Media Release, 13 April 2005
On 31 March 2005, the Minister for Planning recommended to the Governor in Council to allow a Planning Permit for Northcote Plaza.
“The Planning Application for Northcote Plaza proposes the construction of two multi-level buildings, one of ten storeys and one of eight storeys accommodating a total of 116 dwellings,” said Darebin Mayor, Cr Diana Asmar.
“The application also proposes alterations and additions to the existing shopping centre to provide additional shops, and a three level basement car park,” she said.”
The Governor in Council decided in accordance with the recommendation of the Minister and has directed Council to issue the Permit.
“The City of Darebin has sough legal advice as to whether an appeal can be lodged against the decision to approve the proposal. Council originally refused the application in August 2003 after receiving 154 objections.”
“Our legal advice has made it clear that appeals can be lodged at the Supreme Court of Victoria on planning related matters only where there is an apparent error of law and our legal advice states there was no error of law in the Advisory Committee Report, or other documentation, to justify an appeal to the Supreme Court.”
“It is an important point that any appeal must be on a point of law, rather than a planning judgement,” Cr Asmar said.
“The City of Darebin disagrees with the decision to approve the application and stands by the decision made in 2003 that the development, as now approved, is not appropriate for that location.”
“Council disagrees with the findings of the Advisory committee and is disappointed that the Minister for Planning chose to recommend to the Governor in Council that the development be allowed.”
“However, given that Council has strong legal advice that an appeal to the Supreme Court would not be successful, and that the costs to ratepayers would be in the order of $300,000 to run an unsuccessful appeal, Council will not be pursuing an appeal to the Supreme Court and will issue the Planning Permit as directed.”
“While we acknowledging the State Government’s Melbourne 2030 policy for development in Activity Centres such as Northcote, the City of Darebin remains committed to opposing inappropriate development, and will continue to pursue planning controls that protect the valued character of Darebin.”
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Media EnquiriesTrisha LoveManager, Communications & Public AffairsPh: (03) 9230 4603