Planning: 857 Dandenong Road, Malvern East
Mr O'BRIEN (Malvern) -- I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Planning, and the action I seek is for the minister to amend planning policies that are imposing inappropriate high-rise, high-density developments across my electorate.
The Brumby government has a fetish for development along transport corridors. We have seen this with its planning schemes and its Melbourne 2030 policies. What is concerning is that as a result of Labor's neglect of transport infrastructure, including roads and public transport, areas cannot cope with existing resident numbers. Imposing high-density developments will only exacerbate this problem and further threaten local amenity.
I recently spoke to the house about the concerns of residents in the vicinity of a development proposal at 590 Orrong Road in Armadale which seeks to place around 500 apartments on what is currently an office site near Toorak station. However, as any local resident can tell you, boarding a train from that station during peak hour is hard enough as it is due to overcrowding. This is a government that has planning policies that do not recognise its failures in infrastructure, particularly in transport.
Recently I have been contacted by a number of very concerned local residents regarding a planning application for 857 Dandenong Road, Malvern East. This site currently houses a one-storey service area for New Oak Ford.
What is proposed in its place is, and I quote:
... an eight-storey building containing 118 student accommodation units, a shop at ground level, 16 car spaces and 30 bicycle spaces. The application also seeks a reduction in the car parking requirements.
By my calculations this proposal provides fewer than 0.14 car spaces per unit and barely 0.25 bicycle spaces per unit. For this government to believe that students do not drive cars and do not ride bikes shows how out of touch it is. The sorts of dispensations which are sought in this application in relation to car parking will ensure that all the local residential side streets will become traffic hazards for local residents.
The ability of existing local residents to park their cars, to have visitors and to safely access their homes will be threatened if this proposal goes ahead. But because this site happens to be near a tram line and is not too far from a train station, the Brumby government's planning policies encourage this sort of thing to go ahead, and hang the consequences for all the existing residents.