Councillors are expected to endorse council officers recommendation NOT to approve the three storey contemporary building at 51-53 Beverley Street, East Doncaster at next Tuesday’s council meeting on the 29th of March. NOT because of it’s failure to meet the Objectives and Standards of Precinct 2 Sub-Precinct A of Clause 21.05 (Residential) of the Manningham Planning Scheme or that it exceeds the two storey built form, the desired building form sought by Sub-Precinct A where the minimum lot size cannot be met (1,800 sqm), but because officers want only minor changes to plan, known to be acceptable to the applicant and later negotiated in private without scrutiny.

Icon for application/pdf Planning Application PL15 025029 for 51-53 Beverley Street Doncaster East – Report

Icon for application/pdf Planning Application PL15 025029 for 51-53 Beverley Street Doncaster East – Plans  

Three storey proposal "should" be two storeys Click to enlarge

This what you might call a CLAYTON”S, the refusal you give when your not wanting to refuse.  Chances are


it has already been discussed that with the applicant to remove the small roof feature as a compromise to try and show that council are acting in the community interest.

APPENDIX A   ……………Applicant’s submission for three storey

Three-storey, contemporary developments should only occur on land with a minimum area of 1800m  (The land area of the Beverley Street proposal only 1527m2) Where the land comprises more than one lot, the lots must be consecutive lots which are side by side and have a shared frontage. The area of 1800m2 must all be in the same sub-precinct. In this sub precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1800m2, a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys. All development in Sub-precinct A should have a maximum site coverage of 60 percent.

Here are the minor grounds listed for the refusal to issue a permit.

1. It is considered appropriate to refuse the application. The building design appears to have been predicated on a desire to maximise dwelling yield and floor area.

2. The overall architectural presentation is not suited to a local street such as this and the building will be bulky and quite dominating in this well established streetscape, especially due to the impacts from the sheer front walls and its lack of linear articulation.

3. The inclusion of a third floor has not provided any notable architectural contribution, but instead detracts from the streetscape and the amenity of neighbouring properties (increased building bulk), while roof-top screening will be a discordant visual element above the main roof line.

4. Internal amenity for future residents could most likely be improved by a more thoughtful design approach.

5. Parking access arrangements are constrained and there are insufficient landscaping opportunities across the rear and sides of the site. The proposed landscape/fencing treatment of the frontage is also unsatisfactory.

6. Objector concerns that the building will not “fit in” to this streetscape are




  1. Susan says:

    Council will not allow a three storey building of any kind because the land is less than 1800 m2 but will approve a two storey townhouse style development. This might not have been mentioned among the conclusion of grounds for refusal because it was already accepted as part of amendment 96. The plan will have to be changed to reflect this.

  2. Amelia Tang says:

    When they are reducing the plan to two storey council should consider allowing the development to retain the small roof terrace which would add some visual interest to the building. There is also plenty of scope in the 10 metre height limit to employ a tiled pitched roof and higher ceilings and still fit two storeys instead of the drab flat roof styles we see now which look more like warehouses.
    Amelia Tang

  3. Nick says:

    I thought the schedule was cut and dried after the C96 amendment. All that talk about achieving certainty in the DDO8, yet after wastimg so much time and money on two amendments, C50 and C96, we seem further away than ever. The height limit of up to 10 metres for a building of two storeys is ridiculous. My draftsman tells me, subject to site conditions, it would be possible to design a four storey contemporary building within the 10 metre height limit. If Vcat is asked to adjudicate they will approve this development and we will go back to where we were 10 years ago when small blocks were being overdeveloped.

  4. Warren Welsh says:

    I was one of several submitters who attended a meeting held at the Manningham Council offices on the eve of Good Friday to hear verbal submissions against the proposal at 51 Beverley Street. A submitter’s meeting is usually held a day or so before an ordinary council meeting held the following Tuesday, the last opportunity the public would have to voice their concerns before councillors vote on the matter. It was also the only chance the public would have to hear the developer’s response but unfortunately the developer did not attend which was very disappointing. Central to most submissions was the sheer bulk and height of the three storey proposal, its lack of respect for the neighbourhood character and the use of word “should” instead of “must” which makes a mockery of provisions in the Design and Development Overlay schedule 8 document.
    I had wanted to engage the developer and the planning officers on the subject because resident groups have repeatedly requested council to close the loopholes in the provisions because as it stands there is only is only one condition that can be regarded as mandatory in sub-precinct A and that is the maximum height of 10 metres which easily accommodates three storeys irrespective of the land area. Assuming councillors endorse the recommendation for refusal it is expected that the developer will appeal to Vcat and win because there is already a precedent set where Vcat have upheld an appeal in a similar case. Below are excerpts from from the hearing.

    “However, the design objectives in DDO8 fall short of saying that three-storey development cannot be contemplated. Rather, the DDO8 provisions which applies to the land sets a maximum height limit of 10 metres, a height which can readily accommodate three-storey buildings”. “The proposed dwellings are an example of how this can be achieved” “In the absence of a statutory control which effectively prohibits buildings higher than two storeys, it seems to me that where the planning scheme provides the discretion for higher buildings to be contemplated, then the Responsible Authority and this Tribunal standing in its shoes have an obligation to consider such proposals on their merits”. “It would be quite inappropriate to simply rule out buildings higher than two-storeys on the strength of a statement in a policy, when the statutory control provides otherwise”

    A similar argument submitted by the proponent’s consultant re Beverley Street below:

    “With regard to Council’s policy position regarding three storey development only being supported in Sub precinct A, where the minimum 1,800m2 lot size is met, the particular point to be made is that the support of two storey development in this case is not a mandatory control and that council has the procedural freedom to determine that a development with a three storey component can be approved on this site”
    “In this sub-precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1,800m2, a townhouse style development proposal only will be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys. All development in Sub-precinct A should have a maximum site coverage of 60%”.

