Townhouses to VCAT

By Casey Neill

The fate of an application to build 44 townhouses on a Woori Yallock block will rest with VCAT.

Yarra Ranges Council knocked back the proposal for 1370 Healesville-Kooweerup Road in May.

Objectors and the council received word last week that the applicant had appealed the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The council expects the hearing to take place in mid-December.

The Mail reported in July last year that the $6.36 million proposal was for the corner of Symes Road, with the local primary school and a childcare centre on two boundaries and a pre-school opposite.

Objectors raised concerns about a lack of infrastructure, traffic management and loss of amenity.

In its notice of decision, the council said the proposal failed to comply with several planning policy clauses regarding neighbourhood character, diversity in housing and landscaping.

It said the proposal was an overdevelopment “due to minimal setbacks to the side and front boundaries, building form, density and lack of landscaping opportunity which are at odds with the typical neighbourhood built form character of the area”.

The council said the development did not provide adequate car parking or suitable access from Symes Road.

The report said the design failed to enhance the township’s landscape character and did not provide sufficient space for canopy trees and landscaping in line with the scale of development proposed.

In July last year, Woori Yallock Primary School principal Oliver Thockloth said the school was not opposed to development on the site.

But he had concerns about losing school car parking spaces on Healesville Kooweerup Road and about the access route proposed for the ‘estate’ due to existing congestion.

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