UDF for 590 Orrong Road

lend lease ben coughlanYou will know this as the Urban Design Framework (UDF) that we urged the Council to prepare in late 2010 to provide protection for the site.  Council finally prepared a draft UDF in consultation with the community Remember the workshops in July 2011.  The community advocated a height Limit of 17 metres (i.e. 5 and a half stories and the height of the existing building) and a maximum of 250 units.

We considered that this was a good rationale given that the 17 metres was not too much out of proportion to the low-level surrounds and the 250 units which would have resulted in a new population of 500 rather than 1000 which would result from the Lend Lease proposal. Council considered these height and density proposals and approved the UDF at a public meeting in September 2011.

This document was referred to the Minister in Nov/ Dec 2011 for permission to publically exhibit the proposal and proceed with the action required to have the UDF finalized.  The request sat in the Minister’s office until May 2012.  Three days before the VCAT hearing the Minister agreed to the document being processed – too late – it was not of any great value in our VCAT case as it had not been incorporated in the Planning Scheme.

The Council’s request of October 2011 for Interim Planning Controls to be placed on the site also sat in the Minister’s Office for 7 months. On the same day the Minister agreed to the UDF proceeding, he refused the request for the Interim Planning Controls and so the VCAT case commenced three days later without any form of protection.

Although the VCAT approved the grant of a planning permit to Lend Lease’s whole proposal, Council considers it important to continue with the UDF now termed Amendment C153 and the UDF was exhibited for community consultation in July 2012.  It was disappointing that the Council decided not to accede to the community view in respect to the 17 metre height and the 250 units and returned to the consultant’s proposal of 8 stories and not stated maximum number of units. This Amendment ahs been referred to the Minister who has appointed a 2 person panel to consider the Council’s case, the developers case and the community submissions.

The Orrong Group has put in an initial submission and will prepare a further submission for the hearing. We will be arguing for the lower height and density and some other changes to the plan.

The directions hearing of Panels Victoria was held on the 13 September and was attended by Orrong Group representatives.  The full panel hearing will be held over 3 days

– 31 October, 1 & 2 November starting 10am each day. – The hearing venue is Planning Panels Victoria Level 1 8 Nicholson Street East Melbourne.  (Take the Bourke Street tram.)

Please put these dates in your diary as we will need support at the hearing.

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