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Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Beacon Newsletter December 2009

The Beacon Newsletter December 2009

The December 2009 Newsletter, The Beacon, is now available on the "Newsletter" link.

The Beacon
December 2009

Newsletter of Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association Inc (BCNA).
BCNA aims and aspirations include providing a forum for all residents of Beacon Cove and abutting neighbourhoods to discuss key local issues with a view to preserving and enhancing the quality of life within the area
Message from President and Committee
The President and Committee take this opportunity to wish the residents of this wonderful part of Melbourne a happy festive season and a prosperous and safe New Year.

1 – 11 Waterfront Place (gymnasium, tennis courts and ancillary buildings)
In anticipation of a planning application being lodged with State Government, Department of Planning and Community Development, for the redevelopment of 1 – 11 Waterfront Place, Council has recently adopted a set of Urban Design Guidelines that will be utilised in assessing any application lodged by the owners. As the land is not contained within the City of Port Phillip planning scheme, final determination will be made by State Government, nevertheless taking into account advice from The City and community input. At the time of this newsletter we are advised that no application has been lodged with State Government.
The residents of the area should be heartened by the Urban Design Guidelines as they represent a sensible approach to any new development on the site, covering such issues as massing, scale, height, layout, permeability, amenity, interfaces, access, parking, connectivity and architectural character. In particular a height restriction of five levels or RL21 metres has been adopted and a shadow line not to extend beyond the roadways abutting the site.
In adopting the guidelines Council has noted that they are not to be considered prescriptive, but will be used to guide Council in its deliberation of any application that comes before it for comment.
Your Committee is pleased to be advised by the owner’s representative that the application will be discussed with the Committee prior to being lodged with the State Government.
Full details of the urban design guidelines for Waterfront Place may be found on the City of Port Phillip website.
The Committee will keep you informed as soon as events break on this issue.


Beacon Cove Planning Scheme Amendment

Previous Newsletters have advised progress and timeframes in relation to the proposed amendment to the City of Port Phillip planning scheme intended to incorporate Beacon Cove into the City planning scheme. Your Committee views this as a vital matter to ensure the future architectural integrity of the Cove. Presently all planning decisions rest with Mirvac and Major Projects Victoria, in what has proven to be a most unsatisfactory arrangement. Once the amendment is in place Council will be responsible for all future planning decisions in accordance with strict guidelines that will underpin the amendment.
Despite all of the statutory planning having been completed by Council consultants to a very high standard by mid 2009, administrative delays and priorities within Council have delayed public exhibition of the amendment until April 2010, some six months later than originally intended. At that time a public meeting will be called to brief all interested residents of the substance of the amendment and their rights to lodge any comment or objection they may wish. As matters currently stand it is unlikely that the amendment will come into force prior to the end of 2010. There are also funding matters that may further delay adoption of the amendment. Your Committee is presently involved with Council at the highest level with a view to accelerating the current program.
Tree Processes
The City of Port Phillip recently held forums on the status of trees and landscaping in the City and has established a Tree Policy Community Reference Group.
Previously BCNA reached agreement with CoPP resulting in attractive landscaping upgrades with tree additions and replacements around Beacon Cove early in 2009. The CoPP plan, the Beacon Cove Report January 2009, is largely complete. The major outstanding item to tackle is the fate of the Ficus (Hills Weeping Fig) trees. The January 2009 report left resolution of the opposing opinions on these trees to a later discussion
which was expected to be considered by the above
Tree Policy Community Reference Group.
However a petition was received over winter from Beacon Vista Park residents who were very concerned about the root damage to footpaths, infrastructure and buildings. At the 14 September Council meeting, CoPP presented a motion to remove all Ficus trees in Beacon Cove plus Clifford and Webb Streets. However input from residents and BCNA resulted in the Council adopting an amended motion to replace the Ficus trees only around Beacon Vista Park (BCNA acknowledges Ficus trees have been planted too close to footpaths around Beacon Vista Park), The future of Ficus trees in other areas will be subject to further consultation with directly affected residents and BCNA.

Handover of waterfront assets to City of Port Phillip
The timing of the final handover of the waterfront areas to Council for future care and maintenance is still far from certain. Despite considerable effort on the part of Council to finalise the outstanding maintenance matters to be completed by Mirvac/Major Projects, the process seems to drag on. Thus far the bike path and sea wall have been repaired and a sample light pole replacement has been undertaken, as a commencement of the repair of all light standards. Major Projects has recently engaged a landscape contractor to replant areas along the promenade and the new plants will be maintained by Major Projects until the total handover occurs. Four new rubbish bins are to be installed along the promenade early in the New Year.
As to the bigger picture of the final handover of all works within the waterfront area this has been complicated by technical planning issues relating to the restaurants around Waterfront Place. There is no doubt that Council is making every effort to bring this matter to a conclusion but it may well be the end of 2010 before the handover is completed.
Landscaping in Port Melbourne -and you can help with little effort!
BCNA wishes to acknowledge the CoPP response to BCNA proposals and the substantial improvement achieved in many public spaces around Port Melbourne. In particular, Garden City Reserve, Beacon Cove public parks and the light rail reserve. It is not uncommon to see Council staff tending these valuable community assets. However, some issues do fall through the cracks and we can all easily play a role in maintaining the quality of our surroundings. If you notice public areas that are not being maintained, including new trees which the Council will water with recycled water for the first 2 years after planting, please contact the council. You can email assist@portphillip.vic.gov.au, phone 9209 6777 or make an online request via:
https://eservices.portphillip.vic.gov.au/ePathway/Production/Web/CustomerService/CustomerServiceType.aspx
BCNA does have some concerns regarding the landscaping of Sandridge beach. Work done to date is satisfactory but there has been an absence of the next planned consultation and a delay to the work as initially advised to the community. BCNA will continue to follow this up with Council.
Next Social Event – put Wed 3 March in diary
Venue and details will be provided in the new year.

Memorial to Past President Michael Blyth OAM
A replacement bench seat and engraved plaque have been installed to commemorate the lasting contribution made by Michael Blyth to Beacon Cove and the neighbouring areas of Port Melbourne. You will find this memorial on the Promenade between Towers 3 and 4. Thanks to the Steve Scott of CoPP for co-ordination and to Major Projects Victoria for supply and installation.

Membership/BCNA Dues for 2009-2010
With such critical issues as the 1-11 Waterfront Place re-development, it is very important that our membership numbers are high to be able to represent your views forcefully. We ask that you join or renew membership at $10 per annum per family. Please send dues to the Treasurer, Dana Hlavacek at Private Box 61/103 Beach Street Port Melbourne with cheques payable to BCNA. The following details are needed:

Name: ……………………………………………….............…
Address: ……………………………………………….......…......
Phone: …………………………………………………......…...
Email: …………………………………………………….........

BCNA Committee

President: Eddie Micallef 9645 1185
Vice President: Greg Mate 9681 7441
Secretary: Trevor Nink 9681 8283
Treasurer: Dana Hlavacek 9646 8850
Committee Members:
Bob Harrison 9645 2115
Alistair Watson 9646 1719
Glenda Beale 9676 2151
Ro Holmes 9646 1961


BCNA expresses its appreciation to Martin Foley MLA for continued support in printing The Beacon