The Alma Club application for 75 units raises countless questions about process and the planning scheme itself. Here are a few:

  • Why should developers be allowed to submit CONCEPT PLANS that are vague and wishy-washy? Why should council planners then decide on the basis of such plans? Or could it possibly be that the developer is expecting some major changes that will then become the endorsed plans which will not be in the public domain – especially if these ‘new plans’ come within cooee (30%) of what is currently envisaged? That is, some sweetheart little deals between applicant and council?
  • Even if there is an appeal to VCAT, then there is the problem of amended plans, or council’s position – which will not feature in the public domain and certainly not go before council again. As with the C60, there is a proposal, but no real detail.
  • What also needs to be borne in mind is that if councillors agree to a downsizing on Tuesday night and objectors appeal this decision then the newly announced VCAT fees could be extremely expensive. Again, the developer is in the box seat! Councillors of course will then have their usual scapegoat – VCAT – and they come up smelling like roses instead of addressing the crux of the matter – ie the deficient and suspect planning scheme!

We’ve been forwarded these ‘concept plans’. Below are some extracts taken verbatim from these documents. The comments, conclusions and developerspeak are truly amazing!

The proposed development includes the construction of a medium density residential complex comprising a four storey residential apartment building, 17 two storey townhouses and 8 three storey townhouses with associated parking and landscaping.

The existing site levels provide the ability to achieve higher built form elements in parts of the site without any off-site amenity impacts. Different residential building typologies exist as part of the character of the area, and the introduction of an integrated medium density development would contribute to housing diversity in the area.

With regard to the relocation of the existing telecommunications facility, an indicative new location is shown on the roof of the building.

The subject site is greater than 7,000 sqm, and it is more than three times the 2,000sqm threshold noted above. The proposal also removes an existing non-residential use. For these reasons, it is considered reasonable and appropriate to pursue the type of development being proposed.

More specifically, the proposal will:

  • Deliver a greater diversity of housing;
  • Improve and protect the liveability, neighbourhood character and amenity of the area;
  • Promote environmental and social sustainability;
  • Assist in stimulating the viability of the Alma Village neighbourhood activity centre; and
  • Integrate with the existing neighbourhood

Turning to the provision of private open space, a schedule of areas is provided at Attachement 3. This demonstrates courtyard sizes for the townhouses ranging between 41.5sqm and 136sqm with the average being 61.96sqm. The Schedule to the Residnetial 1 Zone recommends provate open space provisions for dwelling in the Minimal Change Area of 60sqm, and therefore the average provision is considered acceptable.

Today’s Caulfield Leader also featured this article:

Resident ire over plans

Glen Eira residents opposed to development plans for the Alma Sports Club in Caulfield North have formed an association and are raising a war chest to take their fight to VCAT.

They have registered the name Glen Eira Residents Against Inappropriate Development Inc with Consumer Arrairs Victoria, and are looking for moral and financial support.

Committee spokeswoman Vardit Sacks-Davis said the association was formed in response to the Wilks St permit application. The group’s long-term plan beyond that was not yet clear.

“Our aim is to protect, and advocate for, the rights of Glen Eira when threatened by inappropriate development,” she said. Monark Pty Ltd lodged a permit application with Glen Eira council seeking to demolish the historic Alma Sports Club and replace it with a four-storey apartment building with 50 apartments and 25 two and three-storey townhouses. The 7100sq m site is in a minimal change area.

Director Bill Michaelides told the Leader his team had taken a “very balanced approach” but residents maintained it was inappropriate “for many reasons”.

“If this goes to VCAT we intend to fight it there as well so it could be veryk expensive,” Ms Vardit Sacks-Davis said.

Email the group at almaclubobjectors@gmail.com

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