Yarra City Council has already put a good deal of thought into local planning, as demonstrated in planning schemes that have been developed in the last few years. I have felt quite encouraged by the constructive ideas in these documents. I have become more cynical when I see the actual results on the ground. An example of this is the CREMORNE AND CHURCH STREET PRECINCT URBAN DESIGN FRAMEWORK (CCSP UDF) which was adopted 2007. There are many suggestions in this plan to improve public open space in Cremorne but few have materialized. As this extract shows, things have moved on in the last thirteen years. There is a recognition of the need for ‘useable public spaces’ but opportunities have been missed.
Open Spaces and Community Facilities
There are few useable public spaces within Cremorne, and the expansive parklands to the west are relatively inaccessible for casual use. The few local public open spaces are small and relatively inaccessible sites at fringes of the precinct, including a park next to the Monash Freeway at the south end of Cubitt Street, and one next to Adolph Street near East Richmond Station. Open space facilities within the Kangan Batman TAFE campus are extremely modest. The precinct also lacks local community facilities.
Some major development sites also have the potential to provide sheltered pocket parks. Modest set-backs along the south sides of Gough and Blanche Streets would improve pedestrian circulation and, with appropriate redevelopment along them, could provide attractive north-facing spaces for seating and other casual uses.
Introducing space around heritage buildings in the Malthouse complex would enhance their legibility and apparent significance and enable their use as activity hubs for this precinct. Such open spaces would also be of value as a buffer between nearby low-rise houses and new buildings on large redevelopment sites, and would also work as links through the site, thereby improving pedestrian and cyclist access to the Yarra River and Capital City Trail to the south of the precinct.(CCSP UDF, p26 )