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BAD news. Act before 5PM Monday Feb 4.

February 1, 2013

We’ll try to keep this simple but as you may have gathered, planning is complicated so sit up straight, pop on your Specsavers and pay attention:

For a long time we’ve been updating you on the Urban Design Framework (UDF) which is a development blueprint for a given area. UDFs are supposed to set broad limits and expectations. Legally speaking the UDF is called an “Amendment”. The UDF for 590 Orrong Road Armadale is Amendment 153. The body that approves such Amendments is Planning Panels Victoria (PPV). You may not have heard of PPV but right now it holds great power over the way our suburb will or won’t be developed.

On 20 December 2013 the report by Planning Panels Victoria on its deliberations on the Council Amendment proposal was forwarded to the Stonnington Council. It is of course deeply detailed, foreboding and long but for the masochists among you here it is:

 To save you time here’s our view:

We hoped the UDF would give protection to the site and limit height and density of any development. To our great disappointment the Panel recommended that Amendment 153 should not include any height or density limits or specify any requirement for public open space. No, seriously. This of course means that the developer can go as high as it wishes and can impose a high density. The developer can pack as many buildings on the site as it wishes.

Now you know why you didn’t have the Planning Panels Victoria folk around over the Festive Season.

The Council staff presented their recommendation to the Councillors on Tuesday 29 January. Council staff have recommended sticking to most of the Panel Report except for the panel’s recommendation not to impose any height limits and a few other issues.

Councillors are due to make a decision at the public meeting on 4th February and has three options:

·to abandon the amendment;

·to adopt the amendment with all the changes as recommended by the Panel;

·to adopt the amendment with changes to the recommended Panel report.

As the Panel report excludes all the key issues we have been working for over the last 3 years – height, density limits and public open space – we have to urge the Council to abandon the amendment and put forward the original amendment for 5 storeys and 250 density and 50 % open space for the Minister’s decision.

What (the hell) now?

Seven of our Councillors have had no experience of this development and we cannot expect them to understand all the issues. It is up to you to brief them so they can make an informed decision. We feel that the Council Officers’ report is misleading in a number of areas and we need to respond to it. The Councillors will not be able to appreciate the issues form just a study of these papers.

So please get on to your email and telephone and contact the Councillors before Monday night. The contact details are at the end of this post. A phone call is worth five emails so ring if possible.

What should we say?

To defer any decision on the Panel Report and the Council staffs’ recommendations until the community has time to give their response to both reports.

Point out that without mandatory height limits the developer can easily seek amendments of their planning application and seek any height they wish.

The 8 storey height now advocated by the Council Staff (overturning Council’s previous decision to keep the height to 5.5 storeys) is not based an any rationale. Note the reasons given- the developers height of 10/11 storeys is too high and the 5.5 storey height is too low so ” lets go in between”! to 8 storeys.

The 5.5 storey height is the only suggestion with any rationale- it is the height of the long standing existing buildings on the site and that height is more in keeping with the low level surrounding area.

The decision by both the Panel and the Council Officers to not state any density levels is inexplicable. Gobsmacking! Do Council staff think that having four people around for dinner is the same as having 16 or 32 or 64? Of course not – density is key!

Do your best to persuade the Councillors to understand the community’s longstanding battle to achieve a development that reflects the surrounds, one of good design and of public open space – a development that the community will be proud of. Remember that Lend Lease and Larkside propose 19 buildings ranging form 10/11 storeys, 9, 8 ,6, 4, 3, 2, storeys, 466 unit density, minimal setbacks, minimal useable open space.


The appeal for April 16 and 17 2013 is still on track.  The UDF or Amendment 153 may come into play if things go badly. That’s why the OG committee is spending an inordinate amount of time fighting the battle on this front.


Cr Matthew Koce, Mayor of Stonnington


Mobile: 0419 147 352

Cr John Chandler


Mobile: 0417 771 288

Cr Melina Sehr

Email: Mobile: 0417 773 644

Cr Jami Klisaris

Email: Mobile: 0427 333 471

Cr Claude Ullin Mobile: 0417 773 833

Cr Sam Hibbins Mobile: 0427 323 375

Cr Erin Davie

Email: Mobile: 0427 315 346

Cr John McMorrow

Email: Mobile: 0427 352 455

Cr Adrian Stubbs Mobile: 0427 318 257

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