#Local Government
Banyule Council

Final decision on Heidelberg Precinct Structure Plan

The council will make its decision on 15 October 2007, 7.30pm Council Chambers, Ivanhoe Service Centre, 275 Upper Heidelberg Road. You can attend, but if you want to speak at this meeting you must complete and return a Request to Speak at Council Meetings form before 2pm on Monday 15 October 2007. Their decision will shape and impact this area and the value and amenity of your property in the years to come.

Inappropriate change is irreversible and therefore all changes that do occur in this area should be best practice, be orderly and equitable for all property owners, comply with council policy and be sympathetic to the amenity of the area as a whole.

If you do not accept being left to live in what will become a Ghetto residential pocket surrounded by a cemetery and high rise industrial buildings on the other 3 sides you need to act now, contact councillors and attend this meeting.
We will make our home available on Thursday 11 October at 7pm for a meeting and sign a petition, or you can object directly to this revised proposal to use Powlett Street between Burgundy Street and Darebin Street as the divider for the medical precinct.


1. Specific issues for Powlett Street
The revised plan uses Powlett St as the boundary of the Medical Precinct which includes the East (lower) side of Powlett St, and excludes the West side of Powlett St. This is totally unacceptable and an ill considered compromise made in response to some residents asking for all properties facing Powlett St to be excluded and others supporting the original structure plan proposal that went to the natural ridgeline at Upper Heidelberg Road rather than best planning principles.
The east (lower) side properties on Powlett St are to be rezoned into the Medical Precinct. These properties are currently accessed by a single laneway with a grassed area in front.

The revised plan is silent as to how these properties will be accessed. If the report is to be believed the so called landscaped strip remains. One thing is obvious – the existing access is not sufficient to service multi-storey buildings on the lower side of Powett St.

This development will result in massive loss of amenity and damages and financial loss in the property values on the west side of Powlett St, particularly those between Bolden St and Barkly Place, which will face a 6 storey high carpark (this carpark already has 8 storeys underground) and will destroy the views and amenity from this beautiful part of Heidelberg Hill forever.

It is inevitable that duplication of Powlett Street will occur to cater for this, but due to the steepness, it will not be able to occur as the same height level as the existing road. This will result in a problem for Bolden Street/Powlett Street residents who will not be able to turn right into Powlett Street and will subsequently lead to pressure to re-open Bolden Street at Upper Heidelberg Road. This is not acceptable to residents.
You may not be aware that the State Government owns the existing multi storey car park on the corner of Powlett Street (it goes 8 storeys underground) and has the right to extend it. The structure plan supports this by supporting a further 6 storeys above ground.

It is incongruous for one side of Powlett Street to have an industrial/commercial appearance and the other remain a traditional Heidelberg Hill residential amenity. They are totally incompatible with each other. If the medical precinct boundary is being moved, then it should be moved to Martin St.

2. Increased height and density
This reduced Medical precinct footprint will increase height and density in a smaller area. The State Government owns the majority of the land on the East side of Powlett St and the West side of Martin St between Burgundy St and Darebin St together with their rights attached to that, meaning that the Council has lack of jurisdiction over height, building form and use of that land, and the implications of that, regardless of the Council’s 3 storey proposal for the lower side of Powlett Street between the existing carpark and Darebin St.

3. Inappropriate location for 14 storey car park
The inappropriate increase in the ugly car park which already has graffiti on it on the corner of east side of Powlett and Burgundy Streets from the existing 8 levels underground (go for a walk down if you don’t believe us) to a total of at least 14 storeys (plus services and utilities on the roof) will result in substantially increased traffic in Powlett Street at all hours, air pollution, noise, littering and traffic problems. The entrance to this car park is poorly located on the steepest part of Heidelberg Hill and is already inadequate and congested, particularly at peak useage times. The existing car park has already caused traffic problems and minor accidents on the corner of Burgundy St, Powlett St and Barkly Place, during peak hours, with traffic spilling onto Burgundy Street in both directions waiting to get into the car park down the short, one way street. The reconstruction and over expansion of this existing car park on the corner of Powlett and Burgundy Street with the inevitable traffic chaos, fumes, noisy air conditioning and pungent smell is not appropriate construction to build facing residential properties in a R1Z zoning.

In view of the smaller Medical Precinct the location of this car park is no longer logical and most appropriate location for a multi-level car park is along side the railway line where commuters as well as hospital users and visitors to Burgundy Street shops can all use it. The council plan strongly supports this inappropriate extension. If that is non-negotiable and the councillors support this then further levels could be built underground with appropriate access underground to all of the hospitals including Warringal, not above ground where it will be a blight on the amenity of the area forever.

4. Pedestrian problems
Safety issues are a major concern. There is no centre reservation on Burgundy Street currently, and as far as we can see no plan to change this. This is a matter of great concern to us. We have observed many pedestrians risking life and limb to cross two directions of heavy traffic in one go at the end of Powlett Street or opposite Warringal Hospital (and get stranded in the middle of the road).

5. Loss of views and vistas from public and private properties
Clause 19.03 of the Banyule Planning Scheme states “…views and vistas should be protected and enhanced or, where appropriate, created by new additions to the built environment.” The Austin/Mercy Hospital redevelopment has already substantially blocked the views and vistas that were enjoyed by residents, visitors and people passing through the area. Whilst the overall structure plan objectives purport to support protection of views by highlighting those along the valley from the Bell-Banksia connection along the railway station and Hawdon St, these objectives are selectively ignored in respect of development that will block the heritage views and vistas that we and others have enjoyed from our homes and surrounding Streets high on Heidelberg Hill.

In order to reduce problems to local residents the alternatives you should consider are:
· the boundary of the medical precinct should be moved to Martin St; or
· buildings be restricted to 2 or 3 storeys for all buildings including the carpark on Powlett St; or
· revert to the original boundaries.
If you want to read the revised structure plan you visit the council offices or go to www.banyule.vic.gov.au open ‘your council’ open ‘services’ open ‘strategic planning’ open ‘heidelberg precinct structure plan’ webpage. You can contact the councillors to record your view at the following email addresses: wayne.phillips@banyule.vic.gov.au, peter.mckenna@banyule.vic.gov.au, jenny.mulholland@banyule.vic.gov.au, dean.sherriff@banyule.vic.gov.au, dale.peters@banyule.vic.gov.au, tom.melican@banyule.vic.gov.au, anthony.carbines@banyule.vic.gov.au

Petition to Banyule City Council

We, the undersigned, property owners and residents of Banyule who are concerned about or directly affected by the Heidelberg Precinct Structure Plan proposed medical precinct and changes thereto petition Banyule Council that we oppose the east (lower) side of Powlett Street between Burgundy and Darebin Streets being the designated boundary as it is inappropriate to divide an existing residential street in this way.

We further oppose the structure plan’s support for the development of the existing eight storey underground carpark plus the ground level carpark on the corner of Powlett Street to a height of 19 metres above the ground as this will destroy the existing residential amenity and heritage views from Heidelberg Hill.

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The Heidelberg Precinct Structure Plan Medical precinct boundary petition to Banyule Council was written by Barbara Smith and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.