The Canning Street site is now “under offer”, let us hope the new owners will work together with the local residents and Woolworths to develop the site and super market in a manner that better meets every ones needs. You cant stop development in most cases as the argument for increased density in the inner city is strong but you can work to make it better for everyone. Looking forward to hearing some news.
A big week RAiDers, chilly winds are blowing across 3051.
It hass been confirmed another big development has been submitted to Council that will combined with 1 Sheil Street further over shadow Gardiners Reserve, in particular the play ground end. We will now have more than 140 apartments (so far) all of whose cars will exit on to the heavily used streets around the park, action to save our park coming soon.
Action is important as you don’t know what you have lost until it is gone. This view of the Park taken from Zojo.com.au playground equipment catalogue would be back dropped not by sky but a 30 meter wall of apartments along the park, no afternoon sun in winter like now while you watch the kids, like the linear park on Moonee Ponds Creek a view gone for ever, you can look back to a much lower density North Melbourne in 1928 in the image below.
In other breaking news, Australia Post is looking at redeveloping the Rosslynn Street WestMelbourne depo in a proposal that contains a whooping 501 apartments. Wonder if anyone is planning to build a school in the area shortly, or expand the gym, or make the pool 50 meters, build a new park, develop some age care or will we just keep adding people without facilities.
Finally the latest twist and turn concerning the North Melbourne Woolworths proposed development is that: the site which is up for sale has possibly been sold and an announcement is probable by 10 July. This would account for the frantic tidying up and boarding up reported on Facebook last week by eagle eyed & concerned RAiDers.
Rumour further has it that it has been sold at a loss from the purchase price, which when considered along with the development appeal legal costs and the holding costs for the site may explain why Red Capsicums are $7:99 or more a KG at their stores but less than $4:50 a KG at the North Melbourne IGA. News of these moves comes from deep in the Age article on the West Melbourne Post Office site of all places and not form Woolworths, The Minister for High Rise or the City Council. Here is a quote from The Age Online.
Last year supermarket giant Woolworths, despite bitter opposition from locals and the City of Melbourne, gained planning approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a supermarket and 300 apartments to be built in two high-rise towers in Canning Street, North Melbourne.
Woolworths put the site up for sale through CBRE’s Mark Wizel and Justin Dowers who confirmed that a transaction was imminent.
Fairfax Media previously reported it will change hands for more than $20 million.
A former lord mayor and chairman of North and West Melbourne Association, Kevin Chamberlin, said Australia Post should inform potential residents that the suburb lacked the infrastructure to support such large projects.
In further news today Thursday 10 July, Warehouse Number 5 at the bottom of Sutton Street is in the news as Solomon Lew wants to knock it down despite its heritage status.
They say their plans are for a car park? This seems a little odd given that it could only serve the station or maybe show grounds on a busy day & its value is estimated at $20 million. $20 million Car park, today, honest, apartment block tomorrow when its knocked down, surly no one would do that, would they?
Dear Neighbours – an update on recent activities and some upcoming events of interest
- The RAID AGM held on Wednesday, March 26 at the NMFC Auditorium was attended by nearly 30 members with apologies registered for a similar number. Key points from the AGM included:
Chairman’s report covering the following:
- Report on RAID’s strong and credible campaign at VCAT in early 2013 and RAID’s ongoing oversight in monitoring the Woolworths development and other developments in the local area to highlight direct and indirect impacts on amenity and infrastructure shortfalls.
- Acknowledgement of the ongoing support and generous donations from RAID members, supporters, local community and the largely probono legal representation provided by Jane Good, Brand Partners in preparing the RAID case at VCAT and Ian Munt in presenting our case over 5 days at VCAT;
- Recognition of the support of the City of Melbourne generally and current and previous Councillors – current Crs, Oke& Ong and previous Crs Kanis & Shanahan – at VCAT;
- Recent contact made with Woolworths as to the status of the proposed development. It is noted that the site has been advertised ‘for sale by tender’ with a closing date of mid April. The conditions of sale are a 20-year lease back of the supermarket component to Woolworths;
- Members present supported RAID’s membership of the newly formed Inner Melbourne Planning Alliance (IMPA). This is an umbrella group formed to attempt to provide better leverage with government, developers and local councils for the community and to act as a source of information for local community planning groups.
Treasurer’s report: Peter Keogh presented a comprehensive financial report advising that combined membership and donations to the VCAT appeal totalled just under $10,000 thanks to our generous members and donors. With expenses paid RAID commences the financial year post the AGM with approximately $300.00. in the bank..
