UPDATE: Keen Avenue Development Upheld by VCAT

Read the WCA Submission – Keen Ave February 25 2018 update to fellow objectors.


In the matter of PL16/026256:

Senior Statutory Planner
City of Manningham

7 November, 2016

Objection to Application to subdivide 8-20 Keen Ave, Warrandyte, PL16/026256,
detailed design issues.

Dear Sir/Ms,

Ref: email from D. Seymour of 3 November, foreshadowing this submission.

1. Introduction to Warrandyte Community Association Inc

The Warrandyte Community Association Inc. (WCA) was established in 2001. The WCA is an active resident group of the Warrandyte community and has a membership of over a hundred residents of Warrandyte, South Warrandyte and North Warrandyte under our banner of ‘Caring for the Community’.

The Association has broadened its links in the community through an active website and a large email contact list.

Our Membership and the management committee work together to:

• Promote all aspects of community life in Warrandyte.
• Defend the character and heritage of the Township.
• Protect the environment and encourage restoration and regeneration of native flora and fauna.
• Protect the Green Wedge (Non-urban areas).
• Promote sporting, educational, recreational and cultural activities.
• Defend and enhance community assets.

Under the banner of ‘Caring for the Community’, we engage in regular meetings with residents, State Government and other organisations and local government (City of Manningham and Shire of Nillumbik). These meetings address local issues such as bushfire awareness, planning matters, environmental and other social and community issues.

This response is lodged on behalf of our committee by Douglas Seymour as authorised by resolution of the committee.

2. Grounds of objection

The Association recognises the right of a property owner to make application to develop land but we submit the plan of subdivision could be much improved and be more responsive to the locality and requirements of the Planning Scheme:

(i) The applicant has failed to meet the requirements of clause 3, Averaging Option, of DD03 in proposing a 9 lot subdivision.

(ii) We submit that the access details to Yarra Street and at the end of the proposed common property driveway are not safe and would adversely impact on the amenity of neighbours. We also believe these are unlikely to be acceptable to Vicroads.

(iii) The proposed building exclusion zone is an opportunity for bushland regeneration.

(iv) The design does is an inadequate response to the landscape character objectives of the Zone.

3. Submission on Grounds

3.1 Requirements of Clause 3 of DD03, averaging option

The Association contends the Applicant has not proven a “better environmental outcome will be achieved through the use of the averaging option”.

Put simply, the application proposes 4 allotments along the Yarra Street (eastern) side of total area in the order of 3853 sq.m. . This configuration invites the following analysis:

Lot size east of proposed access Average area Application of averaging option
Present 4 lot proposal 963 sq.m required
Alternative 3 lot proposal 1284 sq.m not required

Accordingly, the Association submits that application of the averaging option should not be accepted as:

• No endangered vegetation exists on the east side of the proposed access road
• There is no benefit link between the lot sizes on the east side and any vegetation within the west side where the proposed “building exclusion zone” has been delineated.

3.2 Access details

3.2.1 Volume of traffic accessing from Yarra St service road

We submit the single lane width of the Service Road is inadequate for the additional traffic which would be generated from this subdivision. We urge Council to consider the following measures:

i. The Applicant to contribute to an upgrading of the standard of the Service Road

ii. No right turn be permitted at the northern exit of the Service Road as poor sight and unsafe distance exists to the north

iii. The Applicant be encouraged to reduce the impact of traffic volumes using the Service Road by allowing a driveway directly onto Yarra St at the north east corner of the site. This would provide safe access for any allotment in the location of “Lot 6” of the proposal, immediately adjoining an existing neighbouring driveway.

3.2.2 Functional design of common property court

The short “T” design of the proposed turning bay at the northern end of the Common Driveway requires a reverse turn to be undertaken. It is submitted that this configuration is inadequate for emergency access purposes in such a location. A reduction of the number of allotments would make room for a small round-about with roll-over margins for heavy vehicles.

3.2.3 Pedestrian pathways

We find the layout lacks generosity in the provision of lifestyle access points; this represents a lost marketing opportunity for the Applicant. Where is the shared cycle/pedestrian path those living in the estate would need to meander down to the Taroona Ave Reserve via Keen Avenue? The gradients in the NW corner of the property are suitable such an access and could provide gentle access to the Yarra River, walking trails and the Warrandyte Market.

Similarly, we urge Council to discuss creative design opportunities for a possible pedestrian access from the NE corner of the property, straight onto footpath on the west side of Yarra St.

3.3 Definition of Building Zones

The proposed Building Exclusion Zone appears to be defined by convenience but having read through the submitted Flora and Fauna report we conclude this “zone” presents an opportunity for revegetation to regenerate the habitat corridor and visual buffer values along this boundary of the Andersons Creek Reserve.

We would like to see good management practices being encouraged through inclusions in the proposed Section 173 Agreements.

3.4 Response to the landscape character objectives of the Zone

The Association contends the current design does not adequately address the neighbourhood character requirements of the NRZ zone, especially for allotments on the Yarra St (east) side of the subdivision. There is widespread concern about the potential visual impact of building on this ridgeline ~ backyards with private open space fencing requirements will front and overlook Yarra Street. Two story, expansive houses are likely to overlook the vicinity.

The Association urges Council to require and facilitate the incorporation of uniform and landscape quality fencing along the Yarra St boundary and that the scope of landscape plantings be extended to include the street side of this fencing.

4. Conclusion

We commend our submission to Council and will make ourselves available for consultation, mediation or presentation opportunities which may follow.

D.A Seymour
Warrandyte Community Association Inc.