Manningham changed permit from 150 to 273 apartments without public disclosure !

Should they be able to?    Well they did it!

Council are processing an application to amend an existing permit at 642-648 Doncaster Road (the adjacent corner to the Pinnacle) that proposes to increase the apartment tally from 150 to 273. We would not have known had we not spotted it on the Planning Register via the Manningham Council Website.

Directions on how to access the planning register are available on this website FAQ

Whilst it may not be in your area of concern it is important to note, that should the amendment be endorsed, it will set a precedent where future permits can be similarly altered without public scrutiny.

This Major change to an existing Permit,  where no signage was erected on site, only one neighboring property was advised,  and where Council are empowered to determine whether or not it is in the public interest to publicise a proposed amendment.

The site is approx. 4000m2, with the proposed 273 apartments it represents a ratio of land area per dwelling of only 14.6m2.

The Pinnacle development, nearing completion, on the adjacent corner of Frederick Street, has a site area of 5136m2.with 158 apartments, a density ratio of 32.5m2

Not only are we objecting to the overdevelopment of the site but the manner in which it is being processed.

Objections will be accepted by emailing  or writing to the planning department Manningham Council, 699 Doncaster Road Doncaster. We need as many people as possible to lodge an objection , hoping you can help.

You can quote 642-648 Doncaster Road, DONCASTER VIC 3108

Proposed Use or Development  Amendment to permit PL10/012606 (issued for develop and use the site for an eleven storey building containing 150 apartments restricted retail office and a café with 3 levels of basement car parking.) by alteration to permit preamble and various permit conditions , to allow an increase in dwellings from 150 to 273 within the existing approved building envelope and enclosing the central void between the current two-tower design. PL01/012606.01    lodged 27/10/2011


  1. Edwin O'Flynn says:

    The discovery of yet another planning deception adds to the opinion that there are people in the community that are working harder than our elected representatives.
    The Mayor (on $69,000 per year)distances himself from the community by not answering phone calls or emails. The comments that he makes at council meetings shows that he does not investigate in depth the situations that are cause for concerns.
    He is happy to endorse actions recommended by staff that are contrary to the wishes of the community. And he has a personal assistant.

    It is understandable that candidates for the next election are reluctant to show their hand at this time.
    There are better people sitting in the gallery at council meetings.
    Put your hand up when the time comes.

  2. Ming says:

    I echo Edwin’s comments. I would like to share my objections to this Amendment and (more importantly) how it has been processed without any public knowledge when the community material interests are at stack. Working for something (earn a living) or nothing (volunteers) come with responsibility, representing people (regardless the actual remuneration) comes with a huge responsibility. In this instance, only a transparent process allows the ratepayers to judge if discharge of respective responsibilities in making such an important planning decision has the firm legal, professionally competent, ethical, moral ground with NO material detriment to ALL.

    Planning Officer
    Manningham Council, 699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster 3108
    Sent via Eamil:
    Dear Planning Officer:
    REF: Objections to 642-648 Doncaster Road Development Amendment
    I am writing hereby to lodge my objections to the said Amendment and the non-existing consultation process in regard the evaluation and documented impact on material interests of residents within the close proximity of the development site as well as the wider community.
    1. It is evident that Council Delegate made decision not to inform the community about the approval to this Amendment solely because in his/her opinion there will cause no material detriment to (among other interest parties) (a) nearby properties and (b) the community.
    2. As the decision was made on behalf of the residents and the community, the Council Delegate must document and communicate properly these material interests of the nearby properties/residents and the wider community and how they derive the conclusion of no effect on ALL the material interests of our local residents.
    3. Material detriments to the Residents can be direct, indirect and consequential. Consider the significant changes in this Amendment from the original planning submission (including an unsustainable 80% increase on the already large number of apartments proposed, and further alterations to local road and traffic routes/patterns), it is impossible to determine by the Council Delegate alone, or for the Council Delegate to discharge his/her responsibility per the Planning and Environmental Act and Local Government Act properly and diligently without due consultation of the actual stakeholders, the nearby properties and The community.
    4. There are many instances of real and perceived material detriment to the residents in the nearby properties and the wider community. the Council Delegate cannot make decision alone without due consultation and evaluation. I list here examples of material detriments, caused by this Amendment and facilitated by imprudent council decision making process:

