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COMMENT

Residents should be outraged at the processes involved with the development of this project. At last council meeting a public question was asked in relation to a Practice Day hearing held at VCAT on this application. The response was far from satisfactory. Be that as it may, plenty of questions need answering, and all have to do with due process and sound governance.

  • When did council first receive this second stage Development Plan?
  • Who made the decision to ‘refuse’ and why wasn’t this done via a formal council resolution given the magnitude of the plans and the contentious nature of the entire project?
  • What was the purpose of the Practice Day hearing and what were the grounds for someone’s (not Council’s) refusal? What is the outcome of this hearing?
  • If decisions by VCAT are already pending as potentially indicated by the response to the public question, what is the use of calling for submissions after the fact?
  • Time for submissions is 16 days. Whilst this does meet the conditions set by the relevant Schedule it is far from satisfactory, given that council also had the option of 28 days – ie “Display the development plan for public comment for at least 14 days, but no longer than 28 days”
  • And how does the VCAT involvement meet this stated requirement from the Schedule – “The responsible authority must decide whether to approve a development plan or amendment to a development plan within 60 days after the display of the development plan is completed.”

In short, we maintain that every single aspect of planning for this site, has been abysmal with council and especially Hyams, Lipshutz, Esakoff and Pilling, falling over backwards to accommodate the MRC!

PS: the link to view the plans is – http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Planning-and-business/Planning/Large-scale-developments/Caulfield-Village-Development-Plans/Development-Plan-2

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