Sep 062013

As it happened.

It’s was a packed house! A large group of residents turned up to observe the proceedings. Without this mass showing of support we may have had a completely different outcome. So congratulations everyone for doing your bit and coming out on a rainy evening and giving your support to the speakers.

The town planner gave a summary of the application and reasons for supporting it. The committee asked him a few questions at this stage and later.

A number of residents spoke on behalf of the entire community, covering the key arguments. Then some individuals also spoke of particular impacts on them. It was a tough gig, tightly controlled by the committee and some points we wanted to raise were not permitted because they were thought of as ‘off topic’ by the committee. Regardless – we delivered our messages. So thanks to Darren, Alison, Nik, Philip, Anthony, Corey, another Anthony, Pat, Ann, Scott, and Louise. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

Then the developer’s planer spoke then the developer himself. They spent considerable time still trying to discredit the objectors use of pro-forma objections, and defend their humble position and proffer the self-serving community consultation process they undertook – you know the one that hardly anyone participated in – yeah that one. The committee asked a few questions of the applicant at this stage.

The committee adjourned to deliberate…

… then returned with a decision to refuse the permit. The committee elaborated on the reasons for the refusal including many instances of failing to meet ResCode standards, and many cases of failing to meet local policy guidelines. Including heritage and neighbourhood character, height and form. They indicated the amendments to previous plans did not go far enough and a “back to the drawing board” and real compromise might be necessary. They also acknowledged the commitment and passion of the community. They thanked the developer involving the community in a consultation consultation process*. I’m paraphrasing the committee here of course and will upload the minutes of the meeting and decision when it becomes available from Council. Plus all objectors should receive a copy direct from Council.

SPC DECISION: Minutes_Thrusday_5th_September_2013_PDF_581KB

It was evident that councillors Luba Grigorovitch, Sandra Wilson and Colleen Gates of the Special Planning Committee had taken considerable effort to become familiar with the history of the site, applications, and current plans. For this we appreciate their due consideration and judgement.

Anyway, the crowd cheered, we all slapped each other on the backs, and went back to our families… where we should have been all along.


* Maybe next time there will be some real community consultation where the developer will bring a genuine willingness to compromise to the table.

 Posted by at 1:56 pm
Sep 052013

Quick update – tonight at the Special Planning Committee, the Councillors did not support the town planners decision to grant a permit. A permit was refused on numerous grounds.

More details to come in the morning.

A fantastic effort was put in by all the speakers and an awesome show of support by residents who turned out to pack the gallery.

Thank you Councillors.


SPC DECISION: Minutes_Thrusday_5th_September_2013_PDF_581KB

 Posted by at 10:48 pm
Sep 052013

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

We’re gobsmacked by the developer’s response to the newspaper. See below red text. He has a lack of respect and understanding of individual rights and the objection process. No wonder he fails to understand our opposition to his development when he mistakenly believes only some objections are valid.

Article below by Hobsons Bay Weekly.. or go to the article at the Hobsons Bay Weekly website. Copy below.

Council urged to reject ‘ugly’ 43-dwelling Newport building.

4 Sep, 2013 1:48 PM

Residents opposed to a 43-dwelling, three-storey development on the site of the former Newport Timber Yard are calling on Hobsons Bay councillors to reject an officer’s report that recommends granting a planning permit.

Two previous applications for the site at 6 Paine Street, lodged by Domain Hill, were refused by the council and also the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

But a council officer’s report states that the third application is “less foreign, more well mannered and less monolithic”.

More than 300 objections have been lodged with the council, with residents labelling the proposed building “a gross over-development in one of Newport’s nicest low-density precincts”.

Anthony Simmons, of the Protect Newport residents action group, said the community felt that town planners had “caved in”.

“The consensus is the planners have ignored the community and their own heritage adviser’s call for a significant redesign. Instead, they have given in to mediocre and insignificant changes put forward by the developer.

“The latest application is still a large single building of 43 units up to four storeys high with an ugly cantilevered façade and other clearly inappropriate design elements.

“It still significantly exceeds ResCode standards for height and site coverage. These mass, height, and density issues have not been addressed in all three of the developer’s applications.”

Applicant, Domain Hill director Peter Cahill, suggested the number of objections was inflated.

“When people go about some aggressive lobbying and you end up with multiple objections from the one household, including in some cases we know of, children, these things happen.

“We’ve made a range of changes to the design in order to accommodate the residents’ requests and I’ve got that fairly well documented.”

A decision will be made tomorrow night by a special planning committee of the council.


Come to tonight’s Special Planning Committee and support the speakers who will present cases to Council as to why the development should not be granted a permit.

Special Planning Committee: 5 September, 6:00 pm, to be held in the Civic Centre at 115 Civic Parade, Altona.

 Posted by at 9:43 am