Brian Tee – Visits Curlew Court

Thanks to Brian Tee ( Shadow Minister for Planning,) for Visiting Curlew Court personally and spending an hour talking through the difficulties we have, dealing with developments, planning departments, and council.

His input today was both valuable, and down to earth, we thank him for his time, standing on the rain, and afterwards.

We discussed planning and development as a longer term need, and not each development in isolation, the compounding impact of traffic, and particular the differences in the Doncaster area.

Brian Tee shadow mnister of Planning at Curlew Court

Brian Tee shadow mnister of Planning at Curlew Court

Another Chance for Frank and Les to have their Photo taken, Thanks to Lisa for being there too, and hiding behind the Camera…

Curlew WINs One – Development rejected by Council.

Well after some heated debate, we won this round, the Manningham Council rejected the 30 unit development inside our Court.

It was noted that this is the first development of this density in a Court, and that deserved special consideration.

The following long debate was mostly along these lines:
FOR : Meets the rules, show absolute faith in our Planning Dept, and don’t confuse the developers about the rules being everything. Look after those wanting to move in to the area.
AGAINST: The Planning Dept has not stuck to the Rules, the design has several questionable aspects, and beyond that the DD08 regulations need to be considerate that a court is not the same. The zoning needs refinement, and must be more considerate to existing amenity, and traffic etc. Over development, setting precedent – the first one does not have to be the maximum. there was great argument – too much for me to keep up notes with.


After several throws back and forth the Vote went down

Against this Development : Cr Jennifer Yang, Cr Ivan Reid, Cr Jessica Villarreal, Cr Grace La Vella, Cr Meg Downie

Cr Graeme MacMillan – originally voted For the development than Voted Against, after hearing all of the Arguments.

For Development : Cr Stephen Mayne, Cr David Ellis, Mayor Geoff Gough ( all very strong for and Vocal,)

If you’ve ever heard the Planning dept refer to these DD08 Zonings, you’ll know the regulations are to “Protect us from unlimited development”, however the Developers and Planning dept. use DD08 MAXIMUMS as the preferred size. And as Paul Molan ( Planning Dept director, ) responded when it was pointed out the lift wells exceeded the maximum site height  “Those things normally go a bit higher than the building.”

As you would expect, every time Paul Molen spoke there was no question in his mind that the design had no flaws, and there was no planning rule reason to reject it.

It was also mentioned again many times that every resident was notified,  and therefore should know, that they were “specifically targeted for MASSIVE change”. ( Paul Molan.)  Now did that letter tell us we were being protected or TARGETED ? maybe that topic is for tomorrow.

I think we need to clarify the difference between given notice, and achieving understanding.

Anyway lots more work to do – thanks for the team that got us this far, and especially for those that listened.




140 attend RAIDID DD08 Info Night.

Well it was a great turn out for a cold night, which just goes to show how many people are seriously worried about where these developments and zoning is going.

The Manningham council planning dept did thier best to explain how these zones were protecting us, and although it got a bit heated at times, I think a several of the key messages got through:

  1. The zones are NOT protecting us enough, and we want them changed.
  2. The council reviews of the developers plans and traffic reports are not thorough, nor objective enough, and in some cases are just plain wrong.
  3. Residents are frustrated with how the council wants to REPLACE our neighborhood with something less “Suburban.”
  4. Residents Do think these developments are overbearing.
  5. We are not happy that these failings have to be pointed out by us, at our expense!
RAIDID DD08 Event - Les Presenting

RAIDID DD08 Event - Les Presenting

Download the full presentation here: DD08 Info Night 2011-07-21 with explainations

Continue reading 140 attend RAIDID DD08 Info Night. →

Manningham Planning Dept recommend to approve Curlew 5-7, because it suits the neighborhood character.

The report from Maningham Planning Dept talks about how well it meets the planning rules, then explains how it doesn’t but that’s OK because it suits the neighborhood character.        NO it does Not !

EVEN AFTER  Ian Wood gave them lots of non-compliance issues !

Early in the piece they explain how they want the neighborhood character to be less “Suburban” and more high density. Therefore, anything that agreed with High Density MATCHES the neighborhood Character.

Looks like we still have some work to do…

 The council meeting Agenda is now released and on the Manningham website.

 …. The report concludes that the proposal generally complies with the Manningham

Planning Scheme, including the requirements of the Design and Development

Overlay – Schedule 8 (Residential Areas adjacent to Activity Centres and along

Main Roads) and Clause 55. The proposed building is attractive in appearance and

scales appropriately to surrounding dwellings. Council’s Traffic Engineers have

considered the impacts of the development on the local road network and raised no

objections. On this basis it is not considered to be an overdevelopment of the site

and therefore recommended for approval.

  Full report is at:

 Looks like we had better make a big impact at tomorrow nights DD08 info night …

SOS Report – finds Curlew 5-7 Non-compliant to many regulations.

This report is a summary of the extent of Over-development proposed for Curlew Court.

If you are up against a well funded building corporation, then Save Our Suburbs  ( SOS) might be able to help you, like they did for us. 

SOS have quite a lot of resources on their site for you. They can also refer you to town planners willing to review plans on your behalf if you want them to.

