The VCAT gave epc.Pacific the green light to push through with the Melbourne bayside development

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has given the multi-storey development in Melbourne's premier bayside suburb a green light – despite local complaints about how it could affect the community.

Domain Group said developer epc.Pacific will now be able to push through with the development surrounding the railway station, which involves four buildings, the tallest one reaching 20 metres high. This will create 186 apartment units, seven shops, and four home office spaces.

Additionally, sixteen nearby public housing villa units with gardens will be demolished to make way for 18 apartments. This was supported by the Department of Health and Human Services.

In its judgment published last week, the tribunal said while the residents close to the development would experience significant change, it would not overweigh the community benefit.

“Whilst we understand that such a level of change can be quite confronting, it is inevitable given the site’s location [and] … its large size," it said.

Hampton Neighbourhood Association president Tony Batt said the decision was disappointing, as the proposed buildings would eradicate the seaside suburb's village atmosphere. He also mentioned possible traffic and parking problems the development could cause.

“It will turn into Chapel Street [with] slow-moving traffic," he said, as quoted by Domain Group.

For Fiona Ross of Friends of Public Housing, this was another case of public housing and public land being sacrificed for huge private development.

"We are concerned for vulnerable tenants, many with disabilities and aged pensioners, being pushed out of their homes and communities, with little or dubious protections in place for their future," Ross told Domain Group.

To know more about the VCAT's decision, click here.

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