Richmond Plaza redevelopment
In March 2013, VCAT directed Council to issue Coles Property Group an amended permit for a maximum 11 storey redevelopment of Richmond Plaza (271 Bridge Road), subject to a number of changes.
Council had approved an application for the major residential and retail redevelopment of Richmond Plaza in August 2012, but had attached a number of conditions to the proposal, including cutting three storeys from applicant Coles Property Group’s initial plans that would have reduced the maximum building height from 12 to nine storeys.
The applicant lodged an appeal with VCAT against a number of the conditions attached to the permit by Council.
Council and the applicant agreed to change the wording of some of the conditions (detailed in Council resolution dated 18 December 2012), however a number of conditions remained the subject of dispute and were considered by VCAT in February 2013.
The VCAT hearing took place on 18-19 February 2013.
VCAT order - 27 March 2013
The full VCAT order can be read here: VCAT Order - Coles Property Group Development Ltd v Yarra CC - 27 March 2013 (143.50 KB)
The conditions that remained in dispute or were modified by VCAT following the February 2013 hearing were:
Condition No. 1(e) – Council agreed with the applicant that either the shop or residential lobby doors could be repositioned to improve visibility to the residential lobby.
However, VCAT ordered that the condition is deleted and replaced with:
building A residential lobby doors moved forward to align with the façade of Shop 0.02 to provide improved visibility to the residential lobby entrance;
Conditions No. 1(n) and 1(o) – Related to the deletion of levels 8, 9 and 11 of building A.
VCAT stated the following:
"We consider that the non-exhaustive list of 'benefits' in the Planning Scheme that may justify a building higher than 5-6 storeys, relied on by the applicant, provide sufficient justification for higher buildings on this site. However, the physical context has an important role to play in determining an appropriate height on this particular site. The applicant says that the proposed 12 storeys are acceptable, a conclusion also reached by the Council's officers. Council, however, has determined that 9 storeys is the appropriate height.
We will amend the conditions of the permit to require the deletion of a level, to reduce the height of Building A to 11 storeys, and the redesign of the top south-western corner to reduce its prominence. With these changes, we consider that the building will sit more comfortably within its context, without appearing unduly dominant within the surrounding built form.
VCAT subsequently ordered that condition 1(n) is deleted and replaced with:
a redesign of the top south-west corner of Building A to reduce the prominence of the projecting framing element
VCAT also ordered that condition No. 1(o) is deleted and replaced with:
the deletion of one of levels 9 or 10 of Building A and consequential amendment of the façade design
Condition No. 1(bb) – Required the applicant to provide a set of highly detailed elevations to demonstrate 'craftsmanship' in the quality of the building.
VCAT was not convinced that a set of highly detailed elevations would achieve Council's goal, rather finding that condition 4 (requiring the ongoing maintenance of SJB as the project architects) would more appropriately deal with this condition. VCAT subsequently ordered that the condition be deleted.
Condition No. 1(yy) – Required the provision of an additional 23 car parking spaces within an additional basement or part basement.
The Applicant agreed at the hearing that they could provide the additional 23 spaces, however they wanted flexibility to provide the spaces in the existing bvis deleted and replaced with:
provision of a minimum additional 23 car parking spaces
Condition No. 5 related to the discontinuance of Henty Street and the substation land (also marked as a Council 'road') before the works could commence.
VCAT slightly modified the condition and added 'exempt with the written consent of the RA (Responsible Authority)':
Except with the written consent of the Responsible Authority, prior to the commencement of the development, the land known as Henty Street, or the land marked green on plan of consolidation 105419 and land known as Lot 1 Title plan 843675B must be discontinued.
Condition No. 25 – Required the Applicant to enter into a Section 173 agreement to ensure that the car share and bicycle share spaces are provided for a minimum period of 10 years.
