There are 3 significant planning applications in for decision tonight. Each is for multi-unit development and each has been recommended for approval. The details in brief are –

  1. Four storey, 33 dwellings, 2 retail, 2 offices and reduction in carparking and waiver of loading bays
  2. Part six and seven storey, 39 dwellings, 4 shops, reduction in car parking and waiver of loading bays
  3. Two storey child care centre for 118 children in a minimal change area.

Council’s recent trend of NOT DISCLOSING how many proposed units will be one bedroom should be deplored, especially when residents are continually fed the rubbish about creating ‘diversity’ in the municipality. What is even more deplorable is the continuation of officer reports that are entirely bereft of sufficient detail, though replete with waffle, repetition, generalities, and plain old humbug. ‘Clerical errors’ still manage to creep in – ie Council has labelled one zone as operating under Schedule 1 whereas it is in fact designated as Schedule 2. It would be wonderful if planners actually knew their own planning scheme or at least double checked what went out!

Here are some of the most memorable lines from the various officer reports –

Guidelines suggest 6 car spaces for the proposed shops. Four are proposed. Council’s Transport Planning Department has not raised any concern with the reduction of car parking for the shops, given that two spaces have been provided for each tenancy. Given the size of the shops, this will cater for the likely staff demand.

All habitable rooms will have access to daylight either directly through windows facing the front, side and rear boundaries or light courts which will provide an acceptable level of internal amenity.

Here’s a quote from the second application which is for the 6/7 storey building –

Furthermore, the architectural quality of the building is considered to be of a high standard. This is demonstrated in the level of visual interest exhibited in the facades, which feature balconies, balustrades, glazing and a mixture of materials that moderate the effects of visual bulk.

By way of comparison, the following quote is from the first application (ie 4 storeys). Please note the repetition with no explanation of why one design is deemed to be ‘high standard’ and the other application is only of ‘relatively high standard’ –

Furthermore, the architectural quality of the building is considered to be of a relatively high standard. This is demonstrated in the level of visual interest exhibited in the facades, which feature balconies, balustrades, glazing and a mixture of materials that moderate the effects of visual bulk.

There are further gems as well! We especially love the logic that since there already are 3 and 4 storeys in another municipality, that a six and seven storey building is therefore acceptable!

In light of the emerging built form in this centre (up to 5 storeys has been approved to the south at 77-79 Poath Road), and opposite in the City of Monash (3-4 storeys) the scale of the building is considered suitable.

State Government guidelines suggest seven (7) on site visitor car spaces as a “starting point” (1 space for every 5 dwellings). Council’s Transport Planning Department has not raised any concern with the on-site visitor car space provision. On balance, this is considered reasonable in this instance given: Visitor parking is most common after normal business hours…

There are countless other examples we could have provided, but we believe these will suffice in order for residents to come to some conclusions as to the quality and transparency of planning application reports.

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