TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Baillieu unveils plan – Election 2010 – News – Progress Leader

High-density development is a hot state election issue in Boroondara. N41PP311

High-density development is a hot state election issue in Boroondara. N41PP311

PLANNING is a key issue in Boroondara going into next month’s state election, with politicians revealing their policies on the hot topic.

Progress Leader has received hundreds of letters this year from residents concerned about development in their area.

Big issues include the Camberwell station development, Tooronga Village, large developments in residential streets and population growth.

Opposition Leader and Hawthorn MP Ted Baillieu unveiled a planning blueprint scrapping new laws that allow residential blocks up to nine storeys high along major tram, train and bus routes across Melbourne. It also promises to set boundaries for major activity centres to protect residential areas and open space, create a state register of significant public land, set up an independent, anti-corruption commission with the power to investigate planning decisions in Victoria and require every council to draw up a municipal heritage strategy.

“The Coalition will return clarity and certainty to the planning system by defining where urban change and renewal can occur and where the character of communities should be preserved,” Mr Baillieu said.

But Planning Minister Justin Madden criticised the plan, saying it would drive up house prices, failed to manage growth and favoured urban sprawl.

“No new housing in inner and middle ring suburbs would push prices well beyond the reach of first-home buyers and drive them into the outer suburbs and growth areas,” he said.

Mr Madden said the Brumby Labor Government already had activity centres where development was appropriate.

“Councils also already have local heritage strategies to sit alongside state heritage provisions,” he said.

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik (Southern Metropolitan Region) said her party supported higher-density housing along public transport routes.

“You don’t want to have higher-density housing away from transport routes,” she said.

Ms Pennicuik said the Greens wanted to reform Victoria’s planning schemes to provide more “prescriptive guidance” and require VCAT to apply council planning policy to decisions.


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