Banco 132 – 172 Smith Street, Collingwood

In late February 2012, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal approved amended plans for a 238 unit development (reaching up to seven storeys) in Smith Street, Collingwood.

VCAT ordered that a new permit be issued to developer Banco for the land at 132-172 Smith Street and 63-71 Little Oxford Street. 

The new permit allows the developer to increase the number of dwellings from 161 to 238 and to increase the size of the site's supermarket by 1000 square metres.

Construction Update

Demolition and excavation work started on the site in September 2012 and were due for completion in May 2013. 

The developer has proposed a number of minor design changes and changes to layouts of commercial and residential spaces. 
The heights of the building are generally the same, with some minor changes to parapet and screens also requested.

VCAT Findings

Tribunal members Bill Sibonis and Geoffrey Code approved the amended plans with a few changes. They accepted that 100 of the dwellings would be one bedroom units, noting that Yarra "has a relatively high proportion of smaller households as compared to the Melbourne Statistical Division".

Council had objected to the amended plans on the ground that increasing the size of the supermarket would increase the number of deliveries and truck movements in Little Oxford Street, impacting on resident amenity. Council's other ground for objection was that proposed changes in materials and building openings would negatively impact on the appearance of the buildings.

The tribunal noted that, according to the applicant, the change in the supermarket floor area would result in an additional three deliveries by 12.5 metre rigid trucks per day. The tribunal concluded that this increase was acceptable, for several reasons including that the site was zoned for Mixed Use and there would be restrictions on when deliveries could occur.

The developer also sought to make several changes to the building's exterior. These changes included using textured concrete instead of zinc cladding on upper level wall surfaces. The tribunal agreed with Council in opposing these changes, saying the use of metallic cladding would assist "in ensuring that the development represents a high quality built form which is fitting of its location".

Here is the doc format VCAT decision regarding 132-172 Smith Street and 63-71 Little Oxford Street, Collingwood (147.50 KB)

Evidence called at the VCAT hearing

Here is the evidence the applicant Banco relied upon at the VCAT hearing:


The original planning permit for the site was issued in February 2006. Council refused to issue a permit for the development but the permit was 'called in' by the State Government and approved by the Minister for Planning.

The permit provided for:

  • Demolition of buildings
  • Use of the land for up to 161 dwellings
  • Construction of a multi level mixed-use building over basement car parking
  • A reduction in the standard number of car parks which would be provided for a development of this size.

The main changes proposed by the developer are: 

  • An increase in the number of apartments to 238
  • An increase in the supermarket floor area
  • A reduction in the specialty retail floor area
  • A reduction in the office floor area
  • Some design modifications
  • Demolition of the Mountain Design Building (132 Smith Street) and reconstruction of the building
  • Design changes to the reconstructed Coles façade to incorporate a fire stair.

New substation

The amended plans also provide for the construction and relocation of a new substation within the Smith Street site to replace the existing substation.

This project would include the following:

  • construction of a new substation enclosure within the Smith St site, to be carried out by the appointed building contractor
  • installation of new high voltage and low voltage cabling from existing CitiPower assets on Lt Oxford St to the new substation enclosure, to be carried out by CitiPower
  • installation of a new 2 kVA transformer within the substation enclosure, to be carried out by CitiPower
  • electrical works within the Lt Oxford St existing building to the new substation enclosure, to be carried out by the appointed electrical contractor.

Proposed substation specifications

All materials, supplies, and all work installed shall comply with the codes, standards, rules and regulations of all statutory authorities including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • AS 3000, AS/NZS 3008, (LV power reticulation)
  • AS/NZS 4836 (Safe Working on Low Voltage Electrical Installations)
  • Victorian Service and Installation Rules.

Substations specifications as follows:

  • Three phase supply of 2180 amps per phase
  • Nominal Supply Voltage: 230 400 volts
  • Wire Configuration: 4 wire
  • Maximum Capacity: 2180 amps per phase (1,564 kVA).

Amended planning application and supporting documents 


Further information
Mary Osman 
Manager - Statutory Planning 
9205 5334

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