After each community workshop the Save Ivanhoe Residents' Group provides feedback to Council regarding recommendations discussed. This is based on comments, conversations and emails between residents and the coordinating group. We have sought clarification on issues across a range of areas to get a clear understanding of the intent and impact of particular recommendations.
Our aim in doing this is to be able to disseminate relevant information back to the community so residents have a clear understanding about the proposed guidelines and can then make a more informed view to directly feedback to Council.
The last workshop covered residential streets known as 'Accessible Transition' areas. Resident feedback from the workshop covered many areas and included a number of questions and points for clarification in order to get better understanding of the recommendations.
We have attempted to summarise the key themes in the letter to Council below. When we have answers to these queries we will publish them on the website.
Once again, the new plan is due to be released in June so if you have concerns or comment please contact Council now so they can be addressed in the coming weeks. Do not assume other people are making comment or asking questions for you or wait until the new plan is released before you tell Council what you think – it may be too late
Our letter to Council follows:
Manager Strategic & Economic Development
Banyule City Council
CC: Cr Jenny Mulholland, Cr Craig Langdon, Cr Peter McKenna, Cr Steven Briffa, Cr Jessica Paul, Cr Wayne Phillips, Cr Tom Melican, Simon McMillan, Scott Walker, Rachel Dapiran
25 April 2012
RE: Ivanhoe Structure Plan – points for clarification
Thank you for the work your team and the MGS team have put into the consultative process, in particular the community workshop last Saturday. Residents recognise and appreciate the huge investment Council has made in the current planning process including the engagement of MGS, community consultations, preparing resources, making available council officer expertise, reviewing submissions and attending meetings in order to deliver a suitable plan for Ivanhoe.
As we get closer to the publication of a new draft plan there are several issues that require further clarification. We would appreciate a response to the following queries as we wish to provide this information to residents over the coming days.
1. Heights in Accessible Transition Areas
There is acceptance by many residents that areas within the activity centre will see higher density housing over time. However there is still anxiety within the community around heights of new developments.
The overwhelming view of residents is that they do not want Ivanhoe to become a high-rise suburb. This is at the heart of residents’ concerns and is one of the core issues residents had with the first draft plan. Higher density does not have to mean high-rise.
Rob McGauran outlined two scenarios in the workshop to demonstrate development in Accessible Transition areas:
- A – Attached Dwelling Units (Dual Occupancy)
- B – Attached Dwelling Units (Consolidating 2 lots for more capacity)
The examples included standard lot size of 700 m2. They also depicted height up to 9 metres, and up to 3 storeys.
- Will the structure plan include guidelines for a minimum lot size before subdivision can occur? If so, please clarify the proposed minimum lot size.
- Will the structure plan include guidelines for a minimum lot size before a 3rd level can be added to a building? If so, please clarify the proposed minimum lot size.
- MGS outline two scenarios where higher density development on a lot could occur (the A&B scenarios above). Can Council provide other typical examples where the guidelines may differ?
- On more than one occasion, we have had comments from both Council officers and MGS that developments could be higher than 9 metres. Is this the case? If so, can you please outline in what circumstances building heights will be able to exceed 9 metres and/or 3 storeys?
2. Development applications prior to the Activity Centre Plan’s adoption
There is growing community concern about the very visible upsurge in developer activity within key opportunity sites and the potential for large scale development applications being lodged prior to Council’s adoption of the structure plan. Residents view this activity as a significant risk to work being done on the development of a structure plan. It is perceived as pre-emptive to avoid the final built-form guidelines.
It can lead to scenarios where Council and/or VCAT approve large developments that have been overwhelmingly rejected not only by the community, but also by Council given the first draft structure plan was withdrawn.
Residents are concerned that Council will be assessing large scale planning applications prior to the adoption of the structure plan. We understand they will not be assessed within the guidelines being recommended in the draft plan. As a result residents are looking for Council to answer the following question:
- What assurance can Council give residents that development applications approved prior to the adoption of the plan, will not set precedents or undermine the recommendations made by MGS regarding height, setbacks and landscaping for inclusion in the final plan?
3. Status of MGS consultant recommendations
MGS have been appointed consultants by Banyule Council to provide design advice for the structure plan. Yet on several public occasions comments have been made by officers that Council does not necessarily agree with Rob McGauran’s recommendations. This appears puzzling as Council cannot have a position as it has not as yet considered the plan.
What is the purpose of such comments given Council has engaged MGS to work with the community and Council in the planning process and to make recommendations?
Does this mean council officers may be presenting Council with an activity centre plan that has aspects contrary to the MGS recommendations and without community discussion as to these views?
4. Loss of open space / vegetation
Encouraging higher density development inevitably leads to loss of open space and vegetation. To date there has been little discussion or apparent consideration of replacement of open / green space/ vegetation lost through increasing the building footprint throughout the activity centre.
It is essential to residents that this be included in the planning discussion and recommendations as to what is an acceptable replacement level of lost space. This should be clearly identified and incorporated into the plan - including consideration of permeable surfaces on landscaping / sustainable vegetation / ground water runoff etc.
5. The Boundary
Streets that were not in the original boundary that have now been included in the new boundary include Dudley St (north), Green St (west), Rossi St, Ford St (rear), Maltravers Rd (north side), Rotherwood Rd, Russell St, Lower Heidelberg Rd (Fairy Hills side), Salisbury Ave (north), Buchanan St, Rockbeare Grv, Rocke St, Waverley Ave (west), Abbotsford Grv (west) and Wynstay Cres.
Have residents in areas not included within the originally proposed activity centre boundary but now recommended to be included, been notified of this by Council? If not at what stage will this be done?
6. 3D representations
It is our understanding that 3D models of proposed key opportunity sites be available to show to residents how the built form guidelines will look in these areas. When will they be available and what sites will be modelled?
7. Local Heritage reviews
In Saturday’s community workshop a number of residential streets were identified for local heritage review in the ‘accessible transitional’ areas. What are the grounds for these recommendations? What does this mean for development in these ‘heritage streets/areas’ in comparison to neighbouring streets?
8. CCC Meetings
CCC meetings have seen productive discussion with Rob McGauran’s involvement, agendas, draft terms of reference (TOR) and resource materials. However it is not clear whether the TOR have as yet been approved by Council. Also there have been no minutes although it appears meeting notes are taken. We would request minutes be made available for transparency and accountability.
Helen Carr & Luke McNamara
Co-convenors – Save Ivanhoe Residents’ Group
0409 943 009 /0438 355 667
Updated: You can find Council's response here.