VCAT update: day 12 Friday June 16

ben coughlan

Lend Lease wants to be able to complete the project in 2023 including 8 years of construction by which time the future would have arrived and the project may well look like this. Pretty slick eh?

Day12 – THE LAST DAY. After two years it comes to this.

The last day started with the final expert witness for Lend Lease, Andrew Biachi, Director of Contour Consultants. As with all expert witness for the developers he viewed the proposal as excellent and had no faults to find with it. Not a thing.

Then the big moment then arrived. Chris Canavan QC, lead barrister for the developers presented an overview of his 61 page, 267 paragraph summation on behalf of the development proposal.  The Orrong Group was given a copy of this, the evening before at 4.45pm.  We were expected to spend all night examining it and identifying “new” issues. We were given a direction by the Chair that we could not comment on witness statements and issues already raised – in our view a very tight definition of “a right of reply”.

On Friday morning we advised the Tribunal that one night did not provide a “reasonable opportunity” to respond to such a weighty, important and complex and after a plea for additional time we were granted until COB this upcoming Tuesday to send a written response. Guess what we’re doing this weekend? This is not as effective as an oral response but the Tribunal was determined to complete the hearing on Friday.

Two of the final hours was taken up with “deciding conditions” that should be attached to a Planning Permit should the Tribunal Members decide to uphold the developers appeal and allow the proposed development.

Council has put forward its conditions and the developer presented its amendments to these.  The community in its reponse asked that the expiry date of a permit (ie when construction must commence) be restricted to two years, not the three years requested by the developer and that it be completed in 6 years not 8 years from commencement. That’s right folks – up to eight years of contruction coming your way if Lend Lease get is way. How could this be anything but bad for our area?

If left as the developer requested, the site would be a construction site for 11 years.  We also asked that the garage doors on the town houses fronting Osment Street be transferred to the rear of the properties with the front landscaped.  We also asked the three storeys right on the boundary of Victory Square be moved back and that their private gates into the park be removed. A major point we raised was a construction plan for the whole period of construction covering a range of issues including no construction trucks be allowed to access the site from Osment Street. 

It’s important to note that these “conditions for a permit” is a VCAT practice in all cases and as the Chair pointed out it is not an indication of a decision for or against. It’s just a way of sorting out details now, rather than later in case of a certain outcome.

590 orrong road armadale

OG volunteers are still standing though a little tired.

What next?

We were told that a decision would be made within 4 weeks. Needless to say, we’ll let you know what we know as soon as we know it. Know what we mean? 

A tough 3 weeks for those who attended daily – we thank the residents who attended some or all of the hearing days. We are all volunteers and we appreciate the difficulty of getting time off from work or family commitments.

What about the UDF stuff?

Stand by for more from us on the UDF. Yes we will doubtless be asking you to make your feelings known to Stonnington on this issue. We’ll let you know how to do that soon. And once again, we hope you make the time to make your voice heard. So far it has been people power (and people hours) that have kept the developer from victory.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rose on June 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Well done Marg and team! Thank you so much for your additional effort in keeping those of us who were unable to attend updated. Greatly appreciated!!! … Every ounce of it. Cheers


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