CAPEL Sounds residents opposing an affordable housing plan for land adjoining the Seawinds Community Hub have accused the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council of breaking a commitment to keep the land as open space.
Resident Richard Brown said he believes the shire has “no firm intention” of retaining half of the land for open space, as it claims, and is “only verbalising this to pacify the local residents and fool them into acquiescence”.
The shire has accused resident groups of distributing “misleading” flyers that the entire 22,700 square metre block would be developed (“Affordable housing flyer ‘misleading’” The News 24/5/22).
The shire’s community partnerships manager Chris Munro said nearly half the land – 10,000 square metres – is required to be set aside as a future park as part of any housing proposal.
Brown says there is no “iron-clad guarantee” of that happening.
“The shire itself undertook a survey of the local residents approximately six years ago asking if they wished the whole of 11a Allambi Avenue to remain parkland, which the vast majority supported,” Brown said.
“Now they are prepared to break that understanding with us and they’ve given no iron clad guarantee or undertaking to construct a park. How are we supposed to believe anything they say?”
Brown also hit back at the council’s claims that Capel Sound was not an already disadvantaged area.
“Mr Munro questions the disadvantaged status of Capel Sound/Rosebud, but a study from 2019 shows these towns together are ranked 18th in Victoria for most disadvantaged persons,” he said.
“Why does the shire continue to ignore all other options when it has a multitude of options available to it to avoid adding more disadvantaged people to this area?
“Why are Portsea, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento, Safety Beach, Mount Martha or Mount Eliza never considered?”
Brown said the shire’s suggestion that expert traffic engineering advice would be applied is a “euphemism” that the shire will move the plan forward and “will sanitise it and make it work whatever the cost”.
Resident Veronica Madigan said residents had “overwhelmingly showed support for parkland being retained in this area”.