Thursday, March 5, 2009

VCAT Hearing for No 44 Kathryn Road - 5th March 2009

 Today seven residents attended and presented submissions to VCAT for the No 44 Kathryn Road Hearing.

Madam Chair Fong presided over the hearing and provided a fair hearing for all that attended. Mr. Simon Skinner, a consultant town planner, represented the Knox City Council. Simon presented the Knox Council case in a clear and precise manner and generally covered many of our concerns.

David Chaney led our case strongly with concerns about non-adherence to ResCodes, and planning issues that did not meet Knox Council Planning Guidelines. David presented a case for 8 single storey dwellings on this site.

Valerie Chaney’s case centred on evidence collected that double storey townhouses does not meet the landscape of Knoxfield and therefore cannot be considered as neighborhood character. Out of over 2,000 properties studied only 65 were double storey. Valerie suggested that 7 single storey dwellings would be a good result.

Ian Simpson’s case centred around the quality of life and mental well-being of Knoxfield residents, how two storey townhouses destroy the open space and contrast with the leafy green image of the environment of Knoxfield, Vegetation 3 Overlay Protection of trees in the area, sustainability, community support via two petitions, the effect on wildlife, safety of children, increase in traffic, the fact that 4 developments are to be considered by VCAT all from a short distance in Kathryn Road and then presented an alternative plan for 6 single storey houses.

Joyce Ward’s case centred around the needs of children in a development of this type, problems with infrastructure in the area, visitor car parking and increasing traffic on Kathryn Road.

In conclusion Simon Skinner, on behalf of Knox Council presented an alternative plan to reduce the plan to 8 single storey dwellings without the two double storey houses. The council plan incorporated many of the residents objections to the plan and all respondents present considered this plan to be a worthy compromise. Obviously the developer did not agree.

Madam Chair Fong concluded by stating that she would make a site visit in the future and present her findings at a later date.

I’m confident and hopeful that the Knox Council proposal will be accepted by VCAT. Well done to everyone that presented and attended in support.

Ian Simpson

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