MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council has rejected a plan to allow affordable, or social, housing to be built in Allambi Avenue, Capel Sound.
Bettyanne Foster of the Capel Sound Community Group said the community was feeling relief and elation about the turn-around and was grateful to the councillors who “took the time to visit the site and listen to our concerns”.
The 2.2 hectare site at 11A Allambi Avenue is used as de facto public parkland but was nominated by the council for an affordable housing development.
Foster said the group was working to build a community “that cares for each other and protects and enjoys the unique natural environment that exists in Capel Sound”.
“Our ability to do these things would have been made so much more difficult If the potential development of the Allambi Avenue site for affordable housing had gone ahead,” she said.
“This exercise has demonstrated the strength of our community and showcased the extent of the skills and knowledge we possess and our ability to work with council to achieve things that are good, not just for Capel Sound, but for the entire peninsula.”
Since residents were notified about the affordable housing project at the start of the year, opponents to the plan have pushed for other sites to be considered, and for the Allambi Avenue land to be left as community open space.
About 130 residents filled the council chambers on Tuesday 6 September but were ushered out when the vote on the affordable housing issues came up.
The day after the meeting a shire news release headed Affordable housing victory for our community, stated that the lack of affordable housing was a critical challenge for the peninsula that the council was working to address, but that it would not proceed with the Capel Sound site “for the purposes of this project”.
The release also stated that “compelling feedback” and extensive consultation had led to the decision.
It is understood the council will still go ahead with lease negotiations for sites in Hastings and Mornington to support housing for women, including older women and victims of family violence.
But, it is still “exploring future types of housing needs” for the central Rosebud sites.
The mayor Cr Anthony Marsh said the shire would “revisit potential projects in Rosebud” in the future.
The shire would continue to fight for fair and equitable investment by government in housing on the peninsula.