The City of Boroondara has welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government today to approve a revised proposal for the Markham Estate public housing site in Ashburton.
Cr Phillip Healey, Mayor of Boroondara, said that the Council was pleased the State Government had recognised its concerns in relation to building heights, setbacks, car-parking and the integration of public and private housing.
“We are also pleased that the Government has decided that any development must comply with its own Better Apartment guidelines,” he said.
The maximum building height in the amendment has been reduced to five storeys from seven in the original proposal and the number of apartments has been reduced from 250 to 225.
“This proposal is far more respectful of the parkland setting and will ensure there is no overshadowing of council’s park,” Cr Healey said
Setbacks to the southern and eastern boundaries, which both interface with Markham public open space, have been increased from 2.6 metres to 11 metres and 2.8 metres to 14 metres respectively.
Under the revised development, all resident car-parking will now be undercover, rather than the previous proposal which saw public housing tenants parking in open car-parks and private housing occupants parking in secure underground car-parks.
“We remain disappointed that the Minister has chosen to make himself the responsible planning authority, however we are pleased that he has allowed for consultation with the City of Boroondara and that our feedback will be provided directly to him rather than through Development Victoria,” Cr Healey said.
Cr Garry Thompson, Solway ward councillor, said that while the City of Boroondara generally welcomed the revised proposal, the detailed design of the project remains critical and is yet to be resolved.
“Our concern about the amount of public housing remains, with only a ten percent uplift provided for in the revised proposal,” he said.
“We are uncertain on the extent of native vegetation that will be retained. The impact of the development on the remaining vegetation is both unresolved and an important issue for Council,” he said.
“We will continue to advocate for the retention of as many established native trees as possible.”
Under the proposed Planning Scheme Amendment, the City of Boroondara will be able to provide input about where offsets should occur.
“Although we still have some reservations about the development, the revised proposal reflects what can be achieved when a council is able to work with its community and the government to achieve a better outcome,” Cr Healey said.
“This has only been achieved because sufficient detail was provided to council in this case and we hope the same level of detail will be provided through consultation for any future development such as the public housing site in Bills Street, Hawthorn.
For further information email Andrew Birks, Acting Executive Manager Communications and Customer Experience. Phone: 9278 4329.