VCAT upholds Council’s decision to refuse proposed development on former Oakleigh South school site

 12 May 2020


Council’s decision to refuse a proposed development of 89 townhouses on a former school site in Oakleigh South has been upheld by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Council has welcomed VCAT’s affirmation of Council’s decision following a Merits Hearing held at VCAT between 2-5 March. The decision has just been made public by the Tribunal.

At its September 2019 ordinary meeting, Council resolved to refuse the proposed development plan for the construction of the 89 two to three storey townhouses at 1 Beryl Avenue (52 Golf Road), the former Oakleigh South Primary School site.  Amended plans were then circulated as part of the developer’s appeal to VCAT.

In its decision, VCAT determined:

  • The minimal separation of the townhouses at ground level is not a satisfactory response to the existing pattern of development in the opposite side of Beryl Avenue, and the wider neighbourhood
  • The proposed secluded private open space ‘in front of’ the dwellings facing Beryl Avenue will result in high front fences. This is not consistent with the local policy with respect to neighbourhood character, and is not an acceptable response to the surrounding neighbourhood
  • The rear-loaded design also results in the secluded private open space on the south side of the townhouses, where they will be substantially impacted by shadow. The extent of overshadowing to the secluded private open space areas are unacceptable
  • The townhouses that have interfaces with the internal road comprised substantially of garage. The dominance of garages provides no opportunities for active or passive surveillance, and result in a poor sense of address for the townhouses.

Mayor Stuart James said a number of developers had put forward different proposals for the site since the land was sold five years ago but all had failed to adequately consider the surrounding neighbourhood and the impact of any development on the local community.

“We welcome the decision by VCAT to support our position on this proposal. We know there has been concern from locals about this proposal and this is an important win for them. This is a significant site in Monash and we hope any future proposals will look at the neighbourhood surrounding the site and ensure any development reflects the amenity of that area,” Cr James said.

“We are firm in our commitment to support residents in ensuring any proposals for this site are appropriate to the area. Disappointingly, at the Merits Hearing there were differing views around the health of several trees on this site and VCAT has not supported the retention of trees on site should a future proposal be put forward.”

More information: Proposed Development Plan for 1 Beryl Avenue, Oakleigh South (former Oakleigh South Primary School)

Media Contact: Emily Webb 0466 026 560 or email


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