Bid to rezone former Oakleigh site

Melbourne-based property developer Sterling Global, on behalf of the owners of the former Talbot Quarry site, wants to transform the former 19ha quarry into an ungated parklands community for more than 2000 residents.

It will include three new green spaces and a green pedestrian link accessible by all local residents connecting Talbot Park to Davies Reserve.

{{quote-a:r-w:300-Q:"Oakleigh South is one of the largest residential in-fills in the inner south-eastern suburbs, and definitely one of the most significant developments in the City of Monash."-WHO:Glen Slimmon, Sinclair Brook}}The Sterling Global masterplan for the site is also expected to feature potential student accommodation, mid-priced townhouses, single office/home office apartments and serviced apartments to take advantage of the site's strong connections and proximity to Monash University’s two campuses.

"Oakleigh South is one of the largest residential in-fills in the inner south-eastern suburbs, and definitely one of the most significant developments in the City of Monash," said Glen Slimmon, the director of Sinclair Brook, which is the development manager for the project. 

Located in Melbourne’s renowned sand belt region, Talbot Quarry provided sand for the foundary and readymix concrete markets from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Development progress has stalled since October last year, following objections to the project from local residents. They are concerned about legacy gas emissions from the site’s in-fill of putrescible and solid inert waste (which was deposited at the site between 1972 and 1978).

The Victorian Minister for Planning established the independent planning panel after the City of Monash received more than 300 submissions rejecting the proposed rezoning.

However, the Sterling Group is confident all environmental concerns can be effectively managed, and has engaged the expertise of Coffey Services Australia to advise on the project.

Expert witness report
An expert report commissioned by Coffey has found “no extraordinary health or environmental threats to neighbours and future residents under the ‘urban village’ plan for the former Talbot Quarry site”.

Expert report author Phil Sinclair found as part of the geo-environmental soil investigations of the site, that the land met standards for medium density residential use, even before extra clean fill is placed on the surface. 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, he said.

Sinclair’s conclusions formed part of a 416-page expert witness report prepared by Coffey Services Australia Limited for Sterling Global and lodged with the Monash Council.

An independent assessment of the site by an environmental expert from Coffey has also formed the opinion that the land can be feasibly remediated, based on the testing and data collected.

The report is before an independent Victorian Planning Panel tasked with assessing the rezoning of the site from special use to a comprehensive development zone suitable for an urban village. The planning panel, in turn, is expected to deliver its report to the City of Monash in August.

The current application before Council is only a rezoning process and further testing and planning applications will determine what is ultimately suitable to go on the site, including the requirement for an independent EPA-approved environmental audit prior to the start of any development. Council is not being asked to approve the development with unresolved risks. 

Sterling Global held information sessions on 23 and 27 May at the Huntingdale Golf Club in Oakleigh South, to inform local residents about the project, provide information about the rehabilitation works and provide an opportunity to ask questions of the project’s engineering experts.

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