At the last Council meeting, after years of hard work and community consultation, I was pleased to be part of a Council that voted 9-2 in favour of adopting the new planning regulations to help protect our garden city from over development.
One of the main reasons that I decided to run for Council in the first place was due to my dismay at the sheer size and volume of developments occurring, not only close to my home, but within the whole of Monash. As a local resident I watched in despair as a single dwelling on a 700m2 block of land was demolished and replaced with 19 apartments, each the size of a shoe box with bedrooms barely big enough to fit a bedside table next to a single bed. This is not indicative of the city that I grew up in, and it is certainly not the type of city I want to leave behind for my children and their families.
Upon being elected to Council, however, I found that realistically I had little chance of effecting any substantial change in the development of Monash, as any developments Council chose to reject would almost certainly be overturned by VCAT as long as they met the boundaries that were enshrined in law. Laws are frustrating at the best of times, but as an administrator of a number of sporting organisations who has overseen the complete rewriting of rules and regulations, I understand how incredibly difficult it is to put in to words what you are trying to achieve cover all bases. Planning regulations are just as difficult, and then some. While in time it may be proven that there are still loopholes that need to be addressed in order to achieve the outcomes that both myself and my community expect in terms of development, these changes go a hell of a long way towards providing those outcomes – and let’s be honest, anything is better than what we had.
The new regulations that were passed by Council will be considered as guidelines for developments from the end of the month and are currently being submitted to the Minister for Planning, The Hon. Richard Wynne MP, for ultimate approval before becoming binding.
I urge the Minister to accept our recommendations and encourage all residents and ratepayers to contact the Minister directly and offer their support. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail mail by writing to Hon Richard Wynne MP, Level 16, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002
You can read more about Councils decision by clicking here, or, if you would prefer, you can view the debate in the Council Chamber on this motion by clicking here, selecting item 1.1 C125 and then pressing play.