VCAT did not require a Section 173 Agreement. VCAT subsequently replaced the condition with:
"Before the development is occupied, a minimum of three car share vehicles and seven bicycle share facilities must be provided on the land. This must be by way of arrangement with a car share/bicycle share operator and/or the future Owners Corporation. The car share vehicles and the bicycle share facilities must be provided on the land for a minimum period of 10 years, to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority. Any costs associated with ensuring on-going availability of the car share vehicles and the bicycle share facilities on the land must be borne by the Owners Corporation."
Condition No. 30 – Related to truck/vehicle motors being turned off during all loading and unloading activities, with the garbage and recycling collection occurring behind a closed roller door.
Council argued that the truck/vehicle motors should be turned off and the roller door should be shut during deliveries/waste collection for acoustic purposes. Council also argued that the roller door should be shut to protect the visual amenity of Cameron Street.
VCAT found Cameron Street to be a 'highly eclectic' streetscape and did not accept the visual amenity argument. However, they agreed that the truck/vehicle motors should be turned off during all loading and unloading activities.
VCAT ordered that the condition is deleted (removing reference to the roller door being closed) and replaced it with:
All loading dock deliveries and commercial garbage and recycling collection must be to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority. During all loading and unloading activities, truck/vehicle motors must be turned off.
Condition No. 38(f) – Related to the provision of car parking to 80% of dwellings, with all 2 bedroom dwellings being provided with one on-site space.
VCAT ordered that the condition is deleted and replaced with the following, allowing the car park allocation to be modified with the written consent of the RA:
residential car parking must be allocated such that 80% of all dwellings are allocated one car parking space. All two-bedroom dwellings must be provided with one on-site car parking space. This allocation of car spaces may be varied with the written consent of the Responsible Authority;
Condition No. 38(n) – Was modified by VCAT to clarify that the condition relates to car parking and bicycle spaces:
a mechanism to review the car parking and bicycle spaces to either re-allocate the spaces if demand warrants so, or provide more spaces if the opportunity arises. This may include future Owners Corporation review/input;
Condition No. 86 - Originally provided 2 years for the works to commence and 4 years for the works to be completed. VCAT deleted and replaced the condition with:
"This permit will expire is one of the following circumstances applies:the development is not started within three (3) years of the date of this permit;the development is not completed within seven (7) years of the date of this permit;the uses are not commenced within seven (7) years of the date of this permit. The Responsible Authority may approve extensions to these time limits if requests are made before the permit expires or within three (3) months afterwards."
Resolution on changes to permit conditions on 18 December 2012
At its final meeting for the year on 18 December, Council resolved to change a number of conditions that had been outlined in the VCAT appeal tht was scheduled for hearing in February 2013.
The changes were:
Change condition 1(e) to:
Building A residential lobby doors moved forward to align with façade of shop 0.02 to provide improved visibility to the residential lobby entrance
Change condition 1(r) to:
landscaped terraces within the level 8 roof area to be used by adjacent dwellings as private open space
Change condition 1(cc)(xviii) to:
landscaping to the northern, building A level 8 roof (private terraces required by condition 1(r))
Change condition 1(lll)(v) to:
building A, level 3 west facing balconies (excluding dwelling A008 – internal and external overlooking) where located within 9 meters of any adjacent habitable room or private open space area
Change condition 1(lll)(vi) to:
building A, level 4 to 11 projecting balcony elements (adjacent to #01, #02 and #03 dwellings – internal and external overlooking) where located within 9 meters of any adjacent habitable room or private open space area
Change condition 1(rrr) to:
all internal corridors in the apartment buildings to have a minimum width of 1.5m with an indentation at each dwelling entrance of up to 100mm to articulate dwelling entries
Change condition 1(sss) to:
details and provision of an average of 4 cubic meters of storage for each dwelling
Change condition 18(f) to:
confirmation that a 100,000 litre water tank is sufficient to service watering of landscaping and flushing of retail tenancy toilets
Change condition 26(a) to:
the provision of a minimum three car share vehicles on site within close proximity to the vehicle entrance and located to the satisfaction of the responsible authority
Change condition 26(b) to:
provision of electric vehicle charging stations in locations to the satisfaction of the responsible authority
Existing condition 27 to remain
Change condition 38(i) to:
a minimum of three car spaces for car share programme in locations to the satisfaction of the responsible authority
Change condition 38(r) to:
the provision of spotter to assist truck vehicles reversing into the loading /unloading (public square) area to Bank street or any other measures to ensure public safety to the satisfaction of the responsible authority
Change condition 75(b) to:
amended turning circle diagrams as per the modified arrangement, as shown on SJB sketch plans received by Council on 5 July 2012, confirming a 12.5m long vehicle can reverse in to the Bank Street loading area
Change condition 75(d) to:
weekly collection frequency
Delete existing condition 81.
