VCAT has granted a permit for a 7 storey building (43 units and shops) at 67-77 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North. The original application was for 8 storeys but an amended permit was put in. Here are the ‘lowlights’ of the decision.

We give little weight to the recently approved planning scheme amendments that limit the heights of development in parts of Bentleigh and Carnegie urban villages. They are not applicable to this site or activity centre. We understand these amendments impose height controls for a limited time until an urban design framework is completed that provides a coherent and reasoned basis for height and other development controls.

We are not persuaded that the building would be unduly tall in this centre because:

  • There is no specific guidance in the scheme in a schedule to the zone, a DDO or a policy regarding the preferred height.
  • There are buildings of six, five and four storeys in the centre, hence this building with its recessed top storey will not appear to be out of scale with the emerging built form.
  • There is good prospect that the adjoining sites to the north and south will also be developed for buildings of similar height, hence in time it would be one of a cluster of tall buildings rather than an anomaly.
  • Lot sizes in the centre, behind the shops that front Hawthorn Road are generally large and capable of accommodating taller buildings