KINGSTON Council have expressed their disappointment at the Victorian Planning Minister’s decision to approve the controversial redevelopment of the Kingswood Golf Course site in Dingley.
The announcement by Sonya Kilkenny MP was on the back of the Andrews government’s broad housing statement designed to ramp up construction to alleviate the current housing crisis.
It is believed the rezoning of the golf course land, and its subsequent redevelopment, could support up to 800 new homes.
The rezoning comes just weeks after the owner of the golf course, AustralianSuper, announced it was backing away from its plan to redevelop the land after failing to gain the necessary government approvals.
In a statement published Monday 25 September, Kingston Council stated they “fully supports the need to address Melbourne’s housing crisis, but there is absolutely no need to sacrifice important green open spaces like golf courses to achieve this.”
They said Kingston’s Housing Strategy is a positive plan that identifies more suitable sites for new housing growth to meet the forecast demand, and we call on the Minister to approve this plan as soon as possible.
Kingston Mayor Hadi Saab said Australian Super’s proposed development for the site sparked over 8000 community objections and it is very notable that the Minster has only approved the rezoning and not the development plan.
“On the back of Australian Super’s recent announcement that they intend to sell the land, we believe it provides an opportunity for the new owner to reset the relationship with the community and offer genuine engagement on the site’s future,” Cr Saab said.
“While we understand the state government has determined that this site will be used for housing, as things stand, we don’t know how many homes will be allowed on the site or how other important issues will be addressed.
“Any development of Kingswood should include much-needed open space, and infrastructure to meet the needs of this new and existing Dingley Village community, including a large proportion of social and affordable housing, and the protection of canopy trees and green space to address the heat island effect and lessen the impacts of the climate crisis.
“With the owner now required to prepare a development plan that outlines how these priorities will be met, we expect that the local community and Council will still have a strong role to play in shaping these important details.
“If development does go ahead, it must happen in a responsible, coordinated and balanced way.”
Kingston is taking a motion to the Municipal Association of Victoria State Council Meeting to be held in October.
The motion is asking for the Minister for Planning to urgently review the Planning Guidelines for the Conversion of Golf Course Land to Other Purposes, and their practical application. Council feels this is necessary due to the poor process and outcome of the Kingswood application.