Property development project update

Thought it might be time for a development project update. The last time I posted an update on this site was way back in mid December of last year where I was saying that I’d just submitted plans and permit application documents to the local council.

Not long after I’d submitted the application we had an ‘advertising period’ where I had to display signs at the property for 14 days to notify people that there was a planning permit at council and giving them a chance to lodge any objections.  That advertising period finished a month or more ago now and I hadn’t heard anything back from the council so decided to give them a call.

So, here’s a summary of what I found out during that phone call:

  • There were 5 objections lodged relating to the proposed development!  (Wow!)
  • The council’s planning department were supporting the application, however there was a council vote and one councillor objected to supporting the application.
  • The council planning department now had to prepare a full report for the next council meeting and they would vote on it again.
  • The council planning department person I spoke to said that they would, once again, be supporting the application, however, unless the one opposing councillor changed their mind and supported the application then it would be refused.

I was a bit surprised at this – for some reason, I hadn’t really expected that there would be any objections lodged, let alone 5 of them!!  Not that I don’t understand why people would object, as we are proposing a two storey townhouse on a small block next to other existing homes, it’s just that I thought most people would just be too lazy to actually lodge a complaint!

I asked if there was anything I could do to assist or facilitate or revise plans to appease the complaintants, but was advised just to wait out the process.  Of course, I’m not much of a waiting sort of girl, really, and I am a massive planner, so of course I am already looking into what the options are if we are refused and planning what we will do.  Basically, if it is refused then the option is to take it to VCAT (Victorian Civil and Adminstrative Tribunal), however this would mean:

  • Spending approximately $3500-$4000 for a private town planner to review the plans, make any suggestions and attend the tribunal hearing.
  • Waiting for approximately 6 months or so to get a VCAT hearing and paying a small fee (couple of hundred dollars or so) for the hearing

The alternative is to just let it go and move on to another project.

So it’s a tough one if we do get refused as I just don’t know whether to put more money into the project to appeal, which may or may not get the decision changed or whether to cut my losses, which would be about $6k or so at this point.

Love to know what others think about this?