Council is strongly supporting Waverley Park residents who are in dispute with developer Mirvac about the estate's high-voltage powerlines.
According to its 2002 planning permit for the estate, Mirvac is required to put the powerlines underground. Residents who purchased properties on the estate did so on the understanding that the powerlines would be put underground.
Mirvac is seeking permission to change its planning permit so it is no longer required to meet this permit condition.
Council has joined with the Waverley Park Residents Action Group in strongly opposing Mirvac's proposal.
The State Government has appointed an Advisory Committee - the Waverley Park Transmission Lines Advisory Committee - which has considered Mirvac's request. The role of the Committee is to:
- Give submitters an opportunity to be heard in an independent forum in an informal, non-judicial manner.
- Give independent advice to the Minister for Planning.
The Committee held a public hearing in December 2014. At the hearing, Council presented a strong case on behalf of local residents. Council engaged one of Victoria's best planning barristers - Ian Pitt QC - to argue that Mirvac comply with its planning permit.
The Committee has produced a written report and submitted this report to the Minister for Planning.
The Minister received this report in February 2015. Residents and Council are waiting on his decision to be made public.
The Minister can choose to go with the recommendations made by the Advisory Committee in the report or make his own decision.
Council wrote to the Minister on 15 April seeking an update and requesting that Mirvac be held to its promise to residents to put the powerlines underground.
We have not as yet had a response.
Letter to Minister regarding hearing update 15 April 2015
More information about the process is provided in the Advisory Committee's Terms of Reference.
Waverley Park Transmission Lines Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference (pdf, 722KB)
For more information please contact James Heitmann, Principal Planner (Major Projects), on 9518 3628 or email JamesHe@monash.vic.gov.au.
More than one year ago, Mirvac applied to the then Minister for Planning Matthew Guy for permission to amend its permit.
Here is Mirvac's application:
Mirvac - Planning Permit Application (pdf, 3MB)
Mirvac - Planning Report (pdf, 5MB)
The then Minister for Planning Matthew Guy asked Council for its view on Mirvac's proposal.
At its 27 August 2013 meeting, Council decided to lodge an objection with the Minister against the application.
Council's objection was on the grounds that:
- Retention of the powerlines overhead will be detrimental to the visual character of the area, the aesthetics of the subdivision and development of Waverley Park.
- Retention of the overhead powerlines will have a detrimental effect on the amenity of a significant number of residential properties located within Waverley Park having regard to matters such as visual detriment, bulk, views to sky and sense of enclosure.
- The retention of the overhead powerlines will have a significant impact on the future use and development of the affected proposed public open space.
- There is no planning argument to justify the amendment, and the amendment will lead to a less than optimum planning outcome.
- The justification for the amendment is financial and not outcome driven.
For more information on Council's position, please read the report that Council adopted at its 27 August 2013 meeting. (pdf, 428KB)
In April 2014, the then Minister for Planning Matthew Guy refused Mirvac's application to keep the powerlines above ground. The grounds for the Minister's decision were:
- There was an implicit obligation by way of Condition 50 of Planning Permit No. STA2001/000714 to underground the powerlines
- The proposal is contrary to the expectations of the Waverley Park community regarding visual amenity
- The proposal does not provide sufficient community facilities or improvements to Lake Park in accordance with the recommendations of the Panel Report (Monash Planning Scheme Amendment C20), dated August 2012
- The cost increase of undergrounding the powerline is not an overriding planning consideration.
Here is the Minister for Planning's decision regarding the Waverley Park powerlines issue:
VCAT hearing initially planned
- After the Minister for Planning refused Mirvac's application, Mirvac appealed to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) against the Minister's decision.
The VCAT hearing was set to begin on 25 August 2014 but was cancelled after the Minister "called in" the application. The Minister subsequently appointed the Advisory Committee to hear submissions and make a recommendation.
Prior to the cancellation of the VCAT hearing, Mirvac had lodged revised plans and all parties had lodged evidence.
Here are the documents associated with Mirvac's revised plans:
Letter to VCAT (pdf, 43KB)
Notice of Amendment (pdf, 106KB)
Statement of Changes (pdf, 84KB)
220KV Transmission Line - Strain Twin Pole - Double Circuit (pdf, 210KB)
Valmont Concept Drawing E14190A 48m 160kNU (pdf, 50KB)
220KV Transmission Line - Mono Pole - Double Circuit (pdf, 195KB)
Valmont Concept Drawing E14190A 48m 270kNU (pdf, 65KB)
Public Open Space (pdf, 2MB)
Proposed New Poles (pdf, 2MB)
Evidence prepared for the hearing
Tim Biles of Message Consultants Australia Pty Ltd (pdf, 12MB)
Akhtar Kalam of Educational Solutions Pty Ltd (pdf, 464KB)
Michael Barlow of Urbis (pdf, 7MB)
Michael Collie of Collie Pty Ltd
Barry Murphy of Murphy Design Group (pdf, 151MB)
Peter Haack of Urbis - Statement (pdf, 3MB)
Peter Haack of Urbis - Visualisations (pdf, 150MB)
Stephen Boyle of AECOM (pdf, 4MB)
Bryan McCarthy of AECOM