By CASEY NEILL
KR Peters director Peter Nicolls says his architect-designed townhouses will enhance – not devalue – a Keysborough estate.
He also vowed to continue a fight with Telstra over phone and internet connection delays.
The Journal reported last week that 38 people had signed a petition to be tabled at the Monday 25 July Greater Dandenong Council meeting opposing four townhouses being built on two blocks.
The petition said the townhouses on Lots 45 and 47 in Patricia Loop would affect security, noise levels, property values and the area’s general appearance.
“The values are not going to go down in the area,” Mr Nicolls said.
“If anything they’re very attractive. They’ll blend in like two individual houses.
“There are a lot of facade additions that have gone on.
“I haven’t gone to a draftsman or a builder
“I’ve gone to an award-winning architect and invested in something that is spot-on.
“He’s designed new homes that are modern, contemporary and of a high standard.”
Mr Nicolls said he was the agent who sold the land in the estate.
“I purchased three properties because I believed in the area,” he said.
“Lot 45 and 47 were corner allotments. Because of the northern orientation that the blocks offered they were perfect to do two homes on the block.”
Residents told the Journal it appeared the townhouses would take up the entire blocks, when they were capped to building on 60 per cent of their own properties.
“We complied with the design guidelines,” Mr Nicoll said.
“Over a three month period of going backwards and forwards we were made to change the plans to suit council’s requitements.
“We followed the law.”
When the petition was tabled, the council’s city planning, design and amenity director Jody Bosman said planning permits were issued on 17 August last year.
“The proposed development is assessed against an approved Development Plan and is thus not subject to additional advertising,” he said.
“On that basis, there are no third-party appeal rights due to the development being in accordance with an approved Development Plan.”
Residents also said they were advised there would be no units or townhouses in the estate.
“We actively marketed several of the properties as townhouse development sites,” Mr Nicolls said.
“We were totally transparent that townhouses could be built provided the block of land was big enough.”
On residents’ claims that a proposed new driveway on a bend was dangerous, Mr Nicolls said they were entitled to their opinion and that the council had approved it.
Residents blamed KR Peters for not having phone or internet connections.
Mr Nicolls said that like residents, he had spent hundreds of hours seeking answers from Telstra.
“KR Peters has become the scapegoat,” he said.
A Telstra spokesman said several homes within the estate already had appropriate infrastructure installed.
“We apologise for the delay for others who have attempted to have services connected and not been able to,” he said.
“We hope to provide a more specific timeline for the completion of work shortly.”