Community Sessions on City of Yarra 2018 Budget

Thursday 8 February - 6pm to 7.30pm - Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library

  Saturday 10 February - 10am to 11.30am - Richmond Town Hall

Monday 12 February - 6pm to 7.30pm - Collingwood Town Hall

These sessions were posted as"an overview of Yarra finances will be provided by key Yarra officers, with questions and feedback taken on board"

The City of Yarra link for the sessions :

Last year there was strong opposition to the bin tax, support for planning. There was also significant dismay over residential streets beset by rat runners. Many community members expressed support for funds to tackle making these streets safe for pedestrians and cyclists, especially children.

** Piedimontes Update **

520 Objections !!

Wow over 500 objections is a mighty statement on the proposed plans from the community.

As of February 1st there is no date for the council officers recommendation to approve or reject the plans so objections are in principle still open.

Permit number: PLN17/068

The Piedimonte's Page has notes on objecting to the current plans, as well as the council process to acquire the laneway beside the current loading bay.

Queens Parade

Council Endorses Controls

In an ultra marathon Council Meeting, Yarra council endorses planning controls for all of Queens Parade..

.. where they intend to request the Planning Minister bring them in as interim controls while a planning panel sits on permanent controls for the entire precinct sometime in the new year.

This was a controversial item on the night - not because anyone there didn't want planning controls for Queens Parade but because many felt these controls don't go far enough. Concerns were also raised about the community only having a day or two to review hundreds of pages of dense material.

That aside, it's a large and detailed piece of work from the council officers and consultants which all agreed has many welcome elements aimed at protecting Queens Parade and surrounds.

In particular, little residential areas and heritage buildings including the Victorian terraces across from Fitzroy pool that were victims of incorrect zoning will now be better protected.

However, it also allows for very significant development, and predictably the concern from the community centres around where the balance between permitting and moderating development has ended up.

This isn't the last word - the main opportunity for community input will be at the planning panel on this next year. And we'll be there to make our case.

Links to the City of Yarra downloads for the Queens Parade Controls and supporting strategic reports.

Heritage Report Download
Queens Parade Controls
Town Planning Report

~ ~

** Piedimonte's Planning Application **

Permit number: PLN17/0618

Objections still open - when I last checked :-)


Want to go straight to the example objections prepared by the Piedimontes resident group - Orange button above.

For more information go to the Piemonte's Page - Orange button above or the Piedimontes tab in the menu.

The Piedimonte family stated they are entirely open to working with the community, and the community has a heartfelt attachment to the North Fitzroy Village and the Piedimonte's shopping experience.

Protect Fitzroy North is very hopeful the expansion can be re-imagined to keep what the community loves about Piedimontes, the neighbouring residents amenity is respected,  while the supermarket business has a solid platform to thrive for many years to come. 

On the table is the application submitted to council, so the community has the opportunity to identify flaws and make suggestions for improvements by putting in an objection. Residents who put in objections will be invited to the application consultation meeting, and will be officially notified on the progress of the application throughout the planning process.

It is an understatement to say the community is not impressed by the current design. 

the incompatible mix of architectural styles - it's like a three level wedding cake, with each layer designed by people who hate the people designing the other layers. There's no coherent story in the design.

Every local I know supports the integration of affordable housing in well planned, sustainable developments. We also love the eclectic character of our suburb, embrace diversity, and celebrate heritage. 

Unfortunately Piedimonte's proposed  development is yet another oversized inappropriate monolith that in no way reflects the uniqueness of this heritage neighbourhood.

Looking at the image of the new Piedimonte's makes me so sad. A mega-mart has landed on top of our lovely North Fitzroy Village and squashed it. Its life, its soul, its quirkyness are just gone.

Gasworks Redevelopment - Community feedback

Gasworks Development Community Survey : Now Closed

Protect Fitzroy North is following up with Development Victoria in the New Year.

If you would like to directly input to Development Victoria, a link to their engagement hub is a little bit further down the page. If you have input you would like to make to PFN our email is

The gasworks is the 4 hectare site bordered by Queens Parade, Smith Street, Alexander Parade and George Street. It is opposite the park beside the pool. It is a huge site. The biggest in North Fitzroy/Clifton Hill.

The current Development Victoria concept plans :

+ Include a cluster of 14 storey apartment towers with and estimated 1100 apartments.

+ do not include a primary school, or retain enough public land to build one in the future.

The Development Victoria Gasworks survey link  :

The Development Victoria Gasworks information webpage link :

What is the point of answering the survey ?

Having input may not stop the parts you don't like, but it does give support to the parts you do like.

The survey is not a long one. It mostly asks you to rate the importance of different types of public infrastructure, primary school, child care, public art, open space, etc

In the first community survey in 2016 public open space was the communities highest priority. The plans have increased the open space to between 15% and 40% depending on what you measure.

