What does the East Village precinct
look like right now?
The East Village precinct is currently occupied by a variety of industrial manufacturing, light industrial workshops and business services. Large parts of the precinct no longer provide for long term employment.
Overall the precinct is underutilised and in a state of decline. As a viable and vibrant employment hub, the precinct lacks amenity and integration with the surrounding community.
The East Village precinct consists of the Virginia Park Business Centre and the industrially zoned land immediately to the north, encompassing all the non-residential land generally up to Griffith Avenue. The precinct has long been identified as an employment hub for the region and is the largest single continuous area of business and industrially zoned land in the City of Glen Eira.
Currently the East Village precinct employs some 1,500 people across a range of office and industrial uses. It is anticipated that with the decline in manufacturing and the current zoning provisions this employment base will almost halve to 840 people by 2018.
What are the existing land uses?
The largest single use in the precinct is the former PBR International, now the Chassis Brakes International (Australia), factory at 246 East Boundary Road – a manufacturer of automotive parts. Chassis Brakes will cease manufacturing at the site in 2017 and will close the factory by early 2018 as large scale automotive manufacturers exit the Australian market.
Adjacent to this site is an underutilised factory warehouse area, currently used for vehicle storage. Together these two sites cover approximately one-half of the East Village precinct.
South of these two industrial uses is the area known as the Virginia Park Business Centre. This large site contains multiple businesses and services in a business park setting. Uses range from office administration to light manufacturing and warehousing to childcare and a swim school. The Virginia Park Business Centre represents approximately half of the overall precinct and was subject to an unsuccessful planning scheme amendment (Amendment C126) during 2014-2015.
The area in the north of the industrial zoned land is made up of multiple smaller land titles. This area, generally between Griffith Avenue and North Road, is held by multiple owners and is not subject to the planning and engagement activities on this website.
What is the current zoning for the precinct?
The precinct is a mix of Industrial 1 Zone, applying to the north of the precinct, and Commercial 1 and 2 Zone land, applying to the Virginia Park Business Centre.
A Development Plan Overlay (Schedule 2) applies to the Virginia Park Business Centre and has been in place since mid-2011. This allows for significant levels of primarily office based development with design objectives that allow for building heights of 3-4 storeys at the edge of the site and up to 10 storeys in the core of the site.
Part of the East Village precinct is subject to a Special Building Overlay (SBO) which denotes an area subject to overland flow during storm events.
The Virginia Park area is also subject to an Environmental Audit Overlay (EAO) which requires certain environmental clearances before new land uses are introduced.
Surrounding land uses
The land surrounding the precinct is predominantly residential (Neighbourhood Residential Zone which is the most restrictive of the suite of residential zones).
The land to the north of Griffith Avenue is zoned industrial (Industrial Zone 1) and is used for principally vehicle base activity, such as pre-delivery and detailing, storage, panel beating, servicing and sales. Adjoining this area on East Boundary Road is an electricity substation owned by United Energy.
The southern boundary of the precinct comprises the established parkland of Virginia Park Reserve. This park once formed part of the larger land holding that made up Virginia Park and was provided to Council as a public open space reserve. The park has mature trees, usable areas of open space, walkways and play equipment. A further open space – the Marlborough Street Reserve – adjoins the south eastern boundary of the precinct.
The East Village precinct is 13km east of Melbourne’s CBD. The precinct sits within a corridor that enjoys significant public amenity: it is close to major community facilities including reserves, schools, a hospital and modern recreation facilities. It should be noted that although the City of Glen Eira has the lowest amount of Public Open Space per capita of any of the Metropolitan Municipalities, this particular pocket enjoys good proximity to open space and community facilities.
Bus routes run in reasonable proximity via North Road, Crosbie Road and Marlborough Street. The precinct is approximately 2km from major rail and tram lines.
Plans affecting current and future use of the site
There are a range of State and local plans which will influence and determine the future use of the East Village precinct. In preparing a 20 year plan for the site a key factor will also be how the site integrates with the surrounding residential uses and open spaces.
In Victoria, the overarching framework for urban renewal and change is the Plan Melbourne 2014 metropolitan planning strategy. This strategy is used to guide the city’s growth to 2050.
Public consultation on a refresh of this document is currently underway. The future Plan Melbourne aims to address important issues of housing supply, diversity and affordability, climate change and reflect current transport network priorities.
The priorities identified in the current discussion paper are:
• Better local communities
• Protection of green wedges
• Better transport
• More affordable and accessible housing
• Building resilience to climate change
In terms of housing supply, planning efforts are concentrated on facilitating housing supply in established areas with a 70/30 split for housing growth between established and greenfield areas.
It is also recognised that there is a need to introduce new planning tools to improve the planning approvals process, especially in urban renewal areas.
Better local communities is about applying the principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods. This means better planned local communities, more provision for walking and cycling, better distribution of community facilities and parks, and a reduction in the need to travel long distances to find services. It also means more choice to live closer to workplaces and the ability for people to meet their everyday needs mainly within a 20 minute walk.
Local Planning Policies
At the local level the Glen Eira Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) establishes the strategic planning framework for the municipality.
The Glen Eira MSS identifies the East Village precinct as the largest industrial area in Glen Eira and Virginia Park as an important employment node. The MSS notes that given longer term challenges associated with industrial land uses, a flexible approach to the precinct is required to allow for ongoing industrial activity as well as a transition towards office and related uses.
In addition the MSS aims to “…encourage the growth and development of Virginia Park business centre as a local employment node, to incorporate a mix of uses including office, manufacturing, warehousing and associated activities such as limited convenience retail to service the worker population.”
Other relevant excerpts from the MSS include:
Virginia Park and its immediate surrounds have historically formed the main industrial precinct of the municipality. Due to changing land use demands, there are challenges for the ongoing viability of Virginia Park as a primarily industrial location. In order to protect Virginia Park as an existing strategic employment location, the intensification of employment generating activities from a broader base of land uses will be encouraged to establish at this site. Ongoing industrial use of the land may continue to occur within the context of a transition towards predominantly office uses.
Future land use opportunities at Virginia Park business centre may incorporate high technology and research and development activities which may operate with combined office and production components. Given its scale, lack of sensitive interfaces and buffers from residential land, the Virginia Park business centre presents opportunities for further redevelopment and intensification of use to ensure this precinct continues to provide local employment opportunities for the municipality.