The Andrews government and Box Hill TAFE are moving to sell off public land owned by the TAFE for even more high-rise towers in central Box Hill.
The government is bypassing normal planning procedures, and has exempted itself from the usual requirement to offer surplus land to other parts of government before selling it.
It is appalling that the government is rushing madly to impose more high rise development on Box Hill, yet is doing nothing to provide Box Hill and surrounding suburbs with the schools, public transport, aged care, community health and other facilities needed for the huge population increase it is creating.
One site being sold is the TAFE’s Whitehorse campus next to Box Hill Town Hall. The other site is in Spring Street, behind Nelson Road.
The government wants to allow a 29 storey tower, including 25 storeys of residential apartments, on the Spring Street site, even though the site has no main road frontage and is surrounded by hospital and TAFE developments.
The Whitehorse Road site is being rezoned from Education to Commercial 1 Zone, also opening the way for multi-storey development.
The government is imposing these massive new developments despite Box Hill having no master plan for how its future should look to avoid becoming a mess of towers and wind tunnels.
The decision on these developments will be made by the Minister for Planning, not Whitehorse Council, even though there is a huge conflict of interest with the government seeking to maximize the funds received from these sales.
The government should call off this move, work with Whitehorse Council to come up with a proper master plan for Box Hill’s future, and find a site for a new school for Box Hill before considering selling off any scarce educational land.
For more details about what the government is planning to do, see the government’s “Fast Track Government Land Service” page at http://bit.ly/2hPG45L, and Box Hill TAFE’s Spring St project page at http://bit.ly/2xWABOs.