Monash City Council has proposed changes to the city’s planning scheme. The changes are formally known as Amendment C125.
Don’t assume your silence will be considered as support for the proposals! Have your say and make sure your views are known – you can be sure others will and you might not like what they say!
During the October meeting, a motion to adopt the proposed changes to the planning scheme was deferred for further consultation. You can read more about it on Council’s planning information page.
Prior to the October council meeting there were a number of community information sessions which were fairly well attended by opponents of the amendments. Council also received a considerable number of submissions opposing the amendments.
When we attended some of the information sessions it was mentioned to us that either those who supported the amendments were very few and far between or they were not commenting because they assumed their silence would be taken as assent to the changes. Officers at the information sessions and councillors at tonight’s meeting made the point very clearly that if you support the changes you must take advantage of this consultation period to say so – your silence will NOT be considered as a vote in favour of the amendment. It goes without saying that people opposed to the amendment are not silent – there was a very vocal section of the public gallery present to object in October.
Changes proposed in C125 restrict the density of development within what are called “Neighbourhood Residential Zones”. They also restrict the percentage of an allotment which can be built on, impose larger than before rear setbacks (you won’t be allowed to build right up to the back fence) and set minimum percentages of a site which must be water permeable (grassed, gardens etc.) rather than sealed to cause rainwater runoff. See more, in great detail, at Council’s dedicated web site.
Consider whether the restrictions on development might be good or bad for you:
- will they reduce your property value by preventing you subdividing to build multiple dwellings or will they boost your property value by ensuring your neighbour’s property doesn’t become an apartment block overlooking and overshadowing your back yard?
- what will be the effect on parking in your street if the amendment goes through or is wound back? Will you still be able to get in and out of your driveway?
- will the canopy tree requirements provide you and your neighbourhood with a green, shady environment or will they just be a nuisance dropping leaves in your gutters?
- will the permeability requirements stop you developing your outdoor living space as you choose or will they protect you from stormwater runoff from your uphill neighbours’ properties? Can your street’s gutters and drains cope if everybody paves their whole block and directs rainwater to the street?
I know that between my home in Glen Waverley and my office in Syndal, a 2.5km walk, I pass three sites on which one developer wishes to build a total of fifteen dwellings. And those are only sites where planning permits are required to be advertised. On the same route in the past three weeks at least six sites are being developed into McMansions and another three sites have been bulldozed from fence to fence. I can repeat those statistics on each of a number of alternative routes to work.