Our Services

Private Sector

We advise developers, landowners, profit-for-purpose organisations and community members on the planning and urban design aspects of larger and more complex sites and proposals. Our work for the private sector includes:

Development plans and master plans

Expert evidence

Activity centre urban design frameworks

Strategic advice

We provide planning and urban design advice at all stages of the site acquisition, design and planning process about the potential of a site and the merits of development proposals.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Mark Sheppard at marks@kinetica.net.au

Development plans and master plans

We prepare development plans and master plans for large infill sites for residential, commercial and mixed-use development.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Julia Bell at juliab@kinetica.net.au

Expert evidence

We provide independent expert urban design evidence at VCAT, Planning Panels and Advisory Committees in relation to planning applications and planning scheme amendments.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Julia Bell at juliab@kinetica.net.au

Activity centre urban design frameworks

We prepare plans to guide the development of new activity centres and review activity centre plans prepared by others.

Example projects:

To discuss your project needs, contact Julia Bell at juliab@kinetica.net.au

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Albert Fields

Albert Fields is a 10.5ha site in an industrial precinct in Brunswick, Melbourne. Moreland City Council sought to facilitate the renewal of the precinct through its rezoning, managed through design controls in a new schedule to the Design and Development Overlay. We were engaged to undertake a peer review of the planning scheme amendment to inform its review by a Planning Panel.

Mark Sheppard’s evidence to the Planning Panel was instrumental in achieving a more flexible design control which allows for greater height and is less prescriptive about the site configuration.

Mirvac and Milieu are now proposing to construct a Build-to-Rent development on the site named Albert Fields. We have been engaged to advise on the urban design aspects of the proposal.

Name: Albert Fields

Date: 2016

Client: Mirvac/ Milieu

18-22 Salmon St, Fishermans Bend

18-22 Salmon Street is a 1ha site at the heart of the Wirraway activity centre in the Fishermans Bend urban renewal area, and immediately adjacent to its potential new train station. A major mixed-use development is proposed on the site incorporating two supermarkets, office space, apartments and a new station plaza. We have been engaged to advise on the urban design aspects of the proposal.

Our advice has included interpreting the complex built form controls for Fishermans Bend, acting as a ‘sounding board’ for design concepts and providing advice to inform negotiations with the Fishermans Bend Taskforce, DELWP and the Port Phillip City Council.

Name: 18-22 Salmon St, Fishermans Bend

Date: 2017

Client: Freeman Group

Former Channel 10 Site Hawthorn Road, Tally Ho

The former Channel 10 site is a large landholding in middle-ring Melbourne.

We were engaged to provide strategic and statutory planning advice on the redevelopment of the site, including the planning controls applying to the use and development of the land, and permit applications for a diversity of housing types and developments.

The outcome to date has been to deliver suitable planning scheme controls and to secure the approval of a over 275 dwellings.

16-60 City Road, Southgate

16-60 City Road Southgate

The Southgate development lies at a strategic location in Melbourne between Hamer Hall, The Yarra River, the Evan Walker Bridge/ Southgate Avenue and City Road. It is a largely low-rise shopping centre, forming part of relatively impermeable precinct for pedestrians.

ARA proposed a new 21-storey office tower as part of a broader reconfiguration that will provide new pedestrian connections between the river and the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

Concerns were raised by the planning authority about the proposed tower façade treatment— in particular, that it didn’t display the characteristics of a ‘Melbourne tower’. We were engaged to review the façade design and advise on changes to ensure it better meets these character aspirations.

Our review commenced with a study of Melbourne office tower façade designs. It concluded that there is no consistent or single ‘Melbourne’ tower style. However, a general trend can be identified from older office towers that express their structure through strong horizontal and vertical elements in muted colours, resulting in highly articulated facades with a high proportion of solid to void, to newer office towers that generally employ curtain-wall facade systems with more subtle and widely spaced articulation, resulting in better natural daylight and outlook. The most recent office towers exhibit visually richer façade designs through techniques such as threedimensional faceting.

Following our analysis we advised that, in order to respond to its context of generally older towers, the proposed tower should incorporate a more prominent façade grid in natural tones that balances horizontal and vertical elements. These recommendations were adopted and the tower has now been approved.

Location: Melbourne

Date: 2020

Client: ARA Australia Pty Ltd

District Docklands

District Docklands is a precinct in Melbourne’s Docklands that has been partly developed, primarily for retail and entertainment uses.

We were engaged to provide urban design advice and a Development Plan to enable a planning permit application for two sites within the southern part of District Docklands. The Development Plan provides a development framework for the sites and their associated air rights.

