Sep 152010

Council have received 81 objections and is in the process of making a deliberation as to whether it will support or oppose the development at 6 Paine Street, Newport. This will take some time, as all the objections will need to be carefully considered.

All persons who lodged objections will be notified in writing as to Council’s decision.

If Council agrees to accept the developers proposal, all persons who have lodged objections will be asked to attend a Special Planning Committee at which all relevant issues will be tabled. If Council rejects the proposal, then the matter will more than likely go to VCAT. In speaking with two Councillors I get the firm impression that Council will reject the proposal….but that is only my view.

I believe that in the event Council rejects the proposal, lobbying needs to be done in order for Council to employ an outside consultant, lawyer or town planner in order to fully effect a case to oppose the development. This can be done by phoning your local Councillor or Mayor.

If the matter goes to VCAT all persons who lodged an objection will be contacted in writing and invited to attend the relevant hearing. If there is a significant response then objectors may be asked to form some consensus or group representation.

The Paine Street proposal is a microcosm of the State Government’s attitude to development in urban areas. What is of immense concern is the Government’s proposal to amend the Planning and Environment Act whereby Municipalities will have reduced ability to represent residents in matters concerning planning and development across the board. Essentially this means that developers will have more power and authority to effect development as they deem fit.

I have tried to speak with Wade Noonan regarding this matter but he’s a hard man to catch!

Philip Henkel

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