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Leave Burnside alone: residents reject higher density

Thursday, 31 January 2013
Author: Liam Mannix, Indaily

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A MEETING of Burnside residents last night expressed fury about the State Government's move to increase allowable building heights and densities in some of their suburbs, drilling a government bureaucrat for almost two hours.

The State Government's Inner Metro Growth Plan amendment was announced last year and is up for consultation over the next month.

The amendment proposes rezoning areas along transport corridors and the park lands fringe to allow for higher density, higher-rise development - up to 10 storeys in some parts.

At a meeting at the Burnside Ballroom last night more than 300 local residents told Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure director of planning Andrew Grear they were fearful the DPA would lead to excessively tall buildings, unfriendly and unsafe neighbourhoods, and transport problems.

"We have chosen to live where we can have a garden, not a big one, but a garden," one resident told Grear.

"Where we can get to the botanic gardens when we want, where we can get to a theatre when we want.

"We don't want to drink lattes all day in a sidewalk cafe.

"What are you going to do about us? Are we going to be compensated?"

As the meeting was in progress, former Integrated Design Commissioner Tim Horton was hitting out at the Burnside Council on Twitter, saying it had refused to engage with his 5000+ process.

"Has to be said; despite enormous effort to bring Burnside into @5000_plus, Burnside resolutely refused to attend, engage, respond," Horton tweeted.

"Burnside residents disadvantaged by lack of interest/lack of organisation while all other inner metro councils active in their future... Simply put; Burnside cannot choose to exclude themselves then seek cover from residents by fomenting dissent... poor example of governance."

The contentious DPA is part of the State Government's 30-Year-Plan which calls for increased housing growth, through more medium and high-density developments, in the inner suburbs to meet the challenges of a growing and ageing population.

The DPA will raise height limits to allow for developments up to 10 storeys along some areas of Fullarton Road. This part of the proposal was the focus of much of the meeting's ire.

"My question relates to forcing people to live in multi-storey apartments on major arterial roads or transit corridors, many of which carry heavy traffic flows and are heavily polluted and noisy," one woman said to Grear.

"There are major health problems for people living near heavy traffic flows. Why is your department and your government ignoring people's health and forcing them to live in multi-storey flats in main roads?"

"There's no forcing people to live in apartments," Grear replied.

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