Agency VA 3131
Metropolitan Town Planning Commission
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Date Range: 1922 - 1929
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Functions

The State Government became involved with land use planning in the 1920s in response to pressure from town planners for improved land use and better co-ordination of services. Municipalities were given power to zone land for residential use in 1921.

In 1922 the Victorian Government established the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission (MTPC) to recommend better ways of guiding Melbourne's development. This was the first attempt on the part of the State Government to tackle some form of strategic planning. The Metropolitan Town Planning Commission recommended development of planning schemes with statutory force to be administered by municipalities. Its work included research and recommendations on urban development and town planning.

In 1929 the Commission's report (concerning zoning, transport, recreation, harbours and rivers, building regulation, and conservation) highlighted problems of severe traffic congestion, deficiencies in recreational open space and the haphazard inter-mingling of land uses. It strongly recommended land use zoning as a means of preventing the "wasteful allocation of land" and protecting property values. Although a model land use scheme was produced, the Commission proposed that local councils should prepare such schemes under the supervision and co-ordination of a local town planning authority which would ensure rational planning which would encompass not only land use zoning but also traffic and service provision, civic design and the conservation of historic buildings.

Its 1929 report provided a model for those urging government to enact a statutory planning regime and for those municipalities undertaking land use zoning up to 1944.

Establishment

In December 1922 an Act was passed establishing the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission. The Commissioners, appointed in an honorary capacity in 1923, were charged with providing advice on town planning in the Melbourne and metropolitan area. The Commission was financed by metropolitan municipalities, the Victorian Railways (VA 2876), Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (VA 2694), Melbourne Harbor Trust (see VA 1426) and the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (M.M.B.W.) (VA 1007) The Commissioners presented their final report in 1929, stressing the need for legislation, but a long period of inaction followed until the passage of the Town and Country Planning Act in 1944.

Location of Records

See List of Holdings 1985, section 3.15.4.
 
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1922 - ? 1929 Inward Correspondence Files VPRS 10281 North Melbourne Open
? 1923 - 1929 Reports VPRS 10284 North Melbourne Open
1923 - 1930 Minutes of Meetings of the Commission VPRS 10282 North Melbourne Open
1923 - 1930 Sub-Committee Minute Books VPRS 10283 North Melbourne Open
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1922 - 1929 Public Works VRG 28