Developer says Oakdene West has reflected community concerns
THE proponents of the Oakdene West estate say they have modified their proposed development in response to community concerns.
Morgan & Griffin, who developed Oakdene Estate on the east side of Grubb Road, have acquired the farmland directly to the west and have submitted an application to have it rezoned for housing.
This land, to the north of the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve, was within the town’s long-term settlement boundary in the City of Greater Geelong’s 2007 Ocean Grove Structure Plan at the time.
The draft Statement of Planning Policy in the Bellarine Distinctive Area and Landscape program does not include this land inside Ocean Grove’s settlement boundary.
There has been considerable community opposition to any further expansion of Ocean Grove.
The Ocean Grove Community Association continues to call for the town’s boundaries to be restricted to their existing limits to “prevent further urban sprawl into the surrounding rural countryside” and in accordance with the City of Greater Geelong’s Settlement Strategy.
Their “Enough is Enough” online petition has more than 5,000 signatures.
Morgan & Griffin say they have been engaging with community stakeholders since submitting the planning application, and have refined their Oakdene West concept plan to directly respond to the community’s views and concerns.
- Improved environmental protections, including wetlands and water quality treatment, between new housing and the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve to reduce weeds and fire risks and protect the reserve’s ecological integrity
- A new school
- A community meeting space with a capacity of at least 150 people
- A new bus route/interchange stop
- Other community amenities, such as parks, netball facilities and retirement living
- Nature corridors along the western boundary and through the centre of the site into Oakdene Estate, for safe passage of birds and wildlife
- Protection of the trees along the western side of Grubb Road, and
- A ban on cat ownership within the development.
Dominion Property Group is consulting with Morgan & Griffin on Oakdene West, and director Richard Strates said new developments played a vital role in providing affordable housing options and employment opportunities.
“If done right, they can become thriving extensions of local communities and provide important protections for the environment,” Mr Strates said.
“The engagement with the community and the resulting evolution of the concept plan shows Morgan & Griffin’s commitment to doing right by the Ocean Grove community, by creating a dynamic, thriving extension to the town that is sympathetic to the community’s needs and concerns.
“Besides providing affordable housing options, which has become even more challenging as migration increases to regional areas, the Ocean Grove community needs some of the things that Oakdene West can provide, like a new school, transport links and sporting facilities, as well as protections for the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve.”