Plans which will double the population of Alphington have been given the green light by Yarra Council.
The development of the 16.4ha former Alphington Paper Mill is set to contain 2500 homes in buildings up to 14 stories; 13,000sq m of retail space including a supermarket, and office space totalling 11,500sq m.
The 2500 dwellings could accommodate almost 5000 people. This would effectively more than double Alphington’s population, which was recorded at 4600 in the 2011 census.
At a meeting last night, Yarra Council also stuck firm on an “unconditional” 5 per cent affordable housing allotment for the development bordered by Chandler Highway and Heidelberg Rd.
Vice president of the West Alphington Residents Inc. Tiffany Crawford-Lane said the group supported the council’s decision.
“Members of WARI weren’t delighted by such a large development on that site but they’ve been willing to accept it,” Ms Crawford-Lane said.
“It has come with community facilities, open space and is reasonable in its approach.”
Ms Crawford-Lane said the establishment of a community reference group, expected in early 2016, would help keep the developers Alpha Partners and Glenvill in check.
She was pleased the development plan protected Yarra River with a 30-metre buffer zone along its bank.
The plan may also unlock a 17m-wide stretch of land for an eastern duplication of Chandler Highway, due to a planned demolition of a boiler house on the Amcor site.
The council received a petition of about 2000 signatories earlier this year calling for approval of the development plan to be delayed until the decision on Chandler Highway’s duplication was made.
But last night council ruled it was not necessary as the two were separate projects.
National Trust Senior Community Advocate Felicity Watson said the boiler house needed to be protected for future generations.
“The Boiler House represents the exciting technological innovation of post-war architecture,” Ms Watson said.
Alphington Paper Mill Action Group committee member Fiona Currie said the demolition of large brick buildings at the corner of Chandler Highway and Heidelberg Rd would allow the development to better fit with the area.
“APMAG is very excited that the community facility and a multipurpose court that will be funded by the developer.”
Yarra mayor Roberto Colanzi said the plan secured 4.5 per cent open space and 1700 square metres of community and sport facilities on site.
“Council has listened to our community and worked hard to ensure the development plan achieved significant outcomes,” he said.
Last night about 80 members of the community applauded from the public gallery when the development plan was unanimously passed at Fitzroy Town Hall.
Yarra Councillor Amanda Stone praised the local community and said: “I have seen next to no NIMBYism from Alphington residents. Let’s hope we get a good development.”
Developers can now lodge planning applications with council following settlement which is expected later this month.
Alpha Partners and Glenvill have been contacted for comment.