A new mini-suburb may soon be developed at the former Amcor paper mill site in Alphington, north east of Melbourne.
Development plans are in arrangement with developers from Alpha Partners and Glenvill, the Yarra Council and the community. The plans rely heavily on community feedback and council will form its view of the proposal in the middle of this year. Amcor, a paper manufacturing company, was established in the 1860s on the banks of Yarra River. Business at the 16.5 hectare site halted due to pollution issues it had with the Environment Protection Authority. Its facilities moved to New South Wales in September 2012 and the $120 million sale was finalised in June 2013.
Plans have been proposed by the Alphington community to include an education precinct, community centre, environmental sustainability and riverfront development protection. The development’s main focus is the river, artisan, heritage and park precincts.
However, the Yarra Council are not pleased with developers’ proposed ideas which Councillor Stephen Jolly believes are in the developers’ own best interests. He told the Newsroom: ”The developers want to make as much money as they can from their investments, maximise the return on their investments so they want to squeeze as many people in, as close to the river as high as possible, and not waste space on community facilities, they just want to turn it into a ‘sardine can’.”
Alphington Paper Mill Action Group have expressed concern the proposal may affect the residential quality of Alphington.
Mr Jolly said buildings are requested to be two to eight stories while developers are aiming to build 14 stories. Developers want a 30 metres setback along the banks of the Yarra River instead of the 400 metres setback council is requesting. The community also want five percent of housing to be affordable and employment opportunities at offices and showrooms. Furthermore there have been no plans submitted for the addition of train line, leaving residents with the only option of commuting by car or bus.
Developers Alpha Partners and Glenvill stand by their promise and are committed to “creating a vibrant, welcoming and sustainable neighbourhood” and “responds to the many interests of all stakeholders.”
The development will be assessed against the Development Plan Overlay which provides guidelines such as building heights, protection for the Yarra River and the environment. If council approves the plans, developers will submit separate planning applications for further stages of the development. – Suzanne Masri
Top image from Alphington Paper Mill’s Development Report.