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New Planning Proposal

Q: What is being proposed for the site?

The state government released Planning Guidelines for the Conversion of Golf Course Land to Other Purposes in Victoria in 2020. These guidelines will help determine the future of the former Kingswood golf course in Centre Dandenong Road, Dingley Village. The guidelines can be read here.

After considering a range of options, AustralianSuper decided to develop a new proposal for the site in line with the government’s guidelines.

The proposal was informed by the extensive community and stakeholder engagement feedback gained over many years and aims to balance the needs of the many stakeholders (including the local community, government and statutory authorities). The proposal is now on public exhibition, and can be viewed here.

Q: How are residents being consulted?

The new proposal has been prepared with feedback received from key stakeholders, including consideration of formal submissions received by Council to the earlier application.

The feedback and input of planning experts has been used to inform the new masterplan. The proposal aims to meet the objectives of the State Government Planning Guidelines for the Conversion of Golf Course Land to Other Purposes and deliver an inclusive, attractive, high-quality residential development that will enhance the area for everyone who calls Dingley Village home.

In May 2021, the Minister appointed himself as the Planning Authority for Amendment C199 and referred to the new proposal to the Golf Course Redevelopment Standing Advisory Committee to coordinate its public exhibition receive and review submissions and to advise on its merits.

Interested people can view the proposal and make submissions in writing until 11.59pm on Friday 6 August.

Q: Will the range of housing types change the current character of Dingley Village?

The new proposal supports a range of housing that will appeal to a diverse range of the community including families, downsizers, first–home buyers and those on lower incomes. Importantly it will help younger Dingley people stay in the area where they grew up, and older people to stay near friends and family as their needs change.

Q: What benefit will this bring to locals?

The entire community of Dingley Village, will benefit from this development by:

  • Having access to areas that were previously inaccessible unless you belonged to the private golf club and paid annual membership fees.
  • 14ha of open space, which is 26% of the total site area (the equivalent of 8 MCG playing fields).
  • Extensive wetlands and lakes providing wildlife habitat as well as reducing the catchment’s downstream flooding problems.
  • 6km of green linear reserves knitting the new neighbourhood into existing community open space networks.
  • 10% more trees than now growing on the property.
  • Creation of diversity in housing options within the suburb to better meet the needs of people at all stages of life.
  • Jobs – during construction and after.
  • Positive impact for local businesses.

Q: Will those trees removed from the site during development be replaced?

There are 3,241 trees currently on the site, not 20,000 as some people have been led to believe. Around 850 existing trees will be retained and some 2,685 new trees will be planted. This will mean there will be 10% more trees on the site than when it was a golf course. The proposed street tree species will be similar to the surrounding area with a mix of native and non-native species.

Q: Won’t development mean the loss of birds and wildlife?

The environmental landscape design of the new development provides for increased wetlands, creation of biodiversity corridors, and thousands of new trees and shrubs to support existing and future wildlife.

Construction will be staged and managed in accordance with strict permit conditions requiring the preparation of a Construction Site Environmental Management Plan (CSEMP). Before starting any works, all workers on site must be inducted into the CSEMP and all flora and fauna conservation requirements.

Q: Will it make traffic worse?

Independent traffic engineers have concluded increased traffic volumes will be negligible. The impact to Centre Dandenong Rd is largely offset by the improvement and expansion of surrounding arterial road networks already completed or underway.

To encourage greater connectivity and all modes of transport, the new plan has enlarged the existing pocket parks around the property boundary and knitted these into the new neighbourhood. This will make it easy to walk and cycle through the whole community, safely linking pockets of Dingley Village with local schools, shops and businesses without the need to drive.

Q: I’ve heard child care and kindergartens in Dingley Village will struggle to service the new residents, is this right?

The development has the potential to include the construction of a 120-place childcare centre or kindergarten depending on need. This would be privately developed and owned.

Construction of homes will be staged and community services will be delivered as the community’s need grows.

Q: Won’t a big development like this bring years of building activity that will impact the health of neighbouring residents?

All construction will be managed in accordance with strict permit conditions requiring dust, noise, construction vehicle movements and environmental impact to be controlled and managed within Council’s standards.

Construction will be staged and managed in accordance with strict permit conditions requiring the preparation of a Construction Site Environmental Management Plan (CSEMP).

Q: Will this development mean more buses running through Dingley Village?

Public transport needs will be monitored and implemented by Public Transport Victoria (PTV). The design of the main road through the new development will enable buses to safely collect passengers, if PTV determins a new bus route is warranted.

Q: Parts of Dingley Village have been historically flood-prone and the existing water catchments on the golf course have proved inadequate to absorb this. Won’t more roads and more houses make this a bigger problem?

The development proposes a series of water bodies and wetlands to be integrated with Melbourne Water’s stormwater infrastructure that services the site and surrounding area. These will be large enough to manage almost all expected flooding events. This new infrastructure will contribute significantly to solving historic flooding in the area.

Q: Won’t more houses put more strain on the existing NBN services in Dingley Village?

