Update September 4, 2013

590 orrong road

As we wait for the Supreme Court, we head to VCAT.

1. Still no decision from the Supreme Court on the City of Stonnington’s appeal against developer Lend Lease and property owner Larkfield.

2. VCAT APPEAL BY LEND LEASE AND LARKFIELD.

HEARING to commence 10 am this THURSDAY 5 SEPTEMBER

VCAT – 55 KING STREET. Melbourne.

Even as we wait (four months and counting) for the Supreme Court’s decision there is another vital court process in train. The outcome is vital for us regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision as it will help set out the limits – height, density and otherwise – for any eventual development on 590 Orrong Road. This is an extremely important amendment and will hopefully be approved by the Planning Minister and incorporated in the Planning Scheme. Here’s how the Stonnington Review reports the situation.

This appeal could be viewed as a deliberate stalling tactic by the owner and developers. We will need to put pressure on the Planning Minister to approve Amendment c153 so it is in place when the Court decision arrives. A task for post election.

As we have advised in earlier updates the appeal is based on a rarely used Section 39 of the Planning and Environment Act and accuses the Council of a “defect in process” in its preparation of Amendmentc153.

Council, in preparing this amendment, conducted a wide spread consultation and exhibition of proposals throughout the almost 2 years it took to conclude the document.

We feel that the community would confirm that, since mid 2010, they have, time and time again, been invited by Council to participate in all aspects of the proposals for 590 Orrong Road. The Amendment c153 is the result of this.

The Amendment will set mandatory height and density limits, with other requirements, for this site. The only “stakeholder” who does not want any limit is of course the developer/owner.

The appellant’s submission to VCAT has just been received and the claims and arguments are based on very technical points. (you can access this on the VCAT web site – reference P638/2013) In simple terms the developers want the amendment to be totally rejected or to force Council to go through a further exhibition of the amendment. WHAT FOR?? It is totally unnecessary. The main “stakeholders” the residents, shop keepers, sports groups etc have no objections to the main thrust of the amendment.

The developer/owner “stakeholder” doesn’t like it at all as it restricts their aim to get the highest yield possible. They wish to have a free hand to construct buildings as high and as dense as they wish. Without this amendment in the Planning Scheme (setting mandatory height, density limits), the developers can, at any time, go back to VCAT and seek their own amendment to go higher and denser.

The VCAT Hearing is scheduled to last 2 days – 5 and 6 September.

Have you a couple of hours to spend some time at the hearing? We need to support our Council in its efforts to support its community.

Don’t let this big developer get its way.

SUPREME COURT APPEAL – Still no news. It’s over 4 months since the hearing on 17 April 2013.

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