Logo_Primary_BlackWhite%20(JPG)

Minutes

 

OF Scheduled
COUNCIL MEETING

HELD ON

Monday 1 March 2021

AT 7:30PM

at
whittlesea community
activity centre,
57 laurel street, whittlesea


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATORS

 

LYDIA WILSON                            CHAIR OF COUNCIL

THE HON. BRUCE BILLSON      ADMINISTRATOR

On 19 June 2020 the Acting Minister for Local Government, Daniel Andrews appointed the Panel of Administrators for the City of Whittlesea and appointed Lydia Wilson as Chair of the Panel.  The Panel of Administrators comprises of Ms Lydia Wilson, The Honourable Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan and they will undertake the duties of the Council of the City of Whittlesea until the October 2024 Local Government Election.PEITA DUNCAN                           ADMINISTRATOR

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

 

 

SENIOR OFFICERS

 

 

CRAIG LLOYD                             CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

FRANK JOYCE                            EXECUTIVE MANAGER GOVERNANCE

KATE MCCAUGHEY                   DIRECTOR COMMUNITY WELLBEING

AMY MONTALTI                          DIRECTOR CORPORATE SERVICES & PERFORMANCE

JUSTIN O’MEARA                       DIRECTOR PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT

DEBBIE WOOD                            DIRECTOR INFRASTRUCTURE & ENVIRONMENT

 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                  Monday 1 March 2021

 

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

The Chief Executive Officer submitted the following business:

 

1.            Opening.. 9

1.1         MEETING OPENING & INTRODUCTIONS.. 9

1.2         PRAYER BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.. 9

1.3         ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS STATEMENT. 9

1.4         condolence STATEMENT for former councillor constantine mastoris. 10

1.5         Present.. 10

2.            Apologies.. 10

3.            Declarations of Interest. 10

4.            Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting.. 10

5.            Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters.. 11

5.1         Questions To ADMINISTRATORS.. 11

5.2         Petitions.. 13

Nil Reports.. 13

5.3         Joint Letters.. 13

Nil Reports.. 13

6.            Officers’ Reports.. 15

6.1         Connected Communities. 17

6.1.1       For Noting - COVID-19 Update on Key Issues - March 2021. 17

6.1.2       For Decision - Adoption of Community Engagement Policy   21

6.1.3       For Decision: Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan - progress report and proposed integration.. 53

6.1.4       For Decision - Sport and Recreation Victoria Stimulus Grant Application - HR Uren Recreation Reserve.. 87


 

6.2         Liveable Neighbourhoods.. 95

6.2.1       For Decision -  Planning Application 719338 - Construction of five dwellings at 30 Paddock Street Whittlesea.. 95

6.2.2       FOR DECISION - COUNCIL RESOLVE TO ADOPT PLANNING SCHEME AMENDMENT C252WSEA TO APPLY PUBLIC ACQUISITION OVERLAY IN WOLLERT PSP.. 127

6.2.3       FOR DECISION – PLANNING APPLICATION 719502 - CONSTRUCTION OF FOUR DWELLINGS AT 17 JUNIPER CRESCENT THOMATOWN.. 143

6.2.4       For Decision - Planning Application 719364 - Native Vegetation Removal at 105 Hunters Road, 105Y Hunters Road, 670 Bridge Inn Road, 80 McArthurs Road, 1215 Plenty Road, 55c McArthurs Road and 1W McArthurs Road, South Morang. 173

6.3         Strong Local Economy.. 203

Nil Reports.. 203

6.4         Sustainable Environment. 205

Nil Reports.. 205

6.5         High Performing Organisation.. 207

6.5.1       For Decision - City of Whittlesea Integrated Planning Framework.. 207

6.5.2       For Decision - 2020-21 New Works Program - Second Quarter Report. 223

6.5.3       For Noting - Council Action Plan 2020-2021 Quarter 2 Progress Report. 251

6.5.4       For Noting - Financial Performance Report 2020-21 - Quarter ended 31 December 2020 and 2020-21 Mid-Year Budget Review... 265

