2018 Update on Alvina Street development
Council has reluctantly issued a planning permit subject to conditions for 96 two or three storey townhouses on the former Clayton West Primary School site at 10 Alvina Street, Oakleigh South.
The proposed development of this site has been a drawn-out process, starting in 2014 with Council disappointed by the former State Government’s decision to sell the land with a Development Plan Overlay on the site, removing the rights of residents to object to future developments on the land.
Council refused two separate Development Plans for this site, believing both to be overdevelopments. In September 2015, Council refused the original plan for 108 dwellings. More than 210 local residents objected to the original plan.
In January 2017, Council rejected a second separate proposed plan for 88 dwellings. Council received a total of 369 submissions about the proposal. No appeal was made against this decision by the applicant.
The developer then amended the original proposal as part of an appeal to VCAT, reducing the number of dwellings to 96. However, Council still considered this is an overdevelopment of the site and argued strongly against this amended proposal at VCAT.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approved a Development Plan and the developer lodged a planning application, with Council issuing a planning permit.
During both the application process and subsequent VCAT appeals process, Council continued to oppose a raft of issues. However, disappointingly, Council was required to consider applications under that approved development plan, with little opportunity to interrogate those matters that had been previously decided on as appropriate by VCAT.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has approved a Development Plan for 10 Alvina Street (Oakleigh South), which is the former Clayton West Primary School site.
Council previously refused two Development Plans for this site. The developer appealed to VCAT against Council's refusal of the original plan in September 2015.
Council refused the original proposal as well as the amended plans that VCAT considered, arguing strongly against these.
For more information, please view the VCAT Order:
10 Alvina Street, Oakleigh South(DOC, 2MB)
In September 2017, Council received advice from VCAT regarding the proposed development at 10 Alvina Street (Oakleigh South), which is the former Clayton West Primary School site.
A hearing into this matter was heard at VCAT on 4 and 5 September, with Council arguing strongly against an amendment to the original proposal.
Council refused the original proposal as well as the amended plans that VCAT considered.
VCAT issued an Interim Order which required the developer to submit amended plans to the Tribunal by 20 November 2017, reflecting three key changes that VCAT believes should be made to the proposed Development Plan.
These changes relate to the location of an area of communal open space, and the siting and provision of a new access way to two groups of housing within the overall Plan.
In this Order, VCAT has indicated that it supports the proposed Development Plan, subject to these three changes being made.
Amended plans to comply with the three changes were lodged with Council on Tuesday 21 November 2017. A written response to these amended plans is required to be sent to VCAT by Monday 4 December 2017.
Please view the Interim Order here: VCAT Order on 10 Alvina Street, Oakleigh South(DOC, 1MB)
Following the issuing of the interim order, Council resolved at its 31 October meeting that:
1. It remains disappointed that VCAT has supported the proposed development for this site
2. Stands by its decision that the proposed development is inappropriate in this context of a quiet residential area
3. Write to the Minister for Planning:
- expressing Council's disappointment in seeing an inappropriate development approved in this method
- highlighting that no changes to the working of the Development Plan Overlay to address the issue of tree retention have been forthcoming since the Minister for Planning's letter to Council in March 2017
- acknowledges that the Development Plan Overlay was introduced by the previous Government, but nevertheless disagrees with the removal of residents' basic legal rights to appeal and
- expressing its disappointment at the the entire process that has been undertaken since the sale of the land was first proposed, noting its significant impacts on local residents in the area.
4. Continue to advocate to the State Government for the proceeds from the sale of the former school site to be reinvested back in to the local community
5. Acknowledges the extraordinary effort put in by concerned local residents in their quest to fight against the development and the large number of responses to Council's community consultation.
Council argued strongly against a proposal for an amended development plan at 10 Alvina Street (Oakleigh South) at a hearing before VCAT.
At its August 2017 meeting, Council resolved to not approve the submitted Development Plan, citing the following grounds for concern:
- the plan does not satisfy the requirements and decision guidelines of Schedule 5 to the Development Plan overlay
- the plan poorly integrates with the neighbourhood character
- the scale and density of the plan is excessive
- the plan does not provide for appropriate inclusion and retention of existing vegetation
- the plan is inconsistent with Council's Residential Development and Character Policy.
