Not happy, Harmon

By Jade Lawton
AMENDED plans for a six-level development in Lyall Road, Berwick, have done little to ease concerns about the building’s impact on the village.
Some objectors to the proposal this week received a letter detailing changes to the building, which will include a supermarket, hotel, offices and retail centre.
The complex was canned by the council in a July 2009 meeting after about 350 objections flooded in to Magid Drive.
Objectors hoped the developers, Harmon Group, would address their concerns by adjusting the plans before they were reviewed by VCAT later the next month.
But a summary of the new plans, sent to objectors who lodged a statement of grounds with VCAT, have failed to please members of the Berwick Village Chamber of Commerce, Casey-Cardinia National Trust and Residents or Ratepayers and Friends of Berwick Village Inc (RRFBVI).
“The developer has totally disregarded all of the council’s recommendations for refusing the original application and has ignored the 350-plus objectors to the development,” said RRFBVI President, Annette Aldersea.
“The amended proposal is still six levels with very little change to the glass façade and they have made further reductions to the number of car parking spaces. This shows the developer has no respect for the Berwick Village community either residential or business.”
Casey-Cardinia National Trust President Ruth Crofts said the trust was concerned how the development would impact Berwick Village.
“It appears that all of our objections have not been adequately addressed. The very first reason the council gave for refusing to grant the permit was the heritage reason. The proposal wasn’t consistent with neighbourhood character,” she said.
Berwick Village Chamber of Commerce President Harry Hutchinson said the chamber wanted development on Lyall Road but was concerned the lack of a service lane on the amended plans would gridlock Berwick’s traffic.
“We don’t think it will get approved (at VCAT).”
Developer Paul Harmon was not available for comment yesterday (Tuesday).
Mrs Aldersea said the RRFBVI understood the amended plans would be available for public viewing on the City of Casey website and council offices within the next few days.
“If people have already submitted a statement of grounds to VCAT they should new send a letter voicing their concerns to the amended plans. A copy of their letter must go to VCAT, City of Casey and Norton Rose (representing the developer). If you have not already objected it is not too late to do so,” Mrs Aldersea said.

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