6.5.5       For Noting - Confirmation of minutes and associated actions of CEMAC meeting held 8 February 2021. 295

7.            Notices of Motion.. 299

Nil Reports.. 299

8.            Questions to Officers.. 299

9.            Urgent Business.. 299

10.         Reports from Delegates Appointed by Council to Other Bodies. 301

10.1        For Noting - Informal Meetings of Administrators and Delegate Meetings - 1 March 2021. 301


 

11.         Confidential Business. 309

11.1       Connected Communities. 309

11.1.1    For Feedback - Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service Agreement. 309

11.2       Liveable Neighbourhoods.. 311

Nil Reports.. 311

11.3       Strong Local Economy.. 311

Nil Reports.. 311

11.4       Sustainable Environment. 311

Nil Reports.. 311

11.5       High Performing Organisation.. 311

Nil Reports.. 311

11.6        Notices of Motion.. 311

Nil Reports.. 311

12.         Closure.. 313

 

 

Note:

In these Minutes, Resolutions adopted by Council are indicated in bold text.

 

 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

1.         Opening

1.1       MEETING OPENING & INTRODUCTIONS

The Chair of Council, Lydia Wilson opened the meeting at 7:30pm.

“Welcome to this Council meeting of 1 March which is being held at the Whittlesea Community Activity Centre and is again being livestreamed.

I am Lydia Wilson, Chair of the Panel of Administrators and I would also like to introduce my colleagues, Administrators Ms Peita Duncan and The Hon. Bruce Billson.

I would also like to introduce our Chief Executive Officer, Mr Craig Lloyd and Mr Lloyd if I could ask that in turn you introduce the members of your Executive Leadership Team in attendance today.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Craig Lloyd then introduced the members of the Executive Leadership Team:

“Good evening everyone, we also have with us:

Executive Manager Governance, Mr Frank Joyce;

Director Community Wellbeing, Ms Kate McCaughey;

Director Corporate Services & Performance, Ms Amy Montalti;

Director Planning & Development, Mr Justin O’Meara; and

Director Infrastructure & Environment, Ms Debbie Wood.

These members of the Executive Leadership Team will join us during the meeting.”

1.2       PRAYER BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Following the Introductions, the Chief Executive Officer read the following prayer:

Almighty God, we humbly beseech thee, to vouchsafe thy blessing upon this council.  Direct and prosper its deliberations to the advancement of thy glory and the true welfare of the people of the Whittlesea City Council.

Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen

1.3       ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF TRADITIONAL OWNERS STATEMENT

The Chair of Council, Lydia Wilson read the following statement:

“On behalf of the City of Whittlesea I recognise the rich Aboriginal heritage of this country and acknowledge the Wurundjeri Willum Clan as the Traditional Owners of this place.

I would also like to personally acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.”


 

1.4       condolence STATEMENT for former councillor constantine mastoris

“I would like to formally acknowledge the recent passing of former Councillor Constantine Mastoris.  Mr Mastoris was Councillor for the City of Whittlesea from 1984 to 1994 including a year of being Mayor from 1990-1991.  During his time on Council the Shire of Whittlesea was declared a City.  He was involved in the opening of Barry Road Community Activity Centre and also the opening of the Civic Centre.  He won a Multicultural award from the State Government in 2012.  Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

1.5       Present

Members:

Ms Lydia Wilson                  Chair of Council

The Hon. Bruce Billson        Administrator

Ms Peita Duncan                 Administrator

Officers:

Mr Craig Lloyd                     Chief Executive Officer

Ms Kristi High                      Executive Manager Corporate Affairs

Mr Frank Joyce                   Executive Manager Governance

Mr Justin O’Meara               Director Planning & Development

Ms Kate McCaughey          Director Community Wellbeing

Ms Debbie Wood                 Director Infrastructure & Environment

Ms Amy Montalti                  Director Corporate Services & Performance

Mr Mark Montague              Chief Financial Officer

Mr Justin Fox                       Planning Officer

Ms Emily Thompson            Planning Officer

2.         Apologies

Nil

3.         Declarations of Interest

NIL

4.         Confirmation of Minutes of Previous Meeting

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT the following Minutes of the preceding meeting as circulated, be confirmed:

Scheduled Meeting of Council held 2 February 2021.

