ANOTHER large development in Vincent has been approved with discretionary heights by a state-controlled development assessment panel where local councillors were outvoted.
The development at 330-334 Charles Street will include seven storeys, 47 units and four offices.
Vincent council staffers had recommended the DAP reject the proposal because the council’s draft built form policy limits development in the area to four storeys, but there’s wide discretion in the city’s existing town planning scheme, which is long overdue for an update.
Mayor John Carey described the DAP vote as “disappointing” and says the city is in the throes of community consultation to do away with the discretionary heights.
“I would have urged the DAP to hold its position, to resist this, because we’re giving away these bonuses, we’re not making developers earn it,” Mr Carey said.
“This is why I believe these decisions should come back to council, because I think we would take a far more stringent approach.
“This is an example of why we are scrapping the variations policy; we’re just having maximum heights.”
The development had previously been rejected by the DAP, but Phoenix Lake Pty Ltd appealed to the state administrative tribunal. After a round of mediation and some “small but important” reductions in height, state-appointed panel members Megan Adair, Brian Curtin and John Syme voted to approve the amended plans. The DAP’s council members Josh Topelberg and Matt Buckels voted against the development.
Thirteen locals lodged objections to the project along with a petition against it, while three were in support.
Planning Solutions, on behalf of the owners, argued in their application that the building’s a good fit for that “eclectic” stretch of Charles Street and will help usher in a better quality future for the area.
“A number of buildings in this local centre are beyond their economic lifespan and are prime for redevelopment. Accordingly, there is a clear transition taking place which will uplift the centre from its current form to a high quality mixed use local centre,” the planner’s application said.
It said the height “will ultimately contribute to a vibrant local centre”.
by DAVID BELL