Townhouses on school land rejected

Greater Dandenong Council has rejected a development plan for townhouses on the yellow and pink lots to the right of Keysborough Primary School. A townhouse development plan had been approved in the blue lot in May 2020.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Greater Dandenong councillors have rejected a “massive overdevelopment” of townhouses proposed on 1.7-plus hectares of former school land in Springvale South.

Paragon Development Group proposed the development plan across adjoining lots next to Keysborough Primary School at 46-62 Darren Road and 55-67 Coomoora Road.

Currently the lots are vacant, with “significant” amounts of vegetation.

Cr Tim Dark, who moved against the plan, said it was a “large, bulky overdevelopment” that didn’t even hit the 5 per cent open space target.

The plan provided 4.95 per cent open space – four square metres short of the requirement.

Each two-storey dwelling would be allocated 60 metres of ground-level private open space.

Residents were also opposed to heavy peak traffic from its proposed childcare centre on Darren Road, Cr Dark said.

This was on top of the nearby Keysborough Primary School and a planned council-funded kindergarten.

“What we should be having is a high quality development on the site instead of dogbox townhouses rammed on a very large childcare centre.”

In favour of the plan, Cr Sean O’Reilly said the council should defer and attempt to resolve the concerns with the developer who “hasn’t had the opportunity to respond”.

The traffic volume and over-development criticisms were “aspirations” rather than founded on planning grounds.

They were unlikely to sway the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Cr O’Reilly said.

The council could not “demand” more open space.

In May 2020, Greater Dandenong approved a development plan for a townhouse estate on the opposite side of Keysborough Primary School at 15-29 Coomoora Road.

Councillors had initially objected to the “extremely intense” development plan proposed by the State Government development arm Development Victoria.

It is expected to comprise about 45 townhouses and 16 land-only lots.

In 2016, the Department of Education and Training declared the vacant lots to the east and west of Keysborough Primary School as surplus to requirement.