5 and 9-13 Stewart Street, Richmond
VCAT is currently considering an application to develop the land for the construction of an 8-storey building with a basement level of car parking below. The proposal would involve retaining the existing heritage facade on Stewart Street, part of the facades on the Stewart Place and Margaret Street.
In May 2014, Council's internal planning committee IDAC determined that the application should be approved.
A review of Council's decision has since been sought at VCAT by the objectors, although VCAT has not yet provided dates for when that review will occur.
You can view the plans for review here.
A summary of the key changes to plans submitted for Council's consideration in September 2013 are as follows:
- All waste collection to occur on-site and by a private contractor
- Use of dual car lift system in lieu of the single system
- Increased setbacks from the Western boundary to a minimum 3.0m to Level 2 and above and associated apartment reconfiguration
- Additional windows to the North elevation
- New south-facing windows at Level 7
- Outlook from the east-facing balconies at Level 2 and above widened to 1.8m
- East-facing windows at levels 6 and 7 widened to 1.8m
Background for this site
In September 2013, new plans for the site were submitted to Council for consideration following VCAT decision in August 2012 to reject an earlier proposal for a 14-storey development.
The new plans submitted in September 2013 were further subsituted with updated plans in March 2014. Council's IDAC committee approved the plans, with amendments, in May 2014.
In June 2014, a review of VCAT's decision was sought by the applicant at VCAT.
VCAT Decision - August 2012
Council had strongly opposed the proposal at the eight day VCAT hearing. Here is a Council media release welcoming the VCAT decision.
Here is the VCAT decision regarding 5 & 9-13 Stewart Street, Richmond (174.00 KB).
More than 140 people objected to Council against the proposal. Council's grounds for opposing the proposal were:
- The height and bulk of the development is inappropriate for the neighbourhood context and fails to comply with objectives contained in policy at clauses 15.01-1 (Urban Design), and 21.05-2 (Urban Design) of the Yarra Planning Scheme
- The height and scale of the development will visually dominate the heritage place, which is contrary to the purpose of the heritage overlay at clause 43.01 and fails to comply with clauses 21.05-1 (Heritage) and 22.02 (Development Guidelines for Sites Subject to the Heritage Overlay)
- The proposed development fails to adequately respond to the off-site amenity impacts on the immediate neighbours to the west through overlooking, and visual bulk by failing to comply with Objective 2.6 of the former Department of Sustainability and Environment’s (DSE) Guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development.
- The development provides an excessive amount of car parking on-site and is therefore not consistent with both State and Local policies relating to sustainable transport at clauses 11.01,18 and 21.06.
The original permit application (prior to the VCAT hearing in 2012) provided for:
- Demolition of parts of the two existing builidngs, part retention of the original building fabric fronting Stewart Street, and construction of a 14-storey building plus roof terrace.
- A total of 90 apartments (13 one-bedroom, 24 one-bedroom plus study, 44 two-bedroom and 9 three-bedroom units)
- A total of 81 car spaces and 29 bicycle parking spaces. The applicant is seeking a reduction in the standard car parking provision for a development of this size.
- A 174 square metre office and 77 square metre cafe, both on the ground floor.
- A communal roof terrace area.
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Ally Ngan Huynh
Principal Statutory Planner