Tower-filled skyline part of 20-year plan


TEN-storey towers 32 metres high could be built on the beach side of Nepean Highway under the proposed Frankston structure plan.

The draft plan was released for public comment on Monday night.

The plan will guide development over the next 20 years and replaces the 2005 TAFE to Bay structure plan.

The proposal is already drawing fire with two councillors, James Dooley and Glenn Aitken, criticising on ABC television news.

Cr Aitken told the ABC the structure plan “will turn Frankston into a place of mediocrity into the future”.

Cr Dooley said it included zones for high-density housing that could become slums because of “poor architecture and environments”.

The document was “pretty much a blank cheque for developers to come to Frankston and do what they like”.

The plan calls for 17,000 new dwellings to be built in the city by 2030, possibly including 20-storey towers in central Frankston that would be 56 metres high.

Frankston’s central activities area is likely to be expanded north and east.

Community activist Hilary Poad, who also appeared on the television news report, said the city should be growing “gradually and gracefully”.

“If you put in high rises, it will become a mini Docklands,” she said.

Frankston could not handle existing traffic and did not need more development, she said.

On Tuesday, Ms Poad told The News that allowing 10-storey buildings on Nepean Highway would stymie development inland. “It’s planning to fail.”

Developers would need large blocks of land to erect 20-storey towers, she said.

“The higher the building, the lower the chance of it happening. No developer in their right mind would touch it,” she said.

There have been eight attempts to renew Frankston since the late 1990s, including the 1999 Frankston Project, various master plans and updates, the 2003 Feasibility Study for Kananook Creek and the Interchange Precinct, the Wells Street Entertainment development, and the 2005 TAFE to Bay structure plan.

The TAFE to Bay plan allowed for buildings to be smaller at the bay end of the city centre and become higher close to the railway line.

The new plan appears to throw this out the window.

The Frankston Central Activities Area Structure Plan has been prepared by the state Department of Planning and Community Development and senior Frankston Council officers with very little input from councillors.

Councillors were shown a version with no drawings about six weeks ago but did not receive the final draft until three weeks ago.

A briefing was held on Wednesday night after five councillors returned from the Australian Council of Local Government meeting in Canberra.

Also being discussed at Monday’s meeting is an application for an 11-storey building on the Nepean Highway between Wells and Beach streets.

The News asked Frankston CEO Dennis Hovenden if Crs Dooley and Aitken would face action over revealing the structure plan.

“We have not had the opportunity to discuss the report on the ABC last Friday night as our mayor and some councillors have been in Canberra attending the Local Government Australia Conference,” he said.


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