The Victorian Government has announced reforms to the State Planning Policy Framework which it says will ensure the protection of the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers from encroaching developments.


State Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the amendment VC96 to the Victorian Planning Provisions introduces a state wide policy reform to protect the two river corridors.


Mr Guy has also announced the formation of a staged approach that will see the corridors protected across a number of municipalities and clearly outline what can and cannot be build in specific areas.


“The Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers are Melbourne’s two iconic rivers and they deserve protection from inappropriate development,” Mr Guy said.


“Protection of the Yarra and Maribyrnong river corridors will be a lasting civic legacy for future generations of all Victorians.


“These planning reforms will provide the strongest ever level of planning protection for Melbourne’s two major river corridors by any state government.


“These reforms are the most significant set of environmental protections within the state planning policy framework since the introduction of the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan in 1982.”


For the Yarra River the amendment is the first stage of a three stage approach to protecting these corridors. The first level of protection will apply to the City of Boroondara, with the second stages applying to the cities of Yarra, Stonnington and Banyule and the third and final stage applied to the City of Manningham and the Shire of Nillumbik.


Boroondara will have controls applied immediately due to the high level of strategic work already completed and the existing Environmental Significance Overlays already existing within the municipality.


The amendment includes mandatory height controls of 9 metres (two stories, plus attic), strict controls in relation to site coverage, vegetation removal, and drainage requirements as well as clearly discouraging development that intrudes on existing private and public open space adjacent to the river.