The Minister for the Suburban Rail Loop is Jacinta Allan
The Suburban Rail Loop Authority is a new authority administered by the Department of Transport.
The Suburban Rail Loop Act 2021 applies, recently passed by parliament.
A Business & Investment Case study was completed in August 2021 and an Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the first stage (Cheltenham - Box Hill known as SRL East) is presently on public exhibition.
SRL East will have six underground stations along its route, one being at Box Hill and one at Burwood (adjacent to Deakin/ PLC and Burwood Highway).
The key planning policy is the Eastern Metro Land Use Framework Plan (LUFP).
The LUFP uses the term "state led planning" and large circled areas are identified "for higher levels of growth and change". They will be known as "Suburban Rail Loop planning areas" (when declared by the Minister under Section 65 of the SRL Act).
Box Hill is one of these circled areas, with a 1.6km radius - taking in a significant portion of Mont Albert and part of Surrey Hills (see attached maps).
The character and heritage of Mont Albert/Surrey Hills is potentially threatened by this, given the LUPF, when approved, will sit in the planning scheme as the main strategic policy, overriding local policies.
SRL East is not due to be completed until 2035. So it seems premature and unjustified for such a dramatic intervention by the government, over such a wide area. Whitehorse Council is seriously concerned about this; and the strong likelihood of losing local planning control and responsibility over the circled areas around Box Hill & Burwood.
The government may try and spin it that the planning will be done in partnership between local councils and the government. But the term "state led planning" leaves little doubt how this will play out - and the SRL Act and LUFP say it in black & white.
See below: SHPA Submission and LUFP -1.6km radius circle around Box Hill (two Melway maps to show generally where the circle reaches).
SHPA - Eastern Metro Land Use Framework Plan (1)
Download PDF • 940KB