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Further planning news

54-60 St Kilda Road, St Kilda (corner Charnwood Rd, former Royal Flying Doctor Service).

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal considered an application to redevelop this site on the east side of St. Kilda Road with a 10 storey (103 unit) residential/commercial building. The proposed building was reduced before the hearing to a 9 storey (93) unit building.  The application was opposed by affected residents of Charnwood Road and Octavia Street and the Port Phillip Council.

On 14 August 2017 VCAT refused the application for a 9 storey building, but granted a permit for a 7 storey building, subject to conditions (permit extended to 17 August 2023). The tallest section of the building will be at the St. Kilda Road interface. The building will ‘step down’ towards the east and the Charnwood Road residences, and end with 2 storey ‘townhouses’ with setbacks from them to the nearest Charnwood Road residence of between 6.1 and 8.5 metres. There will be greater setbacks at higher levels.

VCAT based its decision largely on the existing provisions of the Port Phillip Planning Scheme. However, it also took into account the St. Kilda Road South Urban Design and Land Use Framework (Amendment C122), still in draft form. JAAG and the Council have been working on the Framework for a number of years.

VCAT pointed out that the Framework articulates a vision for a graduation in building heights along St. Kilda Road, with the tallest buildings being at the Junction. As part of this vision the Framework specifies a discretionary height limit of 6 storeys for the site, and a 4 storey limit for the terrace of heritage shops to the south. VCAT formed the view that a 9 storey building would not contribute to achieving an overall consistency of scale within the St. Kilda Road streetscape, which is a test which must under the Framework be fulfilled if the 6 storey limit is to be exceeded. It also considered that a 9 storey building would not respect the height of the heritage shops. On the other hand, it felt that a 7 storey building would be a more sympathetic response to the heritage shops.

JAAG believes that VCAT’s decision will be a useful precedent when other development applications are made for the east side of St. Kilda Road. JAAG is also pleased that VCAT decided that it was not reasonable to add parking by visitors to the site to the already high demand for on street parking in Charnwood Road and Charnwood Grove . All visitor parking must be provided for in the building.


Fig_1_contextJAAG is happy to advise that the Minister for Planning has finally approved Amendment C122, which implements the St Kilda Road South Urban Design and Land Use Framework through applying permanent controls for the St Kilda Road South Precinct.  Amendment C122 came into effect when notice of the approval was published in the Victoria Government Gazette, on Thursday 18 October 2018.

See Council website for details of the new guidelines
Or click on this link to read a summary of the new guidelines Amendment C122

It has been a long process to reach this important stage in strategic planning for the St Kilda Road South Precinct.  To read about the development of The Framework and the interim controls click here.

VCAT knocks back 20-storey Windsor tower – Sept 2018




72 Wellington St 2015

A revised planning permit was approved in August 2017 to restore Virginia House (3 bedrooms) and build 10 x 2 bed apartments on the site. Property for sale by expressions of interest which closed on 24 November 2017. To date it has not been sold. Permit must be acted upon by August 2019.

To read all the history behind this planning application click here.


RESIDENTIAL ZONES – Amendment C123 approved – December 2017


The Minister for Planning has finally approved Amendment C123 which applies the New Residential Zones across the City of Port Phillip, comprising the:
· Neighbourhood Residential Zone
· General Residential Zone, and
· Residential Growth Zone.

The approval is generally in line with the zones as proposed and adopted by Council. Some changes have been made to the detailed zone schedules, primarily to align with state-wide changes to the zones made earlier this year by the Minister (including removing the density control from the NRZ, applying a mandatory 11m (3 storey) height control in the GRZ and applying a new ‘garden’ area requirement to both these zones). Gazettal has occurred in December 2017.  Below is a link to Council’s website


For the background to Amendment C123 follow the link New Residential Zones


Managing Residential Development Advisory Committee (MRDAC)

JAAG has made a submission to the MRDAC which has been appointed to report on the application of zones that provide for residential development (in metropolitan Melbourne and the four regional cities of Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Latrobe) in the context of managing Melbourne and Victoria’s residential growth in a sustainable manner and improving housing affordability.  JAAG’s submission can be viewed here MRDAC submission.


Another Electronic Major Promotional Sign for St Kilda Junction!

