60 Main Street Development  – Applicant’s appeal rejected by VCAT [updated 5/12]

This page is obsolete – it covers the first application and appeal to VCAT which failed.

For more information on the latest developments (ie the second application and appeal to VCAT), please click here.

Update 5/12/2014:  VCAT has begun to notify all parties to the matter of the development of 60 Main Street that the applicant’s appeal has failed – no permit will be issued.  Senior Member Hewet found the proposal to be inconsistent with the neighbourhood character and the pronounced adverse impacts on Kalang Park in particular contributed to his positive decision for the park.

Update 31/10/2014: With reference to the 25/10 update below, we understand that more time may be allowed for responses to be made to the VCAT order because some parties were not notified properly by VCAT.  We also understand there is another application for the same property with Council which will be advertised in due course!  We understand the plans are substantially the same as VCAT disallowed to be substituted in the practice day hearing on 22/8.

Update 25/10/2014:  Because the New Residential Zones in Whitehorse were approved before a decision was made, they now need to be taken into account by VCAT.  On 21/10, VCAT notified all parties to the matter that they have two weeks to make a submission into what effects (if any) the new zones have on their respective positions.  The new neighbourhood character policy seems to be especially relevant in this case.  This development also means a decision will not be announced until early November at the earliest…

Update 12/9/2014:  The VCAT hearing has taken place.  Mr Hewet (Senior Member, VCAT) will undertake/has undertaken a site visit before making his decision.  The Chairman of the Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committee, several community members, representatives of both the Blackburn and District Tree Preservation Society and Blackburn Village Residents Group spoke as objectors in support of Council (and the Blackburn Creeklands park!) in opposition to the developer.   Several more community members attended in support.  We are hopeful of a positive result.

Update 27/8/2014:  The applicant has now decided to go ahead on the basis of the original plans submitted to Council. The original VCAT hearing day of 12 September 2014 is confirmed, starting at 10:00am.

Update 22/8/2014:  VCAT has disallowed the substitution of the new plans by the applicant agreeing with Council that the changes were too great.

The applicant now has until 30th August, 2014  to decide whether to go ahead on the basis of the original plans submitted to Council or to withdraw the application.  If the matter proceeds to hearing, the date of 12 September, 2014 is confirmed, starting at 10am for up to one day.

Update 21/8/2014: Objectors received notification on 6th August from the council that it applied to VCAT for a Practice Day hearing to disallow the applicant’s amended plans on the grounds that they alter the proposal to such a degree that it is, in effect, a different proposal.  VCAT granted the request and the Practice Day Hearing was conducted on Friday, 22nd August, 2014 by Member Dalia Cook at VCAT, 55 King Street, Melbourne.

Update 28/7/2014:  Objectors received today (28/7) a notification that the applicant is seeking to amend the plans to be considered by the VCAT tribunal.  Existing objectors may choose to amend their statements of grounds at any time prior to the hearing.  If you are not currently an objector and wish to be joined as a party to the hearing, you need to submit a PNPE9 Form B to VCAT.

Update 20/6/2014:  The VCAT hearing will take place on 12th September, 2014 at 10:00 for 1 day at 55 King Street, Melbourne.

Background

A very poor development proposal for the land at 60 Main Street having many appalling impacts on Kalang Park was advertised by Whitehorse Council in September, 2013.  This was duly rejected by Council on 20th December, 2013.

Objectors to the 60 Main Street Development proposal received notice on 15th May, 2014 that the applicant has been able to appeal against Whitehorse City Council’s rejection of its proposed development at 60 Main Street.  Given that it was rejected last year, Friends were likely to be surprised that the appeal took so long to emerge.

The appeal should have been lodged before the end of February but VCAT granted an extension of time –  because the applicant’s original planning consultant allegedly did not receive the 20/12/2013 decision by Whitehorse’s Planning Department until 6/1/2014, then apparently found itself to be conflicted due to the Council being a client (after the original application was submitted!) which then caused the developer to seek additional advice while unaware of the 60 day limit that usually applies.

It seems there has been no change to the submitted proposal (so far [see however the updates dated 28/7/2014 and later above]).

Those wishing to object at VCAT had to notify Easton Consulting (for the applicant), the City of Whitehorse and VCAT via the VCAT Form B by 30th May, 2014.

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