Doncaster, Thiele St 2, 4, 6 – 50 apartments, four storeys


Knock down complete, and Building works have begun

2013-01-15  VCAT Mediation

We went in, not expecting any common ground, but were pleasantly surprised when the VCAT member helped us define some changes that were acceptable to the developer, and we all walked out winners.

It’s still big, pushing, but not flaunting the regulations, so the following compromises were a good outcome.

1. Remove part of apartment thirty, significantly reducing the afternoon shadowing on the home behind, and their living space.

2. Remove the balcony enclosures on the East side to reduce the building bulk.

3. Install a 2.4mtr high color-bond rear fence with lattice screening, to improve the privacy.

4. Increase the onsite car parking by six more spaces – reconfigure no extra excavation.

It also saved us from spending another three days at VCAT next month and the preparation that goes with it. Much of the changes sought were focused on the rear neighbor, as they were the most affected. Other issues such as traffic congestion were acknowledged but were directed as council issues to resolve long term, not developer issues…

Thanks to all our helpers.

2012-12-16  VCAT Practice day

Quick run down here of our initial session at VCAT

2012-09-26 Council approved this proposal. Only Cr Jenifer Yang voted against it.

At the submitters meeting, the developer proved how nice they were, by pointing out they had reduced the proposal from 55 apartments to 50. It is still partly four storeys.

We previously discussed how this proposal might have been an ambit claim.

The removed apartments were mostly those well below ground level, with courtyards that could hardly see over ground level.

2012-05-25   Notice was posted – ( Council have been discussing this one with developer for a couple of months already.)

Details of Planning Application to which you are responding :

Application No:        PL12 / 022675

Address of the subject land:     2,4, & 6, Thiele St Doncaster

Description of the proposal:           construction of a four Storey apartment building comprising of 55 dwellings.

Name of applicant:  Ratio consultants Pty Ltd.

2012-07-16 – Not Likely to go to Council this Month – There may be new plan updates submitted soon.

2012-07-22 Changed Plans – now for 50 apartments.  We will try to post new plans on the site.


New Plans Now released 2012-07-26.

Summary of changes and response to objections SSA0P20410012072416390

Development Schedule 1144_Thiele St_RevI_2012.07.17

Plans 2nd design 1144_TP01-010_revI Doncaster Thiele2-4-6


The sections below are the original plans, and objections – these need updating once the full documents are made available & reviewed.

Use this template for your objection :pln191 MANNINGHAM CITY COUNCIL Objection doncaster Thiele 2-4-6

Key  Issues :

  1. This is proposed in a Side Street.
  2. Zoning only encourages up to three Storeys, not Four.
  3. The building height is an issue.
    – This is DD08 Precinct A zone, on a large site, with a slope allows 11 meters height, and it is beyond that in some places.
    – What makes this worse is that is over limit AFTER sinking the Ground floor below natural ground level.
    – The ground floor is nearly completely under natural ground level at top south end of Thiele St. ( note the “Garden Courtyards” also sunken extensively.)
    – At this point the building height is 12.45mtrs (grnd floor to Roof.) (Roof 117.20 to floor of 1stfloor 107.75 + Ground floor of 3 meters.)

    1. The building is Overbearing, and to large for the site, particularly to those on the East & South
      – To the East are single storey homes, with single Dwelling restrictive covenants – so they will never be built as large.
      – To the South (down hill side) is a single storey home ( No8,) then a townhouse pair.
    2. Street Parking all around the site is already full much of the time since the Arcadia Apartments opposite were tenanted. No room for another 55.
    3. Loss of Privacy, Excessive Overshadowing
    4. Excessive Traffic, increased danger to school pedestrian traffic. (Effectively making a cross road with Curlew court, and school traffic.)




The fourth storey is beyond anyhting in other side streets, and so may be be an ambit claim.  i.e. “Well we wanted four stories, but because we are such nice developers we will make it only 3 storeys…”

But they won’t give up anything easily, the building height seems an issue too – You need to object or it will go ahead as is.

 (In negotiation, an ambit claim is an extravagant initial demand made in expectation of an eventual counter-offer and compromise.)

 Backing onto these three blocks are normal single level houses in a court, with single dwelling restrictive covenants – and so will NEVER be built to match this proposed bulk.

They have also asked for a reduction in the number of car spaces they need to provide…

A Single Dwelling Restrictive Covenant – could save your neighbourhood.

This proposal is right in one of the main traffic paths of the high school – car and pedestrian.


