Riddells Creek Sustainability Newsletter

2 April 2008

How do you want to see the heart of Riddells Creek developed?

Filed under: Supermarket — Jenny @ 3:59 pm

Did you know that the vacant land in Station Street, in the centre of Riddells Creek, is about to be filled with buildings, roads and car-parking? Will this liven up the centre of our town or will it kill it off?

The proposed development will include a larger supermarket, to which the current business will relocate, 17 shops/offices and 181 car-parking spaces. All vehicles will enter and leave through one entrance in Station Street opposite the Sutherlands Rd/Station St intersection. The buildings will be built out of those concrete “tilt-slab” panels that are now so ubiquitous in industrial estates and low-cost developments. Little attempt has been made to orient the buildings to achieve energy-efficiency. Shops will be sited right up against Yeaman House, and cars will be parked along the Government Rd allotment between the shops and the Lake Park next door.

We believe that Riddells Creek needs an enhanced central focus – one that draws together the Kilmore Road shops, the Mechanics Institute, shops and historic buildings in Station Street and our beautiful Lake Park. The proposed development will not achieve this. It turns its back on the lake, buries Yeaman House and will create a pedestrian nightmare in Station Street. We are unable to show you the developers plan, and it is no longer on public display. It may be possible to view it by contacting the council, and we have copies we can show you in person.

A Different Approach

We have prepared an alternative plan. It includes a pedestrian public square or ‘piazza’ with the opportunity for restaurants/cafes looking out over the lake (imagine a quiet drink on a warm evening as the sun sets over the lake!). It takes the vehicle entry point down to the other end (between the medical centre and the railway line) to minimise traffic congestion. It orients all buildings to maximise energy efficiency, that is to allow winter sun in and keep summer sun out. It plans for a future when we add other means of transport than cars (walking, riding, and public transport) which we so desperately need to do to reduce our carbon emmisions and control the obesity epidemic. We are grateful to the developer for taking time to look at this proposal, but disappointed at his stubborn rejection of all its features.

View larger (click here)

 

We have looked at the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme, and there is a lot of emphasis on environmental sustainability, public transport, pedestrian and cycling friendliness and linking developments to existing community facilities and natural environments, all of which we believe the developers proposal does not comply with. In addition it specifically states that “It is policy that …the development achieves better integration of lake reserve into the town centre”.

We believe that decisions that are this critical to the heart of Riddells Creek should be taken only after extensive community consultation covering all aspects of the design. We live here – the developer does not!

 

Are you concerned? Then here’s what you can do.

Over one hundred people have signed a petition to the council asking that more time and opportunity for comment be available, which is located on the post office counter.

Please tell your councillors that more time and consultation are needed, or write a letter to the Riddell Roundup, or contact us. Better still, do all three.

If you would like the opportunity to have meeting with the the council about this proposal, please let the councillers know but also contact us as we can try and arrange one.

John Nicholson and Jenny Grounds, 5428 7684, jgrounds@hotkey.net.au

David and Sue Laurie, 54286625

Lyn Hovey 54286940

Your Councillors:

Geoff Neil 54296785, CrGeoffNeil@bigpond.com

Henry Bleeck 54227027 CrHenryBleeck@bigpond.com

Sandra McGregor 54235127 , CrSandraMcGregor@bigpond.com

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