Updated: Jan 9
"There should be no reason these plans will be refused."
Confident words - but I stood by them.
I was speaking at a recent VCAT tribunal hearing on behalf of my advocate, a town planner, representing a developer of a residential development.
She was relying on my expert testimony for VCAT to get the development approved for a somewhat controversial apartment complex in Geelong.
Why was it controversial? Because the proposed apartment building was in an area that had primarily single dwelling stocks, right at the end of a no-through road.
On receipt of plans, I had identified some plan improvements that could be made for the VCAT hearing to sure up our position.
The other challenging aspect is that plans need to be circulated by a specific date with VCAT, and due to a relatively late engagement, time was running out.
Luckily the architect was highly responsive and all necessary changes were made for the plans to be formally circulated at VCAT.
Specifically, the development proposed 42 apartment-style dwellings within a three-storey building above a basement level carpark. Vehicle access was provided towards the end of a truncated road.
After more than an hour of cross-examination by the Council representative, third party objectors and the tribunal, the work was done and all necessary information had been conveyed.
And ultimately, the tribunal agreed, with a permit issued with only minor conditions, nothing that markedly changed the overall development. The happy client got their planning permit and is now able to build.
It was a favourable result. We were also proud that it was a significant development that both the advocate (town planner) and myself took on together and came through successfully.
It also shows that if you have an expert, like a traffic engineer, reviewing your plans early in the project, it's going to give you a much smoother process when it comes to getting your development approved through VCAT or even mediation (compulsory conference) beforehand.
In challenging situations like these, is can be difficult to determine what traffic engineering services you require, so simply getting in touch and getting something done about it.