Port bid gets nod
VCAT OK for townhouses
SEVERAL multi-storey apartments can be built on a Portarlington property after the Geelong council failed in its bid to block it.
Developer Tony Tricola secured approval in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ( VCAT) for a four-dwelling development on a single Willis St site.
The permit allows for a single-storey dwelling to be demolished and replaced by three triple-storey townhouses and a double-storey apartment.
There have been multiple applications this year for three-storey buildings in the coastal village, with five proposed for the corner of Park and Stevens streets.
Mr Tricola took the Willis St fight to VCAT after the Geelong council failed to rule on the matter within the statutory period.
Later, in March, a council panel advised that it would have refused the application due to issues with neighbourhood character, street setback and building height.
Amended plans, circulated in June, reduced the maximum height of the development from 10.4m to 9.4m.
But the council told VCAT that the proposed changes did not change its view.
VCAT member Peter Gaschk on Thursday issued a permit, saying the proposed height was lower than that allowed under the zone and local planning policy.
“I accept that the design response provides greater built form intensity than the surrounding dwellings,” he said.
“However this is what the (law) encourages and anticipates for this area. This scale and height should not be unexpected.”
Mr Gaschk found the site’s proximity to shops, services and public transport, and its setting on wide streets, were also in its favour.