Friday, October 17, 2008

Knoxfield planning issues

This week Matthew Guy, opposition planning spokesperson asked the following question of Justin Madden, Minister of Planning on Tuesday. To date he has not received a reply.





Tonight  I  raise  an  issue  for  the  Minister  for  Planning  concerning

development  occurring  in  the  city  of Knox in Melbourne's outer eastern

suburbs.  Recently I was alerted to an interesting newspaper article in the

Knox  Leader  of  23  September where I noted a member representing Eastern

Metropolitan  Region, Mr Leane, calling for a moratorium on all development

in  the suburb of Knoxfield until neighbourhood character studies have been

completed by the council.



Development  moratoriums  are  an  interesting  topic  particularly here in

Gippsland  where the minister has recently placed one at the request of the

Wellington  Shire on areas along the Ninety-Mile Beach. This is despite the

moratorium  closing  off  the  rights of local people to build on their own

land, even something as small as a garden shed.



But Knox is suffering what many people across the metropolitan area are now

dealing  with  --  that  is, a complete change in urban character thanks to

Melbourne  2030.  Melbourne  2030  has  forced  high-density development in

smaller  streets, such as Kathryn Road, developments that are very much out

of character with the existing urban and street character of the suburb.



It  is  only when listening to the concerns of local residents, and viewing

maps that give an indication of the change that is happening to some of the

smaller  streets  in  Knox,  that you can appreciate the concerns that many

locals  have  with  such  enforced change and a one-size-fits-all Melbourne

2030  policy  and what it has brought to those local communities. But worse

--  and what I fear more is planned for Knox -- is development that will be

out  of  step  with  this  urban  character that is planned through the new

residential zones (NRZ) document.



The  government's  NRZ  plan  will destroy the semblance of urban character

that  the  suburb  has  through  the  mandating  of high-rise, high-density

dwellings  with  no  corresponding  upgrades  in road, rail, water or power

infrastructure. The NRZ plan will change the way the suburb looks. The plan

contains  three  new  zones, two of which mandate high-rise. This plan will

devastate  many areas of Victoria. It will devastate Knoxfield. Leafy urban

areas  that are such a drawcard for people to live in Melbourne's east will

be a thing of the past.



Tonight I ask the Minister for Planning to listen to the people of Knox, to

listen  to  the  local  residents and to local members on both sides of the

house  who  understand  that  inappropriate  development  in this suburb is

getting way out of control, and to do one good thing for the people of Knox

-- that is, to scrap the planned new residential zones document.





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