Melbourne Leader: Residents and developers look for certainty over East West toll road

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Parkville residents and developers are anxiously waiting to learn if their property will be compulsorily ­acquired for the East West toll road. While the State Government prepares to release more detail on the route later this month, preliminary plans show it surfacing in Ross Straw Field in Royal Park and joining CityLink via four overpasses.

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Despite the uncertainty, two apartment blocks worth more than $100 million are being sold off-plan spruiking proximity to Royal Park. James Fitzgerald bought a property in the yet-to-be-finished Evo apartment block in Manningham St four years ago and said he was “frustrated” by the lack of information from the government.

“I’m a civil engineer and I know that we will either have a massive freeway right in front of our place or it would take out the residential area,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

He said it was concerning that properties that weren’t acquired would receive no government compensation for impact on amenity.

He said it was “disgusting” so much Parkville parkland could be turned into freeways.

The Evo development – ­including 175 apartments – is nearing completion.

The development website says: “An Evo lifestyle is having Melbourne’s largest area of open space, Royal Park, beckoning from the front door – where parklands, ­reserves and tree-lined streets offer the ideal ­environment for relaxation and ­rejuvenation.”

Evo developer Pace Property Group spokeswoman Georgie Bott said the organisation was unable to comment until it had more detail on the route. She noted federal funding for the road had not been secured.

Meanwhile, north of Royal Park’s wetlands on Galada Ave, Australand has sold 23 of 90 apartments in its Jardin block.

Australand state manager of residential properties ­Robert Pradolin said he did not know if the government would acquire Australand property, but said the East West link would improve transport options. “It will mean easy access to both northern and southern suburbs. “At the moment, I don’t see any negatives.”

Erin Coldham from Linking Melbourne Authority, the statutory body overseeing the project, said affected landowners would be ­notified as soon as ­possible.

She said no acquisitions would take place until at least next year.

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