Archive:  22 Calthorpe Street Gisborne

Last Updated  23/12/16




Application For 29 Dwellings (yes, 29) On 7,000 Sqm  In Calthorpe Street, Gisborne

(23/12/16 - P)  'Over-development' and 'out-of-character' have just reached new heights 


Planning application PLN/2015/412 has been made (on behalf of the Robinson Family Trust) for 10 townhouses, 1 single story dwelling and 18 apartments.  One street tree in Fisher Street is also to be removed.  The site is just under 7,000 square metres and currently vacant, and comprises four titles located at the south-east corner of Calthorpe and Fisher Streets in Gisborne.  The Gisborne Main Drain (aka Bunjil Creek) forms the eastern boundary of the site.


A previous permit was granted in 2006, but was not acted on and expired (the developer's planning report at page 2 says 14 dwellings were approved in 2006; local residents say the approved development was reduced to 13 dwellings).  The planning report for the application claims the main difference between the 2006 proposal, and the current one, is the inclusion of a "modest" apartment style development in the centre of the site instead of townhouses / dwellings.  That "modest" apartment block is three floors and 18 apartments, including underground car park, and a lift.


The design and planning team of Bill Jacobs Pty Ltd (Keilor Park), and G2 planners (Gattini) at Moonee Ponds that are associated with this application also gave Gisborne the Nexus Call Centre.  Bill Jacobs Pty Ltd has also been associated with other developments including the Helensville townhouse/unit development (at the Howey Street corner 'gateway' with Melbourne Road),  and the very large supermarket proposal at Riddells Creek.  All of these attracted strong community resistance, and objections to over-development, poor design characteristics, and lack of compatibility with rural town character.


Although the Macedon Ranges planning scheme supports a diversity of housing types for the 22 Calthorpe Street site and parts of the broader area around it, DDO17 (Design and Development Overlay, Schedule 17) is applied to the site and requires all development to (amongst other things):


"Protect and enhance the established semi-rural and village character of the residential area surrounding Gisborne Township"
"Ensure that new development has proper regard for established streetscape and development patterns in terms of building design, height, form, scale, siting and fencing" and
"Ensure new development respects its natural and built environment and does not dominate the landscape."


There's medium density appropriate to Gisborne, then there's the proposal at 22 Calthorpe Street.


The development proposal


aerial 22 calthorpe streetdesign response 22 calthorpe

The aerial view shown (above left) shows existing development surrounding the site is relatively low density, with ample garden and grass space around dwellings.  Photo source:  Site Analysis and Context page 3  Top is north.


The design response shown (above right) shows that the proposed development is basically wall-to-wall dwellings around two boundaries, with a large apartment block in the middle, and these separated by an internal concrete driveway.  Only the mandatory green-coloured creek/drain buffer area suggests a "green" space.  Photo source: Drawing TP01 Site description and design response  Top is north.


Here are some issues that have been identified to raise in a submission:

Development proposed along the site's southern boundary  Note:  the fence in this drawing seems to be shown on the wrong (i.e. northern) side of the dwellings, when it is to the south (i.e. along the southern boundary).

Cut and fill plan

Although the formal notice period for making submissions has now passed, submissions/objections can be made up until the time council makes a decision (likely next year). 


There are some 28 documents associated with this application.  Go to Council's website to inspect or download them:  type 'Calthorpe' at "street", and 'Gisborne' at "suburb" and click "Search".


MRRA Says:

Some understandably horrified local residents alerted MRRA to this awful proposal: development so jammed in it can't be done without putting one of the dwellings IN the floodplain, knocking off a street tree, short-changing character and existing residents on setbacks, moving tons of dirt, producing "walls" of two-storey development and creating a concrete-dominated environment.  


 Not good enough - never was, and never will be.  This is truly damaging development, and is what greed, and suburban, look like.  It's time the community pushed back against this substandard type of development that so many of us hate so much.  If you can find a moment to pen a short objection, would be fantastic!   Make sure you send a copy of submissions to all councillors, as well as lodging submissions with council.