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In Albion VIC on “Construction of nine (9)...” at 52, 54 & 56 Selwyn Street Albion, VIC:

Melissa Brown commented

I believe this proposed development to be unreasonable for the area for multiple reasons, Please see the following dot points for explanation,
- Neighbourhood character - with most dwellings found west of Selwyn Park single family homes, many of them weatherboards I find the extreme number of dwellings proposed and the very modern facade of this development to clash with the visual character of the homes found in this pocket of Albion.
- Removal of large existing trees - The ARBORICULTURAL REPORT for the site is dated May 2018, I believe a more current report should be supplied for the following reason. There are at least two large existing trees found at the back of sites 52 and 56 Selwyn Street. Neither of these are local indigenous species, however at least one (at 52) is a Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta) (which is listed in the Arboricultural report as having low arboricultural value, despite being listed as a developing tree in good health and structure, and only semi-mature at 9m leading me to believe a new report should be undertaken). This species is an Australian native which attracts many native birds providing habitat for these local species. I believe the removal of this tree would be detrimental to local bird and possum species. It is stated in 5.4 of the arboricultural report that' Tree 1, a semi-mature Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta) has good structure, but was assessed as having low arboricultural value due to its size'. If we always allow trees to be cut down before they get to their full size then we will never have trees of high value within the municipality, this I believe is a failed logic.
Also in 5.4 assumptions are being made about 'Tree 6, Liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua) was dormant when assessed so foliage growth and health could not be assessed, however multiple pruning wounds were observed in the lower trunk with evidence of insect activity. The extent or impact of the insect activity is not known, however given the location low on the trunk, and the presence of epicormic growth at the base of the tree it is possible that the insect activity or decay associated with it is impacting on the health of the tree, and indicates a reduced estimated ULE'. Rather than make assumptions, a new assessment should be undertaken.
- .use of glyphosate- Page 135. Establishment and maintenance notes. I would like it to be considered to use another form of weed removal other than a glyphosate based product. 'All weed species on site shall be eradicated. -Use glyphosate based herbicide.'
- Additional crossover on Delmont Street - The intersection where Delmont Street meets Selwyn Street is on a bend on Selwyn Street, making it a blind corner. The current crossover where it stands is already very close to the intersection, and the plans are to put an additional crossover between the current one and the intersection. I believe this is a dangerous proposal for vehicles that would need to reverse out of this driveway into the middle of the intersection, and the residents, many young families.
- Overlooking of private space at 1 Delmont Street. These are old plans that show the dwelling and shed at 1 Delmont Street, but fails to show the family pool that is located in the backyard at this premise, which would be overlooked by the proposed properties to be built at 52 and 54 Selwyn Street. All second story windows facing East should be fixed obscure glazed windows at a minimum for privacy of the neighboring property.
- Lack of adequate sustainability features. I feel for a development of this size it should at least give back as much as it takes from the community, and would like to see the addition of solar electricity (not just solar hot water, especially when providing a socket to charge an electric car), solar shading on the west side in addition to that proposed for the North side. External blinds are mentioned, but not specified as to which windows they will be present on. I find this proposal in 2020 is grossly inadequate and will lead to long term environmental and financial disadvantage for the end buyer of the property to retrofit features that in 2020 should come with every new build.
The BESS report states that the floorplans with detailed locations and supporting documents and evidence is incomplete, this report should be redone with all required documentation to guarantee compliance.
I am extremely concerned that the water tanks for Townhouses 8 and 9 are missing from the plans,
- Delmont Street set back - The setback for the townhouses that face Delmont Street are currently at a minimum of 3m, and are not set back to the required depth to meet current house setbacks along Delmont Street, with the shallowest setback being at 5 Delmont Street. Page 55 of their planning document shows that the townhouses proposed facing Delmont Street is considerably closer to the road than that at 5 Delmont Street.
- Heat and Run off - with many of the private open spaces completely surrounded on all sides by walls, they can hardly be called 'open spaces'. I am concerned about the heat that will be created and the increased run off due to lack of actual open green space in this development. In 4.0 stormwater management of the SDA I am concerned that the STORM rating report only received a score of 100 which is the exact minimum requirement needed to meet compliance, and makes no effort to go beyond what is required of the development. In 5.0 Building materials it is stated that "Where possible in accordance with town-planning requirements, the development will attempt to use light coloured materials for all external wall cladding, roof colours and paving to minimise urban heat island effect." however looking at the colours listed on the plans this does not seem to be the case.
- cultural area sensitivity. This development falls completely within an area of cultural heritage sensitivity (https://achris.vic.gov.au/#/onlinemap), and as such i believe should be developed to a higher environmental and social standard, rather than the highest possible profits of the developers (for example, the development on the opposite corner of Selwyn St and Dalworth Street would be a good place to start)
- Density - as stated on page 52 of their planning document "The general residential density in Albion is generally considered to be a medium to low density in a garden precinct area... the site would be considered suitable for the the density
of townhouses over the three combined lots as per this proposal'. When having just stated that the density in Albion is currently between low to medium density, i don't believe this high density fits with the current design of the neighbourhood.
- use of timber wall cladding - although this seems to be the popular thing to do these days, they may look good at build, but with many lacking the maintenance schedule required to keep these looking good, start to wear and look terrible within just a few years. I believe this is a wasteful and unsustainable exterior for the long term.
- Parking - a waiver has been sought for visitor parking for this development. I believe that the density that is already being proposed is to too high in regards to parking, let alone waiving any additional visitor parking. Selwyn Street is a narrow curved street which bends around the park in a hexagonal shape. The park side is already no standing, however illegal parking already often happens. The amenity and safety of the Albion community who use the park including many families with young children, are being greatly put at risk but this development and especially a waiver for visitor carparking. Any weekend or evening day when sport is on at the park is already a cause for concern in the area let along tripling the density of occupation at sites 52-56 Selwyn Street.

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