The Queens Parade DDO is going before the council meeting on the 19th December at the Fitzroy Town Hall. It will hopefully include controls and guidance on the preferred built form for the Mixed Use sections.

Development Victoria said there would be social, affordable housing and other community infrastructure included.

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, produced a range of brilliant pictures on a tight deadline to illustrate our case.

Marion Marshall, of Marion Marshall Studios, 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 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

Announced - M41 Pipeline - Community Information Sessions

10th August - 4pm to 8pm - Fitzroy Town Hall
12th August - 11am to 3pm - Bargoonga Nganjin (New North Fitzroy Library)

Official Melbourne Water's Commmunity Page with more details Click Here

Our M41 Pipeline page - With Details provided to PFN so far .. Click Here

Tim Gurner addressed the Nation - the Chaser responded

Tim Gurner was featured on 60 Minutes, and on a follow-up radio spot on Raph Epstein's show on 774 Radio Melbourne.

The Chaser's Responses

There are heaps of links to the heaps of articles, radio, etc on the PFN facebook page. My guess is Tim got what he wanted as his profile would definitely be higher now among Sydney siders with the serious cash required to buy his real-estate.

PFN Facebook page

You do not have to have a facebook account to view the page. You only need to create a facebook account if you want to add your own comments.  

Grande Grazie to 1889 Cucina Povera

"A big thank you to Laura and Paul for supporting Protect Fitzroy North Inc with an array of delicious pizzas for our volunteer thank you night! " and on facebook

VCAT on Monday, April 3 - Postponed until September 4

Protect Fitzroy North attended the Practice Hearing today before Helen Gibson, Deputy President of VCAT.

At the hearing it was Deputy President Gibson's decision the applicant (Gurner(tm)) needed time to consider the new DDO and produce a new set of amended plans.

The new hearing is scheduled for the 4th September 2017 for 10 days instead of the anticipated 7 days. This has cost implications for barrister and VCAT expert fees.

The controls in the DDO were confirmed as the controls the new design will be assessed against. Deputy Gibson directed the plans can be completely different in design and the degree of change cannot be challenged as being transformative.

Usually the applicant can't completely change the plans - transform them. Transformed plans normally go back through the council process, but normally a DDO for the area including the site is not gazzetted between the first Practice Hearing and the start of the Final Hearing.

The new plans will be presented to the council and the other parties at VCAT 30 business days ahead of the hearing, landing mid July. They will be published, along with any supporting documentation, for public consumption on the Council website.

Well we have reached the end of Round One - still standing - still full of gumption - due to wonderful support.
The mountain of work put in by our Think-Tanks is by no means wasted. The work done and the skills aquired will be the foundation and more for our case in September.
As the case did not proceed, most of the funding from the community is still there to put toward round two.

We all get a bit of a break now - which is well deserved all round :-)

Protect Fitzroy North Inc.

When our community stands as one, we are mighty

Its Official - We Have a DDO on 26-56 Queens Parade

Our local member Richard Wynne has come through with an Interim DDO, which takes effect immediately.

A DDO to articulate the City Of Yarra's urban design objectives for the precinct, including heritage, amenity, and sustainability has been on the City Of Yarra planning priority to do list since 2008.

This developemnt application just made formalising and presenting the prefered controls to the State Governemnt urgent.

This is HUGE for our case at VCAT

Many Thanks to Mr Wynne, his department, our councillors and council officers who have done a mountain of work to get this up in time.

Last and by absolutely no means least, you know who you are, our wonderful cohort of letter and email writing legends, vox pops voices, twitter banner models, and passionate community members who have personally stood up to be counted on this.

The finish line is still a way off, but we can see it now, and the view is _alot_ less daunting.

The DDO sets a maximum height limit - 31m (10 storeys) where previously there was no limit.
So straight off the top two floors - gone!
Then reading a bit further, maximum street frontage 9m (3 storeys) - in the current plans - 11 storeys straigh up - gone!

In the words of the super salesman Tim Shaw - But wait there's more!

  1. Minimum setback of 8m for the upper-level apartments above the heritage K G Luke facade. This is great - it means the Art Deco crenellations (new word for me too) on the parapet can be still seen against the sky.
  2. The Art Deco facade has to be restored properly and incorporated into the fabric of the new building, not left as a petrified building skeleton tacked on the outside.
  3. There must be significant gaps in the building to allow distant views, eg. to see gaps right through the site from the Grandstand. No massed monolith architecture allowed.
  4. And ... there ... is ... still ... more ... lots .... more ...

Press the button below for your very own copy of the full nine pages of the official DDO

Comment from Steve Jolly, Socialist City Of Yarra Councillor for Langridge, on our Facebook Page

Originally the developer wanted 16 stories. Your well-organised community campaign has led to significant changes. Well done

Yarra Mayor, Councillor Amanda Stone on the City Of Yarra website is quoted.

“Maintaining Yarra’s liveability and protecting neighbourhood character, especially in our heritage precincts, is a priority for Council.

