VCAT Watch articles

A free ride for the advertising industry?

By Mark Marsden  There’s a marked difference among the world’s major cities on the extent of advertising signs allowed in the urban environment.  Singapore has virtually no advertising signage. Hong Kong is “billboard city”. While some may say Singapore has a “clean” look, others may say it’s a sterile environment. Hong Kong’s signage may add

Melbourne’s solution to heritage?

One of the challenges in urban renewal planning, especially in a capital city context, is designing for new buildings on a site where an existing heritage building is to be retained.  One approach is to set back the new building behind the old building (a la 386-390 Spencer St, currently under construction) or to set

Overshadowing restriction for park

By Mark Marsden VCAT has again supported both the City of Melbourne and Minister for Planning in ensuring that new skyscrapers in the southern part of the CBD do not overshadow Birrarung Marr. The case, 63 Exhibition Street Pty Ltd v Minister for Planning [2018] VCAT 861, went to mediation at the tribunal in December

Fight for sign lost in Supreme Court 

By Mark Marsden, Victorian Planning Reports Big outdoor advertising company, Octopus Media, has lost its fight in the Supreme Court to erect a new electronic sign on the rooftop at 500 Flinders St. It was reported in the March edition of CBD News that Octopus Media failed to win VCAT support to erect the new

Drawing a line in the sand: no more overshadowing at Birrarung Marr 

By Mark Marsden, Victorian Planning Reports Birrarung Marr is one of the city’s relatively new green spaces along the banks of the Yarra River that fulfils a number of different roles, including events, active and passive recreation. The closest high-rise buildings to Birrarung Marr are on the north side of Flinders St. These buildings are

Tribunal knocks back redevelopment of Flagstaff House

Flagstaff House is a “B” graded heritage building located opposite the Flagstaff Gardens on the corner of Batman and and King streets.  It was designed by Yuncken Freeman Architects in 1955 and developed for its office. It was considered a prototype building for subsequent “International Style” heritage buildings by Yuncken Freeman in Melbourne, most notably

An advertising sign no more?

Above the roof of the building at 500 Flinders St there is a large sign currently advertising a car.  The sign structure has been there since the 1970s (though it has not always displayed advertising signage). In a recent VCAT case, Octopus Media Pty Ltd v Melbourne CC [2016] VCAT 2101, the tribunal ruled the

Melbourne’s new built form controls – an end to hyper density?

Melbourne’s high-rise boom has resulted in higher density in parts of the city than other mega cities like New York and Hong Kong.  Amendment C270 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme, approved by the Minister before Christmas, seeks to rein this in. The amendment introduces new built form controls that impose new limits on building height,

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