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.
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.