Jul 272011

The developer of 6 Paine St today distributed letters to residents surrounding the development site. A scanned copy of the letter attached, and the text below. Please read.

21 July 2011

Domain Hill Property Group Ply Lld
a 9rowth enterprise
Loft 1, 49 Smith Street
Fitzroy, vie 3065. Australia
P + 61 3 9419 8588
F + 61394173820
ABN 15083565940
www.domainhill .com.au

Dear Neighbour

Re: Project Update on Former Timber Yard Site – Paine St, Newport

I am writing to inform you of our progress with the redesign of our project.

The VCAT decision back in April was generally supportive of the scale and density of our proposal and the new design will follow a similar built form. The VCAT member stated “The proposal sets the groundwork for what I would regard as an acceptable and innovative response to the subject land.”

Based on the VCAT result and the feedback we received from local residents we made a decision to appoint a different architectural firm to handle the new design. This new fresh approach enables us to address the concerns many of you had about the architecture and the facade in particular. Whilst I have a high regard for the design skills of our former architect, the new architect seems to have more empathy with, and a deeper understanding of, the concerns of the neighbours.

The new design will be more conservative and the townhouses will all have a more individual domestic feel to them. The upper third level is set back and the entrances have been set further into the site as per the neighbour feedback and the VCAT directive.

There have also been some rather robust discussions happening with my new architect and my urban designer as we are all striving to achieve a quality outcome that addresses the neighbourhood concerns as well as meet the design guidelines set down by VCAT.

I have been communicating with your neighbour Darren Williams, who was one of your neighbourhood representatives at VCAT. Darren and I met yesterday with the new architect along with your fellow neighbours Anthony Simmons and Nik Bebic. The purpose of the meeting was to get some initial neighbourhood feedback and enter into constructive dialogue to assist our finessing of the plans.

I would also appreciate the opportunity to meet with you personally to help you gain a better understanding of the project and I can also address any concerns you might have. I welcome a phone call from you at any time.

The aim is now to finalise the plans and lodge a new planning application soon with council. At that point I can provide you with any information you might require directly either in hard copy form or via email if that is more convenient for you.

It has also been brought to my attention that a number of local residents have expressed concerns about the site being potentially developed for social housing, even to the point of lobbying the local MP Wade Noonan. Whilst I am prepared to be open and transparent that social housing is a legitimate alternative for us, I wish to emphasise it is not our preferred option.

A social housing scheme of 136 apartments over 4 levels has been designed for the site and presented to us. It is under consideration but that is the current extent of it. This social housing option (which would normally be approved direct through the State Government and not via Council) does not preclude us from submitting a separate and independent planning application to Council for upmarket ‘designer’ townhouses.

The new scheme will be advertised soon after we lodge the application. This will include the normal advertising signs on site. This advertising relates to the ‘designer’ townhouse proposal and IS NOT a social housing scheme.

Please call me if you wish to meet or discuss the ‘designer’ townhouse project any further.


Yours sincerely
Managing Director


Letter from Peter Cahill

 Posted by at 7:28 pm

  11 Responses to “Letter from Developer – Please read.”

  1. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there already a planning permit for 13 double storey town residences on the site? Has this permit expired or did the developer extend it? In light of his recent defeat at VCAT on the 46 apartment option, why can’t the developer just build what was originally approved……I’ll tell you why – GREED and ARROGANCE!

    • Yes there was an approved application to build 13 homes back in 2005. The applicant worked with council and there was virtually zero objections.

      The land was sold with the approved plans to the current developer Domain Hill Property Group Pty Ltd. They will have lapsed by now, but I expect the 13 dwelling plans could be revived and re-approved rather quickly if someone wanted to.

  2. Sorry we couldn’t be at the park meeting. Agree with all the articulate sentiments. We’ll get some letters happening.
    Frank & Ellis

  3. This development is as big a disgrace as the developer Peter Cahill. All Mr Cahill cares about is making money and he thinks that by distributing a threatening letter he will intimidate the residents of Newport. All he has succeeded in doing is galvanising the local community in opposing this inappropriate development.

  4. A developer wants to realise a profit and a mother’s group wants more park to play in.
    Ironic, isn’t it, that in our society we define ‘progress’ by the aspirations of the self interested!
    What is important – in any home, development, neighbourhood and city, is increasing its ‘livability’. That is progress.
    This development, in either of its iterations, doesn’t appear to be making a positive contribution to ‘liveability’ either for its users or the neighbourhood, and implying that the alternative is social housing is not respectful to those in need or those of us who live here.

  5. Just came back from the park.

    People there were all in agreement that this letter left them feeling annoyed and disappointed. A threat to hand the project over for government housing is nothing more than developer tactic to force residents to accept the new proposal. Sentiment against this project has hit rock bottom.


    Nik Bebic

  6. Hi all,

    An insight into this developer’s (Peter Cahill’s) mind: http://www.eliminatesmallbusiness.com/creed.php

    I notice his “creed” does not include consideration for others, sustainability, environment – or anything other than how to clamber over others to get rich quick. More “Greed” than “Creed”.

  7. I actually don’t care what the changes are that have been made to the ‘designer’, ‘more domestic’ ‘townhouse’ plans – the thing is still going to be looming blocks of flats. The place is going to go to hell very quickly if these types of developments muscle in. And doing it by bullying, shame.

  8. Subtle as a meat-axe – talk about how to win friends and influence people! Can’t believe they had the gall to circulate such a letter with it’s “social housing” threat/fall-back option. Agree that this has the potential to garner even broader opposition. Awaiting the next installment!

  9. Hello All,

    I don’t know what the developer was hoping to achieve by releasing a letter that is clearly threatening in tone, if we don’t support his latest proposal. It may well backfire giving us broader support than we already do have. I am not willing to support either one and I would tend to think most residents are also of this opinion.


    Nik Bebic

  10. I’m appalled at the implied threat in that letter that if his revised application is not approved, the State Government will take over and build 136 “social housing” apartments four storeys high. I’d rate that as first class bullshit and I hope that Darren, Anthony and Nik are not taken in by this clown. I’ll assess the new plans on their merit, but this latest smarmy offering with implied threats does not give me confidence.

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