Jul 042013

Former Newport Timber Yard (6 Paine St) Development

Massive 43 unit development, 3 and 4 stories high.

Having twice been rejected by Council and VCAT, the developer has made yet another application to council to develop this site.

In response to the last VCAT hearing, the developer has made a small attempt to integrate with local neighbourhood character by including some pitched roofs and height adjustments; but, the development remains essentially the same 43 unit overdevelopment, with:

  • A dominating development, incongruous with the neighbourhood and neighbourhood character.
  • 43 dwellings in a single building mass occupying the majority of the site.
  • Predominately three storeys around the perimeter with some two storeys on corners. Three to four storey building on Latrobe St comprising rooftop decks and enclosed (ugly) stairwells.
  • Dominating second and third levels, many cantilevered forward. Pitched roofs added, but framed and blocky facade. As little as 2m only set-back on balconies and walls on all boundaries of the building.
  • Predominately concrete construction with much brick and masonry cladding.
  • Many units overlooking Armstrong Reserve and children’s playground. Absolute minimal private open space for residents. Resident car parking via car stacker systems.
  • With no change to density, parking and traffic issues remain the same.
  • Does not fully comply with ResCode. Does not meet Council’s infill guidelines.

This is what the developer wants to stick in the middle of our neighbourhood …


Plan – Site coverage – ResCode sets a standard of less than 60% max site coverage. This plan is more like 90% site coverage.

     non-sil-3 sil-3

Paine St elevations* – two and three storey façade with minimal set-back. Large car park entry.



Crawford St elevations* – two and three storey façade with minimal set-back. Two sets of storey high stair.


Latrobe St elevations* – four storey building, two and three storey façade with minimal set-back. Two sets of storey high stair. Entrance/stair on the corner of Latrobe and Paine is dominating and canyon like.



Armstrong Reserve elevations* – two and three storey façade with minimal set-back. Overlooking children’s playground. Residents private open space abutting park.

* Elevation notes:

  1. Colour elevations are developer’s depiction, focusing on front most facade only, with elements behind those (but still visible from the street) reduced to line drawing only.
  2. B&W elevations are our adjustment to show a silhouette of front most facade and other elements still very visible from street.



If you oppose this development (and what it represents and sets precedents for) please support your neighbourhood by objecting to it as soon as possible, preferably before 11th July.

You can view the application and plans here.

Electronic method…

COUNCILS GREENLIGHT PLANNING SYSTEM for online submission, go to the bottom of the page for objection form. Review the below pre-completed objection document for assistance and text you might want to use.

Paper method…

Here are some aids to objecting, select the most convenient. Each person in your household can submit their own objection. The more the better. There are no age limits for objectors.

PRE-COMPLETED OBJECTION (PDF) – containing the most pertinent points and you can use it as a reference for completing the blank objection form or submitting an objection on Council’s planning system (Greenlight), or submit the pre-completed objection form itself.

BLANK OBJECTION FORM for writing your own objection.

Objection kits (which include the above forms) have been distributed to homes in streets surrounding the development site. You may have one in your letterbox.

You can drop off your completed forms at the below community collection points, for coordinated hand delivery to the Council offices on your behalf.

Local collection points:

4 Paine St (in the letterbox).      2 Crawford St (in the letterbox).      4 Bunbury St (in the letterbox).
81 Wilkins St – corner of Latrobe St and Wilkins St (in the letterbox). Picture1


Or, you can send your completed objection forms to one of these addresses.

FAX any of the above to 03 9932 1090, make sure you include the following information:
– Application number: PA1226036
– Site address: 6 Paine St Newport
– Your name and address.

POST any of the above to:
Hobsons Bay City Council – Corporate Centre
Town Planning Department (Mark Tenner)
115 Civic Parade
Altona VIC 3018

To speak with Council’s planner about this development, phone Mark Tenner on 03 9932 1157.

If you have any questions of us, please email info@protectnewport.com


Good luck everyone, and let the community’s voice be heard… again.


 Posted by at 3:35 pm
Jun 042013

After a community consultation process, the developer is in the final stages of preparing amended plans for submission to Council.

In Protect Newport’s view, the plans HAVE NOT to any significant degree addressed the community’s major concerns of height, bulk, density, neighbourhood character, setbacks, parking and traffic.

In summary… there are still 43 dwellings, three stories, same building and occupant density, same height and bulk, as the plans presented during the workshops.

You will see by the letter accompanying the plans, the developer is still maintaining the position that VCAT and Council reviews/hearings give them approval to do what they wish, and the community feedback is therefore largely ignored.

Here is the letter from developer.
Here are the plans.
(A3 format file)

Quick survey – after reviewing the latest pre-submission plans, please rate the developer’s community consultation process.

