring that this diversity continues to be incorporated into new development will further continue this trend and ensure that the area is more resilient in responding to future conditions and trends. o o

How can Council best respond to the existing built form qualities of the study area? How can Council promote a diversity of buildings and spaces?

The influence of new development on the existing and valued character of the area. Many residents value the unique charm and character of existing buildings and neighbourhoods. The sheer number of excellent examples of historic buildings and streetscapes, and the extent of the Heritage Overlay which provides protection for these places, is testament to the strong character of the area. Changing land economics have seen increasing demand for new development and pressure to redevelop existing areas to higher densities is increasing. This is part driven by unprecedented population growth which will raise the need to buildings for people to live and work. At the same time studies show that there are significant social, economic and environmental benefits of higher density development, particularly in the context of compact urban forms with good public transport provision, characteristics that are already inherent in the study area.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________32_

However, as new development occurs, the character of the local area can often be destroyed or detracted from if not managed appropriately. This is particularly true in established low scale residential areas, where the process of residential intensification is driving the redevelopment of existing low-density housing with new, denser housing types. In many cases, this has been opposed by the local community as they value the retention of the existing character. Providing more certainty as to where and how new development will occur will help to alleviate community concerns and assist Council in managing development within the study area. Council therefore require a robust land use and built form framework to effectively control development to the benefit of the whole community. Questions for discussion: o

What are the opportunities and challenges in balancing the desire to protect the existing character with the desire for urban change and development?

The need for quality and flexible buildings and associated spaces. As discussed previously, the wide variety of buildings have enabled the development of diverse business and housing opportunities. Part of the reason this rich mix of local activities has been able to occur is that the buildings have been flexible to adapt to the changing needs of the community and respond to prevailing social and economic conditions. Generally speaking, traditional buildings have been inherently flexible and have endured for decades. However, many modern buildings are often purpose built for a single activity. This limits the long term possibilities of those spaces in adapting to new activities and trends and increases the possibility that they will fall into disuse and become liabilities to the community in the future. Ensuring that new buildings are built to last and are flexible in adapting to new trends and needs will contribute to local resiliency, better equipping the study area to respond to the demands of the future. Questions for discussion: o o

How can Council raise the standard of new buildings? How can flexibility in individual buildings and associated space be encouraged to allow for changes in use over time?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________33

The environmental performance of existing buildings and new development.

Cities and urban development has been linked to a range of environmental problems from air and water pollution to the destruction of natural habitats and biodiversity. Buildings consume vast amounts of energy, water and materials in their creation and ongoing operations, and create waste in the form of stormwater runoff, sewage, rubbish, etc. The cumulative impacts of these have resulted on in environmental degradation that has seriously eroded the quality and health of both natural and human habitats, and there is an urgent need to improve the environmental performance of buildings. In addition to these direct environmental impacts, the increasing recognition of climate change has raised awareness of the need to pursue more sustainable futures. Cities consume an estimated 75 percent of the world‟s energy and emit 80 percent of the world‟s 2 greenhouse gasses . While cities can be seen as the problem they can also be seen as having tremendous potential to address the problems. Buildings are a major contributor to greenhouse gases and offer enormous scope for reductions. Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) is a trend in urban development that seeks to create cleaner and greener buildings that are more environmentally efficient and responsible. Examples of some of the ESD techniques that can be used include the incorporation of solar panels to generate clean energy, rain water tanks to collect and recycle scarce and valuable water, rain gardens to retain and treat stormwater runoff, and simply ensuring the building is oriented properly to reduce heating / cooling loads. Developers are increasing interested in creating „green‟ buildings both because they can reduce their ongoing costs and because their tenants and purchasers demand healthier and productive buildings in which to live, learn and work.

Questions for discussion: o o

2

How can new development address issues of sustainability? How can the environmental performance of existing places be improved?

Ash, Caroline et. al. “Reimaging Cities” Science special issue 319, no. 5864 (February 8, 2008): 739.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________34_

4.4

PUBLIC REALM

The public realm is the shared meeting and living space within the community and includes road reserves, parks and semi-public spaces such as schools. Improvements to the public realm can help the health and wellbeing of individuals and the community as a whole. High quality, high amenity urban environments are rewarding places to live and work in, and improvements to the public realm can help attract private investment as well as fostering positive social interactions between diverse members of the community. The Stakeholder Group has identified a number of issues related to land use within the study area through the process of mapping their likes and dislikes of the study area as shown in Plan 6. The issues identified have been summarised as follows: Public realm interest and vitality. Public realm quality. Public realm amenity. Public realm safety. Supply and quality of public infrastructure. Streetscape quality and amenity. Signage and wayfinding. Railway station and environs - quality, character and amenity. Barriers to movement and access. Quality and amenity of paths and connections. Diversity, supply and quality of open/ public space/ parks. Diversity and development of culture. Supply and quality of community facilities. The river and environs quality, uses, safety, amenity and celebration. Iconic and landmark buildings – character and identity. Views and vistas. Landscaping and street trees. Urban Art and Graffiti.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________35


