Jackson Court Mitchell St Proposal Info night

Some updates  from Graham around the Mitchell St / Jackson court Supermarket, and residential development information night. The development  requires a Planning Zone change to achieve the height & design of the project .
Five Levels – 19 meters, with town houses & homes adjoining on the west side See Map image
At tonight’s info session  (Wed Nov 20th 2013)  there were objectors (from Lord St) and June and I .
Councillor  Dot Haynes was there as she, with councillor  McLeish are the only councillors opposing this proposal.
It appeared those from Lord St were basically concerned about car parking, traffic congestion excessive height of the building and requesting what the council could do about it in the planning permit conditions to address this.  They seemed to accept it is a forgone conclusion it will go ahead.  We are aiming for the zone change not to go ahead then no planning  permit, hence the direction of my comments so far.
The applicant’s designer/ planner, Phillip Borelli, from SJB Planning , gave the overview.  Very typical, what are your issues and we can fix it or already addressed in the design, not even recognising it as a money making exercise to justify the supermarket.
We need to emphasise this proposal is just not appropriate for this residential zone and need everyone’s support / objection.
Manningham City Council, Amendment C95, seeking approval to rezone 3- 11 Mitchell St Doncaster East from a Residential 1 Zone to a Mixed Use Zone with an associated Planning Permit Application PL11/021966


  1. Doris Tran says:

    Fewer Supermarkets will be required in the future as consumer behaviour changes with the mushrooming of online opportunity and the increase in costs of operation etc. Accordingly, over the medium to long term we will see significant downsizing of supermarket portfolios. This will vary markedly depending on the retailers category but reductions by as much as 30% are foreseeable during the next decade.

    There is no certainty that any agreement, to retain a supermarket in the proposed amendment, will endure if it is not viable. The deterioration in its patronage was the main reason Woolworths made the decision to depart the centre in the first place which had also contributed to Manningham council withdrawing its court action in support for the Aldi supermarket proposal to replace it. Except for the period during the closure of Westfield shopping centre while it was being refurbished, customer numbers at the Woolworth store had been in a steady decline.

    Foodworks, who require a land area of at least 300sqm for a standalone store might be the answer here. They have a “one stop” store in Doncaster Road, Greythorn with an area of approximately 350 sqm which services a much wider purchaser catchment than that of the Jackson Court area. If market forces were to dictate, that a supermarket of this size would be viable in Jackson Court, then there is ample opportunity for consolidation of similar sites in the areas already zoned for its use.

    Councillor Town Planner, Stephen O’Brien, who spoke for the amendment at the August council meeting, stated that supermarkets don’t work without added components, (such as apartments, restaurants and reception etc) which was misleading, the reality is that a large percentage throughout Melbourne are standalone. Geoff Gough, who was a councillor and Mayor during the period, asserted that council had spent millions, before withdrawing their support for the Aldi standalone supermarket, was totally incorrect. Ratepayers had actually contributed a total of $168,372.
    Councillor Paul Mcleish, who spoke eloquently, made a good point, before being rudely challenged, when speaking against the amendment. He had asserted correctly that if the minister approved it would be tantamount to approval of both the rezoning and the issue of a planning permit.


    Doris Tran

  2. Nancy Chua. says:

    Council officers had raised a number of specific concerns regarding the floor area and about who was to manage the supermarket. They had written to the proponent several times requesting details since January this year but surprisingly have received no response.
    A councillor, who was acting more like an advocate for the proponent, wanted the amendment process brought forward, was not prepared to wait until a operator/tenant had been identified.
    I am astounded that Council did not require a study on the current viability of a supermarket, particularly since the only report available was conducted more than five years ago, before the refurbishment of Coles at Tunstall Square and prior to the expansion of the Westfield shopping centre.
    Nancy Chua

  3. John K says:

    We could have a situation where this amendment is given the green light by the State Planning Authority with the applicant still unable to find a supermarket operator agreeable to the terms of the lease. Council officers had expressed concern in preliminary discussions and again in their August report. They were unable to obtain economic analysis from the proponent to support the proposal and to address any potential impact on other centres. It was also noted there would be difficulty in restricting the retail space for supermarket use in the long term and that the applicant could appeal such mechanisms, such as provision of a section 173 Agreement, to Planning Panels Victoria and/or VCAT. The unchecked use of this space for other retail activities could have unintended implications for other retail uses within the Jackson Court Shopping Centre and potentially other Neighbourhood Activity Centres.

    John K.

