Gasworks Decision Is In
Major Improvement on Original Proposal
10 Storey Maximum - 20% Affordable Housing
The Minister's decision on the Gasworks site is "in". Mr Richard Wynne has announced a positive Gasworks outcome for the community. It includes a 10 storey maximum height. 20% affordable/social housing, a new combined Year 11&12 campus for Collingwood College and Fitzroy High, and an indoor sports stadium with community rooms.
The Development Victoria Project page Updated to reflect Minister Richard Wynne's decision is here http://www.development.vic.gov.au/projects/fitzroy
Collingwood and Fitzroy combine classes to offer The full range of VCE/VCAL Year 11 & 12 curriculum, but this currently means students often travel to classes at both campuses, on the same day. Having all classes on the same campus means more time learning and less time travelling, as well as freeing up space at Fitzroy and Collingwood for more students.
The community should be proud that their efforts appear to have had a very significant effect.
5 Storey street wall maximum along Smith St, 6 along Queens Parade and George St with 10 storey street wall permitted only along Alexander Parade.
There are also provisions, in line with community concerns and expert advice, to provide for sight lines through the site, a more human-scale experience within the site, break-up of outline in more distant views, and so on.
Issues with car parking provision have been taken on board, bike parking is now 2 spaces. Dwelling, sustainability and housing diversity are now more explicit in the controls. Parking, water, waste are required to be planned in an integrated way across the whole site etc.
It's an example of people getting involved in an official process and getting a much more positive outcome than was originally floated. Props to the panel members for being fair and thorough, and to the decision-maker(s) for taking broader concerns into account.
One thing a bit "hmm" is the section on social and affordable housing. The panel recommended this be a minimum of 15% in the control - agreed to by Yarra and DV. However, in the gazetted control the phrasing is "up to 20%", which seems odd, so is possibly a drafting error.
You can click thru to the approved planning controls downloaded here.
Finally It Over !!
26 - 56 Queens Parade
Final VCAT Decision Published
The bottom line is that Gurner gets a permit to build at the maximum of 10 storeys stated in the DDO, but with a massing and footprint that's been vastly scaled back at each stage of the process.
The original plans were massive and bulky at 16 storeys and 476 apartments. The plans now stand at 10 storeys and 263 apartments (and if you read the tribunal's finding, are likely to reduce a little further). So, a bit over half the original size.
But there's more - heritage that would have been destroyed is now to be protected. Along the way the original architects were ditched and the whole thing redesigned. The apartments must now be more liveable. The residents will now have much better open space.
That couldn't have happened without the efforts of the same amazing community that also put up such a good showing at the Gasworks panel hearing. I'm in awe of you all, and no poor thanks of mine would ever be adequate.
Here is the link to the final decision made this July 2018 - nearly 2 years after the original plans were advertised.
This was a really long haul for us all. The VCAT members were extremely thorough for their part - including returning to site one last time to "fact-check". If you read the decision you'll see what I meant in my earlier post that calling this hearing was something of an "own goal" for the applicant.
Aside from a stellar community effort, Yarra Council, the councillors and the council officers really put in the big ones on this. Kudos to them.
For all of those who contributed just know that this case has had lasting effects beyond our area - other community groups with their own mountains to climb learn from each other's example, including ours.
You've certainly made a difference. Thanks again.
** Gasworks - Update **
SINCE THE HEARING
Mr Richard Wynne announced the school on the site is an additional Secondary Campus would be an additional senior school campus (year 11 & 12) used by both Collingwood and Fitzroy High students. There is money budgeted to begin the plans for the new Gasworks campus.
Council and Development Victoria could not reach agreement on the the planning objectives or the planning controls needed to provide clear guidance to both developers and planners assessing applications for the site. They have each handed submissions on their differences of opinion to the Advisory Committee.
WHAT Is Next - Mid June
The Advisory Committee deliver their recommendations in a report to the Planning Minister, who has the option of releasing it publicly or not.
WHAT IS NEXT - JUNE/JULY
The planning minister Mr Richard Wynne will publish his decision.