[yop_poll id=”4″]


The developer has scheduled a final community workshop for Thursday 13 June 6.30pm – 8pm at The Chambers, level 1, Williamstown Town Hall, Ferguson Street. This workshop by the developer is “to provide an opportunity for final discussions between the developer and residents prior to plans being submitted to Hobsons Bay City Council”.

We suggest residents go along and provide further feedback before plans are submitted to Council.



 Posted by at 5:54 pm
May 052013

A fortnight ago thereabouts, residents received a letter summarizing the last workshops and notification of an upcoming workshop for Monday the 6th May.

We have received advice Monday the 6th May workshop has been deferred.

Here is an extract from the developer’s notification…

“You will have received recent advice of a workshop proposed for 6 May at which amended plans for this site were to be presented by RAIO Pty Ltd for further community comment.

I am writing to advise that RAIO Pty Ltd is still in discussions with Hobsons Bay City Council and the Council’s Urban Design Consultants and therefore still in the process of refining the design for the proposed redevelopment.

It has therefore been decided to defer holding next week’s proposed workshop so that RAIO Pty Ltd has the time to consider both Council and community feedback and prepare the revised plans to display. You will receive a copy of the revised plans via direct mail when they become available and also be advised of the revised date for the workshop in the near future.” – Lindy Amos (Collective Possibilities), consultant for the developer.


 Posted by at 8:44 pm
Mar 172013

After our last post,where the BIG ISSUES survey was uploaded for the benefit of people who cannot make it to the developer’s workshop, people have asked if they can complete the survey even if they are going to the workshops.

Sure you can.

In fact, the more people who complete the survey, the better the developer will understand what should be in scope at the workshops.

Please take a moment to complete this survey.

[yop_poll id=”2″]


 Posted by at 7:47 pm
Mar 152013

Following the developer’s recent ‘drop-ins’, you may have received a letter from them inviting you to attend a workshop. Here is a copy.

Each workshop is limited to 32 places, in case you cannot secure a place or make the workshops, we want to be in a position to provide your views to the facilitators and developer at the workshops.

Please take a moment to complete this survey.

[yop_poll id=”2″]



 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Mar 142013

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

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

Corner Pic A1
Artist’s impression: A Crawford/Paine St perspective of the latest 3 storey (or is it 4 storey) proposal.

Newport developer stays the course.

12 Mar, 2013 4:18 PM
A WOULD-be Newport developer is hoping to be third time lucky after two previous plans were rejected by the Hobsons Bay Council and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The Weekly understands that Domain Hill, which wants to put a multi-storey residential building on the former Newport Timber Yard, has hired a public relations firm to garner community favour the third time round.

Managing director Peter Cahill told the Weekly he would be “happy to talk in due course but not at the moment. I’d prefer our lines of communication to be direct with residents at this stage.”

Domain Hill first proposed a three-storey, 46-dwelling development for 6 Paine Street.

As reported by the Weekly, after it was knocked back by the council, residents said they felt “blackmailed” by a developer’s letter which indicated that if residents did not accept a new design, a four-storey, 136-dwelling social housing complex could be built without council approval. The council denied this could happen.

The developer’s second proposal was for a four-storey, 42-dwelling apartment block.

More than 360 objections were lodged against the second plan.

Protect Newport member Anthony Simmons said the latest plan was “essentially the same overdevelopment”.

“They’ve failed to submit an appropriately sized proposal that respects the neighbourhood character and surrounding predominantly single-storey homes. It remains a single, massive building containing 43 units, occupying most of the site, up to three storeys, plus a fourth-level rooftop deck and staircase structures.

“It’s not a compromise at all. In actual fact, they’ve gone up one unit.”

 Posted by at 1:16 pm
Feb 272013

Correspondence from the developer.

By now you will have received at least two pieces of correspondence from the developer of 6 Paine St, and possibly had his representatives knock on your door to seek your feedback on the development and their upcoming community consultation process. If you have not seen these pieces of correspondence here they are:

The developer abandoned talks with community representatives (when representatives proposed minor design compromises which were unacceptable to him) and created an alternative consultation process, for which he has hired consultants Collective Possibilities to act as facilitators.

They have started with a door knock and letter campaign, inviting residents to information session ‘drop ins’.


Drop ins.

The developer’s team has scheduled two information ‘drop ins’ sessions: Sunday 3rd (anytime between 11am-12:30pm) and Monday 4th (anytime between 6:30pm-8:30pm) at the Williamstown Town Hall Chamber Room.

It is in the interest of the community for residents to drop in to one of the sessions and provide direct feedback on the latest plans for a 43 unit, 3 storey building. Focusing on the major issues as you and other residents see them:

  • Failure to meet Council infill guidelines.
  • A single monolithic building design, using the majority of the site, with no ground level break around the entire site perimeter.
  • Overall height and mass (three stories) far in excess of the surrounding buildings. With inadequate setbacks for such a large building.
  • Complete failure to respect the neighbourhood character.
  • Overlooking the park and children’s playground.
  • Includes too many residents and vehicles and exacerbate current local traffic and parking issues.
  • A design that will forever negatively alter Newport’s character.

