By JOHN VAN KLAVEREN AND PAUL MILLAR
CITY Hall is considering 28 planning permit applications for central Geelong, councillor Michelle Heagney has revealed.
The increased number of applications coincides with council this week unanimously approving a 15-year blueprint to revive the city centre.
The central Geelong action plan aims to increase the city centre’s population from 4200 to 10,000.
“The most significant current application relates to the redevelopment of the National Hotel at the corner of Moorabool and Little Ryrie Sts,” said Cr Heagney, who holds council’s central Geelong portfolio.
“We are also having pre-application meetings with developers relating to other potential developments within the central Geelong precinct.”
Cr Heagney said the introduction of an Activity Centre Zone in May this year had opened up potential for significant redevelopments of central Geelong and its “Western Wedge” precinct.
“The introduction of the Activity Centre Zone has reduced restrictions on heights of buildings in strategic locations. The effect of the zone has been to remove the previous four and six-storey height limits.
“In pockets of central Geelong and the Western Wedge there is now no prescribed height limit, provided other criteria are met there is no limit to building height.
“The Activity Centre Zone is designed to foster appropriate development, including residential apartments in Central Geelong and the Western Wedge,” she said.
Mayor Darryn Lyons planned to present the central Geelong action plan to Premier Denis Napthine during state coalition election strategy meetings in the city this week.
The plan aims to attract investment, create employment opportunities and encourage more people to make the heart of the town their home.
Initiatives include reducing ground-floor property vacancy rates to five per cent, increasing the number of people working in central Geelong from 21,000 to 30,000, lifting its student population from 4500 to 10,000 and converting 25 per cent of low-grade office building space to high grade or residential use.