SNELA has written to the new planning minister, Lizzie Blandthorn, to ask that she reject a developer proposal for housing construction on the Yarra River floodplain in Bulleen.
Housing development would be permitted under a proposed amendment to the Manningham Planning Scheme. The proposal was considered by the Yarra River-Bulleen Precinct Advisory Committee, under a reference from Ms Blandthorn’s predecessor as planning minister, Richard Wynne.
If approved, the proposed amendment to the Manningham Planning Scheme would permit residential development on the site of the recently closed Yarra Valley Golf Club. SNELA proposes that this land be retained in its entirety as public open space.
The land is comprised of over 22 hectares and has a 1.3 kilometre frontage with the Yarra River. Significantly, it is in the Yarra River floodplain in Bulleen. Flooding events will become more frequent and are anticipated to be on a much larger scale than previously experienced as the effects of anthropogenic climate change become more pronounced. This is likely to be accentuated by the steadily increasing proportion of the contiguous land area that is impermeable as a consequence of residential development and redevelopment.
SNELA believes that in these circumstances it would be foolhardy to contemplate such development in the area.
The other very serious matter which SNELA drew to the attention of the minister is the fact that much public and private development that has been underway for many years in Melbourne has, and is, resulting in the substantial loss of open space and canopy tree cover.
In this respect, the North East Link Project would cause the large-scale loss of public open space as well as heavy vegetation loss, including that of mature canopy trees. It is estimated that 26,000 trees would be lost to the project.
SNELA concluded its submission by asking for a commitment by the Victorian Government to more effectively vegetate the area than was possible when it was occupied by the golf club, and for its assignment as open space for all to access.