Proposed Walmer Street Plaza
20 July 2016
The Mayor is writing to the Minister for Planning to express Council’s concerns on the design of the proposed shared-use Walmer Street Plaza between two proposed developments in Richmond/Abbotsford.
Pedestrians and cyclists currently use Walmer Street to access the Main Yarra Trail and the Walmer St bridge, which leads over the Yarra River into Kew.
At a Council meeting on 19 July, Councillors unanimously resolved –
Moved: Councillor Stone Seconded: Councillor Barbour
- That Council note:
(a) the approval by the Minister for Planning as the responsible authority in 2008 (PL 03/0675) of a planning permit for the land at 602 to 607 Victoria Street;
(b) that this approval included two car ramps in Walmer St for entry and exit to underground car parking as well as nominal proposal for the remainder of Walmer Street to be designated a “plaza” for pedestrians and cyclists;
(c) the Council resolution of 21st October 2008:
“32. That Council is of the opinion that it considers that Walmer Street is not required for public traffic is an unused road.
33. That Council advise Department of Sustainability and Environment that it consents to the road closure and confirms Walmer Street as 'unused' under section 400 (1) of the Land Act 1958 and provides the Governor in Council with its concurrence in writing with the closure of the unused road pursuant to section 349 (1) Land Act 1958 subject to the following conditions:
(a) the surface level of Walmer Street except for the ramp areas and any approved encroachments, to remain as public space with unfettered public access;
(b) the designation of Walmer Street is altered from a road to a place for public purpose with Council being the committee of management;
(c) a detailed section 173 agreement be entered into between Salta, Council and DSE indemnifying Council of any defects to the basement levels (and associated works) and maintenance of the plaza level to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority;
(d) Salta to provide a bank guarantee of $50,000 to Council in the event of any works being required to be undertaken urgently to the plaza level; and
(e) the preparation of a 'heads of agreement' to achieve the above outcomes signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Yarra”;
(d) the concerns expressed separately at that time by Council of the difficulty in making this arrangement “work” for all parties;
(e) the fact that due to delays and changes in plans by the developer, the above resolution has not been enacted;
(f) the fact that in the 9 years since this planning approval, use of Walmer Street by cyclists and pedestrians has significantly increased and could be seen to be incompatible with the presence of 2 car ramps in the same space; and
(g) the proposed “redesign” of access to Walmer Street bridge from Walmer Street by the developer which has attracted significant community concern and criticism due to not accommodating current and future volumes of cycling traffic nor pedestrians.
- That the Mayor write to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Richard Wynne, expressing council’s view that the use of Walmer Street has changed in the 9 years since the planning permit was granted, that the current design for a “Walmer Street Plaza” is not optimal for current or future numbers of cyclists or pedestrians, and requesting the Minister to facilitate a resolution of this issue which allows unfettered, easy access by cyclists and pedestrians to the Walmer Street bridge and plaza from both north and south, without complex level changes and switchbacks and without interacting with vehicle traffic.
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