‘Green land grab’ rejected

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CENTRAL “green land” in Frankston is attracting interest for development as councillors debate how to push ahead with “greening” the city.

The Times understands a state government department has in recent weeks tentatively expressed an interest in buying Evelyn Street land near Frankston Police Station for offices.

Councillors rebuffed the approach behind closed doors and North-West Ward councillor Cr Glenn Aitken mentioned the Evelyn Street land during a debate about “Greening our City” at the 23 July public council meeting.

“It’s one space of land that still provides some sort of relief to the people of Frankston and, as such, is valuable to the people of this city and to good governance and greening Frankston into the future.”

Cr Aitken was speaking after South Ward councillor Steve Toms raised a notice of motion at the meeting asking council officers to investigate the establishment of a Developer Green Infrastructure Contribution fund to force property developers to help “green” Frankston.

Cr Toms said any such financial contribution from developers building in the Frankston area will make developers “far more green” and “a little bit more creative”.

“At the moment our streets in our central activity district and across our city are looking pretty tired and drab and not very creative,” he said.

“Local residents appreciate attractive streets and want attractive streets.”

Council officers will look at the costs involved in greening three central Frankston laneways.

Cr Aitken said green space in Frankston has been lost over several decades including the loss of Central Park and green space east of Beach Street.

“In Frankston unfortunately through bad town planning practices which extend back particularly to the 1960s, Frankston town centre is bereft of green,” he said.

Council officers will report back to councillors on the possibility of implementing the property developer green fund.

It is believed a ballpark figure of about $4 million was mentioned in the initial approach to council by a state government department.

Council corporate director Tim Frederico declined to comment when asked about any approach to buy the Evelyn Street land.

First published in the Frankston Times – 30 July 2018

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