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________36_

Significant considerations associated with the public realm include: The need and opportunities for community uses and spaces. There are relatively few but important community uses including the Richmond Public Library / Maternal and Child Health Services, the Kangan Batman TAFE, Richmond Primary School, St. Kevinâ€&#x;s College, and the Burnley Neighbourhood Centre. These uses play an important role within the community and although they are few in number they are critical to serving the needs of the local population. Most of these services are concentrated in the western portion of the study area (with the exception of the Burnley Neighbourhood Centre) and concerns have been raised that any significant new development at the eastern end of the study area would also require the creation of new community uses to support the increased population in this area.

Open spaces are key to enabling active and healthy lifestyles and giving people access to nature. They contribute strongly to the amenity and appearance of the place in attracting both residents and businesses to locate in the area. There are a number of important open spaces that provide for both active and passive needs including Barkly Gardens, Allan Bain Reserve, Ryanâ€&#x;s Reserve, Golden Square Bicentennial Park and the Yarra River Corridor (including a wetlands area). Many of these assets however are not well connected to the surrounding areas and there is potential to improve this so more people can benefit from them. Burnley Park and Goshâ€&#x;s Paddock are large open space assets located on both ends of the study area. These regionally significant open spaces provide excellent recreation opportunities and there is a high level of access to the wider Metropolitan open space network (such as the Royal Botanic Gardens). Whilst the provision of open space within the study area is somewhat limited, its broader regional context provides a wide range of recreational opportunities. To the south, access to the river corridor, Herring Island and beyond to Como Park are relatively unexplored opportunities to expand the recreational offer, although there are significant barriers to linking these assets such as the CityLink and River itself. Questions for discussion: o o

What are the gaps in the provision of community facilities and services? Where are the opportunities to enhance existing, or create new, open spaces?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________37

The opportunities to improve the quality and experience of the public realm. Council has the ability to directly influence the quality of the public realm through capital works projects such as the creation of new public spaces, signage, improved footpaths and streets, new street furniture, public art, tree plantings etc. These important projects impact on the look and feel of a place - its comfort, cleanliness, overall attractiveness, etc. Through public works such as these, new more coherent and pleasant streetscapes can be created, environmental impacts can be minimised, new businesses and residential opportunities can be opened up and more visitors can be drawn to the area. Improvements to the public realm need to balance the aspirations of both the community and local business to create a strong sense of place that has both an attractive and distinct character and identity, and supports the operation of private business. Well-coordinated and strategic public realm improvements can capitalise on opportunities to enhance the vitality, vibrancy and safety of the study area. However, Council has a limited amount of capital and resources, and improvements need to be clearly prioritised and targeted to maximise the number of benefits that are created.

Public art is an important aspect of the character and identity of the place. While there are limited formal public art installations in the study area, street art such as graffiti is common in many areas. This type of art is divisive in the community with some members of the community viewing it as legitimate art while others see it as plain vandalism.

Questions for discussion: o o

What should be the priorities for enhancing the amenity of the public realm? Where are the opportunities to enhance existing or create new open spaces?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________38_

The impact of development on the quality and character of the public realm. The quality of the buildings and their relationship with the public space can significantly influence the quality and character of these spaces. For example, buildings that „turn their back‟ to the street (e.g. blank walls with limited windows or entries), or tall buildings that overshadow or dominate the street can be detrimental to the quality and experience of the adjoining public realm, and can even create a number of safety issues (e.g. lack of passive surveillance or „eyes on the street‟, opportunities for concealment, etc.). On the other hand, private development that is well integrated to with streets and adjoining public spaces, incorporates high quality landscaping and public or „semipublic‟ spaces, and provides active uses at ground floor can enhance the character, vitality, quality and safety of the public realm.

There are many examples of buildings within the study area that have not been designed to consider their impact on the public realm. This has resulted in poor quality, urban environments in some locations. There is a need for the public and private realms to be better integrated so that they complement each other to create better urban environments for all people. This can partly be achieved through planning controls that influence the design of buildings, but importantly through advocacy, negotiation and awareness of the benefits of this approach.

