Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The head of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, VCAT is studying ways to make the tribunal more efficient and a better experience for those who use it.

Here are a few of my thoughts.

Respect the wishes of local people via their council. While aspects of 2030 override local council planning rules, the local council should still be listened to and respected. More importantly where 2030 does not override council planning rules, then that is is the end of the matter and VCAT will throw any developer submission straight out. If it breaches the rules, there is no point in a developer going to VCAT.

Height limits are height limits. End of matter. Height limits that can be breached are wrong, including suggested height limits. Are you reading this too Planning Minister Justin Madden? Do not ruin the eastern end of Bourke and Collins Street with the very inappropriate monstrously tall development behind the Windsor Hotel.

Ensure the scale of a building fits into its surrounds. This proposed one, Maxx Apartments, for the corner of Alma St Kilda Roads appears not to do so. While I am not suggested homogeneity, streetscapes need to be taken into account when looking at proposed buildings or alterations.

Do not allow a a team of barristers hired by a developer to go up against amateur local residents.

Lastly, keep this in mind when making decisions.

Developers are usually before you to maximise their profits.

Local residents are before you to save what they perceive as their local amenity, that is the are where they now live and possibly will for many years. They may suffer the negative consequences of your decisions for as long as they live.

Activists such as those fighting to Save Lonsdale House or Save the Windsor are fighting for the greater good, usually without a personal interest.

Developer profits against altruism, I reckon.


  1. I've seen the Maxx apartments block and the picture on the front is terrible! How on earth did something so huge get approved? Did they even bother to look around? No doubt an already busy intersection will get even busier!

  2. Anonymous5:57 pm

    How tall is your building Andrew? This is not a case of people in glass houses, with regards Maxx Apartments? Is there a pic of the propsed unit block?

    I tried sending the email response for Windsor Hotel developement but the keep getting error code.

  3. Anonymous9:14 pm

    I hear you! Our local community is about to go to VCAT for the third time over a new redevelopment in our "minimal change area". The developer wants minimal change: it's just turning one house into 26 units!!!

  4. Rob, a previous proposal was knocked back. It was even worse. We are assuming it has been approved. Could they advertise it before approval?

    Anon, there is a stylised picture if you can be bothered to wait for the website header to scroll to the end. As I have mentioned in the past, this building where I live is a blot on the landscape and should never have been built. Just another nail among many in the coffin of St Kilda Road as it used to be.

  5. Can't help with the code problem as I would have to post it to see, and I don't like what it says in parts.

  6. Interesting Scott. I gather minimal change is from the council. VCAT will put them and the local community straight quick smart. How many car spaces? There would be at least one per apartment. Which would leave perhaps an extra twelve cars parked in the street. Are you Monash or Glen Eira?