While it is encouraging that the Federal and State Governments are investing in social housing, it is imperative that local communities and councils are able to follow proper planning processes to ensure the best outcome for these applications.
Last year the State Government approved a nine-level social housing development in Larissa Avenue bypassing consultation with the local community. The Age has reported on the lack of consultation in regard to Larissa Avenue:
The local Maroondah council said it welcomed social housing but was disappointed by the state’s failure to listen on issues including waste management and traffic.
The council held its own protest by lining up 160 wheelie bins on the nature strip of the site earmarked for the housing.
Waste management has been an issue in multi-unit developments and one which has received a lot of feedback from the community. Due to this feedback, Council typically requires a waste management plan for multi-use developments to reduce the number of wheelie bins on our streets, ensuring that neighbourhood amenity is protected. In the case of Larissa Avenue, Council was unable to place such conditions since the State Government took over our planning powers on the site.
”The Government effectively gave council two days to respond to the scheme. There was no community consultation,” said mayor Alex Makin.
”It is disappointing because history shows that, in all cases, community input leads to better planning outcomes.”
There is a shortage of social housing across metropolitan Melbourne and in particular within the eastern suburbs. While it is definitely encouraging that social housing is being expanded it is imperative that planning processes are not diminished.
Maroondah City Council undertakes its planning powers responsibly and we should be given the opportunity to ensure the best outcomes for our community through following proper planning processes.