Development plans for school sites refused

 30 September 2015

Former school site September 2015

Monash Council has refused development plans for two former school sites in Oakleigh South.

More than 1,100 people objected to the development plan for the former Oakleigh South primary school site in Beryl Avenue, while more than 200 people objected to the development plan for the former Clayton West primary school site in Alvina Street.

Mayor Paul Klisaris said both proposals were overdevelopments and would impact negatively on the liveability of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

"The density and scale of what has been proposed on both sites is excessive and isn't supported by either Council or surrounding residents," Cr Klisaris said.

"Council's policy is to ensure that new developments can be integrated successfully into existing residential areas and that they enhance the 'garden city' character of Monash," he said.

"Both of these proposals disrespect the existing neighbourhood character. If these developments were to go ahead, they would detract from the reasons why people have chosen to live in these neighbourhoods.

"Council thanks residents who live near both sites for the efforts they have made to express their concerns and to protect their neighbourhoods from these overdevelopments."

On the Beryl Avenue site, a three storey apartment building (with up to 65 apartments) and 56 townhouses (mainly two storey with some three storey) were proposed. On the Alvina Street site, 108 two and three storey townhouses were proposed.

Cr Klisaris said when the previous State Government sold the sites last year, the developers had paid significant amounts, with the Beryl Avenue site selling for $13.55 million and the Alvina Street site selling for $14 million.

"We know the developers paid millions for these sites and are looking for return on their investments," Cr Klisaris said. 

"What we say to them is: it’s extremely short-sighted to try to pack as many properties as possible on to these sites.

"Instead, they could build lovely homes that are respectful of the character of the area, with gardens and open space.  

"Those homes would be sought after for the same reasons that other people have chosen to live in these neighbourhoods."

Cr Klisaris said both developers had the right to appeal Council's decisions to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. If this were to occur, Council would mount a strong defence of its decisions.

"We believe we are on solid ground because we have strong planning grounds for refusing these developments.

 “The smartest approach for the developers would be to go back to the drawing board and come up with proposals that respect the character and amenity of the neighbourhoods that have bought into."

Media Contact: Jo Robertson 0418 391 979 or email JoanneR@monash.vic.gov.au

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