High-rise precinct on hold in Melbourne

Kaitlyn Offer
AAP

Billions of dollars worth of development applications are on hold while new planning controls are created for Melbourne's Fishermans Bend precinct.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne is "calling in" the 26 applications to stop inappropriate projects, a legacy he attributes to his predecessor, now-Opposition Leader Matthew Guy.

"He knows what his actions were when he overnight rezoned this land and didn't give any consideration at all to the 80,000 people who are going to be living there," Mr Wynne said.

The applications, for towers largely of residential use, will be referred to an independent advisory committee for analysis.

Eleven of the 26 applications are already in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal over complaints the approval process is taking too long.

"We'll see what comes out of the panel process, the issues around some height in particular precincts, that's a matter that needs to be addressed," Mr Wynne said.

"If you want to see poor planning in action, I invite you to go down to Elizabeth Street in the city and have a look at the wall of high-rise towers that have been constructed, completely overwhelming that precinct with densities that are higher than Singapore or Hong Kong. That's the legacy of my predecessor."

Mr Guy says the move is "dodgy" and will drive up the prices of existing permits.

"Dick Wynne is claiming that he's got to get the planning right. He's had three years to get the planning right," he told reporters.

"No one believes that it's anything more than a stunt but it's a dodgy stunt because it's increasing the value of the permits he's already approved dramatically."

Mr Guy kicked off development in the area, an urban-renewal precinct covering former industrial land south of Melbourne's CBD, in 2012.

The plan is to make the area home to some 80,000 residents by 2050.

Acting Lord Mayor Aaron Wood said the precinct needed to be a livable area and should be included in the second stage of the Metro Tunnel.

"The government is going to have to reach into their pockets for the public transport infrastructure," he told reporters.

"The tram is going to have to be funded. Metro needed to start yesterday."