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Growing creative industries in inner-city Sydney

A Sydney Council is working with land owners and businesses to nurture the evolution of inner city Marrickville from a traditional industrial area to a contemporary creative arts and employment precinct.

The local Council has recognised that creative industries, often operating as start-up micro businesses, are highly sensitive to price increases and that urban renewal often poses a threat to the ability of creative industries to operate as land values increased. Council is attempting to minimise these impacts by identifying ways in which planning controls could be used to support existing creative industries and encourage new ones.

The Council has released plans for the Sydenham Station Creative Hub - a precinct for live music venues, small bars, restaurants and cafes to co-exist alongside traditional and creative industries (more details here).

Council is also working alongside landowners to implement the Victoria Road Masterplan, which seeks to regenerate the area by allowing new types of businesses to establish. New spaces for creative uses, co-working and new small-office premises are planned to support the growth of Marrickville’s knowledge-based economy, and also support businesses requiring premises outside of the traditional office centres.

Council is also updating certain local Business zones to support creative industries by allowing live-work enterprises and to help reduce the costs of creative industries, maintain active street frontages and, in some cases, promote the adaptive reuse of existing buildings.

Under the proposed changes, certain residential uses are permitted is the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The use is part of a mixed use development and no part of the ground floor of the development that fronts a street is used for residential purposes.

  • At least 60% of the total gross floor area must be used for non-residential purposes.

  • Dwellings must be on the same title as the non-residential use.

Given the urban renewal and employment land challenges facing Victoria, maybe a fresh approach is needed to how we facilitate mixed use in Melbourne’s inner suburbs too.

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