Spare Thoughts Landscape Design

Ian Fenton


Planning Application (Plans+ Report):

The Philosophers Hill project, currently in the public notification phase of town planning has encountered opposition from some inside the planning department at Monash City Council, on the grounds of an outdated character statement for the area written in 1989 (GRZ2 Type C). They told us that they are unable to envisage anything beyond a large double story house for the site as it is in a residential zone (defined by the aforementioned character statement).

At the same time council is currently in the midst of proposing new zones for the area as part of Amendment C120 & C125 ( which places the site, in between a zone along Springvale Rd, RGZ4 (which specifically encourages medium density apartment development!), and another new zone, NRZ3 on the other side of Hammence St – with the site sitting sandwiched between these, isolated from the rest of its own zone GRZ2 – indicating that council is well aware the character statement is outdated and believe that the block in which the site is located is a transitionary zone from the Activity Centre to the neighbourhoods.

The development sits on the corner of High Street and Hammence Rd, next door to a three storey apartment block of 12 dwellings, in a mixed use area (there is a school, a McDonalds, and a pub with a giant car park (which is earmarked by council for mid-high rise development) all within the immediate vicinity. To drive this point home, the footpath in front of the site is actually considered part of the Glen Waverely Activity Centre and you can see the Glen Shopping Centre just a few hundred metres away from the front of the site.

We should also note, that the development is not asking for any dispensations for parking, height, overlooking or overshadowing (or anything) – we have met all the council requirements and ResCode, and worked with the council to amend plans to produce better outcomes for future residents and the local community. If ever an exception to an outdated character statement should be made, this is probably it.

Lastly we believe this development typifies in many ways what many councils (including Monash) hope for in new developments in terms of environmental outcomes, liveability for future residents and medium density housing within and around the activity centres of Melbourne. There are some within Monash council who agree with us on this, and the council itself will be voting on the project in Feb/March 2016 – we hope you would be good enough to send an email to Monash Council and to the councilors listed below in support of the Philosopher’s Hill project. If you have any friends that are interested in supporting, please also ask them.

Below is a sample letter which you can copy and paste into a new mail along with a few reasons one might support a project like this, and a list of councillors who will be voting on the proposal. If you could sign off and send it directly to the relevant councillors and the planner – please feel free to edit as you please though we do ask you use the subject heading.

LETTER OF SUPPORT – TPA/44779 – 833 High Street, Glen Waverley VIC 3150 – Philosopher’s Hill

Address letter to: (Principal Planner) (Glen Waverley Ward) (Glen Waverley Ward)

Dear [insert relevant name]

I write in support of the Philosopher’s Hill project. I think the project, in its current form as submitted to Monash City Council should be approved without unreasonable conditions. The context of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre is capable of accommodating the scale, bulk, mass and form of the proposed building.

You can add some reasons you might support the project, input your own, or just keep it simple;

– Medium density living on a small footprint (6 homes on only 473 sqm) walking distance to services

– Benchmark for environmental sustainability for other suburban developers working at a similar scale

– Iconic green building in our schools and framing entrance to GWAC

– Creating infill development that is considerate of suburban forms and aesthetic

– Its an appropriate development in its current form and place

Positive addition to neighbourhood character and local community


Yours sincerely

[Your name and suburb of residence]