Two developments planned in Albert Street Brunswick were not approved by Council. Part of Council's concern about these projects was about impact on parks, including overshadowing. The developers appealed to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). VCAT has approved these developments.
The Minister for Planning can intervene in planning applications before any VCAT hearing begins. This has not occurred in these cases.
As part of the review of Council's open space strategy we will explore options to strengthen our planning scheme to protect parks from overshadowing. This work will start later in 2022. The decision that the Minister for Planning makes about the City of Melbourne's planning scheme amendment about sunlight to parks will help inform the work.
The Minister is also able to approve major developments in a streamlined process. This is under the Victorian Government’s Development Facilitation Program, which aims to help Victoria’s economic recovery. Developers have asked the Minister to consider using these planning powers for projects in Merri-bek. Recent guidance criteria now excludes high density residential development from this pathway which should mean that we see less Ministerial intervention in Merri-bek.
395-411 Albert Street, Brunswick
This development will comprise buildings up to a height of 11 storeys. It will feature around 500 build-to-rent apartments.
Council refused this planning permit. The developer took the matter to VCAT, which supported the development.
There is no further avenue for appeal on this decision.
429 Albert Street, Brunswick
This development will comprise two buildings at 8 and part 9 storeys in height, and townhouses at 3 storeys in height.
Council rejected the proposal. The developer took the matter to VCAT, which supported the development. Changes went some way to addressing Council's concerns. There is no further avenue for appeal on this decision.
699-701 Park Street, Brunswick
This development near Princes Park, rejected by both Council and VCAT would feature buildings up to 10 storeys. It includes a basement, rooftop terrace, residential apartments, offices and retail.
The developer has asked the Minister to consider this proposal through the Development Facilitation Program.
Council has asked the Minister to reject the development.