JUST what exactly defines a "convenient" walk to the shops? Is it the overall distance, or how steep the climb?
One person's easy stroll might be another's unwanted hike depending on the weather or the bags of groceries to be lugged home.
That is just one of the issues that planning tribunal member Alison Slattery will have to consider as she decides on the future of a proposed double-storey apartment complex at 66 Boronia Road, Boronia.
Angry residents last week took Knox Council to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after the council approved the controversial 11-dwellings development in June last year.
Despite receiving 474 objections, the council gave conditional approval to the project. The applicant agreed to the council's conditions.
However, residents chose to fund their own appeal and town planner Gerard Gilfedder last week lodged their concerns at the VCAT regarding the design of the building, road safety and waste collection. One of the most controversial points, though, was whether the complex was actually close enough to the Boronia shops to be considered 'convenient'.
Mr Gilfedder said one of the routes to the shopping village had steps and it could be a "bit of a hike" when carrying shopping.
But Rachael Bowden, representing the applicant Peter Brown Architects, said that during a site visit she easily completed the 750-metre walk, even with her 20-month old son in tow
"I am really struggling to see how it is not within walking distance — it is unfathomable for me."
The extra traffic that would frequent Marie Street has also caused distress for Boronia residents. Anthony Searle, an outspoken critic of over-development in Boronia, previously said it was "only a matter of time before someone is killed there".
But the council's representative Anthony De Pasquale said there had been no accidents on the street in the past five years and the average speed had dropped since 2011 after a police operation.
Mr Gilfedder argued that Marie Street through to Boronia Road was the most common route to the local shops from nearby streets, adding additional pressure to the street
"To add vehicle movements, it would have profoundly detrimental effects," he said.
While residents attacked the development's design, Ms Bowden said "architecture will never satisfy everyone".
"There are a variety of finishes and materials ... the architect has designed many properties in the area and you can see how they integrate."
But Mr Gilfedder said it did not meet several state or council policies that called for the development to achieve "architectural excellence" or "enhance the public realm or neighbourhood".
A decision will be made after the VCAT member has made a site visit.