“Our community has told us that they are not opposed to increased housing density in appropriate locations, as long as new developments respect the local area. The 16 storey development that was originally proposed for this site clearly did not meet the expectations of Council or the community.

“We encourage developers to engage with residents early in the planning process, particularly if planning a large development that will impact people. A development site is not a blank canvas, it needs to respect and respond to the surrounding neighbourhood. Having a genuine conversation with local residents early on could help avoid costly and time consuming VCAT hearings down the track,”

The City of Yarra Official Announcement of the DDO on their website : Link Here

Clay Lucas Article on the Announcement in The Age. Link to Article

When our community stands as one, we are mighty.

Beautiful Article

In The Age on Tuesday 21st March by our very own Bill Robb. Here is a link

Top of the Pops Vox Pops

Our talented reporters were up and about asking some big questions at the Trivia Night. As always our forthright community members were up to the challenge.

Why is it important to Protect Fitzroy North ?

What does 'appropriate development' mean to you ?

If you could say one thing to Minister Wynne...

Vegas comes to Collingwood ?

VCAT Statement of Grounds now officially closed.

The folks at Your Collingwood would like to thank all who submitted Statement of Grounds. 

The local group can be contacted via their website or directly by email at if you would like more information, have questions or would like to be part of their efforts.

The people at  VCAT ( are happy to answer questions during business hours  1300 01 8228. 

The City of Yarra webpage for the application contains downloadable copies of all the supplied documentation.

Hint : If you get a "Failed" when you try and download from the City Of Yarra website, exit your web browser completely, open a new web browser window and try again. With luck you will get 2 or three documents to download before it fails again. It is a bit of a pain, but you will get there eventually.

Take a Bow North Fitzroy

Our Community Trivia Extravaganza on 4th March was a Great Night and a Financial Success

Mega Trivia Quiz 4 March 2017 Raffle Winners

Raffle 1

1st prize: $300 voucher from Emma Whiting Travel plus wine & chocolate - Jamie Croft
2nd Prize: Tutti I Sapori Voucher, wine & chocolate - Julie Heidelberger
3rd Prize: Meal Voucher plus wine & chocolate - Melissa Marino

Raffle 2

1st prize $550 - Table 2 - Rod Harris’ Table - money donated back to PFN Inc
2nd prize $330 - Table 3 - Marianne Van Leeuwen’s Table - money donated back to PFN Inc
3rd prize $220 - Table 23 - Steve Richardson’s Table - money donated back to PFN Inc

Local Legends who made the Night a Success

The star attractions of our silent and (very) loud auctions.

Vintage Linens & Collectables 519 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North
Magic Muesli
Vinomofo Level 2/6 Palmer Parade, Cremorne
Bosisto's PO Box 74,Oakleigh South 3167
Blackhearts & Sparrows 119 Scotchmer Street, North Fitzroy
Piedimontes Supermarket 37/49 Best St, Fitzroy North
The Gorgeous Tea Co.
Cone 11
Russell Badham APW International 40 View St, Alphington
Childplay 151 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Curves Gym 278 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Tiger & Peacock 187 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Brunswick Street Gallery 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Imogene Antique & Contemporary Jewellery 410 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Masino Hair & Beauty 320 Park Street, Carlton North
Merriville Home 224 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Mitte 76 Michael Street, Fitzroy North
North Fitzroy Arms 296 Rae Street, Fitzroy North
The Food Repository 346 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Marion Marshall Studios 55 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North
Pet Art 78 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North
Fitzroy Programs (creators of Fitzroy Readers) 593 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North
2K labware homewares
Two:Bob café 270 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Mayford Wines 6815 Great Alpine Road, Porepunkah
Coquette Rear of 336 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Fitzroy Veterinary Hospital 113-115 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North
Dance of Life – Yoga and Healing 250 George Street, Fitzroy
Best Street Store 31-33 Best Street, Fitzroy North
Aphro and Wolfe Café 566 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North
Gregory's Antiques and Lights 147 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Rediscover Ease Alexander Technique 2/284 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North
Obelix & Co 217 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Mesop 628-632 Smith Street, Clifton Hill
Moppit Children’s Lifestyle Store 312 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Terrace Gardens Florist 338 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Cliftons Retravision 141 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Bean Around (formerly Degani) 350 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Village Vineyard 348 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Mecca Bros Fruit City 322 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Butcher’s Block 280 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Frootz on Parade 274 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
McCoppins Supermarket 292 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Cellini Workshop 314 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy
Emma Whiting Travel 1/169 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Asaf Nagar Tennis Coaching Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North
The Running Company 175 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Key Ingredients 171 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
Tutti I Sapori Restaurant 398 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy
The Lord Newry Hotel243 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy
North Fitzroy Arms Hotel 296 Rae St, Fitzroy North

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

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 

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


The Lord Newry Hotel            243 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy

North Fitzroy Arms Hotel      296 Rae St, Fitzroy North