Building heights, overshadowing, impact on neighbourhood character and traffic congestion highlighted as the top concerns for Ivanhoe residents
There were 142 responses to the first online Save Ivanhoe survey that ran during 7 – 15th October 2011. Thank you to all those who took the time to respond, with a good representation across all age groups, ie:
- 41% of respondents aged 49 or younger
- 30% of respondents aged 50-59
- 29% of respondents aged 60 or older
The average time that each respondent had lived in Ivanhoe was 22.6 years. Cumulatively, this represents the views of over 3200 years of residential experience living in Ivanhoe! That’s a wealth of history, experience and affinity for our suburb represented in the feedback and views shared. Interestingly 20% of respondents lived outside the study area with a number of responses from Eaglemont, East Ivanhoe, West Ivanhoe and north of the town hall.
Top 5 concerns, in priority order, related to:
- 94% of respondents were “very or extremely concerned” about building heights proposed (4, 5 & 6 storeys) within and bordering existing residential areas
- 90% of respondents were “very or extremely concerned” about overshadowing of existing buildings and residences due to high-rise development
- 90% of respondents were “very or extremely concerned” about the impact on Ivanhoe’s neighbourhood character
- 90% of respondents were “very or extremely concerned” about blocking of views and vistas and impact on streetscape of propose development
- 89% of respondents were “very or extremely concerned” about the level of increased vehicle traffic and parking congestion
Concern about access to public services also ranked highly amongst respondents, with:
- 84% “very or extremely concerned” about increased demands on public transport (eg. Trains and buses)
- 79% “very or extremely concerned” about increased demands on services (eg kindergartens, schools, medical facilities, etc)
There were lower numbers of people “very or extremely concerned” about the redevelopment of the library (61%), the provision of public plazas (58%) and the redevelopment of the aquatic centre (52%).
The purpose of the survey was to understand the key concerns of residents, and their relative importance. At this time, Banyule Council continues to consolidate feedback and has provided preliminary “key issues”, however the relative importance of each of these remains unknown.
We are keen to know what residents are keen to see included in future drafts of the Ivanhoe structure plan, so please submit ideas for questions to be included in the next survey that we can consider. Remember, these need to be closed questions so a ranking of importance can be applied to gain general community responses to ideas.
The survey was criticised by two respondents as being “biased” and aimed at obtaining a negative response. We take that feedback on board. In reality, the aim of the survey questions were aligned to the residents’ key concerns that were collected and shared with Save Ivanhoe during the feedback period to Banyule Council on the Draft Structure plan. These concerns have been posted on the Save Ivanhoe website for some time now: http://www.saveivanhoe.com/residents-concerns
Two respondents claimed that residents are against progress, wishing to maintain the status quo and stifling affordability within the community. The survey results clearly show that this claim is in fact false; in general, residents are not against change nor higher-density development – it is the prospect of high-rise development, resulting overshadowing and increased traffic that are of utmost concern as reflected in the survey results.
Some claim that higher density development will result in more affordable housing, which is a dangerous assumption. It’s important to remember that Banyule Council nor the State Government is proposing to build “affordable housing” as a result of the Ivanhoe Structure Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to guide “appropriate development” by providing guidelines for developers to plan against – they are not hard and fast rules. Developers are not driven by social needs but rather maximizing economic returns, so “affordable housing” would appear to be at odds with their underlying objectives. This is also exemplified with recent high-density residential projects, such as Quest and the off-the-plan development “18 28 38” on the verge of Upper and Heidelberg Roads. These apartments are actually less affordable than many existing single or double storey units that are scattered throughout Ivanhoe today.
Bottom line – higher density does not have to mean high-rise.