Mid-week malaise? Head to the UDF info sessions this Wednesday.

This Wednesday 27 June is the day of information sessions on the Amendment C153 – AKA the urban design framework – for 590 Orrong Road and 4 Osment Street. The session is between 4.30pm and 7.30pm in the upper foyer, Malvern Town Hall corner of Glenferrie Road and High Street Malvern. Enter via the Glenferrie Road entrance. This is your chance to fully understand the UDF. See blow about how to make a formal submission. First, some questions answered:

Q. Why is it important to lodge submissions to this process?

590 orrong road alternative

A lower-rise, lower-density, less pervasive alternative. Worthy of your feedback? Yes.

A. Last year the Council asked for community input to the development of an Urban Design Framework for the site – this was to be a protection for the site in developing a vision and design and setting maximum height and density levels.

Q. What was the outcome?

A. The council accepted a design proposed by Hansen Consultants which we feel did not reflect the community input. The only community input that was accepted was to set the height maximum as 17 metre (the same as the height of the existing buildings on the site) and a density of 250 units.

Q. What happened next ?

A. The Council applied to the Minister in late 2011 for approval to exhibit the design with the intention to incorporate the Amendment In the Planning Scheme. The Minister did not make a decision until 23 May 2012 – 2 working days before the commencement of the VCAT hearing.

Q. What should we do now?

A. Council is now exhibiting the Framework that it submitted to the Minister.

Q. Is this Framework what we would want for this site?

A. The height and density levels are in line with the community views but the design is little better that the Lend Lease proposal.

Q. What are the aspects of the design that we should focus on?

A. The positive aspects are the Height Limits and the area of public open space. However the design and placement of the buildings is dense: There are 21 buildings, 2 more than the Lend Lease proposal of 19 buildings. These buildings are jammed into each side of the open space and appear to have little space between the buildings, eg. The buildings on the Orrong Road side are a 17m = 5- 6 storey, a 12 metre= 4 storey with no set back from the walkway. These 2 buildings are joined by a 6 metre = 2 storey building which joins another 5-6 storey and 4 storey. This seems to be a poor design. The same arrangement occurs with the buildings on the other side of the open space. Although the maximum density is stated as 250 units this dense arrangement would encourage a much greater density. The consultant suggested 450!!

Q. What should we seek ?

A. As we have had always said – a low-level, low-density development with 50% of open space. We must insist on a complete redesign of this plan.

Q. What happens to this Amendment – Urban Design Framework- if the VCAT appeal by Lend Lease is successful ie if they are granted a permit?

A. We need to receive an answer from Council on this – Our view is that the Amendment will be important in the Council’s decision when considering permit conditions. We are awaiting council’s response to our questions.

Q. If Lend Lease’s appeal is refused ?

A. The Amendment will be a vital piece of policy and any future application would have to meet the height and density limits of the Amendment. We know we have been asked time and time again to give our views and we could quite rightly ask:- How many more times? So we ask you to participate in this Amendment process. We have worked so hard over two years – don’t give up now.

The Council’s wesbite has more detail but this extract explains how to make a formal submission.

Submissions must:

Be made in writing giving the submitter’s name and contact address; and clearly state the grounds on which the Amendment is supported or opposed and indicate what changes (if any) the submitter wishes to make.

Submissions should be sent to the Strategic Planning Unit, City of Stonnington, PO Box 21, Prahran 3181.

Name and contact details of submitters are required for Council to consider submissions and to notify such persons of the opportunities to attend Council meetings and of any subsequent panel hearing. In accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council must make available for inspection, a copy of any submission made.

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