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The City of Boroondara calls on Development Victoria to now lodge the planning application for the redevelopment of Markham Estate directly to Council, following the revocation of Amendment C298 by the Victorian Upper House on Wednesday 28 March 2018. 

Planning Scheme Amendment C298 replaced the previous Amendment C251, which was also revoked by the Victorian Upper House in November 2017.  

Mayor of Boroondara, Cr Jim Parke, said the delay in the redevelopment could have been prevented if the Victorian Government and Development Victoria had followed the normal planning process and Council remained the responsible planning authority. 

“The government began this process in October 2016 and 18 months later we are no closer to an outcome. Had Council remained responsible for processing the application it would be resolved by now because Council would have made a decision and Development Victoria could have appealed to VCAT,” Cr Parke said.

“The Victorian Government chose to bypass all conventional planning approval processes including denying local residents natural justice through their third party appeal rights. Council remains concerned about the design of the project and the lack of detail provided to enable a complete analysis of what is proposed.

“Council and the community want more public housing at Markham Estate. This concern was not addressed by either Amendment C251 or C298. If the Victorian Government is serious about tackling our public housing crisis, then at least 50 per cent of the housing should be public housing.

“Of the 200 dwellings now proposed at Markham, at least 100 should be public housing managed by the Victorian Government. Instead, the Government is proposing to replace the 56 public housing dwellings which existed on the site with a paltry increase of 10 percent, to 62 dwellings."

Solway ward Councillor, Cr Garry Thompson, said the revocation of Amendment C298 demonstrated the community’s determination to fight for a fairer planning process.

“All that the community want is to be consulted. We commend the effort of the Shadow Minister for Planning, David Davis MP, the Victorian Greens and minor parties to ensure our residents’ concerns are heard by members of parliament,” Cr Thompson said.

“The Victorian Government must stop sidestepping Council in planning decisions. Let us all work together to deliver a process and a project that can truly be a demonstration of a collaborative approach and best practice design providing much-needed public housing and the best outcome for our community.”

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