Skip to main content

Got Your Back

| ,

If the Council refuses to permit your property development plans, do not give up. We had a client who first came to us after the Council had already rejected them. Our new client explained that they had been seeking to build eight townhouses upon their block of land. We investigated our client’s situation.


We ended up demonstrating that it’s important to formulate a Plan B. We showed that, even if you have been pushed back by the Council, there may be a way to save your plans.
Take this story as an example.

Learn The Reasons Behind The Refusal

If the Council rejects your application, it is unlikely that they have told you about the exact compromises that you need to make in order to gain approval in a VCAT decision review.
When we reviewed our client’s case, we noticed that out of the eight townhouses our client had planned, two of them were in the way of a protected species of gum tree – a tall lemon-scented gum growing in the north-western corner of the land.

In order to confirm that these two townhouses were problematic, we got in touch with an Arborist.
The Arborist studied the situation and confirmed our suspicion. Yes, it was only those two townhouses that were in the way of the lemon-scented gum.Now that we knew this, we could begin to formulate our Plan B. We could apply to VCAT for a review of the Council’s decision.

Make The Compromise

The Arborist had determined that two out of eight townhouses needed to be deleted from the proposal in order for it to be approved by the Council.The Arborist could prove that the gum would not be at risk if those two townhouses were removed. Our client was not quick to delete the two townhouses. Such a deletion would mean a significant loss to the client and raise doubt as to the project viability. While we lodged a formal Review with VCAT, we continued to liaise with the Arborist. Together, we came to a solution that would save one extra townhouse. The solution was to facilitate screw pile footings and a cantilevered slab – a modification to the original design that would allow one extra townhouse to remain – seven in total. We made revisions to the client’s proposed plans and sent the plans to VCAT ahead of the hearing.

Support Your Case With Evidence

The Arborist – a professional who could give esteemed statements and judgements on native flora sustainability – was our key to making our VCAT case. It was the Arborist who ultimately demonstrated to the VCAT member that our client’s plans no longer endangered the lemon-scented gum. Being an experienced town planning consultancy for over 20 years, we have a phonebook containing many professionals who aid us in succeeding in VCAT reviews. Building a winning case for a VCAT Review is not as hard as it may seem. It simply takes some industry common-sense. Whilst we are not Arborists, we still had the common sense to know that we needed one to advise us and support us at VCAT. With our professional contacts and general knowledge in all things land development, we can instigate VCAT Decision Reviews and bring them to completion.

Keeping the Client Involved

During all of the efforts that we made to ultimately win our client the right to build seven town houses, we made sure they were involved every step of the process.
We did not work in the background while our client wondered, by themselves, what would happen to their future.
At the point of every new development, our client was involved, informed and, ultimately, giving us permission to go ahead with our strategies. As such, the process that we took was an empowering journey for our client.

If you seek empowerment with your proposal, call or email us as soon as possible.