Greening greyfields

Re imagining Maroondah …. To retain trees, densify housing & reduce heat island effect

State and Federal Government are going to continue to have immigration as a key policy.

Maroondah is set to increase the number of houses residences from currently 18, 600  to a new total of 22,000 by 2026. Where and how do we accommodate these new residences?

One concept is to completely re develop in a way that we have not seen before. We are familiar with dual occupancy and now high rise, but what if there is a different way? One proposal is Greening the Greyfields.

Let’s take adjoining property owners, say two beside and two behind on to the next street. According to census statistics these houses may have had a few as two people in each, making this land area house only 8 people.

If all four land owners sell at once there is now a “super block” to re-develop. Using an ethical builder and working to environmentally sustainable practices this super lot can house as many as 22 people (at 2 per dwelling) more or less. New homes built in among the existing trees either as mews, rows of terraced homes sharing party walls, as well as separate two story dwellings, and maybe even a couple of smallish single story residences like units, all maintaining the original set back from the street. They could be two story or three with a smaller one-bedroom residence on top with large patio areas for a roof garden.

Cars would be housed in a shared carpark, for all homes, utilising both underground and above ground, reducing the vast area of concrete or bitumen paving, that is current practice to each individual dwelling, and which prevents water absorption into the ground. Each home will still have access to a small piece of Private open space, but it also leaves a shared open space area to be utilised as public shared open space for enjoyment and to retain trees and plant more vegetation. Ground water can be collected on site for garden maintenance.

All other environmental building standards such as double glazing, sunshades for west facing windows, energy efficiency, full insulation, solar energy opportunities can all be met through, good design and planning. This concept is designed to create low carbon living into the future, and is known as  Greening the Greyfields. If you Google this you will find that Maroondah is one of a few councils to do a test pilot of this idea, Council is also very keen to hear from residents about what they think of this style of development with Maroondah. On MCC site click on “your say” and find the section Greening the greyfields to make comments.

MC Council asked Croydon Conservation Society for their view. In the face of more ad-hoc cookie cutter developments that destroy trees and create large areas of impervious tarmac that sends rain into storm water drains to the bay, we generally think this concept may have some merit. Our real concern is it will depend on the good will of co-joining properties to collectively sell to an ethical developer.