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Frankston citizens alert Dec 10 Council high-rise decision

Monday 10 December Frankston Council will approve the design of the South East Water (SEW) high rise Office Block. The building is 8 -9 story high (potentially 10 in the future) and extends for an entire city block from Playne Street to Wells Street. Public space is being rapidly chewed up in Frankston. It lost its Central Park in the Town Centre to Gandel over ten years ago. It looks like losing the long planned Kananook Creek Boulevard (connecting the town centre to the waterfront) to a South East Water office tower and a new aquatic centre is swallowing up existing parklands. Another crucial issue is due process and secret deals.

A very dismal record - its time to better defend public space in Frankston. Residents describe an appalling lack of due process, where the planning process is perceived to be without integrity, involving secret deals. State member Geoff Shaw is alleged to have made an election promise to complete the "Peoples' Plaza "on Kananook Creek, but now an 8-10 story office block is going up in its place.

Secret, arrogant, contemptuous treatment of community

State Government /Frankston Council should stop the outrageous abuse of due planning process and the secretive, arrogant and contemptuous treatment of the Frankston community.

The development of the strategic, publicly owned, waterfront site on the Kananook Creek Boulevard has long been seen as holding the key to Frankston’s future. Any development here is of the highest order of public interest; it should engage the widest community and receive the fullest public debate.

On Monday the 10th December Council will approve the design of the South East Water (SEW) high rise Office Block. The building is 8 -9 story high (potentially 10 in the future) and extends for an entire city block from Playne Street to Wells Street.

Charade of public consultation

SEW released the design for public view in the local papers on Tuesday 4th December - effectively giving the community only about three days to comment on the public release of the design. Worse still, from SEW's own communication to its staff, it appears that the Council approval of the design has already been pre-determined-so public release is just a charade- it will have no effective impact at all.

This follows a totally secret deal to sell the strategic site (earmarked as predominantly public space) for a peppercorn price and a further secret deal to circumvent Councils own strict planning laws on building height and mass.

11 Major Issues this development

LIRG has identified at least 11 major issues with the proposal all of which are in the wider public interest and should be fully debated with the community –refer website http://longislandresidents.wordpress.com/

A 3 day viewing process is not designed for open, interactive community debate.

Long Island Residents Group (LIRG) URGENTLY URGES the leaders/concerned residents in the Frankston community to get their Council to:

Defer the decision on approving the SEW high rise office block building design and allow a proper period of public consultation on the proposal.

Rescind the Frankston Planning Scheme waiver to avoid the unwanted consequences of establishing a new precedent on building heights.

State Government /Council bring wide discredit to themselves when they continue to treat the Frankston community in this secretive, arrogant and contemptuous manner.

Council role is umpire, not developer

If Council ignores community concern on the process this Monday night and approves the design it will make the community more determined for reform.

The Councils role must be the trusted umpire, not the gung ho developer- a massive conflict of community interest arises when the planning and developer role are not properly separated.

Furthers concerns are explained at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bea6cROV214

Source: Alert from Long Island Residents' Group (LIRG) - Frankston, Victoria, Australia.