Despite their previous misgivings about the use of Car Stackers, even after the developer of a 15 storey development refused to install them, Council officers still recommended approval of a car stacker system for resident parking in a four story apartment proposal at 19-23 Bayley Grove, Doncaster.

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As far it can be ascertained this will be the first major development on Doncaster Hill that is likely to proceed using a car stacker system for its entire resident parking. Residents adjacent to the development have complained that they had no way of knowing the method of parking until after the period for objections had expired because the notice board on site did not reveal that stackers were proposed….this is standard practice according to the Doncaster Hill Residents Group. A leader of the Friends of Hepburn Group said there were three previous developments where council had approved mechanical parking, two did not proceed and the developer of the third went ahead without the use of stacker parking. With most councils car stacker parking systems are only acceptable where

20 Hepburn Rd At Grade Parking Excavation

it can be demonstrated that the provision of conventional car parking to satisfy a proposal’s parking tally requirements,  either by way of at grade or basement parking, is not possible given inherent site constraints and the proposal for a mechanical parking system is not a result of an over development of the site.  

Standard stacker parking systems such as the three tiered system envisaged do not consider the diversity of vehicle heights and will only accommodate standard passenger cars and station wagons leaving taller vehicles unable to park on site. Vehicle queuing in laneways and streets due to delays in operating the stacker system can cause impacts on traffic and pedestrian movements. That is one of the reasons you see parking overspill in side streets the other is short term parkers who might require their vehicles several times during the day and be more inclined to park in the street rather than the rigmarole of repeated parking and retrieving of their vehicle from the stacker system.

Manningham is among a number of councils who have strict policy on issues pertaining to the energy use that should rule out car stackers because they require a substantial surge in electrical power to operate and are therefore environmentally unacceptable, vehicle queuing in laneways and streets due to delays in operating the stacker system can cause impacts on traffic and pedestrian movements; out of scale garage structures are required to house the stackers.

Objector Comment: “One of the key vision objectives of this Council in seeing Doncaster Hill become a ‘Smart Energy Zone’ is supposedly to ‘minimise environmental impacts’. You can understand why the objectors to the Bayley Grove development are left scratching our collective heads at the decision-makers who think that car stackers respond positively to that aim. Councils around Australia are increasingly rejecting car stackers because of their negative impacts on the environment, yet our Council are providing developers with the perfect means to squeeze in more cars, guzzle up energy and exacerbate the traffic issues by adding to the number of cars on our roads! Car stackers are symptomatic of over development – simple as that – and the community should demand that Council develop a policy on car stackers as a matter of urgency to avoid such blatant abuse of deteriorating infrastructure and resources. This adds further proof that this short sighted Council approves first and asks questions second (or fails to ask them at all)”

Doncaster Hill SEZ – Final


  1. Less says:

    As I recall, we have seen an article on this website previously that highlighted how many car types seem in our areas would not be able to use the stackers – , no SUVs, no cars with low skirts nor spoilers…

    • Ballard T says:

      Why do they need stackers? There are no site constraints that would hinder a normal parking layout and there was nothing to prevent the addition of a fourth storey.
      There will be problems with the heights…most of the larger SUVs will not fit. They are huge energy users and they will need regular maintenance because they do break down.
      There are two types of stacker systems to be employed here. The three tiered cluster (4.8m) will only accommodate vehicles to a max height of 1.6m and the two tiered system (3.6m) will accommodate vehicles to a max height of 1.8m This would rule out most of the medium to large SUVs, not to mention ant type of vehicle fitted with spoilers, pack racks and low profile tyres as identified in the manufacturers specifications. We would have to sell our Pajero if we bought an apartment there.

      • Tomkin says:

        They didn’t need to install stackers.
        This is a bonus for the developer because the use of mechanical parking has allowed a fourth storey of residential which should have been used for standard parking.
        More than 47% of currently selling vehicles might be to high for the stacker system. Latest stats reveal that 28% are SUVs and 19 % are light commercial which means more cars off site made all the more difficult for local traffic due to Bayley Grove being a narrow dead end street.

    • Grace White says:

      Apartment developments with car stacker parking systems are not good value because you have to share ownership of one space with two or more people compared to being the sole owner of a normal at grade car space where you have immediate access at all times. In addition you are not up for higher body corporate fees to cover power use and maintenance or the inconvenience of your car being stuck in the system when it breaks down. This must surely have an impact on valuations when all these issues become apparent…especially with lending authorities.

  2. South of Bayley says:

    These car stacker cages can be quite awkward to evacuate if you are physically impaired and have shopping and luggage to unload which can extend waiting times for other vehicles wishing to access. We were told that we have to “modify” our vehicles when the issue of SUVs and Vans were raised. Below is what was mentioned on the board placed on the building site….the term “parking spaces” was used to conceal that parking would be by way of car stackers.

    Permit Application No. PL16/026928 – 19, 21 and 23 Bayley Grove, Doncaster – Construction of a four-storey apartment building comprising twenty-nine (29) dwellings with associated basement car parking and reduction of two (2) visitor car parking spaces pursuant to Clause 52.06 Car Parking of the Manningham Planning Scheme.

  3. Talford says:

    We thought we had someone who was going to change it all and help protect what was left of Doncaster but all we got was a narcissist who could not have cared less.

    • Random Harvest says:

      This is very serious mental problem and often originates from the lack of love as a child and to compensate they love themselves because they can’t accept lasting love from any one else except of themselves.
      Narcissism does involve an element of vanity, but often it can go much deeper than this. They believe themselves to be completely superior to everyone around them, will believe themselves to be more important and may even resent others to a degree as a result. In extreme cases narcissists may experience delusions of grandeur. Of course for everyone else this is rather tiring!

