Parties get in election zone

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ELECTIONEERING ahead of November’s state election has gone up a level with a Liberal Party pledge to limit residential development across Melbourne’s suburbs.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy has promised to bring back a two-dwelling limit on lots in Neighbourhood Residential Zone areas, stopping multi-developments allowed if a “garden area” of 25 per cent is in place.

The state opposition has also vowed to reduce the height limit in General Residential Zone areas back to nine metres, down from its present 11 metres limit.

State planning spokesman David Davis said Andrews government “changes to our planning laws are now choking Melbourne’s suburbs with unplanned overdevelopment”.

“Labor’s plan to allow high-density development on all parts of Melbourne is creating more pressure on our lifestyles and families,” Mr Davis said in a statement.

When asked about possible high-rise development near train stations, Mr Davis told The News “there are appropriate areas for moderate developments but that isn’t spilling out right across a whole suburb and leaving no areas recognisable as a suburb”.

“People particularly living along coastal strips want a quality of life and that is at risk of being diminished by the population pressure and Labor’s decision to rip up the planning protections last year,” he said.

Mr Guy was state planning minister in the previous Coalition state government and has been criticised for allowing several high-rise apartment developments in central Melbourne.

“You can’t trust this former planning minister who botched residential zones in an effort to shore up his political base in the eastern suburbs while letting it rip in other parts of Melbourne,” Mordialloc Labor MP Tim Richardson said.

“In March last year the Andrews Labor government cleaned up these residential zones, making them clearer and locking in protections for suburban backyards.

“Our state is growing and the reformed residential zones strike the right balance between protecting what we love while giving all Victorians real housing choices.

“After the mess created by the Leader of the Opposition at Fishermans Bend and Ventnor, it’s unbelievable Matthew Guy still wants to talk about planning.”

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 20 June 2018

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