Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Koonda Lat Pipe Bridge Crossing Merri Creek

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Community Meeting @ 11.00am this Sunday, 26 July

Hello everyone,

Thanks to all those who have got their lists and letters in to me already. For those who are yet (and are willing) to do so, please get back to me as soon as you can.

Our small convening Group will be meeting tomorrow night to look at the list results thus far and try to organise people's likes/dislikes into a coherent community position. Our aim is to come up with at least a few scenarios to share with the wider group. If you would like to contribute to this process, please let me know.

Following on, we propose that all of us meet again, briefly, on Sunday morning at 11.00am, where we can share the results of our efforts on Friday night. Weather permitting, this will be outside the factory shell on Bridge Street once again. If it's raining, however, we can ajourn to my (covered) back patio at 4 Bridge Street - there's a little gate off the side alleyway (or proposed two-lane road, your choice!).

Aggregating the various letters into summary form will take a bit longer to prepare, but we hope to have something to share with you all within the next week or so.

In the meantime, hope to see you all on Sunday morning at 11.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Get your objections in!

Hello all,

Don't worry if you haven't had time to submit an objection yet - if you can get even a completed form to Council by the end of this week, it is likely to be considered.


PROPERTY: 38 Merri Parade, NORTHCOTE, VIC 3070
Developer: Merri Merri Developments

Feel free to email me if you need any assistance.



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Merri Stationeers - Working Bee Sunday 12 July

Merri Stationeers

Working Bee

Sunday 12th July, 10.00 am till 2.00 pm

Dear neighbours, the Merri Stationeers have been successful in obtaining a grant @ $6,000 from Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria, plus a license from VicTrack to revegetate two small parcels of land west of the Merri Station (see attachment with the areas blacked in)

This means that after last year’s mulching and the more recent clean-up, we can now embark on the first stage of planting!

We will have to do some more mulching before we put in the plants and trees and need all the help we can get. So come along and bring your neighbours.

Wear sturdy shoes and bring your gardening gloves. We also need extra wheel barrows, spades, mattocks, pitch forks and brooms.

All welcome - Join the crew
Afternoon tea provided

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summary of Saturday meeting attended by Cr Trent McCarthy and the Hon Fiona Richardson

12-1 pm, 4th July: Bridge Street.

Street meeting attended by around 40 residents.

Cr Trent McCarthy spoke first - key points;
  • Trent is the only Councillor representing Rucker Ward on council's 5 member planning committee. The two other Rucker Councillors are Cr Steven Tsitas and Cr Diana Asmar, who is also the Mayor.
  • The other planning committee members are the 3 from Preston (Vince Fontana, Nick Katsis, Ben Morgan) and 1 from La Trobe (Tim Laurence).
  • Spoke about Northcote Bowl development (96 apartments) that was called in by the Planning Minister Justin Madden MP before Council had a chance to vote on it.
  • Note how council makes its decisions. Relies on planning staff to meticulously review the planning application, including all the objections and present a case to council either recommending the development be approved as is or (more likely) subject to the recommended amendments from the planning officer.
  • If a council refuses a planning permit application, the proponent can take their case to VCAT.
  • VCAT may or may not suggest amendments to the application.
  • Review past minutes of the Darebin Planning Committee.
  • Important to object on different points for example, if everyone objects on the basis of increased traffic, this counts as one point. So need to look at numerous reasons for the objection.

His key tips were:
  • Look at what you can object to - stick to facts and the impacts on you. Do not comment who is going to live there.
  • Beware of coming across as a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), an accusation often directed to the residents in the South end of Darebin. Emphasise that we genuinely welcome the development of the site, which was the unanimous position expressed by all those present at the meeting.
  • There will be a planning consultant's meeting to which the developer and the objectors will be invited. You should attend this meeting and ensure the developer understands your concerns. If you have strong representation at this meeting a clear message is sent to the developer that this community is concerned about the proposal and wants a good outcome for this neighbourhood.

The Hon Fiona Richardson MLA, Member for Northcote in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, spoke on planning from a State perspective:
  • If a planning application is called in by the Minister, the decision is taken out of council hands. In the case of the Northcote Bowl development Fiona took a delegation of residents in to see Minister Madden. At that meeting the Minister was persuaded that the Darebin community was able to make a decision and returned the application to Council.
  • If a planning application is called in a panel is established and residents can present their concerns directly to this decision panel. This is not a VCAT panel.
  • The State views Darebin as having a good reputation in planning.
  • Understand the difference between your ambit claim and your bottom line (this is what you are willing to accept).
  • Important to form a sub-committee through which all residents can work and present a united voice.
  • Fiona can facilitate a meeting between residents and the Minister if it comes to that.
  • Fiona advised that Minister Madden is an architect and does have a good sense of what makes a good development.
  • Should try and keep decision making local.
Last points:
  • People can send their objections directly to the other members of the Darebin planning committee.

Minutes: Anne-Marie Tenni

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Welcome to the Merri Community Group site

Hello all,

Welcome to our site, where we will be sharing information and posting updates on developments and activities in our local neighbourhood, including the proposed development at 38 Merri Parade, Northcote. If you are interested in joining with the group of affected residents in the area defined by Merri Parade, Charles Street and the Epping Train Line, please feel free to post a comment and we will be in touch.