    “The language, after careful consideration, through and including the panel process, has been kept as “should” rather than “most” and does not therefore create a prohibition on three storey components of a development in sub-precinct A. (Even if it did, the efficacy of using the Municipal Statement as a directly prescriptive device would be questioned”.

    1. Amelia says:

      The three storeys are no longer the issue because they are not in the grounds for refusal. After the project is refused tonight it will be up to the developer to amend the plan to “a more thoughtful design” it will remain three storeys and will be approved without further input from the public or councillors. Excuse my cynicism but the schedule was quite deliberately written in such a way that Vcat could overrule it and allow a higher development which council had always wanted in the first place. Manningham Council can now say that this over development is all the fault of Vcat.

      1. Dave says:

        That is ridiculous to say that it was intentional. Council’s mistake was not to consult its lawyers Maddocks who could have advised that the wording of the schedule be changed to reflect policy. Mind you I am surprised that Lester Townsend, the sole member of the independent government panel who approved the C 96, with recommendations, did not spot the problem. The C96 amendment did succeed in reinstating the Main Road Precinct with its discretionary options…it was necessary because the heights and scale of developments being built there were all over the place but cold comfort for residents of sub-precincts A & B who now face the prospect of three possibly four storey buildings being erected on small blocks next door to them.

    2. Francis says:

      Yes, but it is of no joy for residents because this statement from Vcat means a three storey development can be approved on a block of land under 1800 sqm which means a three storey building could occur on a single block of land next door to you. Council should have sought legal advice before the schedule was written. What a tangled web……

  5. Anonymous says:

    Manningham Council planning department have declared that three storey contemporary buildings could only be built on allotments with an area of more than 1,800 sqm so we should accept that undertaking. The land area at Beverley Street is about 1,500 sqm so according to conditions of the DDO8 schedule the development can only be two storey. Let’s wait and see what happens.

  6. Battered Talford says:

    The finished height of a two storey development may vary widely depending on the style of the building and its design features such as higher ceilings, a high pitched roof and/or a partially raised basement wall due to site conditions etc. but is acceptable providing it does not exceed the maximum height allowance of 9 metres (10 metres if the block has some slope) for a two storey town house style building, however, judging by their planning report it appears that Manningham are no longer policing the conditions because they are not mentioned as grounds for refusal in their report. They have recommended the councillors refuse the project on very minor grounds then approve it later date by way of delegation. i.e. changes without the involvement of councillors or the public.

  7. Deceived says:

    Most councils prescribe a mandatory height limit of eight (8) metres for a two storey development in their activity zones. Booroondara and Bayside for ezample. What happened with Manningham reviews why wasn’t the height for two storeys corrected.

    1. Dean Wells says:

      Below is an extract from a Manningham News letter published in July 2012.
      If the site is less than 1,800m2, a building can be no higher than 9 metres, or 10 metres if on sloping land. Whilst Council’s policy encourages two storey dwellings within 9 metres, (or 10 metres on sloping land) it should be noted that a three storey building can still be achieved within the specified height limit, but would be at a smaller scale.
      Since the land at 51 Beverley Street is less than 1800m2 is this three storey building “at a smaller scale”?… I don’t think so.

    2. Lance says:

      I followed up on your information and sent this email this morning. When i get a reply I will add it to comments.
      Attention Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Teresa Dominik Director Shared Services, Mr Philip Lee Acting Director Assets & Engineering, Mr Dario Bolzonello Acting Director Community Programs, Mr Malcolm Foard Acting Director Planning & Environment, Mr Jeff Gower Acting Manager Strategic Governance – Ms Jill Colson. Manningham Councillors

      Dear Sir/Madam,
      If we are to establish some certainty in the building schedule and save all these Vcat appeals, which have cost our community a small fortune, we need to prescribe a realistic height for two storeys otherwise developers will continue to exploit the 10 metre height.
      I would not want a 10 metre high building next door to me if only 8 metres is required.
      Boroondara Council specify a height of 8 metres for two storeys in their centres which they say is adequate for all contingencies.
      The Manningham criteria looks more out of whack when you consider that both Boroondara and Manningham councils specify an 11 metre maximum height for three storeys.
      No developer is going to waste money building a two storey contemporary building up to 10 metres if it could be achieved within 6.5 metres unless we allow them the extra storey.
      I also have difficulties with the mandatory minimum area 1800 m2 for three storey buildings now being expressed as “preferred” in the officer’s alternative recommendation of the council minutes 29/3/16 in regard to 51 Beverley Street, East Doncaster 3109.

      L. Keegan

  8. Barby says:

    It would have made more sense if they had specified that a two OR three storey building could be built within the 10 metre maximum height limit. They could then remove the word should and the uncertainty.

  9. Turk says:

    I cannot understand why Council would “support” a two storey building on a block of land under the mandatory minimum area of 1,800 sqm but specify a height of 10 metres which is more than adequate for three storeys. Now according to the grounds for rejecting the Beverley Street proposal they say the mandatory minimum land area is a “preferred” height.
    What a mess!

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