Thursday, 15 March 2012
PLANNING: ARMADALE DEVELOPMENT
Mr O'BRIEN (Minister for Gaming) -- I again raise in this Parliament the concerns of Malvern electorate residents regarding the development proposal for 590 Orrong Road in Armadale. The scale of the proposal is excessive for the area. In particular, the proposed height of up to 12 storeys and the proposed density of over 450 apartments risks damaging local amenity and overloading local infrastructure, notably Armadale Primary School, which is already at capacity, and Toorak train station. The original proposal was rejected by Stonnington council. A subsequent modified proposal was again rejected by council -- correctly, in my view. The developer is appealing the decision at VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal), where council and many residents will be heard.
Council seeks the Minister for Planning's approval to exhibit an urban design framework (UDF) for the site. This UDF seeks to limit site development to 17 metres in height and 250 units. It represents a considered view as to what development is appropriate for this site. Community confidence in the planning process was shattered by political interference under the former government, most notoriously regarding the Windsor Hotel. Concerned local citizens therefore sought and received from me a commitment before the last election that the coalition would not support ministerial intervention in the planning processes regarding this project.
That is a commitment that I stand by. However, I do not believe ministerial approval to facilitate Stonnington council exhibiting its UDF for this site is inconsistent with my commitment.
I therefore urge the planning minister to urgently approve the exhibition of council's urban design framework for 590 Orrong Road to add significant weight to the position of Stonnington council and residents before VCAT.