Media response – Victorian election and planning policy

Published on 07 October 2022

Query from The Age

I'm looking at writing a story about residents in the Ashwood campaigning against draft planning rules and proposed developments in the lead up to the November state election:

  • A council draft structure plan that would allow 8 storey developments in a section of Mount Waverley, near the train station and the high street Stephensons Road.
  • A Big Housing Build project to provide affordable retirement homes on High Street, Mount Waverley, in a 7 storey development.
  • And targets to build thousands of apartments in Burwood to densify around the Suburban Rail Loop.

Could you please spell out Monash Council's position on each of those proposals?


Big Housing Build        

Council has long led advocacy efforts to address the urgent need for a greater supply of social housing in Victoria, and are supportive of these developments in Monash where they fit within local planning controls.

Council recommended refusal for the initial multi-level development on High Street Road, Mount Waverley, however, an appeal was lodged and VCAT issued a permit.

Subsequently, an application was lodged under Victorian Big Housing Build program for a multi-level development that was similar to that approved at the direction of VCAT. This application was referred to Council for comment. In considering this revised application, Council took in to account that VCAT had already approved the existing application at the site and subsequently, at its June 2022 meeting, Council resolved to advise the applicant that following a review of the proposal, Council considered that the typology, density and internal configuration will be generally in accordance with the valid permit issued by VCAT, however made a number of suggestions for future review and consideration by the Minister for Planning.

The requirements of the Planning Scheme have been designed to expedite the planning process for the development of large scale housing projects by or on behalf of the Director of Housing.

Mount Waverley Structure Plan

The Victorian Government mandates that Councils must plan for population growth, and it this Council’s view growth should occur in and around activity centres with public transport links to avoid large developments in residential streets. In response to this, the Mount Waverley Activity Centre Structure Plan was endorsed by Council in March 2021 following extensive community consultation in 2019-2020.

The plan recognises that Mount Waverley will experience modest population growth over the next 20 years. The plan focusses on supporting this growth in an activity centre that is highly accessible by public transport and supported by various community, education, health and recreational facilities and services. It does through this 6 key directions: fostering a vibrant village, supporting diverse housing options, boosting the health and wellbeing of local people, creating a village that puts people first, enabling people to move more easily through the village, and strengthening the village’s sense of place.

Consultation included information sessions, mail outs and online feedback. Council received over 75 submissions from residents, traders, community organisations and utility providers.

Issued: 7 October 2022

To: The Age

Quoting: Mayor Stuart James