Breaking News 3051 July

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 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.

West View of play ground in Gardiners Reserve N Melb image from the product catalogue

Western view of play ground in Gardiners Reserve N Melb

Image care of Wikimedia-The North Melbourne Gasometer1928

View of North Melbourne with a sneak peak of Garndiners Reserve in 1928 from image from WikiMedia online.

 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?

Breaking news the Woolworths site for sale!

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.


Woolworths North Melbourne community struggle

After an 18 month battle with the community Woolworths have put up their North Melbourne site for sale to another developer!





VCAT approve the Woolworths Development in its entirety, shame, shame, shame.

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.


Tess Demediuk

on behalf of RAID @ 3051 Inc.


Killing me softly?

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.

Sample planning notice - plan app 3
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.

RAiD 3051 Woolworth appeal VCAT appeal case

RAiD 3051 a small North Melbourne residents group standing up for integrated planning and good social outcomes for North Melbourne residents is in VCAT

Small Victory in the trenches – Woolworths front Autumn 2013

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.


INF3-96 Food Production Dig for Victory Artist Peter Fraser

Fund Raising and Signing New Members in Aug.

Some photo of a great day out raising awareness and signing up new members for RAiD our target is 200 paid members by Spring. 95% of all the people we meet or spoke to were very supportive. We live in a great neighbourhood lets keep it livable.


Community opposition to over development in North Melbourne RAiD 3051

Friendly support from Brian on Melbourne City Council before the rain.


Setting up our street stall in Melrose Street we got a very friendly reception.

Setting up our street stall in Melrose Street Cath Bowtell candidate for Mel helping out.


Marg and the team at the Melrose Street information stand.

Marg and the team at the Melrose Street information stand.



RAiD News 25 June Solstice Edition

Welcome to the RAiD winter warmer news up date, there are six items of update on the latest in our campaign news letter as we continue in our quest for a better quality of development in 3051.

  1. Status of Woolworths decision: there is still no decision from the Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy on the Woolworths proposal.  There has been no further information available to us on the status of the decision.  We are aware that both the Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee and Greg Barber, Greens Upper House member are alert to the proposal.


  1. Report from RAID street stall on Saturday, June 16: was most successful in attracting an additional 15 membership sign-ups and a great deal of discussion about the specific Woolworths proposal and broader development proposals and their impact on services, parking, traffic etc. Attached is the updated information flyer distributed at the stall.  An initiative of one of the volunteers was a raffle (a bottle of red wine) which was won by David who works locally.  A further street stall is planned for Melrose Street shops in the coming weeks and possible translation of the information flyer into community languages.  A fuerther update will be provided along with a request for volunteers to participate on the day when arrangments are confirmed.


  1. By-election scheduled for Saturday, July 21st:- Meet the Candidates – a forum has been advertised for Monday, July 9th at 7.00 pm in the Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston Street, Carlton.  This is an opportunity to ask a question of the candidates as to their view on planning in the inner suburbs.


  1. Melbourne Metro (refer to web details at: Peter Topping is prepared to apply to be a member of the Melbourne Metro Community Reference Group on behalf of RAID.  The RAID position at this early stage of the process, and with limited information to consider, is a general one of support for public transport; and the persistent message of integration of services including with the existing public transport network.  Should Peter be successful in his application to the reference group, he will both raise issues from the RAID membership and advise of matters from the reference group requiring community input.  Volunteers to form a support group to Peter in this role would be most welcome.   


  1. RAID in the press: the June edition of the North and West Melbourne News (N&WMN) featured an article about RAID Inc – its purpose and activities over the past 10 months.  The article provides a succinct summary of the issues, the RAID position and the outcomes to date, including the Melbourne City Council’s disapproval of the proposal in its current form and the formation of a City of Melbourne committee traffic management working party for this local area.

    News from RAiD 3051 on the proposed Woolworths High rise development

    RAiD 3051 residents community news on Woolworths proposal & planning in 3051

This is why RAiD has to exist in 2012.

The Age Online 14 May features this great articile that points to why RAiD 3051 has to exist in 2012. RAiD is all about ensuring that the inevitable development that does take place is well thought out & systematic, not a series of politician friendly, developer driven, 6pm new worthy extravaganzas. There is much to be re-learned from the Victorian era when building tall and close together  was a cheap “low cost housing” solution for workers. These became the tenements we had to clear after the war at great expense. Have a read and reach your own opinion.

Plan to redevelop and enhance the Park on Vaughan Tce and Dryburgh in front of proposed Woolworths development

Vaughan Tce & Dryburgh St Park in front of the proposed Woolworths development is ear marked for an upgrade.