New adult education centre for West Melbourne

New adult education centre for West Melbourne

West Melbourne residents are concerned by a proposed reduction in car parking and waiver of bike spaces for the use of a Spencer St building as a new adult education centre.

Registered training organisation Oscar Academy has lodged a planning permit application with the City of Melbourne to use a former office space at 496-500 Spencer St for an adult education centre.

According to the permit, the ground floor will include six classrooms to accommodate 120 students, a boardroom and recreation areas, while the first floor will include areas for 20 staff.

The proposed reduction in on-site car parking would take the number of spaces from 36 to 35, while the seven required bike spaces at the site will be waived due to the presence of bicycle hoops along Spencer St.

According to the permit, the reduction in car parking is appropriate because the site already includes a disabled car park and is located close to public transport.

However, three locals voiced their concerns about the reduction in car parking to the council, with one claiming “any reduction” for “any application” was “simply unsustainable”.

“The existing on-street parking is already oversubscribed, local residents are unable to find parking for themselves or for those who come to visit such as tradespeople or people to provide support to those living here,” Pooja Sengupta said.

“With the vast amounts of constructions in the vicinity, increase in apartment towers, proximity to the CBD, Festival Hall, Marvel Stadium and North Melbourne Station, already put immense pressure on our street parking.”

Another concerned local, Jeremy Kruisheer, said with apartments being developed at the former Rose’s Furniture site, any reduction in parking would make parking even more difficult.

“There should be adequate parking for bicycles as well,” he said.

“This site does not really have sufficient spaces for bicycles to be parked away from the footpath then they will end up on the footpath.”

Another nearby resident, Joy McNamara, said she was “very concerned” by the removal of “so much marking” in the centre of Melbourne.

“People are being asked to return to the city so that our beautiful city and shopping area is alive once again, but all the council has done is remove parking making it harder to get a park,” she said.

“Not everyone wants to ride a bike into the city or park in a multi-storey carpark costing them lots of money when they would have been quite happy putting money in a meter for a couple of hours. I think the council needs to seriously look at the issues they have caused with parking!” •

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