Another development application for the property at 60 Main Street

southern elevation

Facing the Creeklands

As anticipated, another application for development of the property at 60 Main Street (adjacent to the park) has been advertised by Whitehorse Council.  Once again, the developer wants to build three two-storey houses on the block. As expected, the plans for the new application appear to be identical to those which were not allowed to be substituted into the first application during the applicant’s appeal to VCAT .  There were about sixty objections to the first application which was ultimately rejected by VCAT.  Please click here for more information on the first, failed application. The application number is WH/2014/881. The timing of this advertisement, spanning the holiday period when many residents would be away or otherwise engaged, was very unfortunate.  Nevertheless, once again, more than 60 objections were lodged by members of the community! Council said there would be no decision before the 12th January – the decision was made to refuse the application on 28th April 2015. Here is the potted history of the applications for development so far:

  • 27/12/2012 – applicant applies to council to redevelop the 60 Main Street site – three two-story houses with two sited virtually on the park boundary.  The house had been purchased from a deceased estate by a foreign developer – the sale price was $1.35M in April, 2011.
  • 15/9/2013 – Council advertises the application (WH/2012/918).
  • 8/10/2013 – Council received about 60 objections from the community.
  • 20/12/2013 – Council refuses to grant a permit. 
  • 15/5/2014 – after an extraordinary delay allowed by VCAT, objectors received notice that the applicant would appeal against Council’s refusal. Objections to VCAT were required by 30/5/2014.
  • 20/6/2014 – VCAT hearing date set for 12th September, 2014.
  • 28/7/2014 – The applicant sought to amend the plans to be considered by VCAT (on Friday 12th September, 2014).
  • 6/8/2014 – Council notifies all parties it wants a VCAT Practice Day Hearing to consider the substitution of the new plans proposed by the applicant.
  • 22/8/2014 – VCAT Practice Day Hearing disallows the substitution of plans – too different from original.
  • 27/8/2014 – Council receives a new application for the site (WH/2014/881) – effectively the proposal VCAT refused to allow to be substituted.
  • 12/9/2014 – VCAT appeal hearing takes place (considering the original plans).
  • 21/10/2014 – VCAT notified all parties they have two weeks to make a submission into what effects (if any) the introduction of new zones have on their respective positions.  The property at 60 Main Street now falls into the NRZ7 zone. The SLO2 overlay applies and the Bush Environment neighbourhood character now also applies.
  • 5/12/2014VCAT notifies that the applicant’s appeal against the refusal of the first application has failed.
  • 18/12/2014 – Council advertises the new application (WH/2014/881) based on the revised plans with the objection spanning the Christmas/New Year holiday period and closing on 12/1/2015.
  • 7/1/2015 – A small “forthcoming auction” sign was posted on the block.
  • 12/1/2015 – Council received about 70 objections from the community.
  • 23/1/2015 – A full sized board advertising the auction on Saturday, 28th February at 11:00 was mounted.
  • 21/2/2015 – The planned auction was abandoned in favour of a private sale.
  • March 2015 – the property was withdrawn from sale altogether – the reputed asking price being $2M.
  • 28/4/2015 – latest application (WH/2014/881) was refused by Council.
  • 3/7/2015 – objectors were notified by mail (in a letter dated 2/7) that the applicant has lodged an Application for Review of Council’s decision with VCAT.  The VCAT reference is P1227/2015 and the hearing date is set for 14/12/2015.  Objectors who wished to lodge a Statement of Grounds with VCAT, the applicant and Council had to do so by the closing date of 11/8/2015.
  • 15/9/2015 – VCAT sent an order confirming that the 60 Main Street hearing will be 10:00 14/12/2015 for one day – one member (Mr Geoffrey Code).
  • 12/11/2015 – Whitehorse Planning Amendment C174 comes into effect. The property at 60 Main Street now falls into the NRZ1 zone with stronger, more specific provisions than NRZ7 (see 21/10/2014).  The SLO2 overlay and the Bush Environment neighbourhood character continue to apply.
  • 14/12/2015 – The latest VCAT hearing considering the proposed development adjacent to our park was conducted.  Several Committee members made submissions to protect our park – as did representatives from the Blackburn and District Tree Society and the Blackburn Village Residents Group.
  • 5/2/2016 – VCAT notified all parties that it approved the unfortunate development proposal for 60 Main Street.  Ultimately what defeated us was VCAT’s overly collegial and legalistic outlook along with the Member’s rather benign take on the applicant’s proposal.   Furthermore, the current provisions of NRZ1 were not applied because the application predated the introduction of the new zonings.  Like the Cranbourne tip debacle VCAT created and others have to clean up or live with, a ‘wrong’ decision on so many levels…
  • 5/10/2016 – Demolition of the former Ayres residence commenced with asbestos removal and demolition of the house proper commenced on 11/10/2016.
This entry was posted in Park highlights this month and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.