Hobsons Bay Leader has written follow up article, reporting on the developers and residents view of the VCAT hearing outcome. Below is the text in full…
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NEWPORT residents say they have “won the battle but not the war” against a three-storey apartment complex mooted for the former Newport timber yard site on Paine St.
VCAT member Delia Smith upheld Hobsons Bay Council’s decision to refuse the development at a recent hearing, but residents believe she “missed the point” and has left the door wide open for the developer to resubmit new plans.
Developer Peter Cahill, of Domain Hill Property Group, put forward a proposal to build 34 two-bedroom apartments and six one-bedroom apartment with 47 carparking spots within a three-storey complex.
Ms Smith said the application was a “high-quality infill development” of “appropriate scale and form” and would not detract from the heritage value of the area. She did not object to the density, but wanted the facades “reworked”.
“The proposal sets the groundwork for what I would regard as an acceptable and innovative response to the land,” Ms Smith said.
Mr Cahill said he was disappointed with the decision but pleased that Ms Smith appeared “very supportive of what we’re proposing”. “We have to address those few areas of concern, which aren’t significant, and resubmit, which we’ll be doing in a few weeks,” he said.
Residents spokesman Anthony Simmons said the density and size of the project was still a concern.
“We don’t want that level of density in that position and we don’t want three storeys,” he said.
“But VCAT seems to think that with some changes it might be OK.
“They seem to have missed the point. It’s a horrible fit and the minor modifications they’ve suggested are not going to change that.”
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