HomeCo truck detour plan

Trucks are being directed to avoid a sliplane access to HomeCo that's just a metre from Lot 1 of Keysborough Townhouses' estate. 249653_06 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Heavy vehicles will be redirected as part of a safety review into a controversial townhouse project in Keysborough.

The council’s review into safety concerns at Keysborough Townhouses at 452 Cheltenham Road has examined the siting of Lot 1 just a metre from a truck access road and slip lane into the adjoining HomeCo shopping centre.

As a result, there’s no room for a footpath along the access road to link the Cheltenham Road bus stop and a child care centre and shops at HomeCo.

A roadside lamp-post stands just centimetres from Lot 1’s upper balcony.

On 13 September, Greater Dandenong Council chief executive John Bennie told a council meeting that council planners had proposed that heavy vehicles instead access HomeCo from Springvale Road.

For trucks, the access to Cheltenham Road would be used for egress only, he said.

Cr Rhonda Garad said the traffic plan needed to consider the risk to pedestrians, especially children, accessing the shopping centre and child care centre.

Mr Bennie said the peer review, which had been due at the end of August, was still awaiting a report from one of the independent assessors.

One of the reports suggested improvements, which would be considered by the council and brought to developers before being released publicly, Mr Bennie said.

Greater Dandenong Council has stated that all planning permits were appropriately and lawfully issued, as well as building permits approved by a private building surveyor.

Before launching the review, Mr Bennie had said there were “questions”, “issues” and “concerns” with the project.

The peer review will assess issues including Lot 1, the proximity of a light power pole from Lot 1, front setbacks from Lot 1, the footpath network within and outside the estate, several easements and parking inside and outside the estate.

The review was to be undertaken by council officers from the planning, engineering and traffic safety departments as well as “external third-party specialists”.

The townhouses’ current position was in an amended permit approved by a council officer in 2018.

The application by developer Salter Brothers was neither advertised to the public or put in front of Greater Dandenong councillors.