Link to the Government Gasworks Hearing and Report webpage : https://engage.vic.gov.au/glsac/t17
April 24th : Community Resolutions presented in the petitions section at the City of Yarra Council Meeting
April 25th to April 27th : GLSAC Advisory Committee Hearing
City of Yarra, a number of community groups, Fitzroy Residents Association, The 3068 Group, and a number of local residents made great presentations. The North Fitzroy commitment, professionalism and concern for all members of our community was on show.
The Community Meeting Resolutions, including additional residents submissions, were presented at the Advisory Committee hearing as the Protect Fitzroy North submission.
Our community attended in numbers for the entire three days of the hearing, with the Hearing room full to over flowing of supportive locals for the morning of the community group presentations.
The committee chair thanked everyone for making the effort to attend, their submissions and especially thanked folks for their conduct during the hearing in giving a fair hearing to all presenters.
WHAT WE LEARNT
The site is of state significance, with extensive contamination, so the state planning department will be the responsible authority for the entire gasworks development.
The council will look after the open space and roads for the development, once it is finished, as they do for the rest of Yarra.
The Council and Development Victoria were tasked to workshop the DPO, which defines the planning rules for the site and come back with an agreed position within three weeks.
* outline of permissible heights under the proposed development plan
Community Town Hall Meeting
Well Done to the over 200 community members who attended and contributed so generously.
The meeting covered the Development Victoria proposal, the workshopped a bunch of excellent resolutions from the community.
These community resolutions formed the centrepiece of the Protect Fitzroy North submission and presentation to the Advisory Committee Public Hearing.
The former Fitzroy Gasworks is the largest development site in Fitzroy North/Clifton Hill, and represents the last opportunity to introduce major new public infrastructure to our community.
The Gasworks development, on its own, will increase the population of North Fitzroy by 14%, (Needs Analysis).
This is a once in a generation opportunity for the state government to deliver an exemplar in this community, after rejecting this high density horror.
City Of Yarra Officer for Gasworks : Michael.Ballock@yarracity.vic.gov.au
Heaps More Information : Click thru to the PFN GASWORKS Page
26-56 Queens Parade - New Plans
Gurner’s fourth complete set of revised plans for 26-25 Queens Parade has been reviewed by council.
Protect Fitzroy North as an organisation, as well as a number of residents have made submissions.
Link to the (frankly brilliant) council officers submission to VCAT on the March 2018 plans.
The developer's lawyers want a hearing to try and get the council's conditions watered down.
Link to the Council Webpage for 26-56 Queens Parade Plans - All four sets, including March 2018
A link to the VCAT Decision which rejects the development unless a number of changes are made is next. The list of required changes is on pages 44-46, from paragraph 207 onwards.
Transdev/PTV Toxic SprayBooth
Patsy and the No Toxins crew - Won !! - Transdev withdrew their plans for the spray booth on Scotchmer St. Many thanks to all who put in objections, displayed the poster, the councillors and council officers. It is a big relief for all the residents near Nicholson Village.
Piedemontes - Update
** Plans have been rumoured Withdrawn **
The hundreds of objections and the petition to protest the acquisition have been taken on board by the Piedemontes family.
Aquiring a laneway relied on by a number of people and businesses is difficult.
Rumour has it the Piedemontes Family is withdrawing.
This has not been confirmed officially so cannot be relied upon - apologies for previous post.
The resident's group front and centre on ensuring the community's views are respected are Fitzroy North Residents Action Group.
This group includes a strong presence of the residents who live in the streets around Piedemontes.
Works Commencing March 5th - Information Sessions Scheduled
Email Update from Melbourne Water on the M41 Pipeline Page (link above)
Official Melbourne Water Page https://yoursay.melbournewater.com.au/m41
** Piedimontes Update **
520 Objections !!
Wow over 500 objections is a mighty statement on the proposed plans from the community.
Permit number: PLN17/068
Sat 25th - Ward Meeting - Level 2 - New Library
Fabulous turn out of residents at very short notice to the Ward Meeting at the new library.
