VCAT sides with disgruntled resident in development affair

Picture: Brian Turner, Flickr, Creative Commons License

By Shelby Brooks

A neighbour has successfully scuttled a Casey Council permit to allow more development in a spacious ‘lifestyle living’ estate in Narre Warren North.

On an appeal at VCAT, the neighbour T Willis successfully argued to set aside the permit to remove a restrictive covenant on 44-48 St Helens Crescent, Narre Warren North.

The covenant prevents any subdivision or more than one dwelling on the 4010-square metre site.

In her ruling, VCAT senior member Rachel Naylor said Mr Willis was concerned that the removal of the development restrictions would result in additional development on the site that will be out of character with the large residential allotments and open, semi-rural surrounds.

“Policies make it clear that this neighbourhood is to remain a large lot/rural residential area described as ‘lifestyle living’,” she said.

“As described earlier, the existing character includes dwellings on spacious allotments with limited vegetation and, for this site, an interface at the rear that has post and wire fencing.

“At present, privacy between lots within this estate and adjacent to it is primarily created through the siting and orientation of the houses including their separation and some limited landscaping and outbuildings.”

Mr Willis was also concerned about the loss of amenity in terms of noise and privacy, particularly as the common boundary fence is of post and wire construction and there is limited screening landscaping on either property, Ms Naylor said.

VCAT overturned Casey Council’s decision to remove the restrictive covenant to allow for future development in accordance with the General Residential Zone and Development Plan Overlay requirements.

“I am not satisfied that there will not be any detriment including in regard to neighbourhood character and amenity such as privacy and overlooking,” Ms Naylor said.