All of which are products of a blatant overdevelopment of this site.

The developer, project investors, and designers, are expected to be there to receive your feedback. The facilitators will subsequently report the feedback and pertinent information back to the developer.


Proposed workshops.

The facilitators propose to hold community workshops (20th and 28th March) at the Williamstown Town Hall. Again, the developer, investors, designers, are expected to be there with the facilitators.

The workshop scope, objective, and format are yet to be clarified. But the workshop outcome will be reported to the developer.

According to the facilitators these feedback drop-ins and workshops are primarily for the developer to gather community feedback for him to make decisions and potentially be include in his application to Council.

There is yet to be a clear indication the developer will respond to this feedback and workshops with changes to his application along the lines residents would be seeking.


Worth remembering.

This process is being organised by the developer independently of statutory process. Processes which failed to get him his way two times previous.

The developer abandoned talks with community representatives (when representatives proposed minor design compromises which were unacceptable to him) for a new process.

The developer will use this process to support his application to Council, and potentially in VCAT to get the development approved.




 Posted by at 4:46 pm
Jan 162013

Although not officially advertised for objections, the Timber Yard developer’s latest application is now available for viewing.

It seems he is failing to listen to VCAT and residents, and has submitted fundamentally-the-same application again. He has completely missed the opportunity to submit a different proposal that will integrate into our neighbourhood (and it’s character) without dominating it.


Resident consultation farce.

The developer is requesting Council to… “conduct a consultative meeting with residents as discussed which could be in the form of an information evening either prior to, during, or after the formal advertising period.”

Council are considering the developer’s request.

It is clear by the developer’s indifference of the timing of any consultative meeting, he is not really interested in in incorporating residents’ feedback into his design.

Why Déjà vu? The previous two consultative efforts resulted in the developer suspending meetings, not incorporating resident feedback and submitting his plans anyway.


What’s the new design like?


  • Still a massive dominating development, incongruous with the neighbourhood and neighbourhood character.
  • 43 dwellings (8 x 1BR, 32 x 2BR, 3 x 3BR) in a single building mass occupying the majority of the site. Dwelling density increased by an additional unit since the last application.
  • Predominately three stories around the perimeter with some two stories on corners. Fourth story central tower comprising rooftop private open space and enclosed (ugly) stairwells.
  • Dominating third level cantilevered forward. Pitched roofs added, but framed and blocky facade. Predominately concrete construction with brick and masonry cladding.
  • Many units overlooking Armstrong Reserve and children’s playground. Absolute minimal private open space for residents. Resident car parking via car stacker systems.

Why Déjà vu? There has been no attempt to reduce the dominance, density, and incongruous design.


View from Paint and Crawford Street intersection.


Paine St elevation.

Crawford St elevation.

What happens now?

We wait to see what Council will do with the developer’s request; and for the advertising period to start so residents can object as necessary.


The Application.

The developer’s application PA1226036 is now on Greenlight, with a copy of the documents below.

Covering Letter
Document register
Town Planning Submission
Plan Cover Sheet
Ground Floor Plans
First Floor Plan
Second floor plan
Roof Plan
Elevations Plan
Sections Plan
Sections and elevations
Key Plan
Traffic Report
Waste Management Plan
Streetscape Plan
Shadow Diagrams


 Posted by at 10:56 pm
Dec 182012

The developer contacted an objector representative to discussion the issues of the Timber Yard development and try to come up with a design that may be acceptable to the community, Council and VCAT.

Progress update:

  1. Representatives for objectors had discussions with the developer where issues with the previously rejected design were considered. Amongst other things, examples of more acceptable developments and styles were presented to the developer.
  2. The developer came back with draft amended design, which although had some improvements with gaps and roof lines, did not satisfy residents primary concerns of bulk, height, form and materials.
  3. A further meeting took place where the improvements and failings were discussed and residents proposed a design that (as a minimum) may be more acceptable to the community.
  4. The developer is considering this and will come back to us shortly.
  5. If a suitably responsive re-design is returned by the developer, this will be the subject of a residents meeting; to review the proposal and provide a public acceptance position back to the developer.

Hopefully this process will result in a re-design that deals with community, Council and VCAT concerns; and enables the site to be developed in a way acceptable to all parties.


 Posted by at 11:04 am
Nov 082012

Representatives of resident objectors are in discussions with the developer, Domain Hill, regarding revised plans for the Timber Yard site.

Although we have seen sketches of the revised form, we are waiting on additional style and materials details. We will then begin a formal cycle of receiving community feedback.

The developer has also met and continuing discussions with Council’s planning department.


The Hobsons Bay Leader had a brief article regarding current events, read full article here.

 Posted by at 10:04 am