28th July 2013
Banyule City Council
PO Box 51
Ivanhoe, Vic 3079
The Responsible Officer,
Proposed Ivanhoe Grammar School Development Plan (May 2013)
We acknowledge your letter (Ref: P992/2010) dated 10th July 2013 and thank you for providing us the opportunity to respond to the content within the
proposed Development Plan presented by the Ivanhoe Grammar School.
Although we commend the IGS on the preparation of such a detailed comprehensive set of documents there are a number of design concepts within the detail presented that draw our concerns
and criticisms and warrant additional comment as outlined below.
Section 3 – Proposed use and Development:
(a) Student Numbers - The existing
student numbers based on 2011 statistics and limits imposed by the Board of Governors in the late 1990's have been stated as 1,400 students and now it is being proposed that this number could increase to 1,750 in future years.
This represents an increase
of up to 25% and needs to be seriously questioned on the basis of what is sustainable, the impact such an increase could have on this area of Ivanhoe and whether it can be adequately absorbed by the local roads infrastructure and related services; when we
bear in mind the large proportion of students that are driven to the IGS Ivanhoe campus by car in these times.
(b) New Sports Centre - The statement regarding use during school hours, out
of hours and weekends not having any “off site impacts” seems to be a simplistic & dismissive remark about its "after hours use" and leaves many questions un-answered about the adequate management of such use.
Most particularly will
the new underground parking area be made available for after hours users, to avoid the impact of street parking upon the local residents. Such has not been the case in the past with the swimming pool complex where poor management has allowed street parking,
noise & general disturbance to impact on residents in Elphin Street at nights and on weekends.
Section 4 – Landscaping:
(a) Fencing - The
suggestion of a 1.8 Metre high blue coloured steel fence similar to the existing security fences around other parts of the campus, to be installed around the perimeter of the southern area of the campus, including the grassed & treed reserve at the Boulevard,
is an extravagant overkill, unsightly and an assault on the visual amenity and street scape of that part of The Boulevard, the adjacent Wilson's Reserve and Yarra River precinct.
Also such a fence would deprive the local community of a
long established pedestrian access way between Elphin Street and The Boulevard, in a similar way that the school has done between the southern part of The Ridgeway and Elphin St., Fairy St. and Merton Street.
Section 4 – Landscaping Cont'd.
The school will most likely put up supposedly sound reasons for improving the security of buildings and assets from vandalism (which has been a rare occurrence for the swimming pool building), but I believe that it can be achieved in a simpler
and less costly and intrusive way, thus providing a successful outcome for all stake holders. This is again an ill-conceived plan by the IGS without any consultation or consideration for long established community practices and needs.
grassy treed area could even be considered as a public meadow or common access way by virtue of past use over many years ie. being used by adverse possession.
Section 5 – Access, Car Parking & Traffic Management:
(a) Traffic Management & Parking (New Sports Centre) – Whilst the school's intentions to motivate staff practices towards car parking on site are commendable, there are serious doubts
about the likely success of such a plan to encourage staff to park their cars in particular in the new underground car park and walk to class rooms in other parts of the campus. It hasn't worked well up till now - people do what is easiest and best suits their
Also Ratio Consultants make some broad generalisations and (inaccurate) statements about the risk of damage to staff cars in the existing south car park. This is not an issue in the most southerly car park that is accessed from Elphin Street,
which is the most grossly under-utilised car park.
However the most concerning aspect of their traffic management is the entry and exit of cars between the Boulevard and the proposed underground car park entrance whereby it appears from
the landscape plans that right turns are possible and implied as being permitted through the absence of any specific controls. A likely high risk traffic scenario of great concern.
Ratios traffic studies were done at times that led them
to believe that The Boulevard traffic is generally light and would not present serious risks for right turns on entering or leaving the underground car park. These were clearly not based on times of the day where there is a combination of general peak time
traffic plus parents taking children to other schools in the area such as East Ivanhoe Primary school.
There is considerable and brisk traffic movement around The Boulevard in mornings and evenings.
At the very least a second exit lane incorporated
in the driveway from The Boulevard to the underground car park would allow cars safer exit & merging practices. Having lived here since the 1950's we know full well the hazards existing in this section of The Boulevard.
(b) Visitor Parking, Commercial & Deliveries – The matter of providing parking for visitors to the school, whether it be parents attending meetings, business & commercial visitors and more particularly small trucks making deliveries
etc, has not been addressed at all and has also been neglected in all previous considerations and developments.
This often results in such vehicles using the residential streets not only for parking but unloading of goods and at times obstructing the
movement of residents and other local traffic. This can be very irritating when a large area of an on-site car park can be seen to be empty and under-utilised.
The above are what we regard as obvious and serious deficiencies in the proposal.
They are apparent to us from our perspective in Elphin Street adjacent to the swimming pool and Locksley House and are based on many years of direct observation.
to address the significant deficiencies with the landscaping and car parking issues mentioned above are offered as follows.
- Security Fencing - Instead of having the unsightly boundary fence around the southern reserve area of the
campus overlooking The Boulevard, a much shorter fence closer to the swimming pool building and running east-west along the sleeper retaining wall, to meet up with the underground car park entrance would achieve the same goals at a much reduced cost.
Specific Recommendations Cont'd.
- Sports Centre Car Parking - Provide after hours users of the new sports centre with on-site parking access by way of entry passes to use with the security system.
- Change or relocate the existing security fencing and gates around the southern (old Ridgeway) car park areas accessible from Fairy & Elphin Streets, to then follow the original southern property boundary along the Ridgeway (thus keeping all buildings
(a) Restore the public pedestrian thoroughfare between Elphin, Fairy and Merton Streets to enable pedestrian access directly to Buckley Hall for voting, to the Lower Ivanhoe shops, to the Lower Heidelberg Road pedestrian
underpass and Ivanhoe railway station.
(b) Open up the under-utilised south west car parking area to provide visitor parking for the swimming pool and Locksley House facilities plus a much needed unloading & drop off area.
(c) Allow trouble free vehicular access to their properties by the residents at 2 Elphin St and 1 Fairy St without the possibility of gate control system failures or mismanagement, as has been the case frequently in the past.
an after hours parking area for swimming pool events involving visiting schools, without the need for staff to make special entry arrangements; which has been a frequent failing in the past.
We look forward to the opportunity
for providing further constructive input in the future which also might assist with improving the eventual successful outcome of the Development Plan proposal.