The new library name was living up to its name as our ward Councillors explained Bargoonga Nganjin means ‘Gather Everybody’ in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri people, as part of opening the meeting.
The hot topic was planning and the Piedimonte's proposal.
Sam and Joe Piedimonte spoke of their family's journey with the community for over 50 years
The community members expressed how much they loved shopping at their supermarket, and how devastated they would be to loose the local village shopping experience.
The residents, including many local architects, expressed very strong reservations about key aspects of the design, in detail.
Sam, Joe and the expert residents started a dialogue on how the expansion could be re-imagined to still keep what the community loves about Piedimontes and the North Fitzroy village, the neighbouring residents amenity is respected, while ensuring the supermarket business has a solid platform to thrive for many years to come.
Jackie Fristacky asked for a big thank-you to be passed on to all the community who attended, and an extra thank-you to all those who helped with the set up, then stayed and put the room back to is normal layout.
** VCAT - Interim Decision - April **
VCAT has agreed to the developer's time frame to submit new plans - They are now due 28th February.
The council and the residents will get 4 weeks to review the new plans with accompanying list of changes.
VCAT may schedule a short hearing to allow parties to be heard - only on the changes - in early April
My 2c says this will happen because the mandated design changes are significant.
Apologies for the formal wording in this news entry - but the VCAT case is not yet decided.
VCAT have handed down a decision - but an interim decision rather than a final decision.
This means that in the judgement of the VCAT members :
There are significant issues with the developer's plans presented at the VCAT hearing that can't be addressed through permit conditions.
.. but ..
Those issues are not so great as to require a complete transformation in order to reach an acceptable outcome.
Therefore the applicant - Gurner(tm) is invited to submit a further set of plans, addressing the issues identified by VCAT.
Gurner(tm) has elected to submit revised plans by the end of February, the time for parties to VCAT ( residents and council), to review those plans has not been announced.
The further hearing on the compliance of revised plans to the VCAT interim order has not been scheduled.
If the developer's plans meet the letter of the requested design changes - but as a whole still do not constitute an acceptable outcome - the plans can stillbe refused by VCAT.
The VCAT interim decision is nearly 50 pages long.
Click on the Link To VCAT Decision button below to see the full decision text.
Gurner(tm) have until the 13th November to notify the Tribunal they will prepare amended plans in accordance with
the changes in the order, along with the date the plans will be ready.
We'll have more to say as the story continues to unfold
The following extract is paragraph 17 titled Main Finding in the Interim Decision.
Our main finding is that although the scheme supports a substantial
development of the main site and a small but relatively intense development
of the rear site, the plans for each site are not a satisfactory response to the
relevant provisions of the scheme. Changes to the design response for both
sites are necessary. We are unable to frame appropriate conditions for a
permit for either site because of the nature of the changes. We
acknowledge the validity of the underlying design thesis and we are
therefore prepared to give the applicant an opportunity to prepare further
amendments to the plans for both sites.
Extra big thank-you to Chris Sanders and Marion Marshall
Chris Sanders of Zen Folio photography http://christophersanders.zenfolio.com/, produced a range of brilliant pictures on a tight deadline to illustrate our case.
Marion Marshall, of Marion Marshall Studios http://www.marionmarshallstudios.com.au/, curated our wonderful book of images, referenced by the Protect Fitzroy North presenters.
Both Chris and Marion stepped up to produce just what was needed, to a really tight deadline, without any fuss at all, so thank-you for adding such a professional finish to our presentations.
The Panel acknowledged the strong community presence across the full 10 days of the completed hearing.
We are not expecting for a decision to be handed down before the end of October.
A Massive Thank-You to all who attended.
OUR COUNCIL HAS PRESENTED BRILLIANTLY
Our Resident presentations all went VERY weLL
Submissions were presented to the panel on Parking, Traffic, Planning, Heritage, Amenity, Neighbourhood Character, Net Community Benefit and Urban Design.