Questions for discussion: o

How can the design of the public realm improve the attractiveness of the area for users?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________39

The signals that key gateways to the activity centre communicate to users / visitors. The points where visitors arrive into the area are important in sending a message. Currently, the major gateways to the study area are low quality, low amenity areas that provide a poor image of the place. The key gateway at the Swan Street/ Punt Road intersection is particularly poor for a number of reasons including unattractive and underutilised land uses, traffic congestion, the presence of large advertising billboards, and the imposing, unattractive rail overpass. This gateway could be significantly improved to enhance the attractiveness and identity of the area, and provide visitors with a strong sense of arrival and welcoming. Similarly, the entrance to the study area from the CityLink is dominated by transport infrastructure, traffic congestion and unattractive urban development. Opportunities to improve the quality of this gateway should also be explored. The three train stations of the study area and their interface to the public realm are also key gateways in themselves. The public spaces around the stations are generally low-amenity environments that can benefit from further public realm improvements. Questions for discussion: o o

Which gateways require priority improvements? What should gateways ‘say’ about place and how can this be achieved?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________40_

The impact of the built environment on community safety. The quality, condition and design of the built environment can influence both intentional and accidental injury. For example, uneven footpaths can cause people to fall, laneways can provide opportunities for concealment that can facilitate physical assault and un-surveilled areas may lead to crime hotspots. Poor design and management of transport infrastructure can cause traffic accidents and make it unsafe for other modes of transport such as walking and cycling. Other issues with community safety include vandalism and anti-social behaviour caused by late-night entertainment venues. There are many ways of enhancing the safety of the study area including providing for better surveillance of public spaces, ensuring the design of public areas minimises the chances for accidental injury to occur, and increasing the overall activity of the area.

Questions for discussion: o o

Where are the key safety hotspots in the area? How can these areas be made safer?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________41

4.5

ACCESS AND MOVEMENT

Access and movement refers to the way that people and goods move into and through an area, and how the pysical environmnent influences this. There is a strong focus on transport within the study area given the level of accessibility and the significant transport infrastructure that is present. Improvements to the movement network can improve efficiency, support sustainable transport modes and reduce conflict and accidents. The Stakeholder Group has identified a number of issues related to land use within the study area through the process of mapping their likes and dislikes of the study area as shown in Plan 7. The issues identified have been summarised as follows: Quality, provision and safety for all modes of access and movement – pedestrian, bike, public transport and private vehicle. Pedestrian amenity and safety. Bike facilities – routes and stations. Public transport frequency and quality. Sustainable transport. Signage and wayfinding. Connectivity. Access to assets. Use of the river as a transit route. Gateway design and treatments. Impact of through traffic. Noise and pollution. Heavy vehicle movements and impacts. Traffic congestion. Parking.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________42_


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________43

Significant considerations associated with access and movement include: The increasing stress on the transport network. The close proximity of the activity centre with the Melbourne CBD make it a key transport corridor within the metropolitan area. This is reflected by the high amount of transport infrastructure including two tram lines, two multi-line rail corridors and three stations, bus routes, the CityLink Highway and a substantial road network. Congestion on all modes of transport is common in the area, particularly during peak hours and has created conflicts between different modes of transport. Traffic congestion commonly holds up trams in the area and can create dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

Questions for discussion: o

Where are the key areas of addressing transport conflict?


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________44_

The need to promote more sustainable and active transport. Transport is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions that have been linked to long term climate change. This in part can be attributed to the heavy reliance on the private car (and associated infrastructure such as freeways and car parking) which in addition to contributing to climate change, create a number of other significant environmental, social and economic impacts that are detrimental to the community as a whole. There is a strong need to promote more sustainable travel modes such as walking, cycling and public transport. Improvements to the transport network can encourage more sustainable transport behaviours. These might include physical improvements such as creating new connections, upgrading pedestrian crossing facilities and adding bike paths, or managing the transport network to give priority to these modes. The importance of the Yarra River Corridor as a metropolitan-wide significant bike thoroughfare will likely grow in the future, and access and integration with this area could become a major asset.

Questions for discussion: o o

How can active forms of transport be further encouraged or prioritised? How and where can access for pedestrians and cyclists be improved?


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________45

5.0 CONCLUSION The Swan Street Major Activity Centre has a number of complex and inter-related issues that pose both challenges and opportunities for its future development. In summary these include: Land Use The way in which local retail uses meet day to day needs. The influence of other centres on the type and character of local retail activities. The vitality of the retail sector and its influence on the character and prosperity of the area. The significance of the hospitality industry and its role in the activity centre. The increased presence of large format retailing. The role of business and its influence on the character and prosperity of the area. The opportunities for the development of alternative business types. The implications of the increasing demand for housing in the area. The potential land use conflicts arising between residential and other uses. The changing industrial landscape. The role and opportunities of education uses within the study area. The opportunities for the redevelopment of underutilised land. The integration of land uses. Built Form The wide variety of built form across the study area. The influence of new development on the existing and valued character of the area. The need for quality and flexible buildings and associated spaces. The environmental impacts of existing buildings and new development. Public Realm The need and opportunities for community uses and spaces. The opportunities to improve the quality and experience of the public realm. The impact of development on the quality and character of the public realm. The signals that key gateways to the activity centre communicate to users / visitors. The design of the built environment influences community safety.


SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________46_

Access and Movement The increasing stress on the transport network. The need to promote more sustainable and active transport.


Save Dimmeys - SWAN STREET STRUCTURE PLAN. DISCUSSION PAPER