Development at 76 Greg Norman Drive
SLRS Newsletters on 4th July 2016, 13th July 2016 and 22nd August 2016 provided an outline of a proposal submitted to Wyndham City Council for a 5-storey building providing retail space, apartments, restaurant and a café at 76 Greg Norman Drive, Sanctuary Lakes. 184 objections were lodged with Wyndham and Wyndham rejected the proposal at its meeting on 12th September 2016 as outlined in the SLRS Newsletter of 13th September 2016. Relevant Newsletters are available on the SLR website under Community.
Sanctuary Lakes Village Pty Ltd (SL Village) lodged an objection with VCAT concerning the Wyndham City Council decision.
Various meetings and a compulsory conference have been held by VCAT where both Sanctuary Lakes Resort Service Limited (SLRS) and Sanctuary Lakes Club Limited (the Golf Club) have been represented.
SL Village has prepared an alternative design which has addressed many of the concerns of the earlier proposal. This proposal is now in the public domain “without prejudice” and copies are available at the offices of Wyndham City Council and VCAT. The latest proposal provides:
- A three-storey building with two underground levels of parking plus some parking at street level;
- Ground floor providing retail space, a 150-seat restaurant and a 60-seat café;
- 43 apartments over levels 2 and 3 plus 3 apartments at ground level;
- An open roof-top garden space.
Wyndham has advised VCAT that the 3-storey alternative should be treated as a new project and therefore be subject to all the planning checks from the beginning.
The Wyndham planning processes are the same for any such building project in most jurisdictions. Objections to Wyndham planning decisions may be appealed to VCAT (Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal). VCAT is a tribunal that tries to help litigants find agreement but if that is not successful, VCAT can issue rulings. In this case, nothing should be finally approved until it has been through the Wyndham planning processes.
At the VCAT Compulsory Conference, interested persons could make prior written submissions without appearing at VCAT but these were neither tabled nor discussed at the Compulsory Conference and we therefore do not how many, if any, submissions were lodged. Hopefully the VCAT Member took account of any relevant matters in his deliberations.
In respect of this development, neither SLRS nor any residents can ban the development or veto features. The City of Wyndham and VCAT will ensure that all planning rules have been obeyed, even if SLRS believes some rules are unsuitable. For example, Wyndham allows one car parking space for each 2-bedroom apartment and two spaces for three-bedroom apartments. We know from experience that this is inadequate depending upon who occupies those apartments. In the restaurant, 0.4 car spaces are to be provided for each seat in the restaurant. These rules are not negotiable and apply to all developments. Our Sanctuary Lakes developer appears to have sold this land to Sanctuary Lakes Village Pty Ltd without applying the usual Sanctuary Lakes ARC or other rules. Therefore City of Wyndham and Victorian planning guidelines apply.
Late in 2016, the Victorian Department of Planning lifted the planning overlay that covered the Sanctuary Lakes Resort development. This action now allows formal objections to be made to planning applications at Sanctuary Lakes Resort.
VCAT held a further hearing on 27th and 28th April 2017 where the key topics discussed were amenity, parking, traffic and access, inward deliveries and outward waste disposal as well as a range of practical issues relating to the design of the buildings.
Participating in the Hearing were the applicant, Sanctuary Lakes Village P/L (SLV), the City of Wyndham (WCC) and Sanctuary Lakes Resort Services Ltd (SLRS), all represented by their lawyers, together with the Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club (SLCL) and a Sanctuary Lakes resident.
SLV presented their latest proposal and explained the changes. WCC, the Resident, SLCL and SLRS in turn presented their concerns and objections. Thereafter SLV produced their three expert witnesses in respect to landscaping, parking, traffic and waste, and planning who, in turn, explained their support for the development and some issues that had been dealt with along the way. Those witnesses were then questioned in some considerable detail by WCC and SLRS as well as by the two VCAT members presiding over the hearing.
Whilst by the end of the day SLV had agreed to a significant increase in car parking, and a range of other improvements had also been agreed to, the VCAT members were not satisfied that the plans provided adequate information to answer all questions raised and allow for an informed final decision to be made.
The VCAT members instructed SLV to produce more detailed plans, addressing the concerns raised, within 4 weeks. The other parties will then have a further 4 weeks to review and comment upon those plans. Thereafter, depending upon the issues raised by the other parties, the VCAT members may make a final decision or reconvene the Hearing for further discussion/arguments.
VCAT has issued interim orders specifying what additional information it requires from SLV by 23rd June 2017. City of Wyndham, SLRS and SLCL will then have until 14th July 2017 to submit further objections if necessary.
The proposal for a 5 storey development was amended to a three storey development with apartments, restaurant, café and retail spaces when the case was taken to VCAT by the applicant. After several months, and several Hearing days, VCAT has now issued its Orders, granting a permit for "A three storey building (plus roof top garden) comprising dwellings, two ground floor retail tenancies, in a Commercial 1 Zone".
During the Hearings, the plans were amended several times to reduce the number of apartments, increase the number of parking spaces on site and comply with a range of requests from the City of Wyndham, Sanctuary Lakes Club Ltd and Sanctuary Lakes Resort Services Ltd. In addition, the City of Wyndham requested that a range of conditions/safeguards be imposed and VCAT imposed some further conditions as well.
The Developer of the site must now complete construction drawings, based on the VCAT Orders, before applying for a Building Permit from the City of Wyndham.
Sanctuary Lakes Resort Services believes that, in its current form, this development should be a welcome addition to Sanctuary Lakes Resort and looks forward to its early completion so that the central hub of the Resort is finally complete.
19th September 2017