  4. Anonym says:

    Whilst I am in favour of a supermarket, any development, in which it is to be located, must be consistent with proper planning principles and conform to the intent of the Manningham Planning Scheme. The proposed height of 19 metres, abutting 9 metre high residences on its rear western boundary, surely does not. Even the council officer’s suggestion that a height of 13.5 metres might be acceptable is still regarded as exceptional. Councillors should take note that the majority of high density planned on the boundary of the Doncaster Hill Activity Centre have prescribed heights of 14.5 metres and use the 15 metre wide side streets as buffers to separate them from the surrounding lower scale residential areas.

  5. Marg and Jeff says:

    The owner can apply to VCAT for an amendment to, or the complete removal of, the 173 agreement from the title of the development. The Tribunal may approve it’s deletion if it considers that the owner should not be subject to any further liability under the agreement if it deems it no longer appropriate. It would be difficult to maintain the agreement if the supermarket proved to be impractical over time. Though there will always be a demand for “bricks and mortar” stores, they will decline with the onset of the more convenient online shopping. The purchasing of non-perishable food in Australia will continue to increase over the next decade as the obstacles that had plagued it earlier have now been removed. If we go back to 12 years ago when this was all relatively new, people were very concerned about using their credit card details online which has proven to be just a lack of familiarity. Shoppers can now get the majority of non-perishable items they need online without having to leave home and run the traffic and parking gauntlet.
    Marg and Jeff

  6. Warren says:

    The “Spot Rezoning” requested is not preferred since it smacks of favouritism and is usually detrimental to the amenity of neighbouring properties which have all complied with the existing zoning.
    The difficulty for the applicant here is that the state authority cannot base a rezoning decision on commercial grounds (e.g. a perceived demand or a competitive disadvantage) any more than they would consider a neighbouring owner’s objection claiming a loss of property value.
    The authority is asked to accommodate a sole private interest by rezoning a parcel of land in return for the owner offering to enter into a 173 agreement with the local council, (which can be amended or removed on appeal), to dedicate and maintain an area within the redevelopment for the exclusive use of a supermarket, even though these conditions have not been applied before in other similarly zoned parcels.
    The applicant has not produced any current study supporting a demand nor has there been an assessment on the impact of the two major liquor stores or the future viability of the Green Grocer, the Butcher and the Bakery, which have all made investments to cater for the increased trade created by the departure of Woolworths, if the supermarket was to proceed.

  7. Regan says:

    Council may change the amendment as requested by submitters; or refer the submissions to an Independent Panel appointed by the Minister of Planning; or abandon the Amendment or part of the Amendment.
    This is an unusual situation where councillors have resolved to reject their own planning officer’s advice and endorse the applicant’s claim, that if the area for a supermarket had to be provided within the development, the mixed use rezoning would have to prescribe a height of 19 metres in order to make the project commercially viable despite there being no evidence submitted to support this assertion. (Government panels rarely make a recommendation based on viability anyway). If it goes before an independent panel, and a mixed use zone is recommended, it is more likely that the height of the building will be limited to 13.5 metres as advised by council officers. If these circumstances were to occur it could create a dilemma for the councillors, who voted and spoke so strongly for the 19 metre proposal, on whether to endorse the panel’s support of officer’s recommendations, consult the applicant or walk away..


  8. Friend of Jackson says:

    What does the applicant want in return for providing an area for a supermarket within the proposed development? A rezoning of the land for a mixed use and the approval of a building 19 metres high, equivalent to a 6-7 storey apartment development, 5 times the height of any other in or surrounding the area of Jackson Court, and all that is possible on the subject land in accordance with what would be permissible under the existing residential zoning. i.e. Allowing 65 apartments on the applicants land area of 3,661m2 is equal to the average land area per apartment in developments so far permitted in sub-precinct A of the DDO8, (55m2 -60m2) PLUS a large conference centre/reception area, a licensed restaurant and the added burden on the neighbourhood centre to accommodate the associated traffic and parking conflict this overdevelopment will generate. We would all like an independent medium sized supermarket but surely not at such a high cost.
    Friend of Jackson

  9. David of Elizabeth Street says:

    There are suggestions that Manningham Council might have provided a favorable passage for this application to the detriment of adjacent residents in sub-precinct A who were reassured by councils submission and the panel recommendations contained in amendment C96.
    The August 2013 council report indicated that the developer had proposed the mixed use rezoning of the Mitchell Street land as far back as October 2011 but curiously it was decided not to make a submission to the C96 panel hearing held earlier this year.
    It is my understanding that the applicant was advised not to seek the amendment till after the amendment C96 had been processed since the mixed use rezoning and the increased height requested would have been contrary to council’s own submission, re the development of sub-precinct A, to the government C96 panel.

    This amendment will now be officially recorded as C95, and not C97 as you would expect, apparently to give the impression it had preceded the processing of amendment C96. Councillors have now approved the processing of amendment C95 to amend amendment 96 which they themselves had only just unanimously endorsed in May this year!………Phew!
    David of Elizabeth Street

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