Lost Dogs’ Home to be razed, state baulks at affordable housing quota

“With the opening of the Metro Tunnel, Arden will become a key new destination for Victoria and a vibrant employment precinct on the doorstep of Melbourne’s CBD,” she said in a statement.

But the government will not impose a quota for affordable housing in the area, instead saying it would “support and encourage” at least 6 per cent of all dwellings being affordable.

The Arden precinct in North Melbourne is projected to house 15,000 residents and 34,000 jobs by 2050.

The Arden precinct in North Melbourne is projected to house 15,000 residents and 34,000 jobs by 2050.

A Planning Panels Victoria committee report recommended in May that affordable housing requirements be mandatory. City of Melbourne – the precinct’s local council – also pushed for more public housing, while raising concerns that liveability would be compromised if developers were allowed to build excessively high towers.

Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam said a non-binding 6 per cent target in a suburb of 15,000 people was “unacceptable when we are experiencing a housing crisis”.

“This is the perfect opportunity to build more public and affordable housing close to transport links and healthcare,” she said. “This government allows property developers to get away with not paying their fair share towards more affordable housing.”

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Lost Dogs’ Home spokesperson Suzana Talevski said the organization was told on Wednesday that the Gracie Street shelter – its headquarters for 114 years – would be compulsorily acquired.

“We have to move, so we’re just trying to get the best deal for the animals and for our staff. What that might look like, we’re not sure yet,” she said.

Talevski said the state government had promised to assist in its relocation, but the shelter was concerned about finding a new space in a suitable location that was big enough to handle the 15,000 cats and dogs that come though its doors each year.

North Melbourne Football Club chief Ben Amarfio said the club supported the redevelopment, but would not comment on what the construction of a stormwater tank under the Kangaroos’ training ground would mean for the club.

“The club will work closely with the state government … to get the best outcome for the club and community alike as we play a critical role in bringing Arden’s vision to life,” he said.

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Kevin Chamberlin, chairman of the North and West Melbourne Association and a former Melbourne lord mayor, said a discretionary height limit of 40 storeys would likely result in buildings 60 or 70 storeys high.

“To allow massive heights in inappropriate locations is merely an attempt to relocate Docklands to North Melbourne,” Chamberlin said. “It’s a lost opportunity where a truly great development could have been achieved.”

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it was critical the city got Arden right, and the council would “carefully review and consider what the plans mean for the City of Melbourne”.

The planning scheme amendment to be gazetted on Thursday will include a policy for a Green Star energy rating of six on all new developments and a precinct target of zero-net emissions by 2040.

It will also nominate potential sites for a proposed primary school and future health institution.

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