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THE first areas identified for CBD-style development at ''Fishermans Bend'' are located in Port Melbourne and South Melbourne industrial areas - not near the General Motors Fishermans Bend facility on the banks of the Yarra River.
A departmental briefing shows the first four areas targeted to accommodate up to 60,000 new residents and 24,000 homes are almost all south of the West Gate Freeway in industrial land running to Williamstown Road.
Mr Guy's vision is for Fishermans Bend to become part of an expanded CBD. Documents from the Department of Planning show four development areas - stage one in South Melbourne called Montague, stage two, three and four in Port Melbourne called Lorimer Street, Plummer Street, and Fennell Street. The planning department briefing also shows an investigation for light rail down Williamstown and Todd roads to service the new community.
One internal email from the Department of Planning last year outlined the minister's plans for the area. ''The minister's adviser is considering the use of the residential density of Southbank (stated as 360 dwellings/hectare) as a guide to estimate the capacity of the 200ha in Port Melbourne (it's been called Fishermans Bend in the press),'' the email from Richard Woodall, assistant director, development projects, said.
Planning advice to the department said a development of this size in Port Melbourne would require new community facilities, including ''schools, potentially five primary schools and two secondary'', shops and open space.
Earlier this month Port Phillip Council announced plans for up to 13,000 new homes as part of high density development in the Montague Street area.
Mayor Rachel Powning said the council supported high-density development as long as community infrastructure was provided. ''We will be arguing very strongly that the investment in the social infrastructure needs to be there, before the development takes place,'' she said. ''The evidence is clearly there that the area is underserviced at the moment in terms of schools and childcare facilities and open space,'' she said.
A brief to the minister also pointed out a ''a number of challenges'' with developing in Fishermans Bend, including land contamination, limited publicly owned land to help generate development and ''connectivity and access''.
Opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee, said the documents showed a plan for people but not for services. ''It is a recipe for traffic gridlock as parents travel longer distance to get their kids to faraway schools,'' he said.
The Baillieu government is expected to release tomorrow more details of its expanded CBD plans.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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