Change condition 82 to:
In the event that the Roads Corporation requires the land affected by the Public Acquisition Overlay Schedule 1(PAO1), VicRoads will advise the landowner in writing. Upon receiving this notice, the owner must remove, from the land affected by the overlay, all use and development permitted by this planning permit to the satisfaction of VicRoads and the Responsible Authority. The cost associated with removing the use and development from the land affected by the PAO1 is to be borne by the owner of the land.
Delete existing condition 84.
All other conditions to remain.
The original plans (which Council subsequently amended when deciding upon the application in August 2012) provided for:
- The demolition of all existing buildings
- The construction of a series of building across the site rising to 12 storeys in height over basement parking
- A total of 333 apartments (including 203 one-bed apartments, 102 two-bedroom apartments and 28 studio apartments)
- About 12,000 square metres of floor space for retail/commercial uses
- About 530 car parking spaces and 151 bicycle spaces
- An average 6.5 star energy rating for the dwellings.
Council sought community feedback on the original plans in late 2011/early 2012. Council received 42 objections to the proposed development and two letters of support.
More information about the original plans is available in the below documents:
Planning Submission (Part One).pdf (1.11MB)
Planning Submission (Part Two).pdf (2.57MB)
Planning Submission (Part Three).pdf (2.11MB)
Plans (Part One).pdf (2.42MB)
Plans (Part Two).pdf (2.83MB)
Plans (Part Three).pdf (1.81MB)
Colour Elevations.pdf (939.56kB)
Elevations (Part One).pdf (1.48MB)
Elevations (Part Two).pdf (1.48MB)
Elevations (Part Three).pdf (1.17MB)
Elevations (Part Four).pdf (436.02kB)
Elevations (Part Five).pdf (1.32MB)
Elevations (Part Six).pdf (791.10kB)
Elevations (Part Seven).pdf (1,005.02kB)
Elevations (Part Eight).pdf (852.70kB)
Photo Montages.pdf (1.09MB)
View from Citizens Park Oval.pdf (512.42kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part One).pdf (107.54kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Two).pdf (2.86MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Three).pdf (1.84MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Four).pdf (336.62kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Five).pdf (2.86MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Six).pdf (2.62MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Seven).pdf (533.97kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Eight).pdf (1.87MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Nine).pdf (1.93MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Ten).pdf (326.87kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Eleven).pdf (1.17MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Twelve).pdf (1.02MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Thirteen).pdf (2.01MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Fourteen).pdf (1.44MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Fifteen.).pdf (1.58MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Sixteen).pdf (2.74MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Seventeen).pdf (935.46kB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Eighteen).pdf (1.10MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Nineteen).pdf (1.09MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Twenty).pdf (1.52MB)
Urban Context and Design Response Assessment (Part Twenty-one).pdf (1.58MB)
Landscape Plan (Part One).pdf (1.48MB)
Landscape Plan (Part Two).pdf (2.44MB)
Traffic and Transport Assessment (Part One).pdf (1.78MB)
Traffic and Transport Assessment (Part Two).pdf (2.86MB)
Heritage Impact Statement.pdf (2.41MB)
Noise and Amenity Action Plan.pdf (31.42kB)
Sustainability Management Plan.pdf (1.15MB)
Acoustic Report.pdf (2.46MB)
Environmental Wind Assessment.pdf (230.74kB)
Waste Management Plan.pdf (300.03kB)
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