UDF consultations under way

Make your views known.

Attending a UDF consultation? Get the most out of it by reading this.

The sessions move quickly so a little forethought goes a long way. Prepare for a structured session with approximately 20 others. The workshops are attended by many and senior Council staff so this is a great opportunity for direct feedback and we are grateful for it.

You’ll be asked to write down comments and questions on sticky notes and attach them to appropriate butchers paper. Typical workshop behaviour.

During the 90 minutes you’ll be shown developments by the external UDF consultant Craig Czarny from a company called Hansen which has been hired by council to work through the UDF process. He will show images of other large scale developments to create discussion and thoughts. All the developments Craig shows are residential. Why aren’t we being shown non-residential options such as parks, schools, arts centres? Is this a genuine UDF process or a process to select a residential development? You may wish to raise this directly.

Prepare to suggest development options beyond the residential. This is your chance to suggest a school, arts centre, open space or something entirely different. So get suggesting – and loudly. Do not wait!

And let us be clear – Orrong Group suggests that if – and only if – there is a development on the site the maximum height should be four storeys no matter what gets built. We repeat – four storeys if and only if we don’t opt for other options requiring even less development such as open space that locals can use for unstructured relaxation. (Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to walk through our sports fields not around them as other people play their sport? Less mud would be good too.)

There is an opportunity at the end to suggest your “non-negotiables”. We recommend: total protection of Toorak Station, hands off Victory Square and a four storey maximum. Be very specific and suggest what you actually do want – not just what you don’t want.

People need to be very assertive to some of the ideas being suggested in this consultative process. One idea that gets airtime during the session is that a desireable development is “permeable”. Permeability is presented as a positive. Let’s be clear – “permeable” means that the private developer allows their site to blend with the local area. In practice this means that developers build ever more dense developments but claim that everything is OK as residents can utilise existing public space.

Stonnington already suffers the least amount of public space of any Victorian local government area. Do we want this made worse just so Lend Lease can tell buyers that they will have room to move? Please remember that our existing parks dominated by sporting groups during weekends and evenings are not true public space. Lend Lease can provide their own open space WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF 590 ORRONG ROAD. They just have to be less dense. So to speak. Leave Victory Square, public walkways and Toorak Station alone. Make this clear during your session.

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