Kew Cottages High Rise Battle goes to VCAT
Despite having both Planning and Heritage Approval knocked back by Heritage Victoria, and the former Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, the NSW based developer Walker Corporation has now appealed to VCAT to review the Minister’s refusal.
VCAT has set aside five days for Hearing Appeal starting on Monday 13 July.
Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, said “It is significant that Walker’s Appeal is open to the public, because it looks like there are a lot of surprises in store for residents who have been kept in the dark for too long about the developer’s relationship with the State Government agencies , particularly MPV (Major Projects Victoria).”
“Documents lodged with VCAT appear to show that Government agencies have tried for a long time to minimise public scrutiny of significant changes to the Masterplan for the site.”
The documents reveal that in the run up to last years State election, a secret application to amend the Kew Cottages Development Master Plan was made to the former Planning Minister just days before he refused Walker’s application to build high rise apartments on public open space overlooking Yarra Bend Park.
Mr. Walsh said, “It appears that MPV and/or the developer had advance warning of the Minister’s impending refusal, and made a desperate eleventh hour attempt to get the goal posts moved before the Minister handed down his decision. This raises potentially serious questions about MPV’s role in this matter – after all, they are meant to be serving the people of Victoria, not wealthy developers.”
“Furthermore, I understand that Boroondara Council was not even made aware that an application had been made to vary the Masterplan,” Mr. Walsh said.
“Hopefully this week residents will be able to find out more about the years of special deals to do with the Kew Cottages Development, and the details of this latest secret application to make way for high rise apartments by removing public open space and recreation facilities.”