VicRoads housing sub-division application for Merri Creek site adjacent to toxic site

So we have dioxin contaminated site at 100 and 102 McBryde st, Fawkner, and now VicRoads wants to subdivide 104B McBryde street just north of the contaminated site.

Perhaps 25 houses and a road to go in. The subdivision plan encroaches closer than 50 metres to Merri creek which means it fails to comply with Moreland’s open space strategy.

We need a full and open environmental audit of the contaminated site and surrounds before we do any sub-division and development. That’s simple precautionary principle.

The risks from living near a toxic site are not clear, but if not managed properly could have a high impact on population health. We have already seen cancer clusters on McBryde street and in Reservoir in the surrounding area to the NuFarm site in the past.

Therefore we need to use the precautionary principle and oppose this sub-division development until we know the long term remediation and management of the toxic site is in hand.

Submissions can be made to Moreland Council in regard to the VicRoads planning application. Objections can also be lodged online at the Planning Alerts website

I have submitted an objection which states in full:

I have objections to the development at 104B McBryde street on 3 grounds:
1. My concern for developing this site as a residential area when there are already deep concerns over contamination and adequate remediation of the toxic site at 100 and 102 McBryde Street and surrounding areas down to Merri Creek. Until a full and comprehensive environmental audit of the area is done to assess the public health dangers and how to manage this site into the future, including by fumes if the existing clay cap is pierced, then no residential subdivision or development should be undertaken in the area under prudent risk management and the precautionary principle.

2. I note the following overlays: 44.01 Erosion Management; 42.01 Environmental Significance; and 44.04 Land Subject to Inundation, are currently applied to this land. I think it essential that if the area is deemed safe to be subdivided for development given it’s proximity to toxic contaminated sites (see (1) above), then the area to be redeveloped needs to ensure it does not have an adverse impact on erosion, local environment, drainage and innundation. The addition of 25 dwellings or more seems excessive and would likely increase excess runoff from torrential rain events increasing flash flooding.

3. Any subdivision and development should also fully comply with Moreland’s Open Space strategy and not encroach within a minimum of 50 metres of Merri Creek, to allow reasonable parkland and open space buffer for the enjoyment of all Moreland residents. Merri Creek is a biodiversity hotspot and an important wildlife corridor and we should ensure enough space is provided to maintain this function well into the future for all future generations.

I was first alerted to this planning application by Friends of Merri Creek:

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