Residents find voice on planning

As the city population swells, CBD residents are beginning to find voice on development.

Last month residents’ group EastEnders flagged becoming more involved and Melbourne councillors are looking at the merits of reinstating notification rights.

Resident Bill Allan presented a strategy advocating activism to the EastEnders’ annual general meeting on November 11. 

President Karin Dixon vowed that the new committee would consider becoming more involved in planning.

Residents 3000 president John Dall’amico went further suggesting that his CBD-wide umbrella organisation may be a better vehicle for such action.

Mr Allan advocated a model which he called “neighbourhood-based development” and suggested the battle over the Wesley property in Londsale St and surrounds become a pilot example.

He said residents in his building were facing being built-out by towers less than four metres away.

He said this was plainly absurd and that planning scheme amendments were required to enshrine minimum standards of apartment size, quality and separation.

He suggested closer ties with the City of Melbourne and better data being available on city-wide development.

Earlier in the month Cr Rohan Leppert successfully convinced a narrow majority of his fellow councillors of the merits of further examining the reintroduction of notification rights.

The council is seeking advice from its officers and will have another look at the issue on December 9.

Cr Leppert said it was a fundamental residential right to be notified whenever a neighbouring property was either demolished or redeveloped.

“The principle is that those affected by a proposal have a right to be aware of that proposal,” Cr Leppert said.

Cr Leppert told councillors there was widespread support for the idea from property owners and residents throughout the city.

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