VCAT supports permit for infill development
Development of a second house on a property in Windsor Ave, Warragul has been approved by the Victorian Civil and Appeals Tribunal.
VCAT member Carol Daicic supported the proposal, saying infill development was supported by planning policies.
VCAT was told the lot at 29 Windsor Ave was 823 square metres. A single storey weatherboard house is located on the site.
The proposal sought to develop a three bedroom house at the back of the site, behind the existing dwelling.
Julie Comrie requested VCAT review the application. She raised concerns about the environmental impact; car parking; close proximity to neighbours; potential to decrease property prices; overcrowding and overshadowing.
On behalf of the applicant, planner Joey Whitehead told VCAT the proposal was modest and encouraged urban dwelling diversity.
The applicant put forward amended plans to address some of the concerns raised by Ms Comrie about car parking.
The amended plans now locate the car space on the eastern side of the existing house and propose a new crossover and driveway to service this car space.
Ms Daicic said most of Ms Comrie’s submissions focussed on the fact the development does not respect the existing leafy neighbourhood character.
She said Ms Comrie also stated that existing neighbourhood character was not just about streetscape character; it also included significant side plantings and liveable back yards.
Ms Daicic said surrounding lots were mainly developed with single dwellings and garages on similar size allotments and setbacks to Windsor Ave.
She said the subject site was close to a variety of community facilities and parkland, and was well located to jobs, transport and services.
“Typically, dwellings in Windsor Avenue generally date back to the early 1940s through to the 1960s.
“However, there is a presence of more contemporary medium density housing development throughout the area including, dual occupancy development on the south side of the street, medium density at the western end of Windsor Ave and another development of flats on the eastern end of Windsor Ave dating to the 1970s,” she said.
Ms Daicic said she considered a previous VCAT decision for a medium density proposal at 7-9 Windsor Ave where the tribunal noted that urban consolidation was an important objective in the planning scheme.
“However, achieving that objective must be balanced against the range of competing objectives such as respecting neighbourhood character and maintaining the amenity of adjoining properties and the immediate area,” the previous decision stated.
Ms Daicic determined the proposal was consistent with planning policies.
“The second dwelling will improve diversity and choice in housing in an area that is located close to Warragul town centre.
“Infill development such as this is supported by planning policy because it maximises the land potential in an appropriate location and will make use of existing infrastructure and services given its proximity to local community services, the Civic Centre and Warragul town centre.
“I find that a second dwelling on the review site will increase housing choice and is not out of character with the surrounding area given the scale and that there are other examples of multi dwelling developments in Windsor Ave and Clifford Street, Warragul.
The permit was approved with additional requirements to amend car parking designs and provision of a landscape plan.