This month:

–  BRN traffic survey
–  developers use VCAT to override Council policy
–  last chance to inspect plan for Fleming Park
–  East-West Tunnel action
–  reading, walking and recycling in Brunswick

BRN 2014 traffic survey:

Thanks to the hundreds of people who responded to the Brunswick Residents Network 2014 traffic survey over the last two months: 415 households, representing 1045 people, have completed the survey. It’s been an overwhelming response, with people commenting on traffic, cycling and the needs of pedestrians; and indicating priorities for managing traffic.

We’re hard at work analysing the results, and will hold a community report back and launch of the final report in coming weeks – we’ll let you know the details soon!

The report will be submitted to councillors and Council transport staff, but also circulated to residents, bicycle users groups, and other community organisations for use to lobby Council and government. We are looking to councillors to budget the necessary funds to implement community priorities, following the recent adoption of the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy.

Thanks to Brunswick MP Jane Garrett and her staff for arranging mailing and return of paper surveys which ensured a broad response.

Developers want more in Brunswick Road

Next Wednesday, Moreland Council’s Urban Planning Committee will discuss the revised proposal for 21-27 Brunswick Road, near Barkly Street in Brunswick East. The old industrial site was previously the ‘Charles Parsons’ textile manufacturer.

The developers originally obtained a planning permit in 2011 for a six-storey project, then expanded this to 8 storeys by appealing to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in May 2013. Now they have gone back to VCAT with another bid to expand and transform the project (Planning Permit MPS/2010/980/B).

The current project is for buildings of 3, 4 and 8 storeys over 2 basement levels, with shops, apartments, a reduction of the car parking requirements, and waiving of the loading bay requirements. The developers now want to replace three office floors in Building E with five residential floors, even though the proposed reduction in office space is not supported by State and Local policy. (Moreland Council wants to transform industrial land into a mixture of commercial, residential and office spaces, rather than just apartment blocks, but most developers get better returns from towers full of one and two bedroom apartments.)

The developers also want to extend the 7th and 8th storeys towards the south (reducing the setback to Brunswick Road), increase the number of dwellings by 87 (from 325 to 412) and increase the number of car parking spaces by 26 (from 414 to 440). The expanded site would generate approximately 2,570 vehicle movements per day, split between Barkly Street (900 trips) and Brunswick Road (1,670 trips).

The introduction of the state government’s new zoning laws from July 2013 has weakened Council’s ability to implement its own policy on old industrial sites. Because this site has been changed from Business 2 zone to the new Commercial One zone, no permit is required for the reconfigured office, food and drink premises.

For details of the proposed buildings, see the Urban Planning Committee agenda online at: http://tinyurl.com/kv6vrvq

In another case recently decided by VCAT, developers have been unsuccessful after trying for the third time to use VCAT appeals to overrule Council decisions. In December, VCAT knocked back the latest plans for an eight story building at 808 Sydney Road, in an area that originally was supposed to be limited to 5 stories.

See: Sydney 808 Pty Ltd v Moreland CC [2013] VCAT 2082 (6 December 2013):

New multi-story proposals for Nicholson Street

Next Wednesday’s Urban Planning Committee meeting will also discuss the revised proposal for a six-storey building in Nicholson Street, another of the major proposals which will transform the north-south corridor. The site is on the west side of Nicholson Street between Glenlyon Road and Miller Street, and backs onto Balfe Park. After improvements to a previous proposal, Council staff have recommended accepting the plans, even though they exceed the preferred maximum podium height to Nicholson Street.

About 20 metres to the north, there is another application for an 8 storey building, at 91-93 Nicholson Street – this project goes to a final hearing at VCAT on 3 March 2014. Both proposals exceed the 5- storey preferred height for this area.

For details of the proposed buildings, see the Urban Planning Committee agenda online at:  http://tinyurl.com/kv6vrvq

Fleming Park final consultation

Next Thursday 30 January, there will be a community consultation on proposals to upgrade Fleming Park. Come to the park near the playground between 5.30- 6:30 PM to have a look at plans for the construction of a new multi-purpose community facility and other buildings in the park.

At last November’s Council meeting, councillors approved the launch of the Fleming Park master plan, to begin the redevelopment of the largest green space in Brunswick East. Consultation about the landscaping and sporting grounds will be held once the plan for the buildings has been confirmed.

WHAT: final Fleming Park community consultation
WHEN: Thursday 30 January, 5.30 – 6.30 p.m.
WHERE: Fleming Park, near the playground on the southern side of the park

You can find maps and details of the redevelopment on the Council website at:  http://tinyurl.com/l86pa33

For further information, contact Chris Leivers (Manager, Youth & Leisure, Moreland City Council), phone: 9240 2463.

There are also plans to build a skate park in Brunswick West, at Clifton Park to the west of Sydney Road, with construction scheduled to start next June. You can complete the short survey on what you’d like to see in the skate park at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Cliftonparkskatespace

Pop-up park in Wilson Avenue

Over the next two months, Moreland Council will close the eastern end of Wilson Avenue to vehicles and installing a temporary public space (Wilson Avenue runs from Sydney Road towards Jewell Station and the Upfield railway line).

