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Stop the Destruction of the Yarra River Bank

This petition had 1,788 supporters


PLEASE DO NOT SELL THE PUBLIC LAND OF WALMER STREET TO A PRIVATE DEVELOPER FOR CAR TUNNELS. THE SALE OF WALMER STREET DISADVANTAGES ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO USE THIS AREA.

See https://defendtheyarrariver.wordpress.com/  (blog post for May 9th: "Plan for Walmer Plaza") for the plans for "Walmer Plaza" and council comments. The plans involve RAISING Walmer St by 2 metres, to accommodate the two car tunnels, installing steps up to "upper plaza" and removing the bike/disabled ramp. It will be replaced with a series of long, narrow, two way, 360 degree switchback shared paths, at several different gradients.

SOMETHING STINKS ON THE RIVER BANK, AND IT ISN'T THE RIVER.

Two developments,

607- 627 Victoria Street (540 dwellings, 508 car spaces, 10-11 levels, 22 meters from the river) to be called The Park House.

and 647 -649 Victoria Street (amended plans show 9 levels, plus three basement levels. 102 apartments, plus retail. To be called Walmer House. New mandatory setback still only 25 metres from river. The river itself is only 26 metres wide at this point)

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PUBLIC LAND which is to be sold to SALTA for two car tunnels, which will take up two thirds of Walmer Street, for access to car parks under the two Salta developments. Almost 700 cars from the two developments will be using the tunnels, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the narrow space left. The parking plan which affects 647-649 has been submitted as part of 607-627, so developer did not have to address parking issues for 647-649 at VCAT. Essentially, they avoided any question of access or parking for this development.

The proposed tunnels under Walmer Street will necessitate serious works to the stormwater drain in one of the few remaining basking spots for Water Dragons and Eastern Snake Neck Turtles. The basking spot will be  most likely be either adversely affected/destroyed

The public bike ramp that is currently in this space is not shown on any of the sets of plans, for either development.

The historic Skipping Girl Vinegar Sign will also be blocked from view from the city (western) side by the proposed height of 647-649, and also by the proposed development at 607-627.  The much photographed view of the Skipping Girl Sign from the Walmer St Footbridge will be gone.

Why is it proposed to give public land to this developer so that they can increase their development footprint and their potential profit while seriously and permanently destroying the public amenity of the Yarra River Corridor?

This developer (SALTA) is so avaricious that they want to take up public land for the entrance to their development in order to maximise space in their developments, and therefore their profits. How is it possible for a public road and part of the publicly owned riverbank to be subsumed into the amenities of a private development? How is it possible for our elected representatives/politicians to allow public assets to be poached by private developers?

Minister Wynne, please refuse this public land grab.

The history:

Salta applied for a permit for 647-649 Victoria Street Abbotsford, before Christmas 2015. Salta went to VCAT in January, under section 79 - that Council did not make a decision fast enough. At VCAT, SALTA's lawyers gave notice of NEW PLANS. The new plans can be downloaded from City of Yarra website. The new plans do not address any of the issues which concern us as users of the Yarra River. ***Plans appear to have changed again since VCAT.

***NOTE: Council would have refused the permit. Melbourne Water also opposed the development, although not on environmental grounds.

VCAT backs large developers in 76% of cases, and did so once again in the case of 647-649.

The opportunity to comment on 607-627 was advertised for two weeks via a small page on development hoarding. The plans available show that two tunnels take up  over 2/3 of Walmer Street; Walmer Street is being lifted 2 metres, necessitating steps where there were no steps; and the perfectly functional publicly funded, publicly owned, bike/disabled ramp is gone.

The developer is landscaping the (flood prone, unusable for building) area in front of the development, which will benefit the residents of the development. In return they are receiving immensely valuable Crown Land of Walmer Street, with plans that impact upon and disadvantage the public. What is wrong with this picture?

In the five years from 2013 more than 40 large development projects will add more than 7,000 new apartments to the City of Yarra, turning it into a dormitory suburb, rather than the eclectic mixture we have enjoyed in the past. There is NO shortage of housing in The City of Yarra that would necessitate the sacrifice of our precious public assets and amenities like the Yarra River.

There has been so much development in Abbotsford that it has been put on a list of "high-risk" suburbs by banks, damaging the property values of everyone who lives here.

New research indicates that there will be a massive oversupply of 123,000 apartments in Melbourne by 2022, just six years away.

There is no justification for any more massive apartment developments on the Yarra River bank.

DEAR MINISTER WYNNE,

PLEASE SAVE WHAT IS LEFT OF OUR YARRA RIVER CORRIDOR. PLEASE DO NOT REWARD GREED AND DISREGARD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.  DO NOT GIVE PUBLIC LAND TO BILLIONAIRE DEVELOPERS.

SAY NO to GREEDY BILLIONAIRE developers on the Yarra Riverbank, and the granting of public land for private profit.

Please sign this petition to stand up for the vulnerable Yarra Riverbank, and send a message to our elected officials that the vast majority of residents of Melbourne and Victoria do not want this type of development along the Yarra Riverbank.

Go to www.defendtheyarrariver.wordpress.com to find out more about this, and to see more pictures.

 



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defendtheyarra river needs your help with “Planning Minister and Member for Richmond, Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water The Hon. Lisa Neville MP: Stop the Destruction of the Yarra River Bank”. Join defendtheyarra and 1,787 supporters today.