Save Our Suburbs

Save Our Suburbs

Ian Wood is a qualified  planning consultant, who we accessed via SOS. (For a very reasonable price.) He did find many things in this planning submission, that every day people just would not see.

BSc, Dip.Ed, Grad.Dip.Envir.& Planning, Member PIA
Planning Consultant.

We are very happy with what he has done for us.

Mind you, it doesn’t mean we should sit back, there is still a lot of things for us to do, and local knowledge is as important as regulations.


PL11/021877:   5-7 Curlew Court Doncaster


SUMMARY OF NON-COMPLIANCE Continue reading SOS Report – finds Curlew 5-7 Non-compliant to many regulations. →

Parking & Traffic reports IGNORE other new Developments.

Did you know, that when developers submit a building application to Council, they can IGNORE Traffic & Parking arising from other previously approved developments !

It is normal practice for the professional Traffic & Parking impact submissions, to exclude the following:

  1. Exclude – Existing Council Approved developments – “they might never get built.”
  2. Exclude Completed developments, until people move in. ” We can’t be sure of their travel habits.”

Well I can tell you one thing for sure – Anyone who lives in Manningham knows this:

People in Manningham,  usually get around by Car. The other options just don’t cut it.

Cut the Crap guys – Tell the full truth, the whole impact!

Don’t pretend each development is on it’s own.



Lane squeeze on Doncaster Rd

What is the Council doing by reducing the number of lanes on Doncaster Rd
immediately after the freeway exit from 3 to 2? With these new high density
developments, a hill that prohibits walking and bike riding for many, the
only alternative form of transport for residents is to drive. The Council
seems to be doing all it can to prevent residents from driving around the
area they live in. They can’t have it both ways.


Doncaster Rd Traffic Up by 35% not Down 0.8% !

The Manningham council’s Traffic consultants GTA made predictions in 2002, stating how the traffic on Doncaster Rd would DECREASE by 0.8% over the next 10 years, however that has proven very Wrong.  ( Now UP by 35%) See article below

GTA have now been engaged by Manningham again to predict the traffic for Doncaster Hill in 2020…Their predictions will be fundamental in planning of the Doncaster Hill precinct and surrounding areas, the population growth accommodation, and the push for pedestrians & cyclists to proliferate.

Who else remembers the Doncaster road traffic jams before the freeway went through ? I used to take over 10 minutes to get those first 3-4 kilometers…


Warren has all the facts below, do read on … Continue reading Doncaster Rd Traffic Up by 35% not Down 0.8% ! →

Tell it to the State Gov. Planners.

We were Happy to see this invite arrive in the email today..

“Have your say on improving Victoria’s planning system”

Your submission must be in by August 31st ! – use our samples below.

Why are we happy ? well as I have said previously

The apartment development issue, (and the greater DD08 zone issue,) is a State Government responsibility, along these terms:
1. Government creates zoning and pushes for more homes in Melbourne, including Manningham.
2. Builders follow DD08 zone rules, and submit a plan.
3. Council planners check builders’ plans meet zoning rules, not specific local capacities, nor sustainability.
4. Residents object – after learning the myriad of rules.
5. Builders not happy with council and residents conditions / requests.
6. Builder goes to VCAT.
7. VCAT checks Builder meets DD08 Rules – Plan gets approved without local approval.
Therefore a change needs to be at step one – Government zoning rules need to change.

Have your say, email to:

Please use this cover sheet: 1-1881442-Submissions-cover-sheet-Planning-System-MAC-22-July

Use our sample letters :  letter for neighbours to send to minister.

Why it is important to YOU: letter to residents to get support for protest and letters to planning

Full instructions are here on the Gov. Web site : Vic Planning Schemes Review


The email came from the Planning Minister Matthew Guy, via the email of Mary Wooldridge, as below:

One problem though – his press release links to a missing page ! Try this one Instead :     Vic Planning Schemes Review

I thought you might be interested in having your say on ways our planning system can be improved.  The Coalition Government wants to improve Victoria’s planning system and is now seeking the your view on how that can be done.
This is your chance to tell the Government just what you think of our planning system, what you think works, and what you think does not work.
I’d encourage you to make a submission if you can.  Please feel free to send a copy to me for my information.
I’m enclosing a copy of a press release from the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy which outlines further details. 110714_Guy-Have_your_say_on_mproving_Victorias_planning_system 
Now I know I’m not the only one this was sent to, as half a dozen others forwarded it to me as well –  Thank you all.

Somehow I don’t think anything will change before the final vote on some of our streets,  but we are sure gonna tell them how it aint working now !

Council’s family affair – Manningham Leader

Koonung ward lost one of it’s three representatives when Charles Pick resigned, after his failed running for  a Labour government seat.
Since then the Manningham council has been counting backwards through the votes from the previous council elections,  to find who can take Cr Picks place. First in line was Cr Picks fiancee – she declined, second place was no longer eligible, third choice and final winner was Cr Picks sister Jessica Villarreal


Anyone want to explain that for me ???

Looks like we have some-one new to bring up to speed on our plight…
More details are on the Manningham leader – see page 5.