Committee members elected at the AGM were: Tess Demediuk (Secretary), Lorna Hannan, Peter Hogg (Chair), Peter Keogh (Treasurer), Marg Leser and Peter Topping.
Please do not hesitate to make contact should you wish to join the committee.
Renewal of membership: attached is both a membership renewal form and a form for new members. Please download the appropriate form, fill in, include your membership fee – $1.00 for renewal or $2.00 (joining fee and membership fee) for new memberships and send to PO Box 2007, Hotham Hill or drop off at 42 Canning Street.
- RAID Chair, Peter Hogg, presented to the East West Link Panel Hearing on Tuesday, April 1 and argued that the proposal in its present form fails the evidence based design test in the following ways and should not proceed at this time without further investigation:
· Cost benefit analysis is not robust
· Inconsistencies in air quality predictions
· The Urban Design Framework used is inadequate and misleading
· Further work is required and additional options explored and costed
· Further investigation into the impact on remnant natural ecosystems eg. Moonee Ponds Creek, is required
· Further exploration of negative impacts on local amenity and environment required.
- City of Melbourne (CoM) changes to Residential Zoning – this is an important development initiated by the Victorian Government which could significantly impact on the current zoning arrangements across Melbourne. The new Residential Zones will determine the type of residential development and types of activities that will be allowed in residential areas, what areas can accommodate housing growth and where existing neighbourhood character will be protected. There are three new residential zones with the CoM Officers proposing the whole municipality be zoned General Residential:
· Neighbourhood Residential Zone – limits housing growth and density
· General Residential Zone – allows modest housing growth and diversity that respects the neighbourhood character
· Residential Growth Zone – supports housing growth and diversity.
For more information and to provide feedback access melbourne.vic.gov.au/participate or contact the CoM on 9658 9658.
A meeting, hosted by the North and West Melbourne Association (N&WMA) is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15 at 6.30 pm at the Bastow Institute, 601 Queensberry St (enter from Union St). David Mayes, Manager Strategic Planning at City of Melbourne, will be presenting on the New Residential Zones. Take this opportunity to hear directly from CoM staff and to raise any concerns you have about the potential impact of the proposed new Residential Zones.
4. Other developments – RAID members are advised that a recent planning permit for 1 Shiel St, North Melbourne has been submitted to Council. This site was subject to a planning application of 6 storeys – which was approved by the City of Melbourne in 2013. Note that RAID submitted an objection to the 6 storey development on the grounds of height and scale amongst other matters. The new application is understood to be for a 10 storey development – we will keep you informed if the application progresses.
5. RAID has been asked to advise its members that a new community group has come together under the banner – NWMelbourne – to specifically take action on the proposed development by Eighth Day Baptist Community Property Ltd which has lodged a planning permit application with the City of Melbourne for 4 multi-level residential apartment buildings of 4, 5 and 6 storeys each, a large function hall and a retail shop for the site bounded by Miller, Curzon, King and Hawke Streets in West Melbourne. If this is approved the building will be up to 21 metres in height – the site is at the south end of Errol Street. Information about the group and for registering an objection to this West Melbourne development is on their website – refer to http://nwmelbourne.com
We look forward to your continued support and would be pleased to receive your suggestions and feedback.
T D on behalf of RAID @ 3051 Inc
In breaking news after winning permission to build big, to build high, to sell liquor for extended hours Woolworths have nominated the site for sale with pre approved plans and an offer of a 20 year lease, wow. Would love to know the ins and outs of that move.
Here is the link to the commercial property page. Complete with the scary summary of just how many cars and apartments they have permission for.
Dear Neighbours – a quick update on the status of the post-VCAT decision.
1. As advised in RAID email update 48, VCAT released its decision on Friday, May 17, 2013 and recommended to approve the Woolworths development with no substantive changes to the features important to our community – the towers remain with no reduction in height; liquor availability conditions and sales are unchanged and the impact of the development on the community – transport, parking, traffic – was not considered to be significant.
2. Following this, an analysis of the VCAT decision was undertaken by Brand Partners, RAID’s pro bono legal team, who advised of potential points of law to be tested in the Supreme Court. Given the nature and potential cost of such action RAID has liaised with the MCC to determine their position as to an appeal. We have been advised that the MCC legal advice does not support an appeal to the Supreme Court.
3. Cr Ong as Chair of Council’s Planning Committee has agreed to provide a written response on Council’s position for circulation to the RAID community.
4. We are continuing to work with the MCC to ensure that the details in the VCAT decision, including the conditions identified, are accurately reflected in the report and are also discussing mitigation strategies associated with the recognised impact of the development eg. parking, traffic management.
