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.

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 Posted by at 9:30 pm

  3 Responses to “Residents Meeting in the Park”

  1. I wrote to all the parties listed above today. Clearly the Heritage Overlay principles are not being met and I have detailed where each is not being met individually in my correspondence. Sympathy for this scale of development at any level of VCAT would seem to be very difficult to apply to HO. I regard the view from Armstrong Reserve to be as important as the street view. As such having the 43 units go ahead with a third storey facing the reserve is not satisfactory. I see an individual dwellings development in keeping with the surrounding streetscape as the only via option for a developer to satisfy residents lifestyle concerns for the site.

    Cr Angela Altair responded very quickly and is very much on the side of the residents. She has advised that she will be raising the issue with council tonight, in particular the social housing option outlined in the developers letter which is news to her. She will also be seeking advice as to the developers options to request that the same sympathetic VCAT officer review any further applications. I’m sure that other residents would prefer to have a fresh officer review any new applications at VCAT, as the scale was as much an issue as the facade, a nuance that seemed to be lost at VCAT last time.

    • Fantastic effort Craig. The earlier we inform the respective parties that this is not an acceptable type of development for this area the better. And ask them what they will do about it and the underlying big picture issues.

      Interesting point about the preferred VCAT officer. Some may seen her as supportive and sympathetic, others may feel she (and VCAT to generalise) was all but supporting the development. This seems to be evident by the developers response to VCATs decision… he feels the directives by VCAT can be easily responded to with minimal change to the mass and height, and even extend the design to include more dwellings.

  2. Great work people. Understand that Council’s development and heritage overlay zone guidelines will be set aside by one member at VCAT. Council will then say it is not their fault. This happened @ 342 Melbourne Road.

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