Punt Rd

Unfortunately neither of the local councils covering St Kilda Junction (Stonnington and Port Phillip) or the State Government have stepped up to formulate a master plan for it. Consequently its development continues to be dominated by more and more promotional signage. An application for yet another, perched on the roof of the small building at the north east corner of Punt Road and Queensway (30 Punt Road – pictured), was approved by VCAT (10 year permit) in spite of calls for higher urban design standards by the City of Stonnington and JAAG members. JAAG will continue to advocate for better outcomes at the Junction in spite of the inertia of responsible authorities and commercial pressures for inappropriate development.

In May 2016, Stonnington Council refused the permit for a major promotion sign on the roof of the existing building at 30 Punt Road (corner of Punt Rd & Albert St). The proposed sign measures 11m x 3.m oriented towards the junction. The sign is designed to curve around the site’s southwest boundary and is proposed to operate 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

In 2015 VCAT approved a permit for a 9 storey predominantly residential building at this site (Planning Application at Stonnington Council (no 1094/14) ) comprising of 30 dwellings and 2 offices with 35 car parks & 21 bicycle spaces.  A 14 storey planning application was refused by VCAT in August, 2013 at this site.

30 Punt Rd now a 'No Go'

30 Punt Rd now a ‘No Go’

This application for a permit was refused by Stonnington Council (SC) some time ago and taken to VCAT by the Applicant.  JAAG representatives spent a total of seven days attending VCAT hearings. During this time and in the face of a number of objections from JAAG and the SC, the height of the building was reduced from 17 to 14 storeys, requiring new plans to be submitted.  At the end of August 2013 VCAT gave a ‘no permit’ decision stating that the revised design did not fit the surrounding low rise residential context, did not have set-backs, the site was too small and did not need to be an ‘urban marker’. The proposed building was opposed at VCAT by the Shrine Trustees, Stonnington Council, local Windsor residents, Vic Roads and JAAG members.


26 storey tower at 8 Punt Road (and 3 Wellington Street) St Kilda


Hundreds of St Kida residents had their hopes dashed with the news on 19 August 2016 that VCAT has granted a permit for a 26-storey skyscraper which incorporates a 717 m2 Integrated Digital Façade major promotional sign  – smack on St Kilda Junction.  At the VCAT hearing conducted in late June –a team of 12 St Kilda Junction residents presented eight well thought out and researched submissions together with Council also opposing it. Additional submissions objecting from the owner and tenant of 14-16 Punt Road (an adjacent heritage building); Pace Group – in respect of overshadowing and overlooking Icon building opposite; and David Brand (former Councillor and Architect) were made.

Earlier this year more than 100 residents strongly objected to Port Phillip Council and then VCAT that the 95 metre (300m ft) tower, which is 8 levels higher than the adjacent Icon (Lego) building, with 203 apartments is site overdevelopment, it creates adverse amenity and traffic impacts as well as overall built form impact on St Kilda Junction. For more details click here.

Clearly the ‘planning’ gap at St Kilda Junction that let the Icon (Lego) building through remains and until the St. Kilda Road South Urban Design and Land Use Framework (Amendment C122) is approved and activated inappropriate high-rise developments like 8 Punt Road will continue to get through this ‘planning’ gap.

This related article was published in The Age on 24 August 2016 http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/-gr0a4y.html

For more information on the VCAT decision:  see attached VCAT decision  P445 2016 Drekoncile Pty Ltd v Port Phillip CC (19-08-16)

3 Wellington Street electronic promotional sign – permit granted 2016

March 2016: The VCAT member granted  a permit with an expiry time of 15 years (less than the current expiry which currently is 2034) as well as a number of conditions reflecting VicRoads requirements.  In the Member’s summary there is a comment to the effect that this decision is not to be seen as a precedent for proposed sign integrated in the 26 storey application currently at Council. The permit is for Construction and display of an animated electronic major promotion sky sign on the roof of the existing four storey building measuring 90 square metres and projecting above the building by a total of 7.65 square metres (replacing the existing sign). The permit was refused by Council in June 2015.


2 St Kilda Road, St Kilda 


Dec 2016 – Council approved a permit for an on premises licence for 40 patrons at Barber shop at the Icon. (Like a ‘speak easy’ barber/bar).

Sept 2015 –  Plans for the restaurant were amended to 2 ground level shops and a restaurant (currently open only during the day).

