Media Releases 2012

Public meeting called on planning issues

04 July 2012

Richmond Station Swan StreetYarra Council will invite Planning Minister Matthew Guy to attend an upcoming public meeting on planning issues in Yarra.

Mayor Cr Geoff Barbour said Council had decided at its meeting last night to organise the meeting following a series of disappointing interventions by the Minister into local planning issues.

Cr Barbour said the last straw occurred last week when the Minister introduced an amendment to the planning scheme to facilitate “high scale” and “high density” development in the Richmond Station precinct.

Council was also disheartened by the Minister’s refusal to give Council permission to introduce mandatory height limits for new developments in and around Victoria Street. Concerns had also been raised by the Minister’s decision in mid-2011 to seize planning control of the future of local public housing estates.

Cr Barbour said the community meeting was in addition to the urgent meeting that Council had already sought with the Minister regarding the future of the Richmond Station precinct.

He said the community meeting, expected to be held in August or September, would provide local residents with an opportunity to hear the Minister’s vision for Yarra’s future development and to give him their feedback.

“This meeting won’t be about badgering the Minister. The aim is to have a genuine conversation about what kind of development is acceptable in Yarra,” Cr Barbour said.

“The Minister’s actions indicate that he wants to see major redevelopment in Yarra, with a 20-storey tower mooted for Richmond Station,” he said.

“Council and the community have been taking measures to protect against overdevelopment, such as seeking the Minister’s permission to introduce mandatory height controls or battling successfully against a 17-storey Abbotsford development.

“There seems to be an increasing gap between what the Yarra community wants and what the Minister is pushing through.

“We hope that the Minister will attend the public meeting so he can become more aware of the community’s need to see redevelopment occur in a way that respects their neighbourhoods.”

Cr Barbour said the details of the public meeting were yet to be confirmed, but Council would inform all residents well in advance so as many people as possible could attend.

He said Council would also be writing to local Members of Parliament in the lower and upper houses and government departments to express its strong opposition to the amendment which gives the go-ahead for major redevelopment around Richmond Station. Council would also contact the City of Port Phillip, which had been impacted by the Minister’s decision to facilitate major redevelopment in Fishermans Bend, to see if there were opportunities for the Councils to work together on this issue.

Further information
Ainslie Gowan
Communications Coordinator
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700

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