  4. Michael says:

    There are grounds for a VCAT appeal. The development has no waiting spaces for cars queuing to park their cars in the stacker cage and the development is providing only three spaces for visitors parking! It should be acknowledged that the three koonung councillors had rejected this proposal.

  5. Jade says:

    It will be interesting to see how these apartments sell with just one stacker parking space per unit because Manningham is car driven. There is no local full time work and no train or tram which makes it more likely there will be two cars per apartment.

  6. Coltarde says:

    They need an auxiliary source of power otherwise a blackout could result in cars being stuck in the system. Stacker parking systems are noisy and not environmentally friendly because they drag so much power which is at odds with our “green hill policy” (SEZ) and not fair on others in the community who are making sacrifices to conform. They send reps overseas to get ideas on introducing measures to save energy then they do exactly the opposite when they return.

  7. Green says:

    Car stacking parking systems can provide the necessary number of parking tallies required for a development but they are not always convenient for residents particularly the short term users. Their operation is not always smooth sailing (waiting on users to unload their car especially for the physically impaired and queuing etc.) and can lead to a tendency for more cars to park in the street, often illegally. It is the opinion of many councils that stacker parking should only be considered where it is not possible to provide at grade parking such as where ground conditions would rule out the construction of a below ground car park or where there might be a change of use in an existing building AND/OR where the responsible authority has strict guidelines on energy use such as the case with Manningham Council.

  8. Ike says:

    It is hard to get a witness to appear on behalf of residents at an appeal no matter how strong their case may be. The reason for is they won’t get the repeat work if they are seen to be representing residents in matters against what the authorities want approved. The flammable building materials scandal is one example and so too is their preference for mechanical parking rather than where normal parking should be constructed…money talks.

  9. Warren Welsh says:

    The following are considered to be the major disadvantages to car stacker systems:
    • they are best suited to long term parking as the time taken to store and retrieve vehicles is inconvenient for short term parkers;
    • they are unsightly but can be concealed within acceptable cladding or surrounded by a perimeter of other buildings;
    • they do not permit drivers immediate and undelayed access to their vehicle once parked, therefore they are unsuitable for residential developments;
    • they are perceived as high energy users not welcomed by a body corporate due to the mushrooming costs of limited power.
    • May be unable to accommodate larger vehicles such as SUV, vans and trucks;
    • Vehicles need to be perpendicular to stacker to be able to manoeuvre. Extra reversing area is required 7.0 metres instead of 6.0 metres;
    • Delay and queuing waiting for vehicles to park/exit the stacker/s;
    • Certain persons (for example ,elderly, the handicapped etc) may have difficulty entering/ regressing from their vehicle when parked in the stacker;
    • Mothers with small children would find it difficult to remove a baby from the baby seat and/or retrieving family paraphernalia while the vehicle was parked in the stacker.
    • The two minutes quoted by the manufacturer for each operation does not allow for any delays such as the aforementioned.
    Some of the issues identified by Technical Services included the following:
    • Noise attenuation measures;
    • Long term maintenance agreement would need to be in place ;
    • Auxiliary power supply would be mandatory;
    • Users would need to be provided with a thorough induction;
    In case of a vehicle breakdown in stacker, the vehicle may be very difficult to remove; Limited types of vehicles that can use certain stackers; that is, dimensions/height.
    • Flexible corrugated floors are unsuitable for high-heeled shoes requiring rubber inserts;

  10. Duggycomefirst says:

    We rented a place that had car stackers for 2 years. It was a brand new building, but the stackers system had problems from day one. I would say that we had at least 15 incidents where we had to call the building manager or car stacker company to come out. It would either jam up, not power on, or stop half in the sequence. In addition there were overseas owners who were not paying there fees. And that was just my experience let alone scores of others who lived in the building with the same problems as we had.

  11. Greg says:

    Stop complaining! At least you got your car back.

  12. Britten W says:

    With separate dedicated bus lanes independent of normal traffic required to avoid the Hill congestion and a railway to Doncaster now ruled out, we should not be allowing this type of parking anywhere close to the activity centre because it will cause larger vehicles to park in our narrow streets…Wake up Council!

  13. Warren says:

    I could not find anything in the 2016 census, judging by the increase in car ownership per capita and those needing a car to travel to employment outside of Manningham, to suggest that we should be extending parking tally dispensation to developments let alone approving the sharing of car spaces in a stacker parking system.
    The latest census stats indicate 74.5% of people travel to work outside of Manningham compared to 67.8% that did so in the 2011 census.
    City of Manningham

  14. Ray says:

    Employment in Manningham is mainly part time in the retail and hospitality areas. Actually Manningham council is the second largest employer in Doncaster.

  15. K Smale says:

    Without the use of mechanical parking, renovations or redevelopment of small blocks in inner Melbourne would not have been possible. In many cases the cars in the stackers were owned by the same occupants so there was not a problem with access. They were also used where an existing building that had no basement parking areas was converted to offices but I cannot understand why they would be used in new developments….not one or two here and there but for the entire resident parking.

  16. Kelly says:

    There are signs that we could have a downturn in demand for detached properties for the development of apartments on Doncaster Hill because they are not selling as easily as they were 12 months ago with sales results as low as 40% in recent weeks and agents have been saying that if you want to sell your apartment on the local market you will not be able get your money back. Why would anyone want to purchase an apartment without a proper parking arrangement?

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