NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers - Australia
Paper: Leader - Progress Press (Melbourne, Australia)
Title: A change of plan
Walker Corp scales back
$400m development
Date: October 25, 2005

A NEW blueprint has been drafted for the Kew Residential Services site after a dramatic about-face by its billionaire Sydney developer.

Community pressure has forced Lang Walker's Walker Corporation to scale back its plans for the controversial $400 million redevelopment.

The revised plan is with the council and State Government.

The new proposal cuts the maximum number of dwellings and increases open space.

But players in the tug of war are still suspicious.

Kew Cottages Coalition president Brian Walsh said he had ``seen more detail on cereal packets''.

Boroondara Mayor Jack Wegman said it was a step forward and the time for ``butting heads'' was over.

He said all parties should work towards redeveloping the site but warned the council had not been given enough time to analyse the changes.

``The State Government has given council only 28 days in which to comment,'' he said.

``This is grossly inadequate.''

Under the new proposal the number of dwellings has been cut from about 900 to a maximum of 560. About 320 buildings are listed on the plan, including one five-storey complex overlooking the cityscape and the Yarra.

Designated open space will be increased from 27 per cent of the site to 30 per cent.

Walker Corporation business development manager Kevin Hunt said only 48 per cent of the 27ha site would be developed.

``What we're trying to do is find a happy medium between all parties while still maximising the value of the land,'' he said.

Kew Cottages Parents Association president Ian Whalley applauded the relocation of a $3 million health centre to the present community centre site.

But questions remained about traffic flow and disabled access, he said.

``From our point of view, we just want to get a handle on what sort of community our residents will be living in,'' Mr Whalley said.

The council has been given until November 15 to respond to the plan and has called for community input.

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Copyright, 2005, Nationwide News Pty Limited

Section: News
Page: 001
Copyright, 2005, Nationwide News Pty Limited