Monday, March 30, 2009

VCAT and No 40 Kathryn Road

Today we’ve spent a day in VCAT for No 40 Kathryn Road, our third to date and Knox City Council’s Planning Policies are not standing up to scrutiny, being constantly criticized by members for lack of detail and direction to their representative. I felt very sorry for the representative today as the chair constantly questioned him, for which he had no answers. No wonder Knox loses the most cases at VCAT. It is constantly being compared with Maroondah which apparently has very tightly written planning policies.

Today when discussing Knoxfield Neighborhood Activity Centre and whether the 400 metre zone was appropriate, we were told that Knox City Council’s planning policies should reflect the wishes of the residents. I was told today that obviously KCC has not helped the residents with the 400 metre zone around Neighborhood Activity Centres. These planning policies certainly do not reflect the wishes of the residents.

Again a formidable team of objectors attended VCAT. David and Valerie Chaney presented a strong case based on overdevelopment, lack of adherence to Rescodes, and general design faults with this development. David compared other decisions from VCAT to support his case. Obviously by the questioning from the chair good arguments were presented. Ian Simpson’s case centred on vegetation removal, affect on wildlife, community support of a leafy green environment without two storey townhouses and traffic on Kathryn Road. Joyce Ward presented a passionate argument for children, problems with infrastructure, safety of residents and overdevelopment. Lip Tan’s argument centred around his lack of privacy being a next door neighbor. Irene Fullarton discussed and outlined scientific evidence on the value of and importance of trees to our environment.

I gained the opinion that the member was going to make a decision today from his earlier comments. But this proved not to be the case and he reserved his decision to have a site inspection. We must have made some impact. All we can do know is hope. We’ve given it our best effort. Many thanks to the residents that attended today as observers to support our case.

Ian Simpson

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