Formal OG response to council regarding Amendment 153

We wrote our report on vellum, using a quill taken from a royal swan. Classy.

We wrote our report on vellum, using a quill taken from a royal swan. Classy.

As you can read in our February 1 post above we loathe the Amendment C153 and expect that you will too. Imagine no density limits or minimum open space?

This is a developers’ free for all! If only we had some people in charge who gave a damn. Meanwhile, we’ll all need to do the work.  

Thus we have poured time into composing this formal response to Council. OG response 2013

Add to the feedback with your calls and emails to Councillors before the Monday February 4 meeting. Again, we have background info and contact details in the February 1 post. You need to call and email Councillors. This is a substantially new Council and we have no idea how they will vote. Chances are with so much to learn, they haven’t had time to absorb this three year saga.




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Margaret Pittaway on February 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm



    The Council’s Sustainable Transport Policy (2008) identifies cycling as a priority transport mode, second only to walking. Recently, the Council, in particular Cr Melina Sehr stated in the local press (Leader newspaper January 14, 2013) that “ We need, as a council, to think holistically about what is happening in our region and a bike trail along the railway corridor is a great solution. We’ve got the land there, we’ve identified the sections and we know it can work, so let’s try and get something done.”

    Further,Stonnington councillors have joined forces to help improve cycling safety.
    In addition Cr Claude Ullin was also reported as stating that said a long-term strategic bicycle plan was a critical for the future of Stonnington. Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan said a railway corridor trail was an exciting concept.


    VCAT and the Panel Report and Amendment C143 (20 Dec 2012) have totally ignored the site-circumnavigating bicycle path and connector railway trail proposed adjacent to Toorak Station and the subject site in the New Rationalised Presentation made by Margaret Pittaway to VCAT with supporting concept plans and visuals (ppt presentation of 1 hr)

    The land has a unique, almost island‐like, location given the dominance of its main road, path, park and railway abuttals…there are very few identified large sites suitable for a bicycle trail circumnavigating the site with such brilliant connections to the city, Yarra River, areas of Stonnington, Albert Park, Brighton, Richmond, The Bayside etc.

    The inclusion of the bicycle path concept was to ‘enhance the sense of community’ rather than the predilections of the developer by providing a priority transport mode surrounding the side…ie more than 2.5 km of bicycle/walking buffer (5+ metres wide) with connectors to existing and proposed other bike baths , together with enhanced bicycle storage and a transit bicycle café. Part of the trail would include the enhancement of existing pedestrian walkways to the station.

    The applicant’s claim that ‘no potential areas for improvement of their proposal were offered ‘ is blatantly incorrect. In particular: –
    Potential improvement was strongly recommended for the inclusion of (a) an encircling pedestrian and bike buffer around the entire site, similar to the ‘Tan’ track provided at the Botanical Gardens. The obvious advantage of this improvement is to significantly extend linkages to other areas of Stonnington and beyond, as Stonnington Council prefers.

    How can Council ignore this opportunity when it is part of your Sustainable Transport Policy???


    The Tribunal observed ” The planning system seeks development that respects neighbourhood character and surrounding residential amenity. This point, noted originally by the Tribunal, must be strongly reiterated. Key words are; protect and enhance neighborhood character and livability.

    From a visual perspective, the Toorak railway Station is ‘submerged’. Thus proposed buildings facing Beatty Avenue overpower the heritage precinct, detract from its pleasant and popular side-walk cafes/shops and residential forms along Beatty Avenue. This point must be strongly reiterated – it is a key reason why we need to protect against spill-over impacts and intrusion from the adjacent proposed development with mandatory height controls, appropriate setbacks, and reduced density. Beatty Avenue is not an ‘activity centre’ and the context and its unique physical elements of character and established community identity must be maintained.

    “Recognise the strategic importance of the site”

    Importantly, this sentence needs to be amended with further explanation, as the words a ‘strategic site’ could be interpreted to agree with the developers statement that the development “will be readily appreciated as forming a distinct, separate precinct… and in truth, with minimal impact on the established areas”.

    It is absolute nonsense and legal mumbo-jumbo to try and claim the proposed development “will develop its own new character” – how can a mass of excessive 19 towering buildings develop a character other than that of an urban ghetto imposed upon a neighbourhood – friendly and safe community? The answer is obvious. It cannot.

    We support the evolution of the Armadale area and the subject land as an integrated development – that means, one that clearly enhances and integrates with the community, not a development that stands alone as a distinct separate precinct as the developer proposes. With urban consolidation, it is critical that any proposal for residential development must marry heritage and architecture with efficiency, attractive appeal and ‘community integration with the surrounding area’ as the core drivers for generations to come.

    Another sensible sustainability improvement is to maintain the existing typography of the site. This is an explicit recommendation of the Green Building Council of Australia for two purposes (i) water management and (ii) to keep the same undulating attractiveness of the surrounding areas. Water authorities will also confirm the importance of maintaining a site’s existing topography.

    I strongly recommend Council consider the opportunities presented above, including a bicycle track circumnavigating the site. This concept
    can be viewed on a prepared site plan. I would also appreciate consideration by the Councillors to view the presentatio n and see for themselves what can be achieved with fresh thinking instead of a stock-standard response.


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