UPDATE FOR 1 AUGUST 2013,
EVERYONE IS ASKING “WHAT IS HAPPENING?”
WELL – NOTHING —EXCEPT — ANOTHER ATTEMPT BY THE OWNER/DEVELOPER TO BLOCK THE COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY ‘S EFFORT TO ACHIEVE A REASONABLE SIZE DEVELOPMENT AT 590 ORRONG ROAD.
SUPREME COURT :- It is now three and a half months since the Supreme Court hearing on Council’s appeal to VCAT’s decision to grant Land Lease/ Frank Hargreaves a planning permit for 590 Orrong Road.?

To date Council has not received any indication of a likely decision date. We wonder of course about this delay – does this mean a good outcome for us? Well of course we can only hope.

AMENDMENT c153 and the DEVELOPER/OWNER VCAT APPEAL.

(The amendment is not connected to the Supreme Court Appeal- It is a separate issue as we will explain later.)**

As already covered in our earlier report Lend Lease and Hargraeves-Larkfield have found a rarely used Section 39 of the Planning & Environment Act to lodge a VCAT appeal against the Council’s processing of the amendment and also the process followed by Planning Panels Victoria. Section 39 relates to “Defects in Process”.

Although this appeal was lodged on 15 March, Council has only just received a ‘statement of grounds’ for the appeal. Council, never the less had to appear at a VCAT Directions Hearing on 5 July. After a brief hearing the Deputy President of VCAT set a 2 day full hearing for 5 & 6 September.

The Orrong Group has received legal advice that it would be inadvisable to seek to be a party to this appeal. The issues under appeal are very technical and the Group’s contribution would be limited. Furthermore we could put the Group in danger of having costs awarded against it.

The Orrong Group could certainly confirm that the process followed by Stonnington Council in arriving at its recommendation to the Minister was thorough.

Over a 2 year period, Council conducted a very extensive consultation process with all ‘stakeholders (’ i.e. the residents, sports groups, businesses. and the owner/developer), to arrive at a recommended size development for this .important site. This included maximum height levels of 17 metres, maximum density of 250 units and no more than 50% site coverage

All readers could vouch for the wide consultations Council carried out, with numerous public meetings, information sessions, exhibitions of plans, invitations to put forward views on the preferred size of the development. Can you all remember how many times you sent submission and emails to Councillors? There was a point when we were all saying “how many times do we have to state our views”.

We believe that the appellant will seek a direction that the Council go through another exhibition process. In our view this is nothing more than a stalling tactic to prevent the Minister from making a decision. There is no value or purpose in a further exhibition of the Amendment. It would just be going through the motions and a waste of time. The only stakeholder that would object to the content of the Amendment is the developer/owner. They have made it very clear over the last 3 years that they are totally against any sort of amendment that includes mandatory height limits. Their aim is clear – to kill off any such amendment.

Given that Council has conducted a very thorough consultation process we hope that VCAT will refuse Lend Lease’s appeal and that the Minister will approve the incorporation of the Council’s amendment in the State Planning Scheme.

 

 

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS COMPLEX PROCESS?
Orrong Group Committee members receive daily questions from local residents – What is happening? How does this process work? We find it difficult to understand and so on.

Well you are all correct; this is an unnecessarily complex process.

We will put together a point by point description of the procedure and post it on the web within the next week. **.

MULTI – BILLIONAIRE, MULTI GLOBAL CORPORATIONS versus the PEOPLE

An “Age” opinion piece on 1 August by Dr Beryl Langer headed “Corporatocracy killing grassroots democracy” asks “is anyone listening to local voices anymore?” She goes on to say ”the symmetry of money and power leaves people feeling that the law is being used for corporate bullying”. Well we have experience of this.

A more recent example is the community battle against McDonalds’ in Tecoma

WHAT CAN YOU DO AT PRESENT?
Supreme Court: – We just have to keep fingers crossed and wait.

Amendment c153 – Attend the VCAT hearing on 5 & 6 September at VCAT offices, 55 King Street – corner of Flinders Lane.
We need to keep fighting for what is right for our community.

The Orrong Group Committee welcomes your views and input.

Advertisements

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Jordan on September 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

    The VCAT web site says:
    “Review or appeal a VCAT decision

    Decisions of VCAT can be appealed only on a question of law.

    A party may seek leave to appeal a decision to the Supreme Court of Victoria. If you want to appeal you should seek legal advice immediately after VCAT has made an order. Time limits apply.

    If a Member of VCAT who is a Judge of the Supreme Court or County Court makes the decision, leave to appeal must be given by the Court of Appeal.

    If other Members of VCAT make the decision, leave to appeal must be given by the Supreme Court.”

    Is this another case of one rule for everyone else and a special rule for developers as seems to be the norm with VCAT?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: