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Greg Tobin

Can a planning authority change its mind?

Can a planning authority change its mind?

The answer, according to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Canaan Holdings Pty Ltd v Whitehorse CC [2015] VCAT 1608, is ‘no’.

In February 2015, Whitehorse City Council decided to adopt Amendment C153 to the Whitehorse Planning Scheme (Amendment), which formed part of a combined application under s 96A of the Planning and Environment Act (Act).  Approximately a month late, in March, the Council purported to rescind its decision and to abandon the Amendment.

Owners Corporation rules cannot stop office to apartment conversions

Owners Corporation rules cannot stop office to apartment conversions

A recent decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has confirmed further restrictions on the ability of Owners Corporation rules to regulate the use of lots. This decision follows an earlier ruling that Owners Corporations are unable to stop short term leasing of apartments.

Common Owners Corporation rule declared invalid

Common Owners Corporation rule declared invalid

A recent VCAT decision has clarified the powers of Owners Corporations to regulate short term leasing. It is common for Owners Corporation Rules to restrict certain activities that can be done in a multi-unit complex.

Forum Hotel and Forum Theatre – can two projects be one?

Forum Hotel and Forum Theatre – can two projects be one?

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal  (VCAT) has last week considered the operation of Clause 61.01 which makes the Minister for Planning the responsible authority for certain planning applications within the City of Melbourne. 

More on revisiting decisions of the Tribunal

More on revisiting decisions of the Tribunal

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has provided further commentary concerning the use of section 87A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to modify existing planning permits.

Expert duty to notify material change of opinion at VCAT

Expert duty to notify material change of opinion at VCAT

Members in the Planning and Environment List have been increasingly reluctant to allow expert witnesses to introduce changes to a development proposal through expert evidence. Parties are expected to seek expert advice early and incorporate any expert recommendations through the amended plans process enabling due notice to be provided to other parties and the Tribunal of a proposed change.

Reliance on Aboriginal heritage mapping – proceed with caution

Reliance on Aboriginal heritage mapping – proceed with caution

A recent decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has highlighted the risk of relying on online mapping tools to assess whether a site is within an area of ‘cultural heritage sensitivity’ within the meaning of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and regulations.

Subdivision of land in two zones

Subdivision of land in two zones

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has clarified the interpretation of the provisions in all planning schemes in Victoria concerning the subdivision of land parcels which are in two planning zones.

Owners Corporation rule too 'vague' according to Tribunal

Owners Corporation rule too 'vague' according to Tribunal

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has found that Owners Corporation special rules purporting to prohibit ‘illegal’ behavior, a relatively common formulation of rule, are unlawful under the legislative regime created by the Owners Corporations Act 2006.