From Tuesday 4 February to Monday 1 April, 2014 the Brunswick Better Block Trial will close off part of Wilson Avenue, setting up temporary furniture and trialling the area as a pop-park. The Sydney Road end of Wilson Avenue, running approximately 30 metres west, will be closed to traffic and open to people.

Throughout this eight-week period, the strip will play host to an exciting range of performances, activities, installations and workshops. Council is also proposing to build a climbing wall at the intersection of Sydney Road and Wilson Avenue.

Some local traders are opposed to the project, as they believe it will hamper their parking but the project has gained widespread support.

Moreland Council turns to pop-up park to help curb crime, Moreland leader, 27 January 2014:  http://tinyurl.com/k35ltbj

Brunswick Library to re-open mid-year?

As we forecast in our newsletter last May, the redevelopment of the Brunswick Library will take longer than the original prediction of December 2013. Over the last year, the library has provided reduced services as it has been moved to a small area upstairs at the Brunswick Town Hall.

The project has been extended to June 2014. The re-fit will create a new computer room, WiFi, better lighting, seating and other facilities. The construction timetable blew out as works progressed and the builders found contaminated soil and an underground diesel tank that needed to be removed.

Moreland’s library network is a great community asset, with good inter-library loans, books and DVDs in a range of languages and really helpful staff. Let’s hope that the redevelopment of Brunswick Library doesn’t become another Brunswick Baths saga.

Moreland Community against the East West Tunnel (MCAT)

MCAT (Moreland Community against the (East West) Tunnel held their latest meeting last Thursday 23 January, at the Temple Park Senior Citizens Centre.

MCAT are planning a family picnic at Holbroook Reserve (which will be seriously damaged by the East West Link); an action at the zoo to highlight how the zoo animals will be affected, and stalls in various parts of Moreland.

Can you help staff a stall on Saturday 1 or Saturday 8 February to get the word out about the impact of the East-West Link? Contact people for the group are Cr Sue Bolton 0413 377978;  Riki Lane 0400 877819; and Michael Petit 0417 354169.

Moreland Council demands compensation for East West Link tunnel, Moreland Leader, 20 January 2014:

Active Moreland Walking survey 2014

Do you regularly walk for recreation in Moreland? Would you like a walking route in your local area improved? Whether it’s walking the dog, trying to get fit or just getting from A to B, increasing numbers of people are walking around our suburb.

From responses to our recent BRN traffic survey, it’s clear that many people are dissatisfied with the quality of foot paths and pedestrian safety – so here’s an opportunity to let Council know how pedestrians, especially elderly and young children, can safely get around the suburb.

You can complete the survey online at:

Recycling services

With the shift from analogue broadcasting, many people have dumped old TVs on nature strips and back lanes around the suburb. Moreland Council has a service to recycle these old TVs as well as computers – you can take them to the Harvey Norman depot at 13 Beith Street, Brunswick (phone 8664 4300) or the Tech Collect drop off point at Moonee Valley Transfer Station, 188 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds.

Brunswick residents can also recycle old spectacles and small batteries at Council offices in the Brunswick Town Hall, on the corner of Glenlyon Road and Sydney Road. There are boxes where you can leave old specs and dead batteries (not car batteries) in the foyer.

And if you’ve got any unused bicycles, you can donate them to the “Bicycles for Asylum Seekers” project, which so far has distributed 23 repaired bicycles and helmets to asylum seekers and refugees. Under the Federal Government’s cruel regime, many asylum seekers on bridging visas cannot afford transport once they’ve paid for rent, food and clothing, so sharing bicycles around is a small contribution to the bigger challenge of welcoming refugees to Moreland. If you can assist in any way, contact Geoff Lowther on email: shinboners.gl@gmail.com


Urban Planning Committee
Wednesday 29 January 2014 – 6.30 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting
Wednesday 12 February 2014 – 7 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Urban Planning Committee
Wednesday 26 February 2014 – 6.30 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting
Wednesday 12 March 2014 – 7 pm
Council Chamber, Brunswick Town Hall, Corner Sydney Road and Dawson Street, Brunswick

Urban Planning Committee
Wednesday 26 March 2014 – 6.30 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Full Council meeting
Wednesday 9 April 2014 – 7 pm
Glenroy Senior Citizens Centre, 11 Cromwell Street, Glenroy

Special Council meeting
Monday 28 April 2014 – 6 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

Urban Planning Committee
Wednesday 30 April 2014 – 6.30 pm
Council Chambers, Moreland Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg

(Check latest times and location at the council website: www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-council/council-and-committee-meetings.html )


To contact organisers of the Brunswick Residents’ Network, offer to help with future activities or be added to our resident’s mailing list, please email albertstreet2020@gmail.com, or phone 0421 840 100.

For meeting details and copies of past newsletters go to: https://brunswickresidents.wordpress.com/

Check out our Facebook page: Brunswick Residents Network  (If you’re on Facebook, please help us reach more people by “Like-ing” our page, adding comments, and sharing news and events).

Please forward this e-letter to other Moreland neighbours who’d like a say in the way their community is changing.

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