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Application for construction of sheds for aviaries on Upwey property

Published on 07 December 2017


The application for the construction of three outbuildings at 51 Hughes Street Upwey has been approved by Council subject to conditions.

The resident has agreed to keep no more than 100 pigeons on his property, after Council rejected their previous application earlier this year.

The recent application was not advertised by Council as it was exempt from notice under the Erosion Management Overlay (EMO), which controls how buildings are constructed to minimise the risk of a landslip occurring.

An assessment by Council’s Planning Services team found the application met the criteria to manage the landslip risk at the site.

Director of Social and Economic Development Ali Wastie said the assessment was limited to construction and landslip risk only.

“The height and setback of buildings is not controlled by the EMO,” Ms Wastie said.

“Council is not assessing the use of the building or the visual and other amenity impacts.

“The use of the buildings is not controlled by the EMO, so could not be assessed.”

Ms Wastie said while objections were raised, the State Government legislation which applies, did not allow these issues to be considered or controlled through permit conditions.

The need for a permit was not triggered under the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO22) on the site due to the following :

  • The buildings’ footprint would not be more than 30 per cent of the land size
  • The sheds’ height would be less than 7.5m
  • There are no designated streams or open Melbourne Water drains within 10m
  • The aviaries would be raised on stumps with no alteration to the ground surface, within 4m of trees

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has previously stated that residents require a permit if they keep more than 100 birds.

“We have issued a permit for the buildings with a condition stating there must be no more than 100 pigeons kept on the property,” Ms Wastie said.

“If the number of pigeons is more than 100 on the property, then the need for a planning permit will be triggered.”

Council will be writing to all residents who have contacted Councillors to explain the decision in further detail.

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7 comment(s) so far...

In Hamlet, Shakespeare had Marcellus observe “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. So in Denmark, also in Lilydale. At the Council meeting on 24 October in Upwey, Council unanimously rejected a planning application in respect of Pigeon Lofts and animal husbandry for 51 Hughes Street, Upwey. That application had in excess of 39 objections, which covered all or almost all of the residents in the immediate area. The local feeling, on the issue, also expressed at a public meeting was very strongly against the proposal. The proponents lodged a new application on 8 November and this has now, on 21 November, only 13 days later, been approved by Planning WITHOUT ADVERTISING OR OPPORTUNITY FOR OBJECTIONS. A Planning Permit was issued on 29 November.

Residents of Hughes Street | 08 December 2017 09:13 AM | Report to moderator

In respect of the application and what was approved:• Not one of the three reasons for rejection of the original application YR-2016/1395 has been addressed in the 8 November 2017 application YR-2017/997 or in the conditions of the Planning Permit issued on 29 November 2017. To recap, these reasons for rejection detailed in Council’s “Refusal to Grant a Permit” dated 26 October 2017 were:1. The proposed pigeon lofts are setback an insufficient distance to the south side boundary(1.72m) to provide screen landscaping to soften the appearance of the development.2. The proposed pigeon lofts are too close to the dwellings on adjoining properties to provide sufficient separation from the potential smell.3. The application has failed to demonstrate that appropriate loft cleaning, vermin controls and feed storage are proposed to limit adverse amenity impacts to adjoining properties.

Residents of Hughes Street | 08 December 2017 09:18 AM | Report to moderator

• Unlike the permit conditions proposed by planning for the previous application YR-2016/1395:1. There is no condition that “The use and development must be so managed that the amenity of the area is not detrimentally affected”;2. there is no condition requiring a “Site Use and management Plan” to be approved by the Responsible Authority;3. There is no condition that “The premises must be operated in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Housing of Caged Birds” to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority4. MOST IMPORTANTLY there is no condition that “Offensive odours must not be discharged beyond the boundary of the premises”5. There is no condition that “Litter must not be discharged beyond the boundary of the premises” to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority.

Residents of Hughes Street | 08 December 2017 10:19 AM | Report to moderator

The new application differed from the original only in that there was no reference to animal husbandry or the number of pigeons. Physically, the sheds are unchanged in design or location. Given that Council had, with no dissenting votes, rejected the previous application, with 2 of the 3 reasons relating to the sheds rather than the use, it seems beyond belief that the application was not brought to the attention of objectors to the prior application nor to the attention of the Councillors, so giving them the opportunity to call it in.. The only condition of note is a limit of 100 pigeons.

Residents of Hughes Street | 08 December 2017 12:36 PM | Report to moderator

The Application valued the cost of the Development at $8,500. A detailed costing put the materials value alone at $14,000, labour at around $10,000, services at $1,500 and design, studies needed for the application and advocacy at up to $10,000. This means the value in the Application was clearly in error when submitted and Council was deprived of the appropriate fees for that value

Residents of Hughes Street | 08 December 2017 03:45 PM | Report to moderator

In respect of the Approval Process: • Conversations by Hughes Street residents with the responsible planner established that: 1. The decision to approve was made by that planner alone, without reference to a manager; 2. The manager has been on leave and the Planner did not refer the decision higher in the management chain; 3. Because the proposal was now limited to 100 pigeons, the Planner believed that the only trigger requiring a planning approval was the Erosion Management Overlay, and so only the buildings were assessed, NOT the proposed use;

Residents of Hughes Street | 12 December 2017 06:59 AM | Report to moderator

Further: 4. In the Planner’s own words “all the boxes had been ticked” – hardly an appropriate process for a proposal well known by the Planner to have significant opposition and to have been previously unanimously rejected by the Councillors on 3 grounds, two of which related to the buildings. It appears that there was never any thought that the Councillors should be consulted or even informed prior to the Permit being granted, so giving Councillors the opportunity to call the decision in for their determination. 5. Planning only have the ability to grant Planning Permits by virtue of “Referred Powers” – the power lies with the Councillors and Planning only has authority because the Council itself has referred this power to them and then only on a conditional basis.

Residents of Hughes Street | 12 December 2017 07:02 AM | Report to moderator

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