Media Releases 2011

Council decides against Supreme Court appeal on Dimmeys development

30 November 2011

DimmeysYarra Council won’t appeal to the Supreme Court against VCAT’s approval of a 10-storey development on the heritage-listed Dimmeys site.

At an urgent meeting last night, Council decided instead to allocate $20,000 to support the Save Dimmeys group if it decides to run a community campaign against the Cremorne development.

Mayor Alison Clarke said Council’s legal advisors had examined the VCAT decision and advised there were no grounds for Council to appeal that were likely to be successful.

Cr Clarke said an appeal to the Supreme Court could only be made on a question of law. The planning merits of VCAT’s decision were not valid grounds for an appeal. Even in the unlikely case that Council won an appeal, the matter would simply go back to VCAT for a rehearing, and VCAT could again approve the redevelopment.

“Council reached the conclusion that we have very little, if any, prospect of stopping the Dimmeys redevelopment through court action,” Cr Clarke said.

She said it would have cost Council about $70,000 to make an application for the matter to be heard by the Supreme Court, with extra costs involved if a full hearing went ahead.

“Councillors' opposition to this development proposal has always been clear and unanimous,” Cr Clarke said.

“The fact that Council appointed a barrister to argue against the Dimmeys development at VCAT shows we are prepared to invest in protecting our community’s heritage and amenity,” she said.

“However, we couldn’t in all conscience commit large sums to court action that we are advised is so unlikely to be successful.”

Cr Clarke said Council would instead provide funding and moral support to the Save Dimmeys group if it decides to run a community campaign.

“With construction yet to begin, there is still time for the developer to recognise how unpopular his development is and to change his plans,” Cr Clarke said.

Here is the minutes of the 29 November Special Council meeting where Council considered whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Here is more information on the Dimmeys redevelopment.

For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:
Ainslie Gowan
Coordinator - Communications
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700   


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