When I last wrote about 220 Esplanade East, Council had refused the application and the applicant had sought a review of Council’s decision at VCAT. On 29 April, 2011, the Tribunal ordered that Council’s decision to refuse the application be set aside and a permit was granted for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a building to contain four two storey dwellings.
Here are some conditions on the permit that may be of interest:
Condition 7. Prior to the completion of the development two trees (Angophora costata) must be planted to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority [Council] in the Esplanade East centre median in the vicinity of the subject site, at a cost to be borne by the applicant.
Condition 12. Privacy screens as required in accordance with the endorsed plans must be installed prior to occupation of the building to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority and maintained thereafter to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority.
I recommend reading the Tribunal’s decision in full, but I quote from some of the reasoning behind the determination which is relevant to many situations in Port Melbourne.
’25. The proposed building … is also designed to present a firm and noticeable modern aspect to the front street. It is not unique in that respect. So modern an aspect does not mimic the remaining Victorian and Edwardian residential buildings of the area, but mimicry is a poor approach to infill development. The proposal would make a more positive contribution than the existing dwelling on the review site and, whilst being noticeable, would not, in my opinion be overly dominant or overbearing.
28. There is no heritage value in the building to be demolished. The only question is whether the proposal unduly detracts from other buildings of heritage interest of the area more broadly. In my opinion it is acceptable from these points of view.
29 … It is … a question of how this proposal would fits into its streetscape and its neighbourhood, in terms of its existing neighbourhood character. That neighbourhood character is no longer exclusively represented by the original development of the area. It is now rather various with variety of infills and redevelopments from several periods, including modern ones. I consider the proposal to be quite suitable from the neighbourhood character point of view. Indeed, it makes a positive contribution to the neighbourhood, the streetscape and the area, a more positive contribution than with the existing building on the site.
30 I do not regard the proposal as an overdevelopment of this site, although it might be considered that in some other contexts. … this is a closely settled inner suburb where town houses of this sort are acceptable. I regard this proposal as being acceptable in terms of its setbacks and site coverage.’
VCAT REFERENCE NO P2558/2010, APPLICATION NO 166/2010