6 May 2014
Monash Planning Scheme Review
c/o Monash Council
PO Box 1, Glen Waverley 3150
Planning Scheme Review
On behalf of the Brandon Park Residents Action Group (BPRAG) and in conjunction with the Monash Ratepayers Inc. we offer the following response to the Monash Planning Scheme Review.
The positive aspect of this review is that the City Of Monash residents will have a blue print for future development of the city.
The negative aspect of this review is that the process being used to obtain feedback from those most affected by any change, the residents, is flawed.
More importantly and underpinning all of this, is our desire to be partners in the development of our communities within our cities & suburbs; to have influence by providing excellent information that supports a culture of evidence-based decision making.
To seek feedback via an article in the local paper and articles in the Monash Bulletin will result in very few people responding by the 9 May deadline, as they do not know the review is taking place.
Also consider that even though information about the feedback survey is on the Monash website, more people will read information directed to them. Older people may want to provide feedback, but do not access the internet.
In the Brandon Park area BPRAG did a door knock of approx 100 houses to ascertain from residents their understanding of what is proposed under the Monash Planning Scheme Review. Only 1 in 20 said they did read something about a planning/zoning review and the vacant school sites sell-off. Further, only a handful of the residents interviewed understood the actual extent or the implications of the Planning Scheme Review. Only slightly more (1 in 15) remember receiving the Monthly Bulletin and most just glance through the document. As far as attending the two information sessions, very few were aware they were available or when they were on.
In order to address this lack of communication, there is an urgent need for all residents to receive a personal letter outlining what the Monash Planning Scheme Review is about and inviting them to attend public meetings, with at least one meeting held in each Ward.
We do not believe a personal letter is an unreasonable request as the following councils have all done significantly more communication with residents on these critical planning/zoning issues.
- Boroondara have written to everyone one in the city to explain that they followed the results of the 2 year study on Neighbourhood character to decide the zones.
- Whitehorse have had big public meetings and received submissions.
- Stonnington have had meetings and submissions also.
- Yarra had a huge meeting last week and changed their ideas with public pressure.
- Moreland have also had meetings and listened to the residents as have Bayside.
The Monash council didn’t hesitate to write to all residents affected by the recent State Government decision to sell off the 5 vacant school sites in Monash, so a precedent exists for this action on major events such as the Monash Planning Scheme Review.
Attached are a number of questions (or queries) from residents that we are seeking feedback on.
(It should be noted that Monash Ratepayer Inc. provided input to the development of this document).
Copies to: City of Monash CEO and all councillors, Michael Gidley – State Member of Parliament for Waverley,Planning Minister – Matthew Guy, Daniel Andrews – Member for Mulgrave and Leader of the Labor Party, and the Leader Newspaper