Tuesday, August 07, 2012

mcdonalds appeal - day 2

Community Members protesting on the site
of the proposed McDonalds in Tecoma.
Day two of the hearing opened with David Jewell representing Tecoma Village Action Group (TVAG).

David put forward a substantial and comprehensive presentation covering a range of issues with the proposal.  He particularly focused on local planning policy which recognises the difference of the foothills to other places in the Shire of Yarra Ranges. He went on to say that the development was intensive for Tecoma and will dominate the township as it is twice as large as any other business in Tecoma.  He highlighted the negative impact of the proposal on the character of Tecoma and how this proposal would be an urbanisation of the township.

TVAG’s submission also highlighted issues around the 3mt high fence contemplated, no where in Tecoma is a fence that high. There was specific attention given to the frontage of the proposed development. It is 5 times larger than the average frontage of a shop front in Tecoma, 80% of shops fronting Burwood Highway have a frontage of less than 10mt in width.

TVAG drew heavily from prior VCAT decisions around the supermarket and Winscombe Avenue. Part of TVAG’s presentation included a video made by Tecoma local, Krissy Reinsfeld, which really showed the character of Tecoma.
As part of TVAG’s submission they called Dr Barry Clarke, an expert on lighting pollution. Dr Clarke asserted that the proposal would result in a detrimental impact in terms of light spill and detailed health impacts of light pollution on communities. Dr Clarke also gave evidence that he believed that McDonalds calculations were incomplete as they did not take into account all sources of light.

After Dr Clarke, David Jewell continued. He went on to highlight litter issues and made particular mention of an item of McDonalds rubbish 100 mts from an outlet that had remained in situ for over a week, questioning the efficiency of McDonalds Litter Management.

Signage was also a key issue, in terms of exceeding the square meterage outlined in the planning scheme, the planning scheme suggests 8.5 sq mtrs whilst this application contemplates 12.5 sq mtrs. In terms of internally illuminated signage the planning scheme describes a figure of 1.5 sq mtrs, whilst this application has 8 sq mtrs of signage.

The issues around the dangerous location of the disabled carpark came up, as well as lack of bicycle parking available on site.  The lack of a staff shower on site was another key issue, particularly given many staff will be of an age that ride bicycles in sometimes challenging conditions.
David went on to say Tecoma is part of a very special place, both for residents and tourists alike, a quiet town, which turns off the light, not a place for a 24 hour business and good urban design should help strengthen peoples sense of place.  He also said that should a permit be granted it will set a precedent across the Dandenong Ranges.

David finished by reiterating the special nature of the hills and that this development was not befitting of hills character.
Tribunal member Carew asked some questions about signage, front articulation and opening hours, whilst Tribunal member Rundell spoke about businesses getting larger in general and noting the number of vacancies in Tecoma and whether this may be an opportunity to be attractive and successful.

Member Rundell  also asked questions about Tourism, the contemporary nature of the building and the heart of the matter which is character, which was described as an urban township by the Shire’s strategic planners.

Next up was community submitter Rosalind Muralanda, who focused on the character of the hills and the strong sense of place, she also highlighted how important it is to not diminish environmental values from economic development.

Kaz McKay was next, she highlighted concerns about the development being a beacon for teenagers 24 hours a day and the implications for Tecoma station and surrounds from the impact of that.

Jenny Saulwick gave an extensive presentation outlining the State Planning Policy Framework, the Local Planning Policy Framework and the Municipal Strategic Statement. 

Kathleen Bosworth spoke about the safety for residents and asserted that the People Management Plan McDonalds has in place was currently failing due to the numerous incidents that have been recorded in McDonalds stores. She highlighted 94 incidents that have occurred in the last 3 years. 

Matt Lucas, teacher with Upwey High School, talked about traffic, the character of the area and more specifically about the impact of the development on young people. 

Mark Haviland, presented a very creative submission and raised issues around noise, crime, vandalism, litter, the vexatious nature of the bottleneck of Burwood Highway, tourism and how important it was to treasure what is unique.

Our last speaker for the day, Louis Smith, spoke about the traffic. As community member who lives close to the development he gave great insight into how the traffic currently moves in the area and the various ‘rat runs’ currently in use due to traffic congestion.  He ended by talking about the character of the hills and the reasons he has chosen to live in the hills.

Great job by our community submitters.

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At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Bronwyn said...

Thanks for the update. Good luck, am holding my breath and hoping......


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