More than half a billion dollars worth of development has been approved for Fishermans Bend, allowing more people to live closer to Melbourne’s CBD.

Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, has approved three apartment projects worth $570 million combined, which will deliver about 1958 new apartments.

Mr Wynne made the announcement in Johnson Street, South Melbourne on Friday, on the site of a future $400 million development. This project includes four apartment towers, a supermarket and retail space.

The approved Johnson Street development is smaller than an original proposal, after negotiations with the City of Port Phillip and the developer, and will include open space and a public laneway. The site is currently a large vacant lot with a warehouse.

The second-largest approval is a $130 million development for Normanby Road. The two towers are 39 and 49 storeys high, with 525 apartments.

The third project, on Salmon Street, will be 12 storeys. This $40 million project will include a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments all greater than 47 square metres.

Every apartment across the three approved projects is bigger than 40 square metres. All bedrooms have a window, none rely on borrowed light.

These three projects were applied for under the previous government. The former planning minister failed to make a decision on them, leaving $570 million worth of investment in limbo.

Mr Wynne announced a planning overhaul for Fishermans Bend in April. The minister is working with councils and the community to establish five neighbourhoods within the Fishermans Bend area – the largest urban renewal site in the country.

As these applications were submitted before the planning overhaul was announced, each was assessed under the rules which applied at the time of application.

The three towers are within the City of Port Phillip municipality. The minister’s approvals were supported by council.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne

“By approving more than half a billion worth of new apartments, this government is allowing more people to live close to jobs, services and public transport.

“These towers are in a part of Melbourne which was once best-suited to industrial businesses. The city is evolving and this government is making sure more people can live centrally in well-designed apartments.