Questions? Answers.

ben coughlan lend lease

People of all colours - even green - have questions. Here are some answers.

Q: What happened to the whole Urban Design Framework (UDF) thing? I thought that was passed and everything was going to be fine.

A: We were concerned that there was no planning protection on this important site and encouraged Council to prepare a UDF.

Including a UDF in the Planning Scheme would mean that any developer would be obliged to take the UDF into account with respect to any new development proposals.

At its meeting on Monday 21 November 2011, Council resolved:

·         To adopt the draft UDF with a maximum of 17 metres height across the site, a maximum density of 250 units and, following authorisation from the Minister for Planning, exhibit the draft UDF for approximately 4 weeks in January 2012, during which further community input is possible.

·         Following the public exhibition period, apply to the Minister for Planning to obtain authorisation to prepare a planning amendment based on the draft Urban Design Framework which will provide permanent controls for 590 Orrong Road and 4 Osment Street, Armadale under the Stonnington Planning Scheme.

·         The document will then be considered by a Ministerial Panel in June-July 2012, for a final decision.

Lend Lease has submitted its plan regardless of the UDF being in motion. They don’t give a damn.


Q: I heard Council was seeking interim planning controls (IPC) for the site – that’s good isn’t it?

A: While the draft UDF adopted by Council on 20 November will be of value, it will take some time for it be incorporated into the Stonnington Planning Scheme. Therefore we asked Council to seek approval from the Minister for IPC (height controls) to halt the processing of the Planning application, until the UDF is included in the Planning Scheme.

Council requested the Minister for Planning on 26 October to apply Interim Planning controls for the site based on the draft Urban Design Framework, with a maximum building height limited to the height of the existing building (17 metres or 5.5 storeys).

The Orrong Group has written a letter to the Minister impressing upon him the urgency to approve the IPC. The IPC is exceptionally important as it would act as a formal decision-making tool for Council when assessing the Planning application, and it would also have to be taken into account by VCAT.

By lodging the Planning application at this time, Lend Lease has deliberately attempted to bypass the community and Council in our endeavours to have an appropriate low level development at this site. Lend Lease is maintaining its previous proposal for a high-rise, high density development. 12 and 9 storeys are high-rise and 475 units will result in a huge increase in population. Lend Lease has indicated to The Orrong Group that if their application is unsuccessful, they will lodge a VCAT appeal. Council needs to make a refusal decision (your objections are vital) and have that refusal decision maintained at VCAT.


Q: Is this headed to VCAT? Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

A: Quite possibly. The application lodged in 2010 by Lend Lease for a planning amendment, which was refused by Council on 20 December 2010, was not appealable to VCAT. However, this Planning Permit application is appealable and that is a great concern. Lend Lease can appeal to VCAT if Council fails to determine the application within 60 days, or they can appeal a Council refusal decision. Step one is to encourage Council to refuse the application via lots of objections and contacts by December 16.


Q: Isn’t Lend Lease is just submitting an ambit claim and will settle for less?

A: Have the last 18 gruelling months taught you nothing? The new plan is every bit as BIG, HIGH and Armadale-destroying as the first plan from 2010. They have ignored the UDF and IPC and want to get a plan approved ASAP. Zero compromise. They don’t care about you – only profits.

Q: Won’t Lend Lease get its way?

A: Have the last 18 gruelling months taught you nothing? We stopped them from getting approval for the original plan and they are over 18 months behind.  The Lend Lease top brass who considered us pushovers last year are now waaay behind schedule and over budget. They are resosrting to undermining Stonnington’s UDF and the impending Minister’s IPC – that’s how hungry they are for a victory on a site that has become a sore point in the executive offices of their company. We now have to do it again – with feeling.

Q: Did I waste my time repeatedly giving Lend Lease feedback that its plan was too big, unwelcome and would need to be reduced to protect parklands and privacy?

A: Yep.

Q: Will my home drop in value if Lend Lease gets its way?

A: 1000 new neighbours, towers on the horizon, no on-street parking, lots of young, dynamic short-term neighbours. You do the math.

Q: Is this winnable?

A: Absolutely. Fight the towers.


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