Here are our notes on last Fridays VCAT Practice Day Hearing. This VCAT session is primarily for VCAT to understand the scope and magnitude of the developer’s application, and schedule future hearing days and time required for them.
Attending were the applicant (developers solicitor), Hobsons Bay Councils solicitor, and a representative of the numerous objectors.
Observations of hearing (unofficial).
VCAT Practice Day Hearing 17th December 2010 at 10am
VCAT Reference Number: P3214/2010
Regarding: 6 Paine Street Newport VIC 3015
John Rantino (Maddocks solicitors representing Hobsons Bay Council).
John Cicero (Best Hooper solicitors representing the developer Peter Cahill).
Melissa Gojak (representing herself as an objector and speaking on behalf of other objector’s sentiment).
Mark Tenner (Hobsons Bay Council Planner).
Observers notes of hearing:
1. Statement of Grounds submission period ends 23rd December 2010.
2. Statement of Grounds submission required for any objector to be represented at VCAT.
3. Rantino requested developer’s VCAT application should be considered under Section 77 (Refusal to grant a planning permit) not Section 79 (Failure to grant a permit within prescribed time), this was agreed to by Cicero and accepted by VCAT.
4. Rantino requested mediation hearing date be pushed back as Mark Tenner is on leave during the scheduled hearing date. Similarly supported by Gojak. Cicero similarly requested push back of mediation hearing as the developers architects are also on leave. A date of the January 18th was proposed, and accepted by VCAT.
5. Gojak identified that although only ½ dozen Statement of Grounds had been served so far, it is expected every objector will serve a Statement of Grounds (approximately 80).
6. Cicero requested a representation order be made so that all objectors are represented by a smaller number of delegates at mediation/final hearing. VCAT so ordered. Gojak was identified as one representative, and others will be named and VCAT informed prior to mediation.
7. Cicero stated that it is unlikely the developer will amend plans and resubmit, but may provide part plan amendments. VCAT clarified any plans for discussion purposes must be circulated no later than 5 days prior to mediation.
8. VCAT reiterated Statement of Grounds submission period ends 23rd December 2010.
9. VCAT scheduled mediation date of 18th January 2010 at 2:15pm, but this is subject to confirmation by VCAT.
10. Timing of Final Hearing remains the 7th February, at up to three days, with the following estimates by involved parties:
– 1 day and a bit by Cicero for developers submissions (approximately 6 witnesses being called).
– Up to 1 day by Rantino for Council submissions (1-2 witnesses being called).
– Up to 1 day for objectors’ representatives’ submissions.
Here is a PDF copy of these notes: Observation of VCAT Practice Day Hearing 17th December 2010