San Remo,

VCAT Rejects Keams Land Subdivision

The Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal recently determined to issue a refusal for the subdivision of the Keams Land at Panorama Drive, San Remo.

The initial proposal included subdivision of the land into 145 residential lots ranging in size from 238sqm to 994sqm, retaining an area of native vegetation as a 2.03ha conservation reserve surrounded by internal roads.

Having received more than 60 objections to the subdivision, Council considered that the proposal was not an appropriate response to the site and that the key features and constraints of the site had not been fully considered in the proposed subdivision. The assessment of the application also revealed that it was inconsistent with the provisions of the State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks

Council’s Planning and Environment Director, Hannah Duncan-Jones, said VCAT raised a number of issues with the development design in reaching its determination.

“This included not enough consideration given to the physical characteristics of the site. The experts engaged in the application process also weren’t provided with an opportunity to have input into the subdivision design or layout, but rather requested to provide comment,” Ms Duncan-Jones said.

“On this basis, VCAT decided the proposed subdivision wasn’t acceptable and didn’t reflect directions provided under the Bass Coast Planning Scheme in relation to topography, high conservation significance of the native vegetation, road and pedestrian connections, drainage, residential interface, local character or impacts on views to and from the coast.”

Ms Duncan-Jones said the hearing was also attended by nine residents from San Remo.

“Residents need to be commended for their active involvement and commitment in the matter,” Ms Duncan-Jones said.

Cr Bradley Drew also complimented the community on their commitment to San Remo.

“While there was the option for residents to attend for only part of the hearing, all remained for the entire duration taking time from their employment and making arrangements to stay in Melbourne.

"During the hearing, all made statements and were involved in the cross examination of witnesses. I believe that the commitment of the community was a significant contributing factor in the Tribunal's decision,” Cr Drew said.

“I’d also like to acknowledge Council’s Planning Department and the way they got behind the opposition to the inappropriate development. They put together a very strong representative team for the people at Bass Coast Shire and due to that, we’ve got what we believe is a very good outcome.

"It is clear that this land is suitable for development and I look forward to receiving a proposal that positively responds to the site and character of San Remo.”