Balancing the new with the old

Suburbs in Stonnington are well established and, while they have undergone some changes, retain their sense of history with many period buildings gracing the City. Unsympathetic development, much of which occurred in the 1960s and 1970s but still continues today, has created a wariness of development that does not respect the character of existing streetscapes.

Community surveys carried out by Council reinforce the understanding that a high proportion of residents want to protect heritage buildings, and areas from demolition and ensure that new buildings, are in keeping with the character of the area.

But increasing land values in inner urban areas, together with ageing houses and large blocks of land, continue to bring pressure for new development. Based on community consultation, including a focus group comprising a broad cross section of the community, the City has developed a Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS).

Now incorporated in the new Stonnington Planning Scheme, the MSS is a legislative requirement of the State Government covering all land issues influencing the City. The MSS is a clear reflection of community views.

These include preserving existing amenity, ensuring the continued prosperity and vibrancy of the major shopping centres, requiring residential development to occur in a way sympathetic with the existing built environment and protecting the City's cultural and heritage properties from development.

In keeping with Council's overall individual village concept, different planning criteria apply to different areas. Places that have historically been medium density in character are appropriate for modern development of this form.

To protect the old and allow for sympathetic new development, the City's Heritage Strategy aims to build on the existing character of the City without inhibiting worthwhile investment and development.

For further information contact Christina Fong, Manager Planning, telephone (03) 9522 3330.