Warrandyte residents petition Manningham council to oppose petrol station at VCAT
by Scott Podmore
24th July 2015
WARRANDYTE residents turned out in force to petition Manningham City Council in opposition to the construction of the proposed petrol station near the roundabout in Yarra Street.
The submitters meeting at council offices was attended by the three Mullum Mullum ward councillors, mayor Cr Paul McLeish, Cr Meg Downie and Cr Sophie Galbally, and Cr Dot Haynes.
Dick Davies presented on behalf of the WCA, and Grant Waldram and Maurice Burley on behalf of the Warrandyte Character Protection Group. Several residents also presented a case against what they believe to be “inappropriate development”.
Residents made a case suggesting the development would be a first in what is supposed to be a Neighbourhood Residential Zone, that it would completely marr the ‘Gateway to Warrandyte’ aspect at the roundabout, that it could not be considered part of the West End complex, that disturbance as a result of all night access would be a problem, that bushfire and water contamination risks were exacerbated and many other concerns. WCA called on council to strongly oppose the appeal to VCAT with legal counsel and expert witnesses.
The developer declined to attend the submitters meeting and has appealed directly to VCAT.
The VCAT hearing is on October 19 and will last five days. At the request of the WCA, VCAT has ordered the proponent to produce new plans by August 14 allowing all parties two months to review the new plans before the hearing.
The WCA submission reads:
WCA Submission to the MCC submitters hearing
Officers report on 1,3,5 yarra street (pl13/023819)
The Warrandyte Community Association has a mandate from its membership to:
- Promote all aspects of community life in Warrandyte
- Defend the character and heritage of the Township, and
- Protect the environment and encourage restoration and regeneration of native flora and fauna.
Our feedback over the years is that any new development should preserve this character and feel of Warrandyte.
Consequently, WCA has adopted the view that any large development, such as a fuel outlet, must blend in with the heritage character and environmental aspects of the Township. It is our view that the current proposal for a petrol station at 1,3,5 Yarra Street does not meet these criteria. While some might want a service station in Warrandyte, it is impossible to drive more than 10 minutes without finding one – some of which operate 7 x 24.
The WCA is one of 68 local objectors to this proposal. We oppose the current plan on the grounds of Traffic management, Visual amenity, Heritage streetscape, Loss of roadside vegetation and Environmental concerns.
Specifically these are:
- As detailed in the Council Officers’ report, the proposal is inconsistent with Council’s planning scheme and neighbourhood character provisions. The scale and intensity of the proposal is an overdevelopment of the site from many perspectives.
- By any reasonable judgement, the proposal fails to satisfy Clause 52.15 of the planning scheme, which states that: “The amenity of the locality must not be adversely affected by activity on site, the appearance of any building, works, or materials, emissions from the premises or in any other way.” There is no way that the proposal can come close to meeting this criterion.
- Neighbourhood Residential Zone is the most restrictive of the Government’s three residential zones. There are no service stations in other NRZ. This would be the first , making a mockery of the purpose of the NRZ, which is —“to manage and ensure that development respects identified neighbourhood character, heritage, environmental or landscape characteristics”.
- The Design and Development Overlay 3 (DDO3) adds another layer to the NRZ. The proposal appears to be in direct contravention of the objectives of the overlay.
(which seeks to ensure that:
- development responds to the area’s environmental characteristics;
- development recognises the existing infrastructure capacities and does not generate demand for extensive upgrades of infrastructure, including the standard of roads and drainage;
- development responds to the area’s environmental characteristics, including topography, soils and vegetation;
- development is sympathetic to the existing built form and style and retains the predominance of single detached housing and discourages other forms of works.)
- No other businesses operate 24 x 7 in Warrandyte. The lights, traffic noise and disturbance would be unreasonable in a residential zone. The presence of a 7 x 24 convenience store (that could easily morph into a fast food outlet) would significantly change the character and ‘Country Town’ feel.
- Furthermore, there is the potential for contamination in the flood zone.
- Also there will be additional traffic impacts on an area already suffering significant congestion.
- Removal of six large mature yellow box gumtrees contradicts the objectives and guidelines in the planning scheme for this area.
We note that the applicant has decided to bypass appropriate Council procedures with a direct appeal to VCAT, with changes that may appeal to the referral authorities, rather than amend the application to address the issues raised by Council Officers. At the request of the WCA, VCAT has ordered the proponent to produce new plans by August 14th allowing two months to review the new plans before the hearing.
We support the Manningham Council Officers Report (PL 13/023819) which proposes that Council oppose the application to VCAT. We urge Council to vigorously oppose this application and dedicate significant resources to fight it, including, but not limited to:
- An experienced planning lawyer with a track record of defeating inappropriate developments at VCAT, and
- Expert witnesses as recommended by the planning solicitor.
If this proposal were to be built, the character of Warrandyte, a resource not just for the residents but all of Melbourne, would be significantly and detrimentally affected.
We thank you for your time in consideration of this matter.
Dick Davies, President, Warrandyte Community Association Inc.