More development- a reality that’s already here ?

This good article was sent to us this week, I recommend you also follow the link as it shows what the State planning Minister is pushing through this July, ( see also “Code Assess“,) and highlights how important it is that we get our local planning rules clear, and free of discretion and other loose planning terms.

Please come to the Next council Meeting, make sure they  know residents want the Planning Clear & Strong – We don’t want to go to VCAT, and neither does the Council.        Be There  – Tuesday March 27th  – 7pm Manningham Council Building.

Dear RAIDID,

I came across another interesting about development in Melbourne today which I wanted to share with you and other RAIDID supporters.
See – http://theage.domain.com.au/real-estate-news/the-future-is-here-20120316-1v9ki.html

Doncaster and other Manningham suburbs are fairly similar to Mt Waverley, Ringwood and Box Hill which are mentioned in this article as middle ring development target areas.
Although the Melbourne 2030 strategy may have been dumped in name, the development activities still go on even if there wasn’t much mainstream community support for it.

An important point which was raised at last Tuesday’s meeting with Councillor Reid was that from a stategic planning perspective, we are past the point of constructing a strategy, as development is in full swing and the Council strategy is in place. This made me feel a bit despondent, but then I was glad to see that some of the Residential Strategy wording has a chance to be amended and the Strategy tweaked (eg. introducing mandatory heights which allows some ‘continuous improvement’ to the Strategy as consultants say), if it is successfully approved, which will ensure more clarity, structure and fairness in the planning process.

I also started thinking if all this development is an inevitable reality for Melbourne’s future then it is sad that we are growing at such a rate that sacrifices of space, privacy and the environment are expected to be made just to squeeze more people in. On the upside though, as more development is imminent, this means that the community really needs to be involved to have their say as it is no longer just protests about one or two isolated proposals, it is the wider community at stake, particularly as DD08 takes up a lot of coloured space on the Mannnigham map. It is an opportunity for the community to shape the development agenda to ensure that there are positive town planning practices in place (the process) and developments which don’t harm the community, instead fit with neighbourhood character (the result).

I don’t believe it’s too late for Manningham. I still hold hope that one day, we will have a sensible approach to planning, not a destructive one. We may not be able to change what has already been built but the Eastern Golf course estate is yet to be done and other projects are on the cards, so these are opportunities to get development right. We can definitely learn from mistakes and particularly work with Council to improve on mistakes for a better future. For example, I think it’s a positive move to create a policy around car stackers, if the Council is willing. Also I would love to see a community garden at or near by one of these developments which I think would be a positive use of land as it helps people living in apartments to get to know each other and builds a community spirit which is being lost. Not to mention helping the Councils’ “green credentials.”

I hope that RAIDID and other community members will continue to work in a collaborative manner to preserve the best things about Manningham and be progressive in advocating for appropriate development. It has been argued that people who are “anti development” are “stuck in the 1950s or 1970s” so I want to say well done for encouraging more communication and consultation about development as it impacts everything- past, present and future.

See you at the meeting  next Tuesday and I will pray for strength in attendance numbers.

One Response to “More development- a reality that’s already here ?”

  1. Edwin O'Flynn says:

    It is refreshing and reinvigorating to see a clear commentry on our planning situation such as written above.
    Each week it seems Warren, and others, unearth incidences of carelessnes by our professional planners.
    What are Town Planners taught? Last week Cr Mayne chaired another Manningham developers breakfast. What were they encouraged to develop?
    Did he promote Municipal Beauty or a Hong Kong model for Doncaster?
    Why didn’t we vote for the best candidates at the 2008 elections?

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