Arden Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Arden Transport Precinct.

The plans for Arden

What is the Arden Structure Plan?

The Arden Structure Plan sets the future direction for Arden over the next 30 + years. It translates the eight key directions of the Arden Vision into 31 objectives supported by 109 strategies for implementation.

The Arden Structure Plan covers themes such as urban character, sustainability, transport, water, open space and community facilities and is implemented through the approved planning scheme amendment.

It is the outcome of significant community consultation and review by an independent advisory committee.

What changes can be expected in Arden overtime?

The Arden Structure Plan outlines how the precinct will transform into an employment and innovation precinct and a thriving new neighbourhood centred around the new Arden Station.

It includes strategies and objectives to guide the key directions for Arden’s renewal:

  • Transforming Arden into a landmark destination
  • Designing a distinctive place
  • Embedding sustainable change
  • Accommodating diverse communities
  • Prioritising active transport
  • Investing in community infrastructure
  • Celebrating water
  • Creating diverse open spaces

I live or work in the precinct-what does this mean for me?

Arden’s transformation will be gradual and is expected to occur over decades as the precinct changes from a predominantly industrial precinct to a thriving residential, employment, innovation and community hub. Depending on your relationship to the precinct, you will be affected by this change in different ways.

If you are a current business owner within the Arden precinct, the Department of Transport will be able to provide advice about the next steps for you.

If you are a resident within the Arden precinct or in neighbouring suburbs, this planning will gradually change the area you live in over a long period of time.

Construction impacts caused by building and development will only commence once the planning permit approvals process for various developments has occurred.

Construction of the new hospitals is expected to commence in 2025.

Understanding planning controls

What does the approval of the Planning Scheme Amendment C407 allow for?

The planning scheme amendment translates the Arden Structure Plan into planning controls to ensure future development in Arden contributes to the vision for the precinct. These controls include meeting high quality design standards and setting a number of targets to ensure the character and vision for the precinct is delivered.

The amendment rezones the land in Arden to the Special Use Zone to guide land uses and development outcomes in the precinct.

The VPA prepared Amendment C407 to the Melbourne Planning Scheme to guide how Arden will develop over the next 30+ years.

The Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) Report released in May 2022 proposed a number of recommendations. What changes have been made as a result?

The Victorian Government adjusted the final planning scheme amendment to adopt 21 recommendations in full or in part. These plans have been approved and gazetted by the Minister for Planning.

How is heritage and neighbourhood character protected?

The planning controls require development in Arden to fit the character and vision for Arden’s four distinct sub-precincts. They also ensure building heights in sensitive areas are appropriate and transition to the scale of the existing neighbourhood.

Existing heritage controls will protect heritage buildings throughout the precinct, which will offer opportunities for sensitively designed adaptive reuse of these spaces so that they continue to offer value to the future local identity.

What mechanisms do you have in place to ensure its buildings and urban design contribute to high quality streets and open spaces?

The final Planning Scheme Amendment uses the most robust controls available within the Victoria Planning Provisions, which will safeguard and realise the Arden Vision.

Mandatory controls have been applied in sensitive locations including near the existing North Melbourne neighbourhood and key public open space areas to protect them from overshadowing at important times of day.

The building heights range from low to mid rise development (up to 15 storeys) to transition from the lower heights of North Melbourne, stepping up to high rise (16 storeys and taller) where appropriate. The tallest buildings (up to 40 storeys) are placed along the rail corridor and CityLink.

Built form controls include street wall height limits and setbacks from both the street and neighbouring sites. They also encourage laneways and through block links for larger blocks to encourage walkability.

Funding and delivering Arden

What is the expected timing of development?

Arden’s transformation will take place over 30 years, as the precinct changes from a predominantly industrial precinct to a high-density residential, employment, innovation and community hub. Building and development associated with the amendment will only commence once the planning permit approval process for various developments has occurred.

How will the precinct be funded?

The funding and delivery of community infrastructure to support a dynamic and major urban precinct is complex.

The Arden Development Contributions Plan provides a framework for the funding and delivery of over $350 million of critical community infrastructure to support the future Arden community.

The Victorian Government’s commitment from the 2022/23 State Budget will allow the government to progress with its development and delivery work to continue within the Arden Precinct and enable critical precinct planning activities to take place.

The Victorian Government has heavily invested in the precinct with new city-shaping projects, including the new Arden Station as part of the Metro Tunnel Project and $2-$2.5 billion to establish the Arden medical precinct.

When will the new Arden Station be open?

The new Arden Station will open to passengers in 2025 and has been designed to include welcoming public spaces, including a café with outdoor dining terraces, public seating and landscaping.

What is the Arden medical precinct?

The Victorian Government is investing $5-$6 billion to upgrade the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Royal Women’s Hospital and establish a new medical precinct Arden, which will be home to new campuses of both hospitals.

The initial investment of $2 - $2.5 billion will build the new medical precinct in Arden and will be the new centres for elective surgery, outpatient treatment, clinical trials, rehabilitation and low-risk women’s healthcare services, while the redeveloped Parkville sites will focus on emergency, trauma and acute care.

Construction is expected to commence in 2025.

Will land be acquired to deliver new streets, facilities and infrastructure?

The Victorian Government is working hard to deliver the Arden Precinct with as little impact to existing businesses as possible as we transform what is currently an industrial site into a thriving residential, employment, innovation and community hub.

The Planning Scheme Amendment C407 includes a Public Acquisition Overlay to be applied to a small number of landholdings necessary for essential flood management works including drainage, to create the proposed street network, provide open space, and other critical public infrastructure works.

The Department of Transport is working closely with businesses / organisations required to relocate and we endeavour to facilitate and support them throughout this process to minimise impacts on business operations where possible.

When will new parks and community facilities be provided?

New community spaces and parklands are expected to be delivered in 2025 to support the opening of the new Arden Station. Further information will be provided from 2023.

How will new infrastructure, open spaces and community facilities be funded?

The Arden Development Contributions Plan provides a framework for the funding and delivery of over $350 million of critical community infrastructure to support the future Arden community.

How much social and affordable housing will be built?

Developers will be encouraged to provide at least six percent affordable housing within residential developments. In addition, the Department of Transport is working to maximise the provision of social, affordable and key worker housing on government land, which is expected to exceed the 6per cent provision included within Victoria’s planning provisions.

What consultation has been done?

Our plans for Arden have been shaped by the insights and priorities of the Arden community.

The Victorian Government engaged the community on the Draft Arden Vision & Framework in 2016, on the Draft Arden Structure Plan in 2020 and on the draft planning scheme amendment in 2021.

The draft planning scheme amendment was also referred an independent Standing Advisory Committee, which provided all submitters the opportunity to be heard through public hearings in 2022.