Aug 052011

Keep us informed if you have written to anyone about the proposed development at 6 Paine St Newport.

This helps us track how the objection campaign is progressing.

Your privacy: The information you provide will not be made public unless summarised and/or your name and email removed.

Whom should I be writing to? See bottom of this page.

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 Posted by at 8:32 pm
Aug 032011

An article regarding the 6 Paine St development has just been published in the Hobsons Bay Weekly.

It’s an excellent article highlighting how residents around the development reacted to the developer’s letter.

Just a note on the article, we trust readers understand surrounding residents are not opposing the option of social housing, residents are concerned about these key issues:

  1. The ridiculous size and physical impact of the development regardless of it being private housing, social housing, or anything else. Any proposal should at least be sympathetic to heritage overlay zoning and comply with Council’s development guidelines.
  2. Peter Cahill (the developer) using a much larger alternate proposal to concern residents into being more receptive of his preferred plan.

Article and picture below.. or go to the article at the Hobsons Bay Weekly website.


Newport apartments or social housing? ‘You decide’

03 Aug, 2011 12:00 AM

NEWPORT residents say they feel “blackmailed” by a developer’s letter which “threatens” the neighbourhood with a social housing scheme unless they approve of his ‘designer’ apartments.

As reported by the Weekly in April, plans for a three-storey, 42-dwelling apartment block at the former Newport timber yard were rejected by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

More than 80 objections had been lodged with Hobsons Bay Council against the proposal for a black, cement-sheet apartment block.

In a letter dated July 21, Domain Hill Property Group managing director Peter Cahill states that if residents do not accept his new designs, a four-storey, 136-dwelling social housing complex could be built without council approval.

Mr Cahill states that a number of local residents are concerned about the site being potentially developed for social housing.

“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,” he writes. “A social housing scheme of 136 apartments over four levels has been designed for the site and presented to us.

“The social housing option – which would normally be approved direct though 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.”

Resident Anthony Simmons said many viewed the letter as an ultimatum. “He seems to be threatening or trying to blackmail people. [Residents] think it’s quite an underhanded approach and not going through proper process. We’re feeling a bit under threat.”

Resident John Laurie said Mr Cahill was threatening the neighbourhood with a four-storey social housing scheme unless they accepted his so-called ‘designer’ apartments.

“Threatening the residents of Newport to get what you want doesn’t seem too ethical – or sensible – to me,” he said.

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan labelled the letter “bizarre”.

“I think the developer is adopting a rather dubious approach to this site. Having lost at VCAT earlier this year, the developer now seems to be saying that if they don’t get their way they may move to a plan-B social housing option – it’s quite bizarre.

“The other thing to be said here is that the developer is not correct when they say that a social housing application would normally be approved directly by the state government and not via the council.

“This process was only in place during the global financial crisis to support the Commonwealth government’s stimulus package. To that extent the developer is misleading the public.”

Mr Cahill told the Weekly that while a social housing project would probably be more profitable for him, his preference was for upmarket townhouses.

He denied his letter was a threat and said that Mr Noonan was wrong, based on professional advice received.

“I can’t control how someone can interpret something, nor can I control people’s emotions,” he said of his letter.

“All I can do is be transparent and outline the facts.

“As I stated in my letter, my preference is to proceed with an upmarket townhouse project – not sure I could have made it any clearer.

“My aim was to avoid any confusion so that people do not misinterpret our new planning application.”

 Posted by at 12:54 pm
Aug 012011


Thank you everyone for coming at such short notice.

Around 60 residents attended a briefing at 4:30pm today at Armstrong Reserve to be brought up to date on recent events surrounding the 6 Paine St development. The developer Peter Cahill, his company Domain Hill Property Group Pty Ltd, or any of his representatives were not invited to attend. This was a residents meeting.

An amazing turn-out considering less than 24 hours notice was given and people had to leave work early to be at the park. This goes a long way to show how much people felt threatened and intimidated by the developer’s Dear Neighbour letter distributed last last week.

Representatives of the resident objectors group presented a brief on events to date, current events, and what needs to be done in the near future to fight this overdevelopment in the middle of a heritage overlay zone.

In summary:

  • A brief history of the previous plans for the site, the council rejection, the February battle at VCAT, and the upholding of Council’s refusal to grant a permit.
  • An overview of a meeting by resident representatives with the developer to review revised plans which will when finalised be submitted to Council as a subsequent application in an attempt to comply with VCAT recommendations. There have been some changes to the plans, but essentially the development is same mass and volume with an increase in number of dwellings, occupants, and height.
  • A recap of the developer’s letter, which hiding behind a clarification that he is not pursuing a social housing of 136 dwellings, clearly implies he still has it on the cards and will consider it if his preferred 43 dwelling building is not readily passed.
  • A gauge of the residents’ reaction to the letter. The letter, its manner and content is quite an extraordinary step by a developer, and viewed by residents as unethical verging on attempted blackmail, and an attempt to corrupt due process.
  • It was clarified by the speakers that the possibility of social housing without Council and community approval/consultation (as stated in the developer’s letter) is in fact incorrect and misleading. Unless it was part of the Federal Government stimulus package which is now exhausted (as confirmed by Local MP Wade Noonan and Federal MP Nicola Roxon Minister for Health and Ageing).

Discussion followed around the following key points:

  • The letter from the developer Peter Cahill was thought to be light on practical information, heavy on the prospect of unchallengeable social housing, and therefore designed to intimidate residents to comply with accepting his upcoming application to construct even more high density dwellings on the site.
  • A project of the nature planned by this developer is detrimental to the neighbourhood character, and will impact everyday resident amenity, especially regarding traffic and parking, both around the site, and beyond into activity centres in Newport and Williamstown.

What residents should do next:

  • Residents should ignore Cahill’s intimidation and write to their MPs, Councillor, and the developer himself. Highlight that any proposal to develop high density three or four storey buildings on this site will be vigorously opposed, and all developments should comply with Council’s development and heritage overlay zone guidelines.

Well done to everyone that participated today.

Who to contact:

Your Local Councillor Angela Altair (Williamstown Ward) at…
Hobsons Bay City Council
PO Box 21, 115 Civic Parade, Altona, VIC   3018
Phone:  03 9932 1044 (during business hours)
Mobile: 0419 762 267 (after hours)

Hon Matthew Guy Victorian Minister for Planning at…
Minister for Planning
Level 7, 1 Spring Street, Melbourne, VIC
Phone: 03 9938 5990
Fax: 03 9938 5949

MP Bernie Finn (Victorian Legislative Council representing the Western Metropolitan Region) at…

Office of Bernie Finn MP
Member for the Western Metropolitan Region
277 Hampshire Road
Sunshine, VIC 3020
phone: 03 9312 1212
fax: 03 9312 4598

MP Wade Noonan (Member for Williamstown and local representative in the State Parliament) at…

Electorate Office:
101 Douglas Parade
Williamstown  VIC  3016
Tel: 03 9399 9022
Fax: 03 9397 7227

The developer Peter Cahill of Domain Hill Property Group Pty Ltd at..

Peter Cahill (Managing Director)
Domain Hill Property Group Pty Ltd
Level 1, 49 Smith Street Fitzroy, Victoria 3065
Phone: 03 9419 8588
Fax: 03 9417 3820


Keep us informed if you have written to anyone about the proposed development at 6 Paine St Newport.

This helps us track how the objection campaign is progressing.

Your privacy: The information you provide will not be made public unless summarised and/or your name and email removed.

[SurveyMe form=’Writers 1′]


 Posted by at 9:30 pm