Docklands Community Association - August 2012
01 Aug 2012
Well, Planning Minister Guy finally, by way of a press release, on June 29 said he had approved the MAB Master Plan for the NewQuay/Waterfront City development without, we gather, significant modification, after having it for nine months.
There was no community consultation whatsoever either from the Minister or from Places Victoria or Council, despite the pious declarations of the need for consultation.
The public protest meeting held at WFC attended by over 100 people, including architects, was ignored as were written submissions. We have asked the Minister for confirmation of what has been approved, without receiving the courtesy of a response.
Our chagrin at this sort of treatment is understandable to say the least. It seems developers continue to rule! I have been able to find out from a council officer that the proposed hotel on the plaza is to go ahead despite the public objections.
Council itself objected to a number of elements of the plan in a written submission last September – but apparently with little result.
An upshot of all this is that buildings are being crammed in without regard to reduced sunlight, privacy, wind tunnels, lack of open space and added traffic problems.
Places Victoria has told us that whilst the master plan has been approved, the specifics of individual buildings will be subject to approval by council. We’ll keep fighting!
Although it is no consolation, we are not the only ones to be adversely affected by development approvals. For instance there is a lot of concern in Southbank.
The Minister is quoted as saying he proposes a Manhattan-type skyline, but Manhattan, with due respect to it, is ranked a lowly 50th city in the world for quality of living.
The coalition of owners corporation chairs will be making a submission critical of planning and development, not only in Docklands but in other Melbourne areas.
Council and Places Victoria have released a Docklands Community and Place Plan which contains a number of proposed community facilities including ferries, boating hub, floating stage, sports courts, viewing platform and others, which sound great.
Unfortunately many will not be provided for a few years. The redevelopment of the Esplanade is included. As to what goes where is not finalised. A couple of the ideas are a concern –one being the suggestion to install a skateboard park, which we don’t believe belongs in a tight residential/commercial area.
The coalition of OC chairs met again in July. Sub-committees have been set up, one to prepare a submission to the Minister on recommended changes to the planning scheme and the other to prepare a submission for changes to the OC legislation. Liaison with community groups is to be discussed.
Similar OC associations in Queensland and NSW have been in contact for liaison purposes and are interested in forming a national OC association.
PS; Due to members relocating and illness, etc, we are in need of more committee members – which is not a big job! We meet every two months. If interested give me a call.
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