5. RAID has sent out media releases to the Age, the Weekly and Leader. Thank you to community members who attended the photo shoot for the local papers onsite on May 21. Refer to the attached photo taken by a RAID member on the day.
We will continue to keep you posted on developments via email updates and the website.
on behalf of RAID @ 3051 Inc.
R.A.I.D. 3051 Media Release – 21 May 2013
RAID@3051 was stunned by the VCAT decision released late on Friday, May 17 2013 in which VCAT upheld the Minister for Planning’s decision to grant a permit for the North Melbourne Woolworths development, subject only to minor variations. Whilst RAID@3051 acknowledges that the Woolworths development comes at a time when North Melbourne and the Melbourne Planning Scheme are undergoing significant change, RAID@3051 had hoped that VCAT would give some consideration to the concerns expressed by the community and Council.
Instead, VCAT has dismissed outright RAID (and Council’s) major concerns as to incompatibility of height with the Arden-Macaulay Structure Plan, stating that “on many levels this proposal will ‘lead the way’ in terms of the urban renewal that is sought in this precinct, in a manner that achieves a high level of architectural merit and urban design outcomes… We find that the overwhelming opportunity that this site presents to achieve a substantial intensification of development in a location which is extremely well serviced, must be given greater weight than any desire to achieve a development that respects the existing scale of development in the surrounding neighbourhood (refer paragraphs 23 and 14: P2313 2012 Melbourne CC v Minister for Planning (md mp 170513).
RAID is astounded that the Tribunal members praised the Woolworths proposal, given the obvious short comings identified by the community. This decision has trashed good urban design principles and the years of work by Council in developing the Arden-Macaulay Structure Plan – a plan which would have established a 30 year vision for the sustainable growth of the area and which is yet to be implemented into the Melbourne Planning Scheme. VCAT completely ignored RAID@3051’s and Council’s main submission and the clear direction set out in Amendment C162 (and recommended by the Planning Panel) that until the objectives and strategies of approved structure plans are approved and implemented via a planning scheme amendment, the existing local policies for the area will apply. Although, the Tribunal conceded that the development did not comply with the existing local policies.
VCAT’s decision represents a planning outcome which is inconsistent with the strategic direction, policies and controls currently being implemented by Council. More importantly, it undermines the strategic planning process and usurps the power of Council, its panels, submitters and the Minister to plan for the Arden-Macaulay area. There must be no doubt that VCAT’s decision sets a disastrous precedent for planning in the City of Melbourne and more particularly in North Melbourne, and that it has further shaken the community’s faith in the planning processes in this state and in VCAT itself.
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This decision opens the gate for the Arden Macaulay precinct to become the new Docklands, an area now universally considered to have serious shortcomings. Whilst the Planning Minister seems determined to repeat the failures of Docklands and ignore its lessons about how NOT to effect urban renewal, RAID@3051 is determined that these mistakes will not be repeated.
RAID@3051 has advice that the decision of VCAT failed to take into account relevant considerations and that the decision can and should be appealed to the Supreme Court. RAID@3051 will be lobbying the Lord Mayor and the Melbourne City Council to pursue an appeal, which we believe would be successful. Any appeal must be lodged within 10 days of the decision issued by VCAT on 17 May 2013.
For further comment or follow up questions please contact Peter Hogg of RAID on telephone 0400 784 779.
RAID email update 48 – sent Monday, May 20, 2013
Dear Neighbours – the wait is over! VCAT released its decision on Friday, May 17, 2013 to approve the Woolworths development with no substantive changes to the features important to our community – the towers remain with no reduction in height; liquor availability conditions and sales are unchanged and the impact of the development on the community – transport, parking, traffic – was not considered to be significant. The 50 page decision is attached.
The decision was spectacularly effusive in terms of applauding the development in advising that (bolded emphasis added):
On many levels this proposal will ‘lead the way’ in terms of the urban renewal that is sought in this precinct, in a manner that achieves a high level of architectural merit and urban design outcomes. (Paragraph 23)
We find that the overwhelming opportunity that this site presents to achieve a substantial intensification of development in a location which is extremely well serviced, must be given greater weight than any desire to achieve a development that respects the existing scale of development in the surrounding neighbourhood. (Paragraph 14)
The community view and voice was comprehensively disregarded with the evidence of the ‘experts’ directing the decision. The RAID planning group met last night and we feel strongly that this decision needs to be challenged. Action agreed on behalf of RAID includes: further legal advice, discussion with MCC, and media releases to ensure that the broader community is aware of this outcome.
We have a photo opportunity tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 May at 3.30pm on the corner of Vaughan Terrace and Canning Street. Bring along your NO WOOLWORTHS TOWERS posters.
