Residents ready for second development fight


Tate Papworth

Kealba residents are again preparing to fight a proposed development at the former Kealba Secondary College site.

Last year, hundreds of residents protested over a development, which included more than 200 townhouses and apartments.

The application received more than 700 objections and was knocked back by the Brimbank council.

The developer appealed the decision to VCAT in October, which upheld the council decision, raising a number of concerns with the plans.

An appeal against the VCAT decision was to be heard later this year, but the developer has now listed new plans for council consideration.

Revised plans include a reduction in the number of dwellings to 196. It also includes lot layout adjustments, including wider blocks of land around the periphery of the site.

A spokesperson for the Kealba Residents Against Over Development group said it was a false reduction.

“A lot of these apartments have gone from three bedrooms to five bedrooms,” she said.

“We did the math on it and it’s actually 100 more bedrooms than previously”.

The group is also questioning the timing of the lodgement.

“There’s a sense that they’re trying to be sneaky and take advantage of the pandemic.

“Last time the community really rallied with protests, doorknocks and letter drops, which are all things we can’t really do under the current circumstances.”

While the community may not be able to be as visible as last time, it plans to be just as loud.

“We approached our local MP Natalie Suleyman who was a massive supporter last time and she offered to help print off a flyer to mail it out.

“This time around, the community is already talking to each other through the groups we formed last time, so that’s a major advantage we didn’t have.