Chat with us, powered by LiveChatMega Melbourne plan for skyscrapers in suburbs

Mega Melbourne plan for skyscrapers in suburbs

Skyscrapers will stretch from Richmond to beyond the West Gate Bridge in a bold plan to expand Melbourne's CBD.

The radical "Grand CBD" proposal by Planning Minister Matthew Guy could see the city transformed into a Manhattan-style metropolis, five times its present size.

The city's tallest buildings would be built at Fishermans Bend or north of the Docklands.

Mr Guy revealed the concept to the Herald Sun, saying it could be achieved through a new Capital City Zone, which would abolish height restrictions.

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"I think it could lead to the centre of Melbourne becoming one of the truly great high-density population areas for Western cities anywhere in the world," he said.

"It doesn't mean we will have Rialto-size buildings in every part of it, but what you will have is greater density and greater height throughout the expanded CBD."

"It doesn't mean that anything can go anywhere, but it does mean we are looking to expand high-rise, high-density in a central core of the city.

"We are not talking about five or six storeys, we are talking about a long-term vision to expand the focus of the central business district areas.

"It will make Melbourne an absolute icon in terms of Western cities."

The CBD's boundaries would be redrawn to allow skyscrapers from Carlton to Fishermans Bend, from Docklands to the Domain.

Mr Guy has discussed the plan with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and will release the concept today for public feedback.

The CBD grid was designed for a city of 1.5 million people, but Melbourne is now home to 4.5 million.

Mr Guy said debate was needed about how to expand the central city area to match the growth.

Transport links are seen as the most important aspect of making the mega-Melbourne proposal work, with North Melbourne and Domain train stations possibly upgraded to become key transport hubs similar to Flinders St and Southern Cross stations.

Expanding the underground loop would also have to be considered as part of the public debate.

New York-style rooftop parks are envisaged as part of the plan.

A streamlined planning approval process for the CBD to speed up and encourage development is also proposed, although height and density restrictions will remain over certain pockets of the expanded metropolis to protect key areas.

The enlarged CBD - growing from 180ha to 900ha - would see the business district dwarf Sydney's, Brisbane's and Perth's, all limited by water.

"Melbourne has a unique opportunity," Mr Guy said.

Source: The Herald Sun