CLIFFORD HAYES WELCOMES RARE VCAT DECISION IN THE COMMUNITY’S FAVOUR

Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes has welcomed the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal's decision to refuse a building permit for a “99-apartment concrete monstrosity” in the heart of Caulfield South. In March, Mr Hayes and Member for Caulfield David Southwick joined dozens of residents at the Hawthorn Road site in protest of the overdevelopment. In a bid to win over Glen Eira City Council, the developers reduced the height from nine-storeys to seven. “Seven storeys is still too high,” said Mr Hayes. Despite this, it was rejected by the Council and taken to VCAT—where the application was again quashed. The main reason for the rejection was that the higher levels of the developments did not have adequate setbacks. This does give scope for the developer to submit new plans and restart the process. Mr Hayes said it was still an unusual win for a community “under siege by developers, who are taking advantage of the Planning Minister’s blatant refusal to grant mandatory height controls across Caulfield”. “It is great to see that, on this occasion, people power has prevailing over the greed of developers in Caulfield,” Mr Hayes said. “While there is every chance that the developer will resubmit plans and restart the process, it is a win for those who rallied against this building nonetheless. “The scale of this proposal and the lack of community consultation about preferred height controls in this area was a great concern. “Residents are rightfully upset and concerned, given that they’ve already started seeing four and five storey buildings surrounding their homes—this seems to be the Government’s plan for our suburbs.”
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