Carried

 

5.         Questions, Petitions and Joint Letters

5.1       Questions To ADMINISTRATORS

NIL 

The answers provided verbally by the Chief Executive Officer at the meeting in response to questions asked by members of the public are preliminary answers provided on a without prejudice basis.  A formal written response to each question is sent following the Council meeting which contains Council official position on the matter.

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

5.2       Petitions

Nil Reports

5.3       Joint Letters

Nil Reports


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

6.         Officers’ Reports

 

Chief Executive Officer Explanatory Note

Under the Governance Rules 2020, Administrators are to be provided an opportunity to speak regarding each of the reports contained within the Agenda, without the need to indicate opposition for the purpose of debate.

 

 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

6.1       Connected Communities

6.1.1      For Noting - COVID-19 Update on Key Issues - March 2021  

Responsible Officer:           Chief Executive Officer

Author:                                  Chief Executive Officer   

 

Key points in relation to the COVID-19 Update was provided verbally by the Chief Executive Officer at the meeting.

The contents of the complete COVID-19 Update on Key Issues – March 2021 report was circulated to Council prior to the meeting and is as follows:

CONTEXT

February was a challenging month for COVID-19 restrictions with the Victorian Government’s 5-day circuit-breaker lockdown from 12 February to 17 February once again forcing a quick response from Council and the community to adapt to the changes.

Restrictions were further eased from 26 February to a return for the most part to the COVID Safe Summer settings.

Other key happenings during February included:

·         Supporting community reconnection through in-person arts and cultural activities with COVID-Safe measures.

·         Assisting businesses to adapt to changes to restrictions.

·         Supporting local businesses with outdoor dining infrastructure.

·         Providing financial and practical support to community members through hardship applications, grants, information and referrals for emergency relief.

·         Providing financial and in-kind support to local services under the $500,000 Emergency Relief Fund to help them to provide emergency food relief and essential items to vulnerable community members.

·         Start of the vaccine rollout to groups at highest risk of infection.

·         Starting a series of conversations with the community on the Council Plan 2021-2025 and how Council should prioritise its $2 million community recovery fund.

COMMUNITY IMPACTS

On jobs and our economy

Deloitte Economics are forecasting a brighter 2021 for the economy than was originally expected. The Victorian economy is expected to grow fastest of all at 5%. While it will take some time for the longer-term economic impacts to become clearer at the local level, there are some promising signs of recovery.

In December, 14,609 City of Whittlesea residents received JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payments, (9.5% of the population aged 15-64 years). This is a decrease of more than 500 residents compared with November and the lowest proportion of recipients recorded in the City of Whittlesea since July 2020. However, the December numbers remain more than double the proportion of recipients in March 2020 (6,988; 4.5%).

By the end of January 2021, there were 95.4% of the number of payroll jobs in the local region compared with the start of the pandemic in March 2020. In a promising trend, the slight decrease in payroll jobs over the December holiday period has recovered, with the number of local jobs increasing by 4.5% over January.

COUNCIL RESPONSE

Services

Council continued to deliver services through February including adapting to the Victorian Government’s 5-day circuit-breaker lockdown. Services were adapted to be delivered online as required during that period and then returned to normal quickly once the lockdown ended.

Restrictions were further eased on 26 February and Council can now welcome 75 per cent of staff back to the office. Masks regulations have also eased and masks are only required in high-risk settings.

Emergency relief

Council continued to provide financial and in-kind support to local non-government organisations under the $500,000 Emergency Relief Fund. In February, Council received nine requests for financial support which have been assessed and approved for funding to provide emergency food and essential items.  There was one request for non-financial assistance which is currently being investigated. All emergency relief providers have reported that the need for emergency food and essential items remains high.

Business support

Supporting our local business community to recover from the impacts of the pandemic continues to be a priority.

Council continues to run events as part of the Business Recovery Support program including professional mentoring sessions, networking events in partnership with Banyule City Council and Nillumbik Shire, and educational workshops on topics including social media and websites.

In February, the second round of approximately 250 COVID-Safe goody bags was delivered to cafes, restaurants and food takeaways throughout the municipality. Each bag consists of hand sanitizer, reusable masks, COVID-safe poster and a Think Local, Buy Local, Create Local Jobs window decal.

