Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bayside council not on board with Suburban Rail Loop direction

Bayside City Council says the impact of planning changes proposed in the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) Precinct Key Directions will be felt across the local government area, particularly in the communities of Highett, Hampton East, Cheltenham and Pennydale.

The Council has identified excessive height limits, increased traffic congestion and a squeeze on open space and community infrastructure are just some of the initial impacts or the project.

Bayside Mayor, Fiona Stitfold said that she was concerned that the draft precinct key directions would have negative effects far outside the immediate precinct zone. 

“Bayside has been working with the Suburban Rail Loop Authority to advocate for positive outcomes within and beyond the SRL precinct however we are concerned that this has not translated to the key directions,” Mayor Stitfold said.

“We are supportive of the need for more high-quality housing, particularly affordable housing, close to transport, jobs and services that responds to environmentally sustainable design principles. The precinct key directions, however, propose a short-sighted response to the complicated issue of housing supply that will potentially leave Councils and communities to deal with the consequences.

A map of proposed building heights in the Cheltenham Suburban Rail Loop precinct
A map of proposed building heights in the Cheltenham Suburban Rail Loop Precinct.

“While we support housing growth, the SRL’s proposed height limits are excessive.  The draft plans pitch up to 18 storeys against existing one and two level homes. The proposed height limits must be reduced and stepped down to protect the area’s distinctive neighbourhood character,” she said. 

Council is also concerned about a perceived lack of new open space proposed within Bayside. The impact on the environment from significant population growth, both in the immediate precinct zone and more broadly across Bayside and Port Phillip Bay is also not sufficiently addressed, it says.

Community facilities, services and infrastructure would also be challenged by an influx of new residents, with no clear direction on how additional services will be funded or provided, the Council states.

It will consider a report on the impacts of Victorian Government-led planning projects in Bayside at the May Council Meeting and a proposed submission on the SRL Precinct Key Directions at the July Council Meeting. This submission will seek to provide constructive feedback to the Victorian Government, Council said.

Latest Articles