2 Pigeon Bank Road, North Warrandyte

This application was called in by the Ward Councillor on behalf of the applicant who planned to clear an enormous amount of land (740 trees) for his driveway and huge house near the top of the ridge. This would have meant much destruction of habitat and cause erosion and was in direct contravention with Planning rules that govern applications for development in the Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ). Councillors, ignorant of crucial planning rules voted to allow the development in the face of strong arguments for refusal of a permit by experienced Council Officers.

Friends of NIllumbik teamed up with the Warrandyte Community Association and the Green Wedge Protection Group to join residents in objecting to the development and mounted an appeal at VCAT. The developer argued that the submission of the neighbouring resident did not amount to an objection and went to the Supreme Court to have their appeal rejected. Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) assisted the commu nity groups by generously providing a Barrister and an assistant, pro bono.

The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the resident and the community groups and the developer withdrew the application.

As the Warrandyte Community Association pointed out, this whole sorry affair came about because Councillors rejected the strong advice of experienced Council Officers in voting for the developmenty. This was a significant win for the environment and the Green Wedge and we thank the EJA for their valuable assistance.