Living on the edge

Keysborough Townhouse's corner property 'Lot 1' is built barely a metre from a shopping centre access road, right. 241044_04 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Pedestrians may be forced to walk unsafely among traffic due to a 116-townhouse estate being built barely a metre from a busy roadside kerb.

The Keysborough Townhouses project is well under construction in a mixed-use zone by developer Salter Brothers at 452 Cheltenham Road.

There appears no room for a footpath along the access road to the HomeCo shopping centre, child-care centre and Cheltenham Road.

The estate’s corner property Lot 1 stands just a metre from the kerb.

After alarmed residents raised safety concerns, Greater Dandenong Council has ordered a multi-department review into the project.

Keysborough South resident Dom Boccari says the council appeared to have approved Lot 1 as part of a permit amendment in 2018.

According to the council’s online planning register, the amendment – which involved removing an easement – was approved by a planning officer delegate, not at a public council meeting.

“This property has been recklessly built with no consideration of occupants’ safety and standards of buildings in our municipality,” Mr Boccari says.

At a council meeting on 15 June, acting city planning director Jamie Thorley thanked Mr Boccari for bringing the issue to the council’s attention.

“Council officers from the Building, Planning and Engineering departments will be conducting a review of this development in response to a number of concerns received from the community.”

A resident, who has bought into the estate, also raised pedestrian safety issues during the council meeting’s public question time.

She predicted residents and visitors would be forced to park at HomeCo due to the lack of on-site parking in the tightly-packed estate.

Councillor Rhonda Garad said “deeply concerned” residents had “woken up to the reality” of the development’s encroachment.

She asked how the project “meets the test” for green space, car parking, emergency access and lack of footpaths as well as the proximity of Lot 1 to a “major traffic area”.

“It is very perplexing to the residents that these issues weren’t well considered in the planning application and the approval of this development.”

According to signage at the construction site, Lot 1 appears to have been sold.

Salter Brothers was contacted for comment.