Developing the Dandenongs

The artist''s impression, of the Belgrave Motors planning application. 165840_02

When you buy a house and move to a new neighbourhood in a new community, you want to make sure that the neighbourhood stays that way.

Everything changes, of course and you just need to look at your grandparents’ photos of their 1967 Ford in the driveway, and you can see that the neighbourhood you live in will eventually have a different feel. But, we all want to live in a neighbourhood that will change for the better, right?

This was the question posed to over 20 Dandenong Ranges’ residents at the Public Forum on Development in the Dandenong Ranges, which was held on 4 June at the Selby Community House.

Tecoma Village Action Group president Barbara Crisp presented the evening making light of the recent developments on their way to the Dandenong Ranges.

“We live in a unique environment and once it’s gone it’s gone for good,” she said

The meeting edified residents about developments that have already been approved or are in the process of being approved.

Both the Monbulk apartment development and Belgrave Motors development were described in the meeting as inappropriate and many attendees raised their concerns about the unique leafy environment in the Dandenong’s being threatened by these developments.

“These sorts of developments in country towns are just terrible planning,” said one Selby resident.

“We moved here 20 years ago because it was not the suburbs and we wanted to get away from the suburbs but if you’re putting the same architecture in and those big scale developments then we turn what is still a little oasis just an hours drive from Melbourne into another suburb,” said a Tecoma resident.

“Communities are being sacrificed at the altar of these developments.”

The New Belgrave Motors Development is described as stretching 120 metres along Monbulk Road and is set to include a supermarket, childcare centre, shops, offices and a two-level parking station.

Council is also currently assessing an application for the development of shops and 21 apartments, with associated vegetation removal, for 22-26 Main Road, Monbulk.

To remain up-to-date with developments you can check the Yarra Ranges Council website or visit the Tecoma Village Action Group website at tvag.org.au.