Fortunately things went much better yesterday, as the Knox City Council consultant town planner, performed excellently and was well briefed by the Planning Department. Maybe my stirring after the last VCAT hearing did some good. One downside though was that VCAT did not have all sets of plans relevant to this hearing. Whether this was the fault of Knox’s Planning Dept or VCATs I have no idea, but it did not place Knox City Council’s Planning Department in a very good light again. Three sets of plans have been submitted by the developer, the first in April ’08, amended plans in Sept ’08 and finally amended plans in April ’09. VCAT only had the plans for April ’08.
The issues addressed by the Knox Consultant town planner and objectors included
· the impact of the visual bulk of two storey buildings,
· two storey townhouses do not meet with the surrounding neighborhood character,
· impact of the buildings, especially for the neighbors in No
· Heat bank affect of these buildings during summer,
· The value of trees, even exotics, to the community and the desire to retain the cypress trees and photinia hedge at the rear of the property,
· The impact of all developments on the infrastructure, traffic and safety of school children and residents,
· Traffic danger imposed by the Laura,
Initially at the hearing the developer had provided amended plans, reducing one dwelling to a single storey, and an hour’s discussion ensured around accepting this change. This then put the process behind time and enough time was not left for the developer to make a presentation. The hearing was then adjourned until Thursday next week at 2.15pm. I’m unsure whether this is in our favour, as the developer now has a week to counter our objections. The council town planner’s opinion is that the chair wished to allow sufficient time for the developer’s presentation as we’d presented quite a formidable case against this development. Time will tell!
Many thanks to the six residents that attended the hearing.