The Victorian government is paving the way for the development of high-rise residential towers to the immediate north of the Melbourne CBD.

The Victorian government’s amendments to inner city planning regulations are expected to spur high-rise developments within the university precinct situated to the immediate north of the Melbourne CBD.

The raft of amendments recently approved by Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne includes increases to building height restrictions and allowances for medium-density developments in the inner city suburbs of Carlton and Parkville.

The inner-city area affected by the amendments covers approximately 130 hectares, and serves as host to the University of Melbourne – currently Australia’s highest ranked tertiary institution, as well as some of the country’s leading medical research bodies.

Under the approved planning amendments maximum building heights will rise to those of the capital city zone, with preferred height limits of up to 60 metres. This means that apartment buildings as high as 12 storeys could be erected on parts of Elizabeth Street and Flemington Road.

Paving the way for high-rise residential developments in the precinct will help to accommodate a projected surge in its population over the next several decades, with 6000 new residents expected to move to the area in pursuit of knowledge economy jobs by around 2040.

In addition to permitting the development of high-rise apartment towers in the precinct, the Victorian government also plans to improve transportation infrastructure in the area with the construction of the new Parkville Station beneath Grattan Street, as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail initiative.

According to Wynne these improvements to public transportation in tandem with the precinct’s expanding research and education sector will provide excellent conditions for its ongoing development.

“Carlton will have a new train station and is already reached by 12 tram lines,” said Wynne. “That infrastructure combined with growing job numbers makes the area ideal for medium-density growth.”

While the Victorian government has ambitions to transform Melbourne’s inner north into a thriving knowledge economy hub, it will also introduce measures to preserve the heritage character of certain historic, residential zones.

“These plans give certainty and preserve the look and feel of Carlton, because there is clear definition between the densely developed areas south of Victoria Street to medium-rise buildings around Melbourne University and the residential areas of Carlton and Parkville further north,” said Wynne.