The development framework includes:

  • Urban Design Principles to underpin an appropriate response to the site context.
  • Objectives and strategies to implement the Urban Design Principles and provide clear guidance for the future development of the Development Sites.
  • Indicative building envelopes.
  • Preferred land uses.
  • Proposed built form, in terms of street wall, overall building height and building separation.
  • Guidance to ensure an improved public realm in terms of permeability, activation and overshadowing.
  • Detailed guidance that encourages a well-designed architectural response to the site.
  • Guidance to ensure development respects the existing residential amenity.

Name: District Docklands

Date: 2019

Client: Capital Alliance

Dandenong Plaza

The task

Dandenong Plaza is a large enclosed shopping centre surrounded by surface and structured car parking, within the Dandenong Metropolitan Activity Centre. Changes in retail have presented the opportunity to reconsider the mix of uses on the site and how it connects with the surrounding urban fabric.
In order to provide greater certainty about the future of the site, it was identified that the Development Plan Overlay should be applied to it.
We were engaged to provide urban design input into a Master Plan for the staged redevelopment of the site, the DPO schedule and the planning permit application for the first stage.


We identified the key opportunity presented by the redevelopment of Dandenong Plaza to redress the balance of investment in the activity centre, which has been largely west of the Lonsdale St spine to date, while completing the ‘Spine of Consolidation’ sought by policy. Our analysis of the site and its context led to a suite of Urban Design Principles that have guided the master planning of the site.
These principles seek to introduce a broader mix of uses and ‘stitch’ the site to its surroundings via high quality public realm. Permission has now been granted for Stage 1 of the development.

Name: Dandenong Plaza

Date: 2019

Client: Moelis

Spotswood Yards

Spotswood Yards is an 4.8ha Strategic Redevelopment Area within the City of Hobsons Bay.
We were engaged to prepare a Master Plan to guide the development of the site, and provide urban design advice in relation to individual planning permit applications. We developed a suite of urban design principles to guide the development, based on urban context analysis.

Case studies of similar scale developments in Melbourne were also investigated to further inform the development of the Master Plan. The Master Plan identifies a framework of new public thoroughfares and open spaces that will ‘stitch’ the site into the surrounding area and provide a well-connected and high amenity neighbourhood.

Name: Spotswood Yards

Date: 2019

Client: Blue Earth Group

Brite Development Plan for Profit-for-Purpose Organisation

The Brite business is located on a 2 hectare Site in the Broadmeadows Activity Centre which both the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) and Hume City Council (HCC) have identified for potential future mixed-use redevelopment.

We prepared a Development Plan which outlined how the Site could be redeveloped to further grow and diversify the Brite business in the next 10-20 years.

Name: Brite Development Plan for Profit-for-Purpose Organisation

Clarinda Recycling Facility

We provided expert planning evidence of behalf of Kingston City Council opposing a request for the further extension of time for planning permits issued for a recycling facility.

Our evidence weighed the merits of the proposed continuation of the land use against the long-term strategic planning objectives for the Kingston Green Wedge and the site as part of a regionally signficant, green and open space corridor to serve the open space and recreational requirments of the urban area.

Name: Clarinda Recycling Facility

Date: 2020

Client: Kingston City Council

Malvern Collective

Malvern Collective is a major mixed-use development in Malvern, Melbourne. It lies next to a train station and tram route at the gateway to a major activity centre, and incorporates a number of heritage buildings. The applicable planning controls contain discretionary maximum building heights ranging up to 10 storeys.

We were engaged by the developer, Kokoda Property, to provide an independent urban design review of the proposal designed by JCB Architects to assist in its refinement so that it could receive planning approval. This followed an earlier commission to assess the planning control when it was at draft stage and provide expert urban design evidence to inform its consideration by an independent panel.

We found that the proposal which reached a height of 17 levels was appropriate, because it is a carefully tailored site-specific design response that achieves the outcomes sought by the planning control, notwithstanding its greater height. However, we recommended minor refinements to improve its contribution to the amenity of the public realm.

The refinement of the proposal led to a permit being issued by Council without the need for an appeal.

Name: Malvern Collective

Date: 2019

Client: Kokoda Property

Ormond Station

The Ormond Station level crossing was grade separated in 2016, releasing land for development. We were engaged to undertake urban design analysis to inform planning controls for development above Ormond Station.
We were subsequently engaged to undertake an urban design assessment of and advice in relation to the development proposal, and an Urban Context and Design Response Report (UCDR) to accompany the planning application. Our initial analysis and evidence at a panel hearing let to the introduction of a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for the site.

The CDP requires the provision of a public plaza, a new pedestrian crossing of the rail line, a mix of uses that will activate the public realm and a built form that responds appropriately to its sensitive residential context. Our subsequent advice ensured that the development will deliever the outcomes sought by the CDP and contributed to a high quality design proposal.

