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Waterfront Place Development

VCAT applications for review

The applications for review relating to the covenant and consent requests will be considered by VCAT at a seven day hearing listed to commence on 17 November 2014.

Council will be represented at the hearing by Best Hooper Solicitors, who have filed and circulated the expert witness statements of Mr R Milner, Ms A Brady and Mr T Biles on behalf of Council.

As required by the Tribunal Order of 15 May 2013 the reports must be published on Council’s website and can be found below:

1-7 Waterfront Place, Port Melbourne

Waterfront Place, Port Melbourne is part of the Beacon Cove estate established by Mirvac in conjunction with Major Projects Victoria from the mid 1990s.

There are currently three major planning issues affecting land in Waterfront Place. Whilst these projects all affect the land at 1-7 Waterfront Place they are separate processes, occurring independently of each other.

The projects are:  

 
A key priority for Council is to protect our community from inappropriate development and to give the community some certainty about future of the site. The current planning controls for the site do not include design criteria, a limit on height or allow for formal community involvement in the development approval process.

Click here to see Council contacts for more information

Amendment C104 and Design Guidelines 1-7 Waterfront Place

Latest news

Council formally adopted Amendment C104 and the Design Guidelines 1-7 Waterfront Place at the Ordinary Council Meeting on 9 September 2014.

The Council Report and all adopted documents can be accessed at the Council Meetings and Agendas page.

For further information on Amendment C104 please visit  the Planning Scheme Amendment C104 page.

Background

Council has worked to strengthen planning controls for 1-7 Waterfront Place to protect the site from inappropriate development, avoid overshadowing, secure community facilities and respect the heritage of the area.

After significant consultation with the local community and the findings from independent technical studies, Council undertook further detailed strategic planning for 1-7 Waterfront Place and developed urban design guidelines. These guidelines will help shape the final design and layout of the built form for 1-7 Waterfront Place. The guidelines encourage a design that will help mitigate the effects of wind and overshadowing in the surrounding public areas.

Engagement with the community has been extensive and ongoing in order to get the right planning controls in place to enable a sustainable development that complements the existing community setting.

Amendment C104 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme has been prepared to give statutory effect to the  Design Guidelines 1-7 Waterfront Place. Once included in the Port Philip Planning Scheme they will be the basis for future decision making by Council on the development of the site.

The amendment does not propose any change to the private covenants that apply to the Beacon Cove estate.

Application to redevelop 1-7 Waterfront Place – second request August 2013

Background

1-7 Waterfront Place is a privately owned site opposite Station Pier in Port Melbourne. The controls prepared in 1995 by Mirvac/State Government for this site vary from the normal planning processes and as a result there are no formal public notification or appeal rights for residents. 

What's happening?

The owner submitted an application in November 2012 to redevelop the site for a 19 storey apartment complex. At the Statutory Planning Committee Meeting on 16 April 2013, Council determined that the concept plan was not satisfactory. Read more about the first application.

In August 2013, Council received a second request from Rigby Cook lawyers on behalf of Waterfront Place Pty Ltd  seeking consent to approve a plan for a development with a maximum height of 10 storeys. View the plans and cover letter.

This proposal is a new request for consent and does not replace the earlier 19 storey request.

Council refused to support the proposal for a 10-storey development on the grounds that it put forward a poor urban design response, did not provide adequate information, and did not give sufficient consideration to the impact the development could have on the commercial operations of Station Pier.

Read the Council report and minutes.

Application to redevelop 1-7 Waterfront Place – first request November 2012

On 27 November 2012, Council received a request from Waterfront Place Pty Ltd seeking consent to approve a plan proposing a development of three, predominantly residential buildings of 5, 10 and 19 storeys at 1-7 Waterfront Place in Port Melbourne. The owners also lodged a separate planning application to remove or vary the covenants.

Council convened at a Statutory Planning Committee Meeting on 16 April to hear submissions and make a considered decision in relation to the consent request that was in the best interest of the community and future planning for the site.

Council determined that the concept plan was not satisfactory due to height, poor pedestrian access and inadequate traffic studies.

Council was given notice on 16 April 2013 that VCAT had received an Application for Review under Section 149 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. This appeal relates to the request for consent. Council is deemed to have refused the consent request as it was not determined within 30 statutory days.

Under the Planning & Environment Act 1987 (the Act), a request for consent is exempt from standard planning procedures, and as a result there are no appeal rights for residents. Therefore submitters cannot be formal parties to the appeal, although they may attend the hearing.

Application to remove or vary the covenant

Council was given notice on 16 April that VCAT had received an Application for Review under S79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 in relation to the covenant application (No. 1078/2012). This is an appeal against failure to decide the application within 60 statutory days.

At the Statutory Planning Committee Meeting on 16 April Council resolved to advise VCAT that, had it made a decision within the statutory timeframe, it would have issued a Notice of Refusal on the following grounds:

1. The application does not satisfy the tests for the variation of a restriction as set out at Section 60(2) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, as Council cannot be satisfied that an owner of land benefited by the restriction will not suffer any financial loss, loss of amenity or loss arising from a change to the character of the neighbourhood or any other material detriment as a consequence of the removal or variation of the restrictions as proposed.

2. The application for the removal or variation of the covenants in the manner proposed is premature until appropriate planning provisions for the future of this site are determined by the City of Port Phillip and approved by the Minister.

The covenant

The covenant is a private legal agreement between registered landowners to restrict the use or development of land for the benefit of other land that is part of the covenant. Covenants operate separately to controls contained in planning schemes.

Restrictive covenants affect the privately owned land at 1-7 Waterfront Place. Mirvac placed restrictive covenants over the lots at 1-7 Waterfront Place as part of the Beacon Cove Estate development.

The covenants burdening 1-7 Waterfront Place state that development of the site may only occur “in accordance with the plans and specifications prepared by Henry Pollack and Associates Architects Pty Ltd lodged within the City of Port Phillip”. The Henry Pollack and Associates Architects’ plans (the Pollack plans) are the original building plans that were used for the current buildings on the site.

Under the covenant Mirvac, as the arbiter of the covenant, is the only party that may approve a development or use which differs from the covenant.

Land owner's application - supporting documentation

Need more information?

For land owner's applications and VCAT hearings

Jane Birmingham  T: 03 9209 6264 or E: jbirming@portphillip.vic.gov.au
For Council's draft Design Guidelines and
Planning Scheme Amendment C104 
Katrina Terjung
Coordinator of Strategic Planning
T: 03 9209 6439 or E: kterjung@portphillip.vic.gov.au

Next steps

The applications for review relating to the covenant and consent requests will be considered by VCAT at a seven day hearing listed to commence on 17 November 2014.  Council has engaged appropriate legal representation for the hearing.