Defining and Delivering Community Benefit in Macaulay


Macaulay Community Benefit




City of Melbourne


The City of Melbourne is reviewing planning policies within the Macaulay precinct. This work will provide the research base to inform the relationship between built form policy and the delivery of community benefit by developers.

The Macaulay urban renewal area is located approximately 2 kilometers north-west of Melbourne's CBD, in close proximity to the Parkville National Employment Innovation Cluster and the Arden renewal precinct. The area was rezoned in 2018 to accommodate Melbourne's growing population. This was accompanied by the introduction of new built form controls which enable developers to exceed preferred building heights if a development delivers ‘community benefit.’ In approving the controls, the Minister for Planning identified the need for greater clarity in the definition of community benefit and to bring the implementation of this policy in line with other recent initiatives in central Melbourne planning.

The Work We Are Doing

The City of Melbourne has engaged Hodyl+Co to investigate the definition of ‘community benefit’ in the context of the planning scheme and to identify mechanisms through which to deliver any agreed benefits. Any recommendations needed to be deliverable within current planning legislation.

Use of existing community infrastructure in the Macaulay Precinct.

This work will review current Victorian legislation and planning mechanisms to capture an existing understanding of community benefit. It will also research best-practice models, drawing upon definitions of ‘community benefit’ from planning tools in other Australian and international cities.

This work recognises the need for a robust and agreed method of defining community benefit, and a transparent and fair mechanism for delivering community benefit through development contributions or incentives.