Today Rod asked the Minister for Housing, Hon Richard Wynne, why have the community not been considered on this ruling that will greatly limit their access to local parkland?
See his speech here:
Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:53): My constituency question is for the Minister for Planning. There is currently a petition to save parkland at 150 Cambridge Road in Kilsyth from a housing development. This petition has garnered over 6700 signatures from concerned residents. Kilsyth has some of the lowest public open space in Melbourne, and it is about to lose this valued land to housing developers. This is despite there being 3200 house and land packages available just 2 kilometres away at Kinley estate. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the value of green space in our communities. Through this pandemic these open spaces have been relied on to have socially distanced exercise, picnics and somewhere to take the kids. You only have to type ‘Kilsyth’ into Google Maps to see what little will be left if they lose this park, so I ask the minister: why have the community not been considered on this ruling that will greatly limit their access to local parkland?
13th October 2021 – This week we received a response in regards to this question.
The Department of Education and Training declared this site surplus in April 2016 following the amalgamation of schools in the area. As required by the Victorian Government Landholding Policy and Guidelines 2015, Yarra Ranges Shire Council had the opportunity to acquire the site during the First Right of Refusal process from June 2017 to August 2017 but declined to purchase it. No other government agency or council expressed interest in acquiring the site.
The Department of Treasury and Finance, on behalf of the Department of Education and Training, requested a planning scheme amendment to change the planning controls to facilitate disposal of the northern portion of the former school site. The amendment sought to apply the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, a Development Plan Overlay and a Significant Landscape Overlay to this area. I referred the proposal to the Government Land Standing Advisory Committee on 25 August 2019.
Following consideration of the report of the advisory committee, I supported its recommendations in full and approved Amendment C183Yran to the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme. The amendment was gazetted on 13 August 2020.
The amendment applied Schedule 10 to the Development Plan Overlay which includes a requirement to prepare a development plan for the land which must include a landscaped shared path connecting the northern boundary of the site at Cambridge Road with the southern boundary providing access to the oval which is retained as open space on the site. Other open space requirements are also included within the schedule.
Yarra Ranges Shire Council made a submission to the advisory committee supporting the application of Neighbourhood Residential Zone to the site, noting that council had recently entered a 20-year lease with the Department of Education for the former school oval in the southern portion of the former school site. Should council wish to acquire that oval for permanent open space, it is able to discuss this with the Department of Education and Training as the landowning agency.
HON RICHARD WYNNE MP Minister for Planning