Plans etc for review  – current at Council 2012-05-28 – these have been superceded 2012-07-22 Awaiting new ones.

1144_TP10_revB site location and coverage After

1144_TP08_revC Second Floor

1144_TP07_revC First floor

1144_TP06 revD_colour Ground floor

1144_TP02 revC Site coverage after

1144_TP01 revB Site Map Before

TP12revA_TP13revA_TP14_revA Cross Sections and shadows cast.

TP9revA Third floor

TP03revA_TP04revA_TPO5revA  Thiele st elevation and Basement car Park Plans

1144_TP11_revB Elevations – North & South

1144_TP10_revB Elevations – East And West

Tree Assessment PL12-022675 2,4,6 Thiele Street DONCASTER

Waste Management Report PL12-022675 2,4,6, Thiele Street DONCASTER

Ttraffic Report PL12-022675 2,4,6 Thiele Street DONCASTER


Reviews and responses:

2012-06-22 Les to Manningham Council Planning Dept – Jeff Gower.

Can you please advise what the council has done to clarify these items in the traffic report supplied by Ratio:
1.        Section 6 the proposal will generate 33 additional vehicle movements per AM  / PM Peak.
a.        Doesn’t the Council use the estimation of 5-8 movements per household per day. Therefore 55 apartments = 275 – 440 movements per day
b.        What percentage loading do you apply to get the peak hour ?
2.        Is there a parking plan showing the area included ? they talk about Ibis St etc, which is inappropriate / a long way from this site. (Page 4 150 spaces included in the survey Fig2.4 Appendix A)
a.        In Feb 2009 there was 87 spaces in the survey – for a dwelling within 50 meters of this site, now in 2012 there is 150 spaces- how is this so?
3.        Did their parking survey  ( 2012) show that the parking in front of the site is always full at the times they said they surveyed, as is Curlew entrance opposite, and Thiele above?
a.        It was referred to in the discussion,  ( briefly,) … parking was mostly in Curlew and Thiele…
4.        Why does this traffic document talk about excess parking space to requirement, when the sign requests reduction below requirements ?
5.        Considering Ratio also did the 5-7 Curlew court review – have they been requested to summarize the impact of this development and another in the same reviewed area ?
a.        If not what has council Planning done to consider the combined impact and sustainability?



Hi Les

I’ll try and get some answers to your traffic generation and parking figure based questions shortly, although I note we haven’t formally considered the application yet.

With regards to the Notice of Application question (dot point 4),[4.        Why does this traffic document talk about excess parking space to requirement, when the sign requests reduction below requirements ?]

I can provide some details – Firstly, the applicant’s traffic report does acknowledge a technical shortfall in parking within Section 4.1, consistent with the ‘reduction’ referred to on the Notice of Application:

When the application commenced advertised around 25 May 2012, the planning scheme included a statutory requirement that 2 spaces be provided for each dwelling.  Therefore, 110 spaces were required for the 55 apartments proposed and given the development provides only 84 parking spaces the application included a ‘reduction’.

The applicant’s traffic engineer has indicated that the requirement of 2 spaces per dwelling is not particularly accurate in real life (residents of one bedroom apartments are likely to generate less parking demand than residents of larger 3 or 4 bedroom apartments), and gone on to consider the car parking requirements in accordance with ResCode (Clause 55).  ResCode does not technically apply to this development as it is 4 storeys.  ResCode only applies to 1, 2 or 3 storey development.  The surplus referred to is based on the ResCode requirements that take into account the number of bedrooms in an apartment and visitor parking needs.  ResCode would indicate 69 spaces are required for the development.

The 2 spaces per dwelling requirement for buildings of four or more storeys has been criticised over many years and seen as an anomaly – the height of a building should not determine the car parking demand for its occupancies.  The tribunal commonly uses the ResCode requirement as a starting point on all residential projects so virtually all apartment buildings across Melbourne issued over the past ten years have included a ‘reduction’.   I know the previous State government started a car parking review some 7 years ago in part to fix the anomaly.   This review has stopped, started and stalled many times including with the change of government.

Interesting (and surprisingly), on the 5th June the State government finally gazetted its car parking review (Amendment VC90) which included reducing the 2 space per dwelling requirement so it aligns with the ResCode requirement.   Please refer to the following website:

The change to the parking controls is unlikely to have any real impact on how the development will be assessed, although there are more requirements in the new parking provisions relating to design matters such as stackers (although stackers are not being used in this instance).


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