Please let your neighbours know of the outcome. We will keep you posted on developments via email updates and the website. Please let us know if you have any ideas for raising awareness and challenging this decision.
on behalf of RAID @ 3051 Inc.
Dear Neighbours – this update provides advice regarding a further delay in the availability of the VCAT outcome which was originally expected by the end of March and then, as per advice in the last email update on March 23, by mid April. The issue holding up a decision relates to a covenant on one of the properties comprising the review site. This requires application to Melbourne City Council by the applicant – Fabcot/Woolworths.
What has happened: An Interim Order was issued on March 12 by the VCAT Chair and Member hearing the case giving the applicant and MCC “some time to deal with the restriction on the title” which VCAT considers must be addressed prior to the issue of a Final Order. The two parties were requested to advise on the status of the restriction by April 12. In a letter to VCAT dated April 11 the applicant requested additional time therefore the Mention Hearing scheduled for Friday, April 12 did not occur.
RAID’s response: Jane Good of Brand Partners, our neighbour and legal advisor, who has supported our case at VCAT on receiving this advice questioning procedural grounds referencing Section 85(1) of the Planning and Environment Act and proposed that, as the hearing has concluded, VCAT is required to make a decision. Given that there remains a covenant on part of the site then the permit cannot be granted.
VCAT response: Recently a response has been received from VCAT which disagrees with RAID’s position on procedural grounds. This further VCAT Interim Order advises that the “hearing is not concluded and may, at the Tribunal’s discretion be reconvened, either at the Tribunal’s instigation or at the request of any party. We therefore are not persuaded by RAID’s submission on this procedural matter, and do not agree that we are now bound to direct that a permit must not be granted”.
Implications for a final VCAT decision: VCAT has deemed it appropriate to allow additional time to resolve the removal of the covenant and has set May 17, 2013 as the date for another Administrative Mention. Given this the earliest we can expect the VCAT final decision is now mid-late May.
on behalf of RAID @ 3051 Inc
Not much to report except that there is a planning application notice up on the Woolworths site regarding the removal of the covenant. This is the covenant that humbled & de-railed the Woollworths VCAT “tour de force”, it showed no matter how much money you throw at something and how many lawyers you have, it is alway good to pay attention to details when you do your home work.
The hearing at the MCC Planning is set for the 17th of April, so I assume we can all object if we would like. Go down and have a read of it it. The most visible one is on the Boundary Road Street frontage opposite the smash repair centre. You have the right to contact the councillors and let them know you expect them to use their leverage on behalf of the community and at a minimum to bring the project into line with the structure plan.
The notice looks like this sample from Darebin.
Assuming the MCC let the covenant go in one shape or another then it is back to VCAT to make a ruling.
In the mean tine enjoy the newly reopened Arden St Oval, a cricket ground with no nets ! It does look special in Autumn as always.
Dear Neighbours – this update provides advice regarding a delay in the availability of the VCAT outcome which was expected by the end of March.
Jane Good of Brand Partners, our neighbour and legal advisor, who has supported our case at VCAT including instructing our barrister, Mr Ian Munt and expert witness, Mr Angus Witherby, received notification from VCAT on Friday, March 15 that due to a covenant on one of the properties comprising the proposed development site the VCAT Members are unable to make a decision on the application. To explain the situation the following draws on information from the VCAT Interim Order (dated March 12, 2013).
The issue: One of the lots that comprise the review site is affected by a covenant, in that it is to provide car parking to the benefit of another lot which comprises part of the review site. The process requires the Permit Applicant (Fabcot / Woolworths) to make a separate planning permit application to the Melbourne City Council, as the responsible authority, to remove the covenant. It is noted that parties at the hearing did not object to the removal of the covenant.
It is also noted that the Planning Minister has no authority to issue a Notice of Decision until such time as the covenant is removed. This is therefore embarrassing for both the Minister and the applicant (Fabcot/Woolworths) and should have been actioned BEFORE the permit application was lodged.
Required steps: Until the permit has been granted by the Melbourne City Council (MCC), the VCAT Members will not make a decision that could affirm or vary the decision of the Minister for Planning to grant a permit. A Mention Hearing for 12 April 2013 has been scheduled by the VCAT Members at which time the status of the removal of the covenant application is to be advised.
If the City of Melbourne decides NOT to remove the covenant Fabcot/Woolworths will be obliged to take the matter to the Supreme Court which will likely result in further delay and cost for them.
Implications for VCAT decision: Until the covenant is removed through the granting of a permit by MCC the VCAT decision will not be available. Given this the earliest we can expect the VCAT appeal decision is now mid April.