Well Thiele St Doncaster, and it’s 50 apartments / four storey proposal had it’s practice day a VCAT last Friday. All told about 15 minutes, after sitting trough a couple of others at 10am.
The VCAT member checked that the developer, the council, and the unhappy residents were present, then asked if we were all will to have a mediation day.
Mediation is where the two disagreeing parties meet for three hours and try to come to an agreement. There is an arbitrator from VCAT, who will not make decisions, just help with the negotiations.
The member was quite keen for mediation, and all parties agreed to partake. The developer’s lawyer, ( the same one that handled the Curlew court 5-7 case for the same developers,) thought it important to point out that several people on the objectors list were from a residents group, and that some how had immediate weighing on the validity of the case. fortunately the member paid no attention to it. The developers lawyer also wanted to change the mailing address for us, to achieve what I do not know, but that was refused. I found the VCAT member open to discussion and questions about how much we could expect to achieve at mediation – worthy of asking for clarification on items if you are ever there. The other thing the developer wanted was more detail on our issues, so that they can be specifically addressed, which we agreed to do. In this case it was the neighbors that took the developer to VCAT. The developer then paid to have the case listed as a major project case, and thus jumped the queue to be heard. Practice day within 3 months, Mediation within 4, Hearing within 5 months.