As part of the state government’s Contactless Thermometer Program, Council received approximately 200 thermometers and have delivered almost 100 of these to local businesses so far.

Council continues to work with local businesses and shopping precincts to transition to outdoor dining under the Victorian Government’s ‘Outdoor dining and entertainment package’. Stage 2 of the project is progressing with installation of additional seating and tables to be rolled out during March along with an events program. Council has applied for further Victorian Government funding to assist with the delivery of the events series, activation initiatives and targeted marketing that can coincide with Council’s Think Local and Visitor Economy initiatives.

Five businesses registered with Council under the Food Act or Public Health and Wellbeing Act closed in February 2021, all had suffered from the impacts of the Victorian Government pandemic restrictions. Out of these, four businesses were food businesses and the remaining one was public health and wellbeing business. However, a total of eight businesses opened in February – five of them were food businesses and three were public health and wellbeing businesses.

Financial support

In February 2021, Council received an additional 23 hardship applications via the COVID-19 Hardship Policy. A total of 208 applications have been received since 6 April 2020, and 161 have been approved.

 

The final round for Whittlesea Creative Community Fund for this financial year opened on 15 February and closed on 1 March. These grants were initiated as part of Council’s pandemic response to support the badly affected artistic community.

The Community Relief Grants and Sports Club Emergency Grants program remains open and applications are assessed upon arrival.

Preparation are underway to launch the Community Reconnection Grant Program in March 2021. The Program will invite applications for initiatives to support community groups to reconnect and reactivate.

Community connection

Council is continuing to develop new projects that will help our community to reconnect and recover from the impacts of the pandemic through arts, culture and creativity. We have delivered an information session to the community to provide advice about running COVID-safe events and the new Public Events framework.

Council’s newly established Arabic Community Support Group, African Community Support Group and Asylum Seeker Social Support Group continue to provide support and information to members of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Council also chaired the Whittlesea CALD COVID-19 Recovery Network meeting on 17 February with seven local services and provided case work support to four asylum seekers.

Council also continues to work towards providing support to local international students impacted by the pandemic. Council hosted International Student Forum on 15 February to listen to feedback regarding COVID impacts and held International Student Project Management meeting with local tertiary institutions including La Trobe University, RMIT University and Melbourne Polytechnic, and with Whittlesea Community Connections (WCC).

Council also held the first International Student Representative Advisory Group meeting on 22 February.

For Aboriginal communities, Council chaired the City of Whittlesea Aboriginal COVID-Response Network on 5 February and distributed 60 Coles vouchers of $50 each to Aboriginal families with newborn babies via MCH program, following the partnership established with the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee.

COVID-19 vaccination program

The Australian COVID-19 vaccination program has commenced with priority populations including aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline healthcare workers and quarantine and border workers. A staged rollout of the Pfizer vaccine commenced on 22 February. Vaccine doses are available for the listed priority groups through hospital sites in metropolitan and regional areas as well as in residential aged care and disability care facilities. The first vaccination hubs that became operational in Victoria were Monash Medical Centre Clayton, Sunshine Hospital, Austin Health and University Hospital Geelong.

Council is working closely with Victorian Government, Austin Health, Northern Hospital and DPV Health to ensure City of Whittlesea residents are provided with a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination program.

Recovery planning

The Municipal COVID-19 Pandemic Readiness and Recovery Plan was adopted by Council and is currently being implemented and will be reported on to Council quarterly.

In February, Council begun its community engagement process on the City of Whittlesea Council Plan 2021-2025, which will include COVID-19 pandemic responses. This consultation will also explore community perspectives to guide the roll out of the $2 million Community Recovery Fund based on the four Whittlesea 2040 goals. A series of online and in-person activities have been planned for the community to inform where Council should focus its efforts to help our community over the next four years.

In mid-February two online Council Plan Q&A sessions with the CEO and Administrators were well attended. More than 100 people attended online to talk about our City's future.   

Council has circulated two online surveys – one for the community and the other for service providers in our municipality to share their views.

Today, an in-person community forum was held before the Council Meeting where the residents were able to talk with Administrators and Council staff.