The developer appealed to VCAT against Council's refusal of the original proposal in September 2015.
This means that VCAT will now be the body that decides on whether the proposal goes ahead. The VCAT hearing commenced on Monday 4 September 2017, occurring over two days.
Please also see the urban design assessment prepared by David Lock Associates, on behalf of Council: Expert Urban Design Evidence report(PDF, 8MB)
The applicant will seek to rely on the following expert evidence reports at the VCAT hearing:
Statement of Evidence - Planning(PDF, 1MB)
Statement of Evidence - Traffic Engineering Assessment(PDF, 13MB)
Statement of Evidence - Arboricultural Report(PDF, 1MB)
Statement of Evidence - Landscape Architectural Report(PDF, 101KB)
Statement of Evidence - Arboricultural Issues(PDF, 554KB)
Lansdscape Plan(PDF, 5MB)
Amended Development Plan
An amended development plan proposal was circulated as part of the developer's appeal to VCAT. Council sought community views on the amended proposal until Wednesday 16 August 2017.
A total of 457 submissions against the proposal were received by Council, which were taken into account as part of the consideration process.
Council has considered two separate development plan applications for this site, both of which were refused by Council. The amended plans relate to the first application for 108 two and three storey dwellings.
The key changes in the amended plans are:
- Total number of dwellings reduced from 108 to 96 and increased diversity in housing types proposed.
- The development now consists of 2 x 2 bedroom townhouses each provided with 1 car space, 76 x 3 bedroom townhouses and 18 x 4 bedroom dwellings, each provided with 2 car spaces.
- A total of 22 kerb side visitor car spaces are proposed throughout the internal road network.
- One additional tree rated as having moderate retention value is proposed to be retained (located in rear yard of Lot 50). In total 5 of the existing trees are proposed to be retained on the site including 3 with high retention value and 2 with moderate retention value.
Please note that the second development plan application for the site which proposed 88 dwellings on the site was refused by Council in January 2017. In this instance, the applicant did not appeal Council’s decision and this proposal will not proceed.
Full details of the amended proposal are available below:
Statement of Changes(PDF, 57KB)
Updated Development Plan - part 1 (Project Summary)(PDF, 3MB)
Updated Development Plan - part 2a (Urban Context and Site Analysis)(PDF, 20MB)
Updated Development Plan - part 2b (Urban Context and Site Analysis)(PDF, 5MB)
Updated Development Plan - part 3 (Design Evolution and Response)(PDF, 12MB)
Updated Development Plan - part 4 (Drawings)(PDF, 6MB)
Landscape Plan(PDF, 5MB)
Arborist Report(PDF, 310KB)
Landfill Gas Risk Assessment(PDF, 7MB)
Traffic Engineering Assessment(PDF, 8MB)
The application documents are also available to view at the Clayton Community Centre (9-15 Cooke Street, Clayton) and the Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley).
Second proposal - rejected January 2017
In January 2017, Council rejected a second proposed development plan for the former Clayton West Primary School site in Alvina Street (Oakleigh South). Council sought extensive community feedback and received a total of 369 submissions about the proposal.
The first application was refused by Council in September 2015 and is now to be decided upon by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The developer was clearly exploring all options available to them, with the second proposed plan submitted to Council to consider separately.
In its January 2017 decision, Council determined that the scale and density of the second proposed development plan was excessive, and that the development was not in keeping with the neighbourhood's existing character.
VCAT hearing about original proposal
The original development plan for this site was submitted to Council in 2015. More than 210 local residents objected to the plan and it was refused by Council. For more information, see Council media release: Development plans for school sites refused.
The developer appealed against Council's decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and these proceedings are still ongoing. VCAT has scheduled a practice day hearing for 17 February 2017. The purpose of the practice day hearing is to:
- consider the future conduct of the proceeding including consideration of dates, duration; compulsory conference and/or venue and
- ascertain the current status of the application.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the practice day hearing, which will be held at VCAT (55 King Street, Melbourne).
