Local Town Planning

Welcome to CCS’s Planning Resources Centre

You have probably found yourself here because of the NIMBY syndrome. That stands for Not In My Backyard. That’s quite OK. It is how most of us have learned about planning and is certainly how we find ourselves reacting in this day and age. Jumping on spot fires, because we can’t keep tabs on everything, and when we find out that our living environment is about to change, we sometimes find out accidentally, and sometimes just in time to feel angry or frustrated. We have been where you are and hope the following information and links will help you out.

Please do read the background, as it may help you understand where you are in terms of rights, before you go too far down the objection path.

Background to the planning of our city:
Maroondah is an amalgamation of a wide variety of areas from the business- city type precinct, Ringwood, to a country town hub, Croydon. It also includes Heathmont, Burnt Bridge, McAdam Square, and a variety of smaller business areas. These are at the core of Living areas, each of which has a very different feel about them. You will have noticed the character of some areas is quite different from others, as you move around our municipality.

View of the Dandenongs
View of the Dandenongs

In 2004 a community consultative committee, in which CCS was involved, under Council’s umbrella, commissioned a consultant to describe the Neighbourhood Character Study of our individual “patch” This document has been fully accepted by Council and is used in planning applications, to encourage certainty and a level of control in planning.
There are 23 separate areas. If you are unsure as to your area, scroll down the page of the site, and click on View map of Neighbourhood Areas. There is a two page description of your specific area available at the following link called go to brochures This will help you understand what the residents of your area value, and how development must be in keeping with those values.

Why is development needing to be structured?

It was vital to the planning process to look seriously at how to absorb 20 thousand new residents in the future, this was a State government directive. If we had not done this, then the entire city would be subject to random and often inappropriate development, which would potentially threaten our much valued tree cover, and make a homogenous blend of units, houses, flats etc in every street, so that all areas lost individual character.<

So where are these proposed development areas?

The council has now identified areas it feels are suitable for increasing density, and those areas that are best left to enable a variety of lifestyle choices within the city. The areas selected for densification are close to all amenities. It makes sense, the smaller dwellings will probably house elderly possibly disabled and single people who may need public transport, who do not have the interest in maintaining large gardens and who may use parks for passive recreation.

What can we do ?

If you are living in such an area, you have our sympathy if that helps, but the other side of this coin is that if you own the land it will be valued more favourably by developers, should you wish to sell. If at this point you feel the need to talk with someone, you can, but we suggest you read all the following material to familiarize yourself with the terminology and the intent of planning so that when you are speaking with a council officer you will be able to appreciate the information you will be given, and their “planning speak” will not be a mystery to you.

Read on for what you can do within the planning process.

Tree Removal

Also you should be aware of illegal tree removal. Be very vigilant of “gung-ho” developers who accidentally bulldoze trees early on Saturday mornings, when Council is shut. Find more detailed information on the Maroondah site – Tree Removal

The emergency number for the ranger, who will attend urgently out of hours is 1300 88 22 33

Sub division

If you want to know whether the site is undergoing a subdivision, or what the regulations are follow this link – Planning and Building – Planning – Subdividing Land

Habitat corridors

These are pathways across Maroondah that allow fauna, like birds, possums and even koalas to survive in the midst of what is essentially and urban environment. And obviously it is why CCS values our tree canopy so highly and fights constantly to retain what exists and to provide new growth. Follow this link Planning and Building – Planning – Habitat Corridors Study

Significant Landscape Overlays SLO’s

This applies where the vegetation has special significance in terms of it being un infested by weeds and exotic species and truly indigenous to this region, as it was before development. In other words still almost virgin bush. Many rare species to this region are located on these parcels of land. You would know if this applies to your land, because you would have been involved in the identification process and subsequent application for this protection. Department of Environment and Heritage

Vegetation Protection Overlays VPO’s

This is a separate control that covers a specific geographical feature, for example like the ridgeline of the Wicklow hills which transverse our municipality from Heathmont through Ringwood East to Birts hill and into North Croydon. This overlay’s intention is to seriously attempt to retain the significant tree cover that currently shelters our homes and allows for our municipality to be seen as a series of treed hill tops from Mt Dandenong.

These overlays are lodged with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/

>To discover whether your area is under this overlay you will need to contact Council’s planning department. Call 9298 4287.

I still want to object!

If you wish to voice your opinion and feel you have a suitable case, you will find the following site of huge value. It belongs to the group Save Our Suburbs, which has formed in NSW and VIC to address the issues that many of us face in finding out about the process and how to go about is http://www.saveoursuburbs.org.au/ then click on the Residents guide to Objecting. You can also check out the information available from our own Maroondah Council website – Planning Appeals.

We hope this information is of some use to you and that you have found your way around the site with a minimum of difficulty. CCS is a group of local residents who are keen to keep our own neighbourhood, clean, green and free of harmful air water and environmental pollutants, our main focus is to be a reasonable body for sensible environmental discussion,

If you wish to speak to someone about the situation call Liz on 9879 2247.