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Issues related to Planning

Council Turnaround Approves Development Ignoring Residents Concerns

By Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic

The City of Melbourne turnaround has ignored residents concerns and in the process Crs Ken Ong and Stephen Mayne threatened to withdraw residential parking permits.

Opposed to Residents Concerns


Robert Doyle


Ken Ong


Stephen Mayne


Susan Riley


Arron Wood


Kevin Louey


Cathy Oake


Rohan Leppert


Support for Residents


Richard Foster


Beverley Pinder-Mortimer


Jackie Watts


For the last two years the City Council engineers and planners have opposed the establishment of an early-learning centre, on the Corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street South Yarra,  supporting residents concerns in relation to traffic management, parking and heritage.

Last nights decision to support the development has come as a surprise given that very little has changed to address the problems foreseen with the proposed development with no net gain to the amenity of the area.

Goodrest is one of South Yarra’s most prized heritage assets, located within a residential neighbourhood zone the proposed construction of a 26 underground car-park with car entrance off Toorak road, demolition of residential apartments at the rear and the construction of a new Commercial building in its place.

Only Two Councillors (Cr Beverly Pinder-Mortimer and Cr Kevin Louey) met with residents on site.  Both indicated at the time they would be opposed to the granting of a planning permit. Cr Louey later voted to approve the development whilst Cr Pinder-Mortimer maintained her position and concerns over safety.

Cr Richard Foster spoke passionately in opposition to the granting of a permit and Cr Jackie Watts who did not attend the meeting on September 1 has also privately indicated that she was opposed to the development.

Listen to / download audio of the September 1 meeting:

Future Melbourne Committee meeting 1 September 2015 (MP3 50MB)

Speaker Time Issue
Michael Butcher 01:04:50 MSYRG
Paul McSweeny 01:08:50 Traffic
James Mathews 01:15:05 Planning Issues
Edward Hogdson 01:18:25 Taffic Analysis
Phillip Lawson 01:21:50 Traffic Amenity
Neil Gunn 01:25:40 Scotch College Judgement/Current Christ Church
Elizabeth Fox 01:29:00 Amenity. Noise Impact
Pauline Hirst 01:32:45 Local Amenity
Dr Leanna Deuval 01:35:45 Traffic Impact
Ken Whiddowson 01:38:08 Heritage
Jennifer McDonnald 01:42:25 Heritage
Judith-Ann Scott 01:46:12 Safety/Heritage
Stuart Black 01:49:35 Local Amenity/Restricted Access Proposal
Anthony van der Craats 01:53:25 Summary/Heritage
Ken Ong (Chair) 01:57:01 Removal of Street Parking
Stephen Mayne 02:04:25 Residential On-Street Parking – Empty
Robert Doyle 02:08:15 No reason to oppose Application
Arron Wood 02:13:10 Compfortable with traffc Management
Beverly Pinder 02:14:15 Opposed to development, Safety
Rohan Leppart 02:15:30 Support of Application/Net Benefit to Amenity/Additional information (Not published)
Richard Foster 02:19:30 Against recomendation/Support for residents’ concerns
Ken Ong (Chair) 02:21:50 Motion put to the vote
For: Robert Doyle, Susan Riley, Arron Wood, Stephen Mayne, Ken Ong, Kevin Louey, Cathy Oake, Rohan Leppert
Against: Beveley Pinder, Richard Foster
Absent: Jackie Watts


91-93 Millswyn Street, South Yarra

By Planning


Dear Resident,

Application to demolish and build 4 storey block of flats – TP-2015-668

Enclosed is a copy of the letter accompanying the application to demolish the existing 3 storey block and build a 4 storey block of 14 apartments.

To see plans of the proposal either go to the City of Melbourne website/planning register online/ or email me (president@msyrg.com,au) with your details and email address and I will email the plans to you.

I suggest that local residents should meet promptly to discuss the proposal and sharing the cost of initial architect advice to ensure you understand the impact of what is proposed.

Further action dealing with such issues as the car parking exemption, overlooking, etc can then be discussed.

