Thursday, April 26, 2018

IGA developers take council to VCAT

David Lee November 29, 2017
REDEVELOPMENT ROAD BLOCK... The developers for the new Fairleys IGA redevelopment are taking Greater Shepparton City Council to VCAT. Photo: David Lee.

REDEVELOPMENT ROAD BLOCK… The developers for the new Fairleys IGA redevelopment are taking Greater Shepparton City Council to VCAT. Photo: David Lee.

SHEPPARTON Pty Ltd, the developers for the new IGA shopping centre have lodged a case with VCAT that it hopes will allow it to move forward with development plans, following Greater Shepparton City Council’s decision to refuse the proposed Stage 2 plans. Council also passed a motion at the recent council meeting to provide Shepparton Pty Ltd with just six months leeway before Lascorp’s proposed development could possibly move forward 400m down the road.

Fairleys SUPA IGA Shepparton general/operations manager, Len Morabito said, “The Greater Shepparton City Council has carried a motion at its recent meeting that recommended to review the progress of the redevelopment of Hawkins Street and Numurkah Road in six month’s time. The recommendation flies in the face of a recent Planning Panel Victoria recommendation that the review period should be a full year and that council should then approve the development subject to its milestone attainment, not re-appraise it.

“At the same meeting, council refused the Stage 2 development plans for the same site. The integrity of the first motion seems to be undermined by the council’s own development refusal motion.

“This refusal comes after there are no objectors. A commercial objector did lodge a submission but withdrew it.

“Still the council cannot find a way to approve a development which accommodates the best outcome for north Shepparton as identified by council’s own two economic consultants used in a recent Planning Panel Victoria Hearing and the Panel’s Report itself on how to deal with planning growth issues in north Shepparton.

“Despite this collision course from council, it appears to have left its run too late.

“By failing to issue the decision until after the recent council meeting it has opened the door for more planning costs to be incurred and inflicted on the community as it will now have to defend its inaction at a Major Cases VCAT Hearing which has already been lodged by the Hawkins Street developer, Shepparton Pty Ltd.

“The developer has sought the involvement of VCAT, the independent planning umpire, to intervene in the absence of a council decision to determine and approve the redevelopment at this site.

“The recent Planning Panels Victoria report for the northern section of Shepparton had earlier made recommendations to re-position the development on the site and the developer has indicated that it is amenable to make these changes and confirms that they will encompass a second full line supermarket on-site.

“This is also in accord with the Council’s Economic Strategy, which acknowledged that two full line supermarkets, plus supporting specialty shops, on this site is the best outcome for the community.

“The developer is now forced to go to VCAT to have this best outcome for the community approved.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Acting Direct Sustainable Development, Colin Kalms said, “Council was ultimately disappointed with the panel report because it didn’t really give clear and definitive decisions and just gave council options on how it deals with it.

“Council had a report in for consideration to refuse Stage 2 application prior to the council meeting. What happened was that when our report went live on council’s website, IGA lodged failure to determine at VCAT. This lodgement was for two parts, the first being for the Stage 1 amendments to the plans, which we were going to approve, (subject to IGA agreeing to their contribution to the funding of the upgrading of Hawkins Street intersection with signals and drainage). The second was for the refusal of Stage 2, but due to the VCAT hearing council was not able to make that decision, however had council been able to make a decision on the application, their decision would have been to refuse the Stage 2 application.

“Council adopted the amendments to C192 as according to the panel’s recommendations. As for C193, council accepted part one, but with part two, council resolved to give Shepparton Pty Ltd six months to get a commitment from another supermarket tenant and that that tenant needs to be open within a two year period.

“The panel report gave options. One was to do the structure planning process, which we believe was already done and the other option given to council was to get 18 Pty Ltd (as the developers were known then) to provide a commitment to obtain a committed and signed tenant for a second supermarket within the six month period, which failing this the panel considers the Lascorp rezoning and permit an application should be approved and permitted.

“If they do find a tenant, then C193 part two will be resubmitted to council for a decision, and if not, the CEO has the delegation to adopt C193 part 2 and forward that to the minister for approval.”