The City of Melbourne Engineering Services and Planning continue to demonstrate their incometance.
VCAT had overturned the City Council refusal to grant a planning permit to 157-159 Domain Road
Domain Road retail precinct is supposed to service tegh need of the local residential community yet it is under pressure by developers who which to push out local retail and establish restaurants. night clubs and cafes. The proposed development on Domain Road, where the former post office and news agent were located, is for three story building with cafe on the ground floor and two restaurants, one on each floor above the cafe, The proposed developed is expected to generate demand for over 160 car parking spots
Engineering Services Manager, Geoff Robinson, recommended that car parking provisions be waived for the development, A proposal that was overturned by the elected council, There is barley a car park free in the area as it is, let alone the ability to meet demand imposed by the new development. Surveys undertaken by residents on a Friday night showed their was 7 car parking spots available on Birwood Avenue some 3-400 meters from the Domain site.
How Engineering Services came up with this recommendation is anyone's guess. The recommendation by Engineering Services to waive car parking influenced the VCAT determination.
Questions are being asked about the integrity of the City's Engineering Services branch.
Adding to residents s the recent changes to teh Planning Scheme that re-classified the Domain Road precinct from Business one zone to Commercial one Zone. Under the new Zone a licenced premises does not need a planning permit for its use.
Geoff Lawler, Director of Planning was oblivious to the impact of the changes until questions were raised by residents. It has been proven that the changes are having a negative impact as VCAT decision granting a planning was based on the new planning zone changes undermines the objectives of the Melbourne Planning Scheme.
The only saving grace is that the project as it stands is economically not viable. The owner hoes to attract in excess of $800,000 per year in rent. Something that is highly unlikely to see a return for any investor There are a number of conditions on the planning permit that impact on its use most notably the above ground restaurants can only sell alcohol between 5PM and 11,30PM
The maximum noise level as measured from the center of the external court and balconies can not be allowed to exceed 3Db nor will the be allowed to serve drinks on the footpath no restaurant or cafe could remain viable under these conditions let alone command such a high rent. The owner will without doubt be back seeking a review and remove of these constrictions. But this time they will not be incumbered with issues of use and planning thanks to the State Governments planning scheme revisions and the failure of the City of Melbourne to object to the reclassification of this precinct to Commercial one zone.