By Rowan Forster
An ulta-modern 952-hectare community south of Officer, set to provide 10,000 homes, 1600 jobs, four public schools and two town centres, has been signed off by Victoria’s Planning Minister.
The Cardinia Creek South precinct was given the tick of approval by Richard Wynne late in December, clearing the way for the massive development.
It will include wide-ranging upgrades to the road network, including the extension of Thompsons Road, Pattersons Road and Bells Road.
It coincides with the approval of Pakenham East, which has been subject to community backlash.
Many have bemoaned the likelihood of the estate acting as a home for “battery humans”.
It has since been revealed that the Cardinia Creek South precinct will be bigger than Pakenham East, set to house about 3000 more dwellings.
The new community will have 22 per cent open space, including 21 scenic parks and two conservation areas.
However, ratepayers are sceptical about the impacts of the humungous development on roads infrastructure.
Brian Heenan, who moved to Officer in 2017, believes his attempt to escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s inner suburbs is proving to be futile.
He fears that the new estate will severely clog Thompsons Road and the Princes Highway.
“Everybody wants the infrastructure to be brought up to speed before they keep building these massive developments, but they just won’t listen,” he said.
“I didn’t move out to Officer because I wanted to be in a high-density concrete jungle, but now it seems you have to live in Warragul to escape the growth.”
The Precinct Structure Plan has outlined an average of 18 dwellings to be developed per hectare near town centres, school and sports reserves and 16 dwellings per hectare in other areas, in an attempt to ensure neighbourhood character is maintained.
In an embarrassing blunder, the estate was formerly named after McPherson, a World War I Digger believed to be from the nearby suburb of Clyde.
It was later discovered that he was actually from Clydesdale.
In approving the whopping development, Planning Minister Wynne said: “We’re retaining the liveability and charm of our city while catering for a growing population and helping young people get into their first home.”
It comes as part of the State Government’s bid to ensure a 15-year land supply by planning for an additional 100,000 lots to deliver affordable housing and high-quality jobs.