Public Statement – 173 Burke Road development

The owners of 173 Burke Road Glen Iris are seeking to fast track an application for the site’s development by applying directly to the Department of Transport and Planning, following a refusal by the City of Stonnington in 2021, which was upheld on appeal at VCAT.

The original planning application proposed a large six-storey building with a full-size Woolworths supermarket and bottle shop at ground floor and 83 apartments above. It did not include affordable housing.

The application was refused by Council in October 2021 on the grounds that the building was an overdevelopment of the site, was unreasonably massive and bulky and would result in unacceptable car parking and traffic impacts. Many local residents were opposed to the proposal, with Council receiving a record 198 objections from the community.

VCAT overturned the applicant’s appeal at a 12-day hearing, agreeing with Council and finding that the loss of on-street car parking and traffic issues were not acceptable, and that the built form was not respectful of the local context.

The applicant’s revised application to Government includes a five-storey building incorporating a supermarket, food and drink premises and 54 apartments, with six affordable housing units to be built on adjoining land at 28 Hope Street.

“The applicant has ignored the decision of Council and VCAT and sought to avoid the need to engage with a justifiably concerned community by applying directly to the Planning Minister,” Stonnington Mayor, Cr Joe Gianfriddo, said.

“Council’s expert planners work closely with our community to deliver the best outcomes and this application presented a number of unacceptable amenity impacts for local residents.

“Council’s refusal of the original application was vindicated by VCAT’s decision.

“The revised application lodged directly to the State Government, effectively cuts Council out of any decision and removes our ability to advocate effectively for our community and residents.”

Cr Gianfriddo also said that while Council would be asked to provide feedback on the proposal to Government, this feedback will be limited.

“Council does not have the resources required to undertake a full assessment on referred planning applications and will not receive any application fees to offset any costs, which is another reason why we are disappointed in this approach,” he said.

/Public Release. View in full here.