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VCAT Approves Camberwell Station Development
by Jack Roach - Friday, 10 July 2009, 04:49 AM
 
After six years of vigorous and concentrated effort by the Boroondara resident community and council to have the station precinct improved with a low scale community development set in a landscaped open public plaza, VCAT has virtually ignored the residents case and approved the proposal for a nine storey complex with 118 student bedsit style apartments plus a three story commercial building over the station.

VCAT, in one sentence in their findings, dismissed a strong proposition put by the residents, and supported by council, saying "we acknowledge that the Council and the objectors prefer a low scale, low intensity, minimalist option for the site which is primarily reflected in the 2008 Structure Plan" (the Camberwell Junction Structure Plan approved by Council) but then went on to argue for what VCAT described as "overwhelming and specific encouragement for this site to be developed to a higher intensity and scale".

The decision for the development, 30 pages of legalistic and bureaucratic
argument, finished with " it is our conclusion that the proposal represents an acceptable in principle design response to the sites physical and strategic context".

BRAG has consistently stated that VCAT is not independent. It is required
to follow the government's planning strategies enshrined in Melbourne 2030,
but VCAT ignores the section in M2030 ( Direction 5.) which promotes a sense of place and encourages protection and enhancement of local amenity , heritage issues, open space and the like. Instead VCAT slavishly follows Direction 1. of M2030 which is all about intense development.

What more can you expect when the tribunal members sitting in judgement are all professional planners or planner architects relying upon the development industry for their main income.

The developer CSTP Pty. Ltd. (a $2 company) has indicated it will make the necessary minor amendments requested by VCAT. which we assume means that they intend to proceed. Maybe finance might hold it up, let's hope so?