When I last spoke to Council I
referenced a block of land in Newport, located in the original Stockland
subdivision. In flagrant disregard of the block’s 8.5 metre building height
restriction, it was being marketed for sale with the potential to construct high
Council has now received a
development application for that block. It includes a proposal to construct a 6
storey tower, being only Phase 1 of two stages. Phase 2 also includes a 6
If these two towers are to fit
within the 8.5 metre height restriction quite frankly, the only people capable
of living in them will be Lilliputians. Clearly, a breach of regulations is
being sought to increase the height to an actual 20.5metres.
Our community agrees with you –
Six Storey towers are out of synch with the future you have planned for Newport.
Before Council zoned this land
Next Generation Neighbourhood , the whole community, including the owner, was
given the opportunity to have input before the plan was finalised
Yet still, this development
application’s density of 110 dwellings per hectare is 35 dwellings more than
the maximum of 75 allowed.
The 6 Storey Tower itself has a
density of 166 dwellings. A staggering 99 more than the maximum allowed.
This high concentration of
dwellings in this extremely over height construction is not what the Council
envisaged and not what the community expected or wants.
This site has been described as a
‘Superlot’. Special consideration is being sought. It is larger than the other
lots. It could however be reconfigured. Its size does not preclude or excuse it
from complying with zoning restrictions. Superman might be able to ignore
flying regulations but he’s a fantasy character for a reason.
‘Superlots’ don’t get to ignore
building codes. Nowhere in your Strategic Plan is provision given for special
considerations for superman or ‘Superlots’.
The ownership of this estate is
now comprised of hundreds of residents, not just the original owner. Their
voices and opinions are curiously absent from this development
The development application claims
that these silenced people- who chose to live in Newport for the lifestyle it
offered – knew that these towers would
be constructed. That the three D model in the Sales Office and ‘fly overs’
prove this. This would be more believable if the three D model in the Sales
Office and ‘fly overs’ had actually reflected these high towers and their true
scale and proportion, it would also be more believable if the height
restrictions on the block actually permitted structures like these. The claim
that people in the community ‘knew’ has been actively refuted by those very
The complete lack of community
engagement or consultation on this proposal flies in the face of good
governance, community spirit and the MBRC. The developer didn’t seem interested
in knowing the community, but we know, you are.
The Negative Impacts of a
concentrated, high density, high rise population bubble on the surrounding
unsuspecting neighbours would be significant: dominating, overshadowing, loss
of privacy, parking congestion, traffic congestion and lack of pedestrian
safety. Right next to a children’s playground.
Adding six storey unit towers , with
their multi-car owning residents and visitors to an already busy community–
it’s clear why you had the foresight to
recuse this kind of building from the Next Generation Neighbourhood. You
planned for the community’s liveability and safety and we thank you.
In the Stockland subdivision is a six
storey building. We acknowledge that Council gave approval for this for special
reasons- Retirement Living.
It is flawed however to assume
that because there is already a six storey building in the area then this next
application should be automatically approved. With that logic, we would have
six storey buildings anywhere and everywhere. If a boat takes on water and no
action is taken to stop more water from being added, the boat will sink.
It is also flawed logic to claim
that because the original subdivision chose not to make use of the maximum 75
dwellings limit, then this block of land should be able
to compensate by increasing its capacity. If a boat has a 75 person limit but
only takes 50, that doesn’t increase its capacity the next time to take 100
people. The boat will sink.
Our planning scheme is there to
MBRC is our community’s lifeguard.
The future of our neighbourhood rests within your Strategic Plan and the faith
you have in your own foresight.