Council has published its ‘draft’ Structure Plan for the development of Virginia Estate. It has also announced that in the next few weeks it will be calling for expressions of interest for residents to partake in a Community Reference Group. A tad too late we suggest since the ‘draft’ has already been formulated and given past experience very little is likely to change.

The only ‘improvement’ that is clear is the statement that a 1 hectare public open space will be included. Issues regarding schools and transport are still being ‘negotiated’ with the State Government.

The most disturbing aspect of this ‘draft’ Structure Plan is that council’s nominated height limits are in fact even higher than the proposals from the developers. We’ve uploaded the Gillon & Co draft plan as well as the Council nominated version below. Please compare carefully!

No information is forthcoming as to potential number of residential developments, the number(s) and area of retail, etc. More to follow in the days ahead on this item.

PS: Council claims that the above draft is in response to community feedback thus far. At the May forum we reported that residents stated the following:

  • Problem with language – people did not know what ‘innovation’ referred to – far too vague.
  • More clarity required about the term ‘affordable housing’ and this should be changed to ‘diversity of housing’
  • Questions about what ‘village’ means and is this a ‘village’
  • Traffic and car parking are major problems
  • Desire for low rise townhouses. Some tables nominated a maximum height limit of 3 storeys and others up to 6 storeys.
  • Diverse views on the need for another school and whether this should be part of McKinnon High or another new school entirely.
  • Open space that wasn’t covered over in concrete
  • A new supermarket required but also not a threat to other existing businesses in the area.
  • No waiving of car parking spots
  • Environmental sustainability across the entire centre including flood mitigation

Council has now decided to amend the ‘vision’ statement. It remains full of gobbledy gook, and DOES NOT address the responses listed above. Below is the original ‘vision’ and then the latest updated version.

East Village will be a thriving, mixed use precinct with a focus on employment, innovation, education and housing affordability. (Version 1)

‘East Village will be a sustainable mixed use precinct with a focus on innovative employment and education opportunities. Enhanced by green spaces and places for people, it will be supported by a diverse range of high quality housing and retail that caters for all.’  (Version 2)