Hotel bid heads to VCAT

Hume City council . Photo by Damjan Janevski. 228421_03

Michaela Meade

An appeal for a building proposal that had the Westmeadows community up in arms in April has been lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The proposal was for a residential hotel at 11-17 Ardlie Street, Westmeadows, with basement level car parking, and included partial demolition and works to a building that is within a heritage overlay.

The proposal was met with 252 objections from residents, including a petition with 679 signatures, calling for the council to refuse the planning permit to the developer.

Councillors heard 25 public submissions at a council meeting in April, with only one in favour of the proposal, and unanimously voted to refuse the permit.

The developers lodged an appeal with VCAT, with a compulsory conference scheduled for Tuesday, September 14.

In a joint comment to Star Weekly, five Westmeadows residents said they would continue to fight the development with VCAT as they had with Hume council.

“The community [was] successful in its fight of the proposal at the Hume council town planning meeting in April and we will fight at VCAT,” they said.

“We are stronger when we stand together.

“We should never allow a developer to think they can come to an area and build what they want without a fight, especially when they have little to no understanding or respect for the site.”

The residents said the building at the site was “iconic” because of its history, and said the community wanted to continue to appreciate it.

“Although it is now in private hands the community would like it to remain a very prominent, easily seen and valued place that is not dwarfed or overpowered by a diametrically opposed style of building,” they said.

“We would prefer it to be honoured and accessible to our community for some shared benefit, befitting its historical significance.”