THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, VCAT, has overturned a decision by the City of Whittlesea to refuse permission for a two-lot subdivision at 910 Donnybrook Road.

VCAT senior member John Bennett ruled to set aside council’s decision to refuse a permit for the subdivision of the 12-hectare property after a hearing last week.

Mr Bennett said council had refused the permit on the grounds that the proposed subdivision would ‘undermine or prevent the efficient and effective future urban development of the land in accordance with the Shenstone Park Precinct Structure Plan’.

The Shenstone Park PSP is a project by the Victorian Planning Authority, VPA, to create a long-term plan for urban development in an area of about 628 hectares of land bounded by Donnybrook Road to the north, Wollert to the south, the Sydney-Melbourne railway corridor to the west and an urban growth boundary to the east.

Mr Bennett agreed with developers that a two-lot subdivision was consistent with the PSP as the location of the boundary between the lots could facilitate the provision of a collector road in accordance with the Shenstone Park PSP and a four-way signalised intersection in both the Shenstone Park PSP and the adjacent Donnybrook-Woodstock PSP.

“The issue here is whether approval of the two-lot subdivision will result in a type of land fragmentation that will compromise or prejudice future urban development,” Mr Bennett said.

“On balance and having regard to the individual circumstances involving the review site and the advanced stage of the PSP for Shenstone Park, I consider that approval of the two-lot subdivision will not prejudice future urban use and development.

“Because of those individual circumstances, I am not persuaded that this approval will create a broader precedent for other two lot subdivisions and land fragmentation in the [urban growth zone].”