Name: Ormond Station

Date: 2015-2018

Client: Dealcorp

Amendment C191 - Swan Street Built Form Framework

Swan Street

In 2019 Yarra City Council prepared Amendment C191 which was required to guide and respond to increased development activity along the Swan Street Activity Centre area.

The amendment seeks to guide an emerging character that balances the competing interests of delivering housing close to public transport and services, while responding to the heritage significance of Swan Street.

The amendment will introduce permanent built form controls, implementing the built form recommendations within the Swan Street Activity Centre Built Form Framework, September 2017 through the introduction of DDO17, to replace the interim controls.

We were engaged by the landowner of the Corner Hotel to review Amendment C191 from an urban design perspective and provide expert evidence to inform its review by an independent planning panel.

Our evidence highlighted the unique position of the subject site at the entrance to the precinct with no direct sensitive residential or heritage interfaces. Based on this it recommended on balance discretionary built form heights and setbacks rather than mandatory. This position was further supported by the building being non-contributory from a heritage perspective.

The Panel recommended the removal of parts of the mandatory overall building height, street wall height and upper level setback controls, to recognise the site’s robust interfaces away from the heritage significance of Swan Street.

Location: Swan Street Activity Centre

Date: 2020

Client: Swancom Pty Ltd

Jetty Road Activity Centre Master Plan

Jetty Road is a 310 hectare growth area located west of Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula. A condition of the area’s development plan was that the land owners were required to prepare a masterplan for a new neighbourhood activity centre adjacent to the hilltop and central to the growth area.

We were engaged to develop an illustrative concept for the new centre which was used to lock in a robust framework plan. Our framework plan provides Council with the assurance of a ‘mainstreet’ centre integrated with the park while still incorporating flexibility for any future developer.

Our plan was developed in conjunction with the landowner, key council officers and consultants. Once built, the centre will include a full line supermarket, specialty retail and community facilities structured around an east-west ‘mainstreet’.

The ‘mainstreet’ culminates at a subregional Hilltop Park with views across to Corio Bay. The centre will be integrated into the surrounding neighbourhood by mixed use and higher density residential development.

Name: Jetty Road Activity Centre Master Plan

Date: 2010

Client: Algo Properties

Toolern Activity Centre Urban Design Framework

Toolern is a Major Activity Centre planned alongside a new railway station in a greenfield area at the eastern edge of Melton. We were engaged to review a draft Urban Design Framework (UDF) for the centre and provide advice on potential improvements to it from an operational and urban design perspective.

We developed a series of conceptual design options for the centre that provided for effective commercial tenancies while honouring the proposed urban structure and ensuring good urban design outcomes.

This resulted in changes to the UDF to provide stronger built form definition at a key gateway, and improved servicing arrangements that will avoid conflict with primary pedestrian areas.

Name: Toolern Activity Centre Urban Design Framework

Date: 2011

Client: Coles

Eglinton District Centre

Eglinton is a suburb in Perth’s northern growth corridor.

We worked in association with local planners to prepare a Vision Document, Masterplan and Framework Plans for a new district centre in Eglinton. Our plans identified opportunities and were designed for a wide range of land uses including major retail, civic, entertainment, office, commercial and educational along with a diverse range of higher density residential housing.

We designed a centre focused on a mainstreet which connected the station plaza with iconic office buildings on Marmion Avenue, a major regional road. Of note, was the creation of distinctive public spaces along the mainstreet including the Station Plaza, which is envisioned to be active 18/7, and a more intimate town square collocated with civic facilities.

The Eglinton District Centre was designed to be a main point of arrival for people travelling to the Eglinton area by public transport. It will be a bustling transport hub for commuters and it will demonstrate best practice environmental, social and economically sustainable design.

Name: Eglinton District Centre

Date: 2010


Why have we changed our name?

kinetica was formerly known as David Lock Associates (DLA).

David Lock Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd changed its name to Kinetica Studio Pty Ltd on 21 February 2020 to reflect the significant reinvention of the business.

Starting with the crystallisation of our vision and values, continuing with a transformation of our planning offer, and culminating in our move to a ‘grown up’ office in the CBD, we are no longer the business we were.

Paralleling these changes, we agreed with David Lock Associates Limited (the English business which gave birth to DLA Australia) that it is time to undo our formal corporate ties, while retaining a strong informal relationship.

This reinvention of the business needed to be expressed outwardly and we began the process of refreshing our graphic identity. DLA has been predominantly known for urban design expertise, and the name reflects our history as a satellite of an English business. A new name offered the opportunity to establish a refined brand, based on a home-grown organisation featuring planners and urban designers trusted for their expertise and independence.

Our new company name, kinetica, reflects our passion for change.  We facilitate and shape changes in the use, ownership and development of land to create a better lived experience.

kinetica retains the best of DLA—highly regarded independent urban design expertise—and combines it with highly regarded independent planning expertise.