Townhouse safety ‘goodwill’

Safety issues had been raised about Keysborough Townhouses' proximity to the access road and corner, right. 249653_06 Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Greater Dandenong Council has negotiated for safety improvements at a controversial townhouse project in Keysborough.

After a safety review, the council met with developer Salter Brothers in a “spirit of good will and collaboration”, a council meeting was told on 15 November.

As a result, Salter Brothers agreed to implement five modifications “over and above the planning scheme” to the Keysborough Townhouses site at 452 Cheltenham Road, chief executive John Bennie reported.

Safety concerns had been raised about the siting of the estate’s Lot 1, standing about a metre from a truck slip lane and access road into the nearby 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.

Among the changes listed by Mr Bennie was an “enhanced pedestrian management” construction along the access road and western edge of the townhouses.

Salter Brothers would also provide additional landscaping between the estate and road. It would be planted to council requirements with council-listed species, Mr Bennie said.

The developer would arrange removal “in the near future” of a roadside lamp post that stands centimetres from the western corner Lot 1’s upper balcony.

A suite of way-faring signage designed to the council’s requirements will also be made and installed across the site.

A zebra crossing will also link the estate with the footpath in front of the child care centre and HomeCo – though it will require discussions with the HomeCo developer, Mr Bennie said.

There were also “two more points” under discussion, he said.

Councillor Rhonda Garad said the changes “sound good but the devil’s in the detail”.

She said no detail had been provided on the pedestrian-safety “construction”. It needed to be “something substantial” and “not just lines painted on a road”, she said.

She had asked but not yet received a copy of the safety review.

Mr Bennie said that according to the review, all planning permits were appropriately and lawfully issued.

The development was also found compliant with the planning scheme.

It had “in every respect” met “statutory obligations, standards and requirements”, Mr Bennie said.

The Lot 1 position was cast in an amended permit approved by a council officer in 2018.

The amendment was neither advertised to the public or put in front of Greater Dandenong councillors.