Yours faithfully


Michael Butcher
Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group Inc

Residential Zoning Review

By CoRBA, Planning, State Government

The meeting with the Planning Minister on 2 July was a worthwhile introduction and example of the contribution that can be made when the inner city resident groups speak as one on important issues.

Enclosed is our report of that meeting.

It will be followed up with a letter of thanks and requesting that the view of residents as well as councils be sought on the rezoning changes made by Guy Matthews.

We must continue working together exchanging information and promoting issues that are important to all of us.

Best wishes,

Michael Butcher


Report on meeting with Richard Wynne on 2 July 2015 Submission to Richard Wynne -final15.06.15[2]

Melbourne Boy’s Grammar School (TP-2014-780)

By Heritage, Planning

Below is a copy of an objection sent on behalf of the Group that relates to the  proposed building on the Melbourne Grammar School site on the corner of Bromby and Domain Streets.  TP-2014-280

The property has an overlay called DDO15 (2) that has a suggested 12m height limit. The current building exceeds this limit and the proposed building seeks further height extension on top of the existing – taking it to approx. 18metres.

DDO15 (2) applies to the MGS site, and some of the immediately proximate MGS owned buildings in Domain Street and Bromby street.

All other proximate buildings are under the DDO15 (1) which has a mandatory 12m height limit.

Because the MGS site is a Heritage Victoria site, MGS had to apply to Heritage Victoria  to demolish the existing buildings, and they were successful in that bid. The problem is not the removal of the existing, but the size and form of the proposed.

The Groups Objection letter exposes the disregard that the commissioned architect has for the surrounding fine grain heritage buildings and the attempt of the MGS planning consultant (who had responded to our original objection – and the COM had asked for our response to her letter)

Our response: below

Letter to Melbourne City Council 08 01 15

Melbourne Grammar School – Bromby Street

By Planning

Application VHR0019 – Melbourne Grammar School – Bromby Street

Below is a copy of our letter to Heritage Victoria dated 23 July 2014 a copy of which was forwarded to the City of Melbourne at the time.

We were surprised, to say the least, by their approval of a building that in our view fails to comply with many heritage requirements.

We now wish to lodge our strong objection with Council on the ground that the building does not comply with DDO15 as follows.

  1. It exceeds by a considerable margin the maximum height of 12 metres.
    The increased height of the proposed building above the existing building does not “improve the amenity and enhance the urban character of the area”.
  2. The applicant has failed to “demonstrate how the development will continue to achieve the Design Objectives and Built Form Outcomes of this schedule and any local planning policy requirements”, namely “is compatible with the scale and character of the South Yarra area”.

For these and the reasons described in our letter to Heritage Victoria, a building of the
proposed scale offends every requirement to be compatible with and enhance the character of the area and we urge you to oppose the application.

Yours sincerely

Michael Butcher

Letter to Heritage Victoria 23.07.14

Residential Re-zoning Outcome

By Planning


We are delighted to inform you that as a consequence of the great deal of work done by the MSYRG the following amendments to the residential zoning of South Yarra were gazetted on 27th November 2014.

It means that a large part of the heritage areas have real protection from inappropriate development.

Those areas are as follows:

  • Both sides of Airlie St
  • West side of Leopold St
  • East side of Park St
  • Part of the east side of Mason St
  • Part of the east side of Millswyn St
  • Both sides of Hope St
  • Part of the east side of Domain St.

All of these properties are now in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone NRZ1 that, most importantly imposes a mandatory height limit of 8 metres.

If the MSYRG had not been active from the beginning of this year and it had been left up to the City of Melbourne strategic planning department:

1. None of South Yarra would have been given the neighbourhood residential zoning under the new legislation; and
2. The height limit would have been 12 metres.

The amendments are contained in a complex set of documents that accompany the Gazette announcement. Detailed information is available on the Planning departments website;

Finally, I must thank profusely our local member of parliament Clem Newton-Brown without whose assistance this outcome would almost certainly not have been possible.

Michael Butcher