New infrastructure will be installed to service the new neighbourhood. This will be connected to a node as specified by NBN. It will be fiber to the house and will not impact the existing Dingley Village connectivity.

Q: I’ve heard suggestions the sewerage systems might get overloaded?

South East Water has confirmed that the capacity of the existing infrastructure can cater for the proposed new neighbourhood.

Q: Won’t additional power demands put stress on power, leading to lower voltage and power outages?

The development will be serviced with a high voltage electricity system to new sub-stations within the development. There will be no impact to the existing system.

Q: Will our mains water pressure drop?

South East Water has confirmed that there is sufficient available supply within the existing mains to accommodate the proposed new neighbourhood.

Q: I’ve heard the development wants to move the mobile phone tower, so how will that affect our services?

The existing Vodafone telecommunication tower was decommissioned in 2020 and a new tower installed in Cheltenham. The proposed development will not impact existing telecommunication services within the area.

Q: Didn't the first redevelopment proposal receive some 8000 objections from Dingley Village residents?

Kingston Council received more than 8000 submissions to the first proposal, over 98% of which were objections. Almost all of these objections were submitted on pre-printed form letters supplied by one local action group. Around 50% of these submissions were signed by people with addresses outside Dingley Village, outside Melbourne or outside Victoria.

It also included multiple submissions by some individuals and families within Dingley Village. Kingston Council also received many submissions of support for that proposal from Dingley Village residents. The 2021 proposal has been informed by community feedback to the first proposal.

About the Site

Q: I’ve heard this site is a park, is it?

No, it is not a park and has never been a park. For 82 years up until 2018, it was a private golf course with access only to people who paid thousands of dollars in membership fees to the Golf Club. Some people refer to it as the ‘Central Park’ of Dingley Village but sadly only very few people have been able to access any part of it.

Q: How can I ‘enjoy’ the site?

Unfortunately, unless you live in one of the neighbouring residences on the boundary, you can’t. A new development will seek to open the site with houses, parks, bike tracks, walking paths, wetlands and playgrounds available to the entire Dingley community.

Q: I’ve heard the site needs to be preserved as ‘open space’?

The site has never been designated as ‘open space’. Up until 2018 it was a private golf course not ‘open’ to anyone who didn’t pay an annual membership fee.

Q: Is the site the ‘lungs of Dingley’?

There has never been any indication that the former golf course was vital to provide oxygen to Dingley Village.

Q: Didn’t Kingston Council offer to lease the land and re-open the golf course to the public?

AustralianSuper received a letter from Council in October 2020 asking about our interest in such a proposal.

The Project Team provided an indication of the potential base level costs for Council’s information and advised that after considering the leasing, as well as other options, had decided to proceed with developing a new proposal for the site.

Maintenance

Q: How are you maintaining the site?

All maintenance is undertaken in close consultation with City of Kingston, and all permits and approvals for tree maintenance and other activities are in place prior to works commencing.

All maintenance activities occur with a full Health and Safety Management Plan in place.

We keep neighbours informed and the local community and other interested parties can find regular updates on this website.

Trees, Grass & Shrubs

Q: How are you managing the trees?

The tree management program includes an annual assessment of the health and structural integrity of all trees on the site. Qualified, independent arborists assess which trees are at risk of dropping limbs over the next 12 months.

This assessment is important for the safety of neighbours and their properties as well as for staff and any contractors who are maintaining the site. These trees are recorded, and a risk rating applied. If lopping or removal of potential dangers is necessary approval is sought from Kingston City Council.

Q: Are you removing trees?

Sometimes we have to remove trees for safety reasons. If this is required approval is sought from Kingston City Council and all work is undertaken in accordance with the permit it provides.

Q: What are you doing to manage grasses, shrubs and weeds?

Grass, weeds and shrubs are also monitored carefully to prevent unwanted spread particularly along the site boundary where it can affect neighbouring properties.

Spring is the peak growing season for grass and weeds. An approved and regulated herbicide treatment will be applied by spraying boundaries and former rough areas to ensure grasses (and particularly noxious weeds) do not seed and spread.

Q: Do you kill the grass? Sometimes it looks burnt.

The herbicide treatment process is typically applied to the former fairways, roughs and along boundary lines. Grass and weeds will die off and flatten out; however, its growth is restored within 6-8 weeks and the herbicide treatment process is repeated during peak growing seasons.

Flora & Fauna

Q: Is there any ‘unique’ or native flora?

As a result of historical land uses, the site is very different to its native state. The former fairways and greens of the golf course are dominated by exotic grass species and only scattered remnants of native vegetation remain (totalling about 1.3 hectares or just 2 per cent of the overall site’s area).

Ecological assessments of the property’s flora have recorded no nationally significant or state significant flora species on the site.

Q: Is there any ‘unique’ or protected fauna on the site?

Ecological assessments of the property’s fauna identified only one migratory fauna species of national significance that may occasionally forage in and around the property.

Despite this we know that the trees on the site provide habitat for local birds and animals and we’ll continue to manage and maintain them, so the site is safe for neighbours and staff whilst decisions regarding the site’s future are being considered.