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VCAT decision to overshadow Brunswick parks

06 Apr 2022

Council is disappointed in the recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) decision to grant a planning permit for an 11-storey residential development adjacent to Gilpin Park and Clifton Park in Brunswick.

Mayor Mark Riley said the decision regarding 395-411 Albert Street, Brunswick shows disregard for amenity of the area.

“It is incredibly unfortunate that a development of this scale has been approved on this site, which will significantly impact some of Merri-bek’s valued public parkland,” Cr Riley said.

“The proposed development will see 2 residential buildings of up to 11 storeys constructed on the edge of Clifton Park, which will be visually imposing for the area and impact sunlight in the park, particularly in winter. 

“While we are supportive of new housing in Merri-bek, especially affordable housing, this has to be considered carefully in the context of the surrounding area.

“Council originally supported development of up to 6 storeys on this site, as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment process (which was subsequently abandoned by  Council) to ensure the development was well integrated into the area, while also connecting new residents with nearby services and amenities.” 

Cr Riley also said some improvements to the development were made as a result of VCAT proceedings. 

“Following advocacy from Council and community members, I am pleased that the revised plans include some improvements, including a reduction in the total number of units and increased setbacks. 

“The developer will also be required to offer 16 units as affordable housing, and make contributions to works in Clifton Park.” 

 Council regularly reviews and refines its planning scheme in response to planning panels, VCAT decisions, community needs and feedback. Council is also preparing to develop its next Open Space Strategy, which will lay the groundwork for the review of the planning scheme to better manage overshadowing and other visual impacts from development.