In brief: The Victorian Government has released draft plans for a $7 billion commercial and residential precinct in North Melbourne, centred around a new underground train station planned as part of the Metro Tunnel project.

The 56 hectare Arden precinct is located between Macaulay Road, Dryburgh Street and the existing Upfield rail line. The government’s plans include a focus on sustainable transport, with dedicated cycleways and pedestrian links, increasing tree canopy cover, and using public realm spaces for cooling the urban environment. Parking will be limited, and directed to specific shared facilities.

A staged development process is planned over the next 30 years that will result in the precinct being home to 15,000 residents and providing up to 34,000 jobs, with a focus on attracting creative and knowledge-based enterprises.

An existing heritage overlay will be retained to maintain historic buildings and the existing character of North Melbourne.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said that as Melbourne is growing rapidly, the government is expanding the CBD to meet demand for new housing and create new jobs.

“We want people to contribute to Arden’s future plans – this area will be another long-term legacy of Melbourne Metro Rail,” Mr Wynne said.

The Victorian Planning Authority is now seeking feedback from stakeholders and the community on the draft Arden Vision & Framework.