The Melbourne Racing Club has scored the ‘quaddy’ with our new Manager of Strategic Planning signing off on their latest application for an ‘outdoor cinema’ from dusk until 1am throughout the year! In approximately one page as a bit of ‘useful’ commentary, Council has again agreed to all of the MRC demands. That makes it the perfect quaddy in our books – ‘yes’ to an incorporated and development plan that bore no resemblance to each other; ‘yes’ to a paltry open space contribution and no development contribution;’ yes’ to the 4 storey high racing screen, and now ‘yes’ to an ‘outdoor cinema’. No mention of who will police drunkenness; no mention of how many of these ‘events’ can be held? Are we speaking of once a month? Once a fortnight? Once a week? Or every single night throughout November to March, and then some more throughout the year whenever the MRC decides it might be a good idea?

Adding insult to injury is the fact that EPA legislation for ‘noise’ from “residential” areas has a time limit up to 11pm. Music production (which we can assume to accompany any soundtrack), also has a time limit of up to 11pm! S0 exactly how does Council grant a permit until 1am and for staff to leave (without noise presumably) by 1.30am.

The Bent St application has also got the nod for a 3 and part 4 storey development with 31 dwellings. 17 properties notified and 25 objections. McKinnon is now given the new nom de plume of an ‘activity centre’ (page 33). There is NO MCKINNON ACTIVITY CENTRE!

The paragraph which concerns us greatly and which is included as part of the conditions reads:

The second floor setback a minimum of 9.0m from the eastern boundary with any consequential changes absorbed within the approved building envelope. A balcony may encroach a maximum of 1.6m into this setback.

It is our contention that such a condition illustrates fully the myriad of shortcomings of the current planning scheme and also serves as a convenient scapegoat for this administration and councillors.

The property is located in GRZ1. As such ResCode setbacks apply. When council secretly introduced the New Residential Zones, it chose not to seek greater setbacks than ResCode for GRZ1. So now we have the ludicrous situation where planning officers recommend setbacks which go against their very own planning scheme. It will be no surprise that if this goes to VCAT the member sits back, laughs, and says – ‘but that’s not what the planning scheme states’! and of course, VCAT will again be the convenient scapegoat!