School Sites

30 June 2014

In early-mid 2014, the State Government sold five vacant school sites in Monash.

The five former school sites are:

  • Brandon Park Secondary College - 30 Brandon Park Drive, Wheelers Hill
  • Clayton Primary School - 29 Browns Road, Clayton
  • Clayton West Primary School - 10 Alvina Street, Oakleigh South
  • Monash Special Developmental School - 1 Renver Road, Clayton
  • Oakleigh South Primary School - 1 Beryl Avenue, Oakleigh South

Prior to selling the sites, the State Government rezoned all of the sites from Public Use to Residential zones. Four of the sites were rezoned as General Residential while the former Monash Special Developmental School site was rezoned as Residential Growth, which allows for higher density development.

Ryman Healthcare purchased the Brandon Park Secondary College site (for development into an aged care and retirement living facility), while the Abacus Property Group purchased the Clayton Primary School site. The three other sites have also been sold. It has been reported in the media that the State Government will receive $97 million from the sale of the five Monash sites. Council has called for the $97 million to be spent on local infrastructure projects in Monash. Please read more in this media release State reaps $97M from sale of Monash schools.

Removal of Resident Appeal

The Minister for Planning placed a Development Plan Overlay (DPO) on all five school sites. This means that the new owners/developers can prepare a development plan which will be submitted to Council for approval. A development plan is a broad high level plan that sets out the general parameters of how a site will be developed. Council will consult with the surrounding community about each proposed development plan before deciding whether to approve it or to seek changes.

Once a development plan is approved by Council, the owner/developer will then submit detailed planning permit applications to Council for approval. Providing these applications are 'generally in accordance' with the development plan, Council is legally required to approve these applications without further community consultation or comment.

Under a Development Plan Overlay, residents do not have the right to appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against the proposed developments on these sites.

Community Feedback

In March 2014, Council wrote to residents who live near each of the five vacant school sites to inform them of the Minister's decision to place a Development Plan Overlay on each of the sites. Council invited people to share their views via an online survey.

Community opposition to the Minister's decision has been strong, with about 170 people completing an online Council survey and almost 20 letters received.

The following is a summary of the community feedback:

  • 96% of respondents advised they did not support the State Government's decision to impose a Development Plan Overlay; and
  • 94% of respondents advised they were worried that the right to object to planning applications and to appeal to VCAT have been removed.

When giving reasons for their opposition to the Development Plan Overlay, respondents generally said it was undemocratic in that local residents should have both the right and opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the decision-making process concerning the future of these significant local sites. Many respondents expressed concern that the sites would be overdeveloped, and that they would have no legal recourse to challenge overdevelopment.

Respondents were also asked "what kind of development do you think would be acceptable on these sites?" and were asked to tell Council any other thoughts they had on this matter. There were common themes in the residents' responses, with some of these themes outlined below:

Desire for public open space
Many survey respondents expressed a strong wish that public open space be provided on the school sites. This ranged from a desire that entire sites be transformed into parkland, through to some respondents saying some residential redevelopment was acceptable, provided open space was included.

Concerns about the height/density of redevelopment
Many survey respondents said some residential redevelopment on the sites was acceptable, provided it was respectful of the existing neighbourhood character in terms of heights and density. Concerns were regularly expressed about overdevelopment.

Concerns about traffic congestion
Many survey respondents expressed concern that redevelopment would increase existing traffic congestion in the areas near the school sites.

Council Advocacy

In early March 2014, Council wrote to the Minister for Planning, asking him to reconsider his decision to remove residents' appeal rights.

Here is:

Mayor Geoff Lake's letter to Planning Minister Matthew Guy - 5 March (PDF, 618KB)

In early May 2014, Council wrote again to the Minister, expressing disappointment that the Minister had not yet responded to the March letter and conveying the community's concerns regarding the removal of appeal rights.

Here is:

Mayor Geoff Lake's letter to Planning Minister Matthew Guy - 8 May (PDF, 637KB)

Council has also written to all of the endorsed/announced candidates for the electorates of Clarinda, Mulgrave and Oakleigh in the November State Election. Council has asked all of the candidates to publicly support the community's concerns about the removal of appeal rights.

Council asked the candidates to respond to its letter prior to the Council meeting on 27 May 2014.

Removal of Resident Appeal

The Minister for Planning placed a Development Plan Overlay (DPO) on all five school sites. This means that the new owners/developers can prepare a development plan which will be submitted to Council for approval. A development plan is a broad high level plan that sets out the general parameters of how a site will be developed. Council will consult with the surrounding community about each proposed development plan before deciding whether to approve it or to seek changes.

Once a development plan is approved by Council, the owner/developer will then submit detailed planning permit applications to Council for approval. Providing these applications are 'generally in accordance' with the development plan, Council is legally required to approve these applications without further community consultation or comment.

Under a Development Plan Overlay, residents do not have the right to appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against the proposed developments on these sites.

Community Feedback

In March 2014, Council wrote to residents who live near each of the five vacant school sites to inform them of the Minister's decision to place a Development Plan Overlay on each of the sites. Council invited people to share their views via an online survey.

Community opposition to the Minister's decision has been strong, with about 170 people completing an online Council survey and almost 20 letters received.

The following is a summary of the community feedback:

  • 96% of respondents advised they did not support the State Government's decision to impose a Development Plan Overlay; and
  • 94% of respondents advised they were worried that the right to object to planning applications and to appeal to VCAT have been removed.

When giving reasons for their opposition to the Development Plan Overlay, respondents generally said it was undemocratic in that local residents should have both the right and opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the decision-making process concerning the future of these significant local sites. Many respondents expressed concern that the sites would be overdeveloped, and that they would have no legal recourse to challenge overdevelopment.

Respondents were also asked "what kind of development do you think would be acceptable on these sites?" and were asked to tell Council any other thoughts they had on this matter. There were common themes in the residents' responses, with some of these themes outlined below:

Desire for public open space
Many survey respondents expressed a strong wish that public open space be provided on the school sites. This ranged from a desire that entire sites be transformed into parkland, through to some respondents saying some residential redevelopment was acceptable, provided open space was included.

Concerns about the height/density of redevelopment
Many survey respondents said some residential redevelopment on the sites was acceptable, provided it was respectful of the existing neighbourhood character in terms of heights and density. Concerns were regularly expressed about overdevelopment.

Concerns about traffic congestion
Many survey respondents expressed concern that redevelopment would increase existing traffic congestion in the areas near the school sites.

Council Advocacy

In early March 2014, Council wrote to the Minister for Planning, asking him to reconsider his decision to remove residents' appeal rights.

Here is:

Mayor Geoff Lake's letter to Planning Minister Matthew Guy - 5 March (PDF, 618KB)

In early May 2014, Council wrote again to the Minister, expressing disappointment that the Minister had not yet responded to the March letter and conveying the community's concerns regarding the removal of appeal rights.

Here is:

Mayor Geoff Lake's letter to Planning Minister Matthew Guy - 8 May (PDF, 637KB)

Council has also written to all of the endorsed/announced candidates for the electorates of Clarinda, Mulgrave and Oakleigh in the November State Election. Council has asked all of the candidates to publicly support the community's concerns about the removal of appeal rights.

Council asked the candidates to respond to its letter prior to the Council meeting on 27 May 2014.

Location

10 Alvina Street, Oakleigh South 3167 View Map

Google Map

Subscribe to page updates

Fields marked as 'Required' must be completed.