    (a) If this Amendment were accepted without prudent and transparent process and consultation, it sets precedence for all development applications when developers can simply put in a very substantial development in staged “amendments”. If this is allowed to happen, the material detriment to the entire community will be very significant and ongoing, let alone the possibility of corruption and unethical behaviours that can be left unchallenged;
    (b) To simply increase number of apartments from 150 to 273 will almost certainly affect many criteria in which the basis the original application was approved (if the due process has been followed in the first place). It is critical to openly re-evaluate these factors as well as identify and address additional issues resulting from this Amendment to the community and nearby properties,
    (c) When the barrier is removed, the increase in parking and traffic generated by this proposal will be a further detriment to the amenity and safety of residents not just in the direct affected streets such as Frederick Street and Clay Drive, but all nearby residents who use streets like Frank and Eildon Street for access to Tram Road, or others to Doncaster Road. The road accidents and safety are already a major concern to the residents in this area (just to check the increase in road accidents in this area in the past 24 months!!). With a sudden increase of yet another 80% of residents in one development alone, how the council can assure the residents there is no material detriment?
    (d) If this Amendment were approved without due diligence, it will more than double the intensity of the Pinnacle development on the adjacent corner. This leads two significant questions for the Planning Department to answer (a) just like all existing residents, the future residents in these new but already built apartments nearby must be consulted. This is because when people brought the apartments while ago, the representation from the council in regard nearby developments and density is significantly different today. How material detriment for these nearby residents is understood and assessed? (b) If this development can double the intensity of existing equivalent developments without proper procedure and consultation, what exact the planning measures the Council has in place to deal with future developments that can be doubled yet again on this Amendment. Will the Council approve all future Amendments without proper consultation? If not, what make this Amendment so unique to any equivalent development scale and is deemed a consultation unnecessary?
    Unless the Council Planning Department can document and prove to the community, we object this Amendment and the way how Council Delegate discharges his/her responsibility on behalf of the ratepayers, the key stakeholders of the decision making process. It is highly unusual for the Planning Department to restrict public knowledge on how such an important matter is handled while making representation on public material interests. Because of such a significant development with fundamental changes in scope, we have every right to ask and expect answers on why our material interests have been misrepresented and/or ignored for the sole benefits and material interests of the developers.

    Best regards,

  3. Barbara C. says:

    I totally agree with Ming’s comments.
    The decision not to adopt the usual notification process by not placing a sign on the block and writing to residents has raised concerns at council’s independence. Just last month, an application to amend an existing permit containing only 28 apartments at 86-88 Tram Road (permit number 021380) was required to adhere to the full procedure by erecting two signs and notifying the local community. We have just been sent the amended traffic report re the above which indicates that 248 of the 273 apartments proposed will not have visitor car parking (item 4.2). It also shows that other areas of use within the proposal have either not been assessed correctly or remain unspecified which has led to a significant under supply of the proposal’s car parking requirements. As far as we know there was no application for a car parking dispensation with the application to amend the existing permit (number 12606). The main criterion for the granting of a parking reduction is an alternate supply of on-street and public off-street parking areas adjacent to the proposal which do not exist. It is our understanding that the presentation of the amendment application to councillors made no mention of the parking deficiency. As an indication of how serious the parking problem on Doncaster Hill is in busy periods, four large areas of privately owned land are being used to accommodate the area’s car parking over spill at Tower Street, Grosvenor Street,Whittens Lane Corner and 642 Doncaster road
    If this development was to proceed, the 160 car spaces currently available on this site, (642 Doncaster Road) will be displaced.

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