April 2015 – Licensed restaurant for 160 with indoor/outdoor/footpath seating proposed for St Kilda Junction to operate 7 days a week from 6.30 am to midnight.  This planning application was settled 23 April at VCAT with removal of the pavement seating and reinstatement of the landscape to this area.  The hours of trading are from 6.30 a.m. to 10.30 pm with liquor allowed to be served between 11.00 am to 10.30 am to indoor area and no liquor served after 10 pm to a small outdoor section just inside the Wellington Street boundary of the building.  No amplified music.  7 car spaces provided on-site for staff of the restaurant.

2013 – “Lego Building” gets 2nd VCAT go ahead. The developer applied for a planning permit to erect advertising signage on the site which attracted over 20 opposing letters! JAAG and other concerned parties attended a meeting on 20 August 2013 at which Council approved a revised application for temporary promotion signs on a construction site hoarding with reduced lighting.

At a VCAT mediation session held on 13 May 2013 the Junction Area Action Group together with the City of Port Phillip “argued strongly that the increased parking impact of a day-night restaurant was not an option.”  Pace Development Group agreed at mediation to the restaurant’s hours being limited to breakfast and lunch only i.e.7.30am to 3pm.  The revised permit states that Pace Development still have to undertake wind tunnel testing of the whole building. A revised permit with amendments was granted by VCAT on 16 May 2013.

August 2012 – St Kilda residents are shocked by the news that VCAT has granted a permit for a highly controversial $30 million eighteen storey high rise tower at 2 St Kilda Road at St Kilda Junction. In a decision that has appalled and angered residents, VCAT failed to take on board local community concerns and Port Phillip Council’s objections. These were presented at a June VCAT hearing showing it would be far too tall and would destroy the prized amenity of the local low rise heritage area. JAAG presented well researched strong arguments to VCAT that showed the 18 floor development would impose on the streetscape a serious lack of parking, exceed the present local two to four storey building heights, cause a sever loss of sunlight and airspace, create excessive bulk and form, plus have serious wind tunnel effects and cause local parking and traffic chaos on Wellington Street. But despite the permit being granted JAAG successfully argued for the following conditions to be included:



Child care Centre at 12 CHARNWOOD GROVE & CRESCENT (THE SYNAGOGUE)  – Planning permit approved

SynagogueOctober 2015: Council have approved a planning permit subject to some minor amendments to the proposal. The original proposal incorporated external and internal alterations to the existing Danglow Centre building to provide for a child care centre accommodating up to 53 children with opening hours of 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday. The proposal also incorporated a new fence along part of the Charnwood Grove frontage, new security guardhouse, new ramp access, and a reconfigured car park area with additional car spaces provided.

JAAG had concerns with traffic & parking associated with this planning application which were raised with Council through the objections process. One of the conditions which JAAG asked to be included is a material treatment to the wall along the Charnwood Grove frontage to better interact with the heritage houses opposite. VCAT Reference: P248/2015.

Unit 3/ 108 Wellington Street – An application  was lodged at Port Phillip Council in June 2014 for “Additions to dwelling at ground level (retrospective approval); partial demolition and alterations and additions to provide a third level and a rooftop terrace above”.  Public advertising took place in August to which a number of objections were received by Council.  Following a mediation meeting at Council on the 16/2/2015 the permit applicant modified the plans to show deletion of the roof terrace and the additional storey at second floor.

55 Wellington Street – Planning application lodged with Council on 2 April 2014 for residential development (an additional 2 storeys  + a roof top terrace on existing 4 storey commercial building).  Applicant lodged an appeal at VCAT as Council had not given a decision within the 60 day statutory requirement. A number of objections were received by Council and 16 Statement of Grounds received by VCAT. The VCAT hearing was held 17-19 December 2014 and on 7 January 2015  VCAT granted a permit which allows: “Alterations and additions including construction of two additional levels above the existing building for the purposes of office and dwellings (subject to conditions detailed in the VCAT decision), reduction in on-site parking and waiver of visitor bicycle space in the Commercial 1 Zone (CZ1) and design and Development Overlay (DDO13)”.