Supreme Court decision about vegetation
In early 2016, the developer also appealed to the Supreme Court in relation to the vegetation on the site.
The developer appealed after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruled that 32 mature trees could not be removed from the site.
VCAT ruled that the developer's plan for tree removal didn’t comply with the site's Development Plan Overlay, as the overlay requires a landscaping plan that incorporates significant vegetation including any moderate and high value trees.
Council engaged a barrister to represent Council and community views at the Supreme Court hearing on 19 August 2016.
On 20 December 2016, the Supreme Court handed down its decision:
Supreme Court Decision - Alvina Street school site(PDF, 1MB)
Unfortunately, the court ordered that the Development Plan Overlay be interpreted to mean that not all moderate and high value trees are required to be shown as retained on the Development Plan.
The court found that the wording of the Development Plan Overlay requires the developer to consider what significant vegetation is to be retained on the site under a proposed Development Plan, but does not require all moderate and high value trees to be specifically retained.
Second Proposed Development Plan
The key differences between the second proposal and the original proposal can be summarised as:
- A reduction in the number of dwellings proposed, from 108 to 88 dwellings
- Retention of all existing trees and vegetation rated as being of high or moderate value
- Modified dwelling footprint/layout
- Modified road and pedestrian path layout.
Here are the documents associated with the second development plan:
Development Plan Report (including Appendix A)(PDF, 2MB)
Appendix B - Planning Property Report(PDF, 112KB)
Appendix C - Proposed Development Plan (Part 1)(PDF, 5MB)
Appendix C - Proposed Development Plan (Part 2 - Architectural-Statement)(PDF, 2MB)
Appendix C - Proposed Development Plan (Part 3 - Urban Context and Site Analysis)(PDF, 17MB)
Appendix C - Proposed-Development Plan (Part 4)(PDF, 6MB)
Appendix C - Proposed Development Plan (Part-5)(PDF, 10MB)
Appendix D - Indicative Floor Plans(PDF, 2MB)
Appendix E - Landscape Plan(PDF, 6MB)
Appendix F - Traffic Engineering Assessment(PDF, 2MB)
Appendix G - Arborist Report(PDF, 502KB)
Appendix H - Report on Environmental Due Diligence Review and Advice(PDF, 18MB)
Appendix I - Land Fill Gas Risk Assessment(PDF, 7MB)
General architectural theme(PDF, 879KB)
Further advice letter from applicant(PDF, 1MB)
Arboricultural Assessment Report (prepared for State Government)(PDF, 2MB)
The plans can also be viewed in person if you visit the Oakleigh Service Centre (3 Atherton Rd) or the Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley).
In 2014, the former State Government rezoned the site to Residential and placed a Development Plan Overlay on the site. The site was then sold.
The land owner then submitted a Development Plan to Council which provided a broad master plan for how they proposed the site be used and developed. Council consulted with the community about the Development Plan and ultimately decided to refuse the plan.
The former State Government's decision to place a Development Plan Overlay on the site reduced the rights of residents to object to development on the site. It is for this reason that Council asked the former State Government to reconsider its decision to impose a Development Plan Overlay on the site. However, the former State Government proceeded to sell the site with a Development Plan Overlay in place.
Original Development Plan
Here is the original Development Plan which Council refused at its 29 September 2015 Council meeting:
Applicant Letter(PDF, 2MB)
Planning Report(PDF, 4MB)
Covenant (1003630)(PDF, 137KB)
Covenant (980547)(PDF, 424KB)
Master Plan Illustration(PDF, 2MB)
Mass Diagrams (heights and setbacks)(PDF, 4MB)
3D image(PDF, 260KB)
Arborist Report(PDF, 499KB)
Landscape Plan(PDF, 4MB)
Site Analysis(PDF, 3MB)
Site Layout(PDF, 2MB)
Site Layout Indicative Dwelling(PDF, 6MB)
Street Section Examples(PDF, 1MB)
Traffic Report(PDF, 4MB)
Waste Management Plan(PDF, 70KB)