Here is a small sample of the 23 page Submission prepared and presented by the Neighbourhood Character Think Tank
The lack of empathy of the development proposal for the existing or preferred neighbourhood character demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of, and a lack of empathy for, the existing community in North Fitzroy.
It is an outward-facing neighbourhood, with a genuine and strong sense of openness and community that has a long history of banding together.
The residents of North Fitzroy generally enjoy small private open spaces, but are afforded the luxury of large, accommodating and welcoming public open spaces and it is in those public open spaces that locals relax, walk their dogs or congregate with their friends in the neighbourhood and visitors from all over Melbourne.
North Fitzroy is a neighbourhood rich in human interaction that has a true spirit of place, where a diverse range of people come together to engage in all manner of activities.
The design of the development is inherently inwards looking.
In particular, the townhouses around parts of the boundary of the site open inwards rather than onto the street.
This is in sharp contrast to the neighbourhood more generally, where houses have small front yards and generally present an open face to others who live in and visit the area.
We query where the opportunities are for residents of this development to interact “by chance” with their community, in the context of a design that offers little in the way of interaction with the wider community.
Other than a small section of the Queens Parade edge of the development, close to the commercial premises, it is closed to all but those who live there, and will present a blank face to the broader community in which it sits.
When our community stANDS as one we Are mighty
New Plans - New Architect - Same Problem
** STILL TOO BIG ** Our Councillors agree **
Newsflash from IDAC - Yarra councillors unanimously to_reject_ the revised plans for 26-56 Queens Parade.
A Massive Thank-you to each and every one who made the treck to Richmond Town Hall.
It was a marathon sitting, and the developer was there to see the communities commitment in person.
Yarra council to stand shoulder to shoulder with residents at VCAT. It's worth noting and commending the amazing focus the Yarra councillors have given appropriate development of this precinct - a series of council actions and votes have occurred to get us to this point and at every single one the councillors have supported and worked hard for their community.
Thanks particularly to Councillors Misha Coleman, Danae Bosler and Daniel Nguyen for officiating at a particularly challenging IDAC meeting.
Councillors, council officers and residents alike all had the stresses of shortened timeframes to meet the VCAT schedule. On the upside, there is now sufficient time between now and VCAT for Yarra to prepare an effective case.
Community concern has been been expressed in the heartfelt efforts of over 470 objectors.
Over 98 paid up personally to stand before VCAT in support of retaining neighbourhood character and amenity.
The picture below is the South Elevation from the plans supplied to VCAT. A red line is added to highlight the outline of the whole building proposed, as only the front section of three of the towers has been drawn in with any detail.
The link to the VCAT Substituted Plans July 2017 are on the council website, link is below.
When our community stands as one we are Mighty
Why are we fighting this again ?
In 2003, an independent panel of top planning experts from Panels Victoria, thoroughly reviewed a development application on this site, and approved the 172 apartment, 5 storey solution submitted by the owner.
Now after 13 years of doing nothing the same owner is back, with a new developer, and a new totally inappropriate application.
Why do reasonable residents who have been through it once, have to go through it again?
Put yourself in our position, think of the hassle of the first time around, think why is it on again ?
Why, because the fight is worth having, because Fitzroy North is worth protecting.
Our Facebook group is Protect Fitzroy North, our Twitter feed is @ProtectFitzNth #TooBig2ignore
Our Contact Page is a click away in the Menu above, it sends your message to email@example.com
Our Postal Address is Protect Fitzroy North Inc.
PO Box 1076, Fitzroy North, Vic 3068.
Videos of the speakers at our Public Meeting, including Professor Michael Buxton, are on our youtube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCbwtdjdEHRAGIGM9C3omAw
A response to some ill informed comment in The Age, The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, and various developement industry media is in Response To Opinion under the In The News page in the menu above
FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS
The Lord Newry Hotel 243 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy http://www.lordnewryhotel.com.au/
North Fitzroy Arms Hotel 296 Rae St, Fitzroy North http://www.northfitzroyarms.com.au/