181 Fitzroy Street (former AIM building) – A planning application was lodged with Council on 11 February 2014 for a 12 storey residential development with ground floor retail/shops. 24 objections were lodged with Council. As Council had not given a decision within the 60 day statutory requirement, the applicant lodged an appeal at VCAT. At a VCAT Mediation Hearing on the 23/10/14 the matter was settled and final orders were made to approve a planing permit for amended plans which in summary allow for a 10 storey residential building with a communal pool and BBQ area on the roof, (pool and BBQ area set well back from both Fitzroy & Pattison Streets). Total of 160 dwellings (reduced from 177); 170 car parks which includes 2 car share spaces; a loading bay (located inside the car park); street tree management/protection for existing mature plane trees in Fitzroy Street with a separate agreement where the developer will contribute $30,000 to streets cape improvement in Pattison Street, providing Council within 3 years undertake streets cape beautification.

61 Wellington Street – Conversion from a 2 to 4 storey commercial building

VCAT on 01/10/13 approved a planning permit for additional 2 storeys to the existing 2 storey commercial building of 2150 sqm offices & ground floor Café of 126 sqm with 34 on-site car parks.

4 Upton Road – application for a permit for the sale of packaged liquor associated with a Wine & Import and Distribution company.

A Planning permit was issued by Council for the sale of packaged liquor associated with a Wine Import and Distribution company.  Objectors concerns were taken into consideration as Council issued the permit with a number of conditions attached to it.

11-15 Wellington Street

A Planning Permit was approved by Council on 27/9/2013 with a waiver of patron car parking requirements under Clause 52.06 in relation to an 80 patron as-of-right convenience restaurant operating between 7am and 6.30pm where no alcohol is to be served in tenancies G01 & G02 at 11-15 Wellington Street, St Kilda.

35  Wellington Street – application for 5 storey mixed-use development

VCAT on 23/9/13 approved a planning permit for 5 storey building comprising of 45 sqm & 118 sqm shop and office tenancies at ground and first floor levels respectively, residential of 14 apartments to the other floors, and 26 on-site car parks. The applicant has since requested that Council proceed with another planning application which is currently being publicly advertised.  The latest proposal is not much different to that which VCAT approved.  The key differences are that the uppermost level would be setback from Wellington Street to match the neighbouring building (the upper level as it presents to Nelson Street would be the same as approved by VCAT) and the first floor office would become dwellings.  Should you wish to know more about this application, it is number 756/2013 and is available on Council’s website.

3 St Kilda Road

3StK RoadVCAT have approved an amendment to the existing planning permit from 26 storeys of 272 dwellings, shop floor space, artist studio to 28 storeys of 328 dwellings, shop floor space, artist studio and car parking dispensation.  Due to reduced floor level heights the height of the building has not increased, rather it is reduced by 0.18m. The key changes are summarised as follows:

23 – 27 Wellington St. – VCAT’s refusal of a Permit for 2 major illuminated  roof top Sky Signs.

Following Port Phillip Council’s refusal to grant a Permit for the erection of two major internally lit promotional signs in a V- shape for mounting on top of this building, the matter was referred to VCAT by the Applicant, Look Outdoor Advertising Pty. Ltd.  Representatives from JAAG attended the Hearing on 31st May, 2013 where they submitted a range of objections which supported the Port Phillip Council’s decision to refuse the permit. On the 11th June 2013 we received a copy of the Order from VCAT, which read, “In permit application No 594/2012, no permit is granted”. VCAT’s Order recognised that although the north side of Wellington Street and Nelson Street to the rear were still classified as a Business 2 Zone, the reality was that the area had developed more as a residential zone, than a commercial one.  While nothing is certain, residents can feel more comfortable in knowing that this decision creates a precedent against which any future applications for similar signage east of the Junction may be considered.

74 Wellington Street – Backpackers/rooming house residence finally closes down.

This property was used as a backpackers establishment without having the necessary permit to do so.  In addition, the use of the property for this purpose caused a great deal of angst for nearby residents due to excessive noise and unsociable behaviour.  After much lobbying, the case went to VCAT October 2012 where the determination was an Enforcement Order requiring the Owners to cease  operating as any form of shared accommodation by 10th April, 2013.

126 St Kilda Road – Planning Application for Backpackers refused.

Another success at VCAT.  We were advised recently by local resident and JAAG Member, Hayden Marlow, that their objections to an application for a permit to conduct a Backpacker’s establishment at 126 St Kilda Rd were upheld and VCAT refused the permit.  Congratulations from JAAG to Hayden and his team.




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