Off to VCAT we go – saving Rodier St
Go Hard because there’s no going home if this development goes ahead…
You all remember the crazy development proposed for 23 Rodier St (PLP/2011/557), the council refused the permit, as indeed it should have, after residents were outraged… Now we are off to VCAT to support our residents, and our council to tell this developer to come up with something that better fits with neighbourhood, and respects the character of Ballarat East.
To refresh your memories, it was for a 20 dwelling development (plans show tiny brick units that all look the same with internal road and minimal yards), on a block that sits beside a picturesque creek in a sleepy hollow of small houses of very diverse architecture on large blocks with a street scape covered in trees and vegetation. Wow it couldn’t be more wrong could it?
And how much did the developer pay for the application to VCAT? Exactly $314.10 to decide on a $4 Million dollar development, a fee put up by legals from Lonsdale street! We can’t calculate the cost to our council, however you need to know that our rates pay for this to happen. It’s a standard thing that developers take into account the time and money it takes to get a development through the way they want it, it becomes part of the purchase price. What is not standard is a developer spending money and time to consult the community it wants to build over. How did our laws and processes lose sight of the people amongst the facts?
We are not opposed to development, we are FOR good sustainable development that accounts for the area in which the development happens. We are AGAINST development that happens on a piece of paper, or screen, without taking into account the natural attributes of the area, nor the history of the area, nor the way it has developed over time. We regularly hear from developers that they are creating their own neighbourhood character – why bother when when they could build with a community and not over it.
So how to get involved and support the residents of Rodier street?
- Talk to your neighbours – who knows whats happening, who can do something about it?
- If you wish to be represented, or present, at VCAT you need to complete a form and have it arrive by MONDAY 20th FEB 2012:
- if you have already objected to council then the form you need is here called Form (B) “Statement of Grounds”
- if you have not yet objected (and its not too late) then the form you need is here Form (A) “Statement of Grounds and Application to be Joined as a Party”
- NOTE: I’d prefer to give you a direct link, however they are really hard to find online. Once we have correct link I’ll update these links…
For more info on how to present to VCAT, the Environment Defenders Office (EDO) runs workshops http://www.edovic.org.au/workshops_and_seminars/vcat_planning_environment_appeals_workshops and there is one coming up in Feb.
Addresses to send your forms:
The Developer:The Applicant, TMG Group Pty Ltd, c/- Best Hopper Solicitors, 563 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000
The City Council: The Responsible Authority, Ballarat City Council, PO Box 655 Ballarat, Vic 3353
VCAT: The Principal Registrar, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Ground Floor, 55 King Street, Melbourne 3000