Melbourne-based property developer Sterling Global was seeking to transform the former 19ha quarry into an ungated parklands community for more than 2000 residents.
The Independent Planning Panel found that there was not yet enough information prepared and presented by Sterling Global to allow it to determine that the land could be remediated to the point where it could be rezoned.
The panel felt that the site was too complex to be rezoned in the staged process that was proposed and that the land should be fully and comprehensively audited prior to the consideration of a rezoning.
The panel did not categorically rule out the site for future urban development.
“Sterling Global remains committed to the rehabilitation and regeneration of the former Talbot Quarry site in Oakleigh South,” said Glenn Slimmon, a director of Sinclair Brook, project managers on behalf of Sterling Global.
“We will continue our work with the [Monash] Council and the local community on the future plans to rehabilitate and redevelop the site,” he said.
“This site is one of the largest residential in-fills in the inner south-eastern suburbs and it is important to all parties to have a sustainable outcome to one of the most significant development opportunities in the City of Monash.”
Talbot Quarry provided sand for the foundary and readymix concrete markets from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The sand quarry has been progressively backfilled since the 1970s, but a large section of the site remains an open quarry. Another section was a former municipal landfill. Other parts of the site have been backfilled with clay fines.
Development progress has stalled since October last year, following objections to the project from local residents. They have been concerned about legacy gas emissions from the site’s in-fill of putrescible and solid inert waste (which was deposited in the landfill section between 1972 and 1978).
An expert report commissioned by Coffey Service Australia on behalf of Sterling Global indicated that while there is some contamination present in soil at the site, it is distributed in pockets and none are expected to prevent the proposed sensitive uses of the site.