MINISTER DUCK SHOVED MAKING DECISION BEFORE ELECTION
Despite assurances from the office of the minister for planning, Matthew Guy, that community submissions received by his office would be thoroughly examined prior to any resolution, the state planning authority had already been authorised to bypass his office and approve the Jackson Court proposal (amendment C95). Council officers had originally rejected the 19m height of this proposal but were prepared to approve a height of 14.5m and support an application to rezone the land for a mixed use category providing an area of at least 1300 m2 be reserved for the exclusive use of a supermarket. However Manningham Coucillors were to reject their own officers advice by overturning the decision and moving that the 19m development proposal be accepted. council rejection of 19m development Tunstall Neighbourhood Activity Centre
Particular concerns had been expressed in submissions about our councillors rejecting the recommendations of the council officers. This is not necessarily improper but it is a wide departure from the stated requirements of the Manningham Planning Scheme in regard to Neighbourhood Activity Centres such as the Tunstall Neighbourhood Activity centre above.
Council in rejecting the 19 m height had asserted that the local area, including the commercial centre was generally of a low scale, with construction of the shops being predominantly single and double storey in nature. Further, it was noted that a significant number of lots to the south and west of the site have been developed with a mix of single and double storey townhouses which had limited opportunities for apartment style development on the remaining patchwork of lots. Officers had identified the areas abutting the proposed development would in effect be largely restricted to townhouse developments of up to 9 metres resulting in a significant variation in built form
R.Jay writes “It is extremely interesting that at the Manningham council meeting on 28 October 2014, councillors endorsed the Tunstall Square Draft Strategy Plan. This plan for this activity centre, (somewhat larger than Jackson Court), totally contradicts their height acceptance endorsed by councillors for Jackson Court being 19 m. Surely this is a double standard and their 13.5 m limit should apply to all neighbourhood activity centres as recommended by council planning officers Some crucial strategy components identified for Tunstall Square Draft Strategy Plan in item 2.5 are: Proposed building heights, apart from two sites on main road, of 13.5 metres for identified sites within the commercial precinct and one adjoining site, that will reinforce the village atmosphere, are of a high design standard and have regard to the adjoining residential area. (Jackson Court abutting residents concerns were totally ignored by councillors) Encouragement of “shop top” residential development to a maximum of 13.5 metres with appropriate upper level setbacks. It seems highly irregular that councillors have not applied the same criteria for the Jackson Court , as that that proposed for Tunstall”