Pigeon Bank planning goes to VCAT
by David Hogg
9th May 2017
Community groups and neighbours join forces to try and appeal planning approval
FOLLOWING on from last month’s story on concern over a proposed development at 2 Pigeon Bank Road in North Warrandyte, several parties have appealed this matter to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Warrandyte Community Association (WCA) has joined forces with Friends of Nillumbik and the Green Wedge Protection Group to request a review by VCAT of the decision by Nillumbik Council to approve the planning application.
In addition, it is understood that the original objector, a neighbour, and a number of other nearby residents have lodged similar appeals.
One of the many grounds for the appeal by those who did not originally object to the council is that neighbours and community groups had not been properly advised of the application.
A directions hearing was set down at VCAT for last Friday May 5, intended to be a quick hearing to determine whether the late applicants would be allowed to appeal.
At this hearing, the barrister for the applicant requested the matter be thrown out because there had been no objectors to the original proposal before Nillumbik Council.
He contended the neighbour had put in a submission requesting some changes, rather than an objection and that without any objector there was no case to bring to VCAT.
Much discussion ensued on whether WCA should have been notified of the application, on the standing of the other community groups and their right to join in an action, and whether the community groups and immediate neighbours would be allowed to form a single group to appeal the decision.
The VCAT member, Ms Dalia Cook, reserved her decision on all matters, this is expected to be handed down within the next few weeks.
If the action proceeds, the next step is that the parties will attend a compulsory conference at VCAT on July 6 in an attempt to reach agreement.
If this fails, the matter will go to a full hearing which is not expected to occur before September, and may take between two and four days.