In March, there will also be a number of focus groups that will be run for residents to input into the process. Council will also hold forums for young people, the disability advisory network, and the CALD and Indigenous communities. 

In early March, Council will set-up pop-ups in 10 locations across the municipality, including at local shopping centres.

COMMUNICATIONS

During February Council pandemic communications focussed on amplifying Victorian Government messaging around restrictions changes. We continue to use a variety of communication mediums including print, radio, digital and social media.

Council will continue to support messaging around the vaccine program roll-out and will be focusing on local business support.

February was also a busy time for communication around the opportunities to be involved in the Council Plan engagement, including community budgeting workshops to determine the best way to support the community in pandemic recovery.

Local Scoop will be delivered to households from 1 March.

CONCLUSION 

Council thanks the community for continuing to adhere to evolving Victorian Government restrictions. Now with a return to CovidSafe Summer settings, we encourage residents to continue to take care and to get tested if they are displaying any symptoms.

Council will support the rollout of the vaccine to build a sense of safety and confidence in the vaccine and the vaccination process and to ensure our communities are well-informed.

And will continue to work together with businesses and the local community on pandemic recovery efforts.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolves to note the verbal update by the Chief Executive Officer on the impacts of COVID-19 on our community.

Carried

 

 

 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.1.2 For Decision - Adoption of Community Engagement Policy 

Attachments:                        1        Community Engagement Policy   

Responsible Officer:           Executive Manager Corporate Affairs

Author:                                  Participation and Engagement Advisor   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

The recommendation is for Council to adopt the Community Engagement Policy.

Brief overview

This report outlines the development of a new Community Engagement Policy to demonstrate Council’s commitment to engage with people who live, work, invest and study in the City of Whittlesea. It outlines Council’s promise to listen to, and represent the views of, our community. The Policy also complies with the Local Government Act 2020.

rationale for recommendation

The policy articulates the values, principles and commitments Council will meet regarding community engagement. It aims to instil confidence amongst our community that Council will undertake and participate in meaningful engagement by highlighting our principles that will out the expectations, responsibilities and processes. A Community Engagement Policy is also a requirement under the new Local Government Act 2020 to be adopted by 1 March 2020.

impacts of recommendation

Council is enhancing the way it engages the community. This Policy commits the Council and its Officers to engage in a meaningful and timely way to ensure everyone living and working in the City of Whittlesea can participate in decision-making. This recommendation also ensures the City of Whittlesea remains compliant with the Local Government Act 2020 by adopting a Policy that improves the quality of its community engagement.  

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Following the adoption of the Community Engagement Policy, a four-year Community Engagement Strategy and Implementation Plan will be developed that aligns with the next Council Plan 2021-25. As part of this Strategy, key performance indicators will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Policy. The Policy will be reviewed at the June Council Meeting when the Council Plan and Annual Budget 201-22 are adopted to ensure. Following this review, the Policy will be reviewed every June in line with the Council Action Plan for each year.

 

Report

Background

Council’s Community Engagement Policy (attachment 1) was developed and revised between August 2020 and 22 February 2021. The policy was informed by internal and external consultation.

Community consultation resulted in six responses in total. The most common concern expressed was about the accessibility of the engagement Council conducts, and the revised draft Community Engagement Policy addressed these concerns.

Following the adoption of the Community Engagement Policy, a four-year Community Engagement Implementation Plan will be developed (2021-25), and community engagement resources will be updated to align with the revised policy. 

Council will also design a community friendly version of the policy following its adoption, which will be available on Council’s website. 

Council will review its Community Engagement Policy with community no later than 15 months after the policy is adopted. This will enable Council and community to benefit from one year of the policy in operation to inform the review.

Proposal

The purpose of this report is to recommend Council’s adoption of the Community Engagement Policy.

Consultation

As required by the Local Government Act 2020, community engagement was undertaken on the Community Engagement Policy. Community feedback sought through a survey between 29 January and 14 February 2021, which was promoted by council through a range of methods including Council’s website, networks and media channels. 

Prior to community consultation, Council staff were consulted on the draft Community Engagement Policy between 22 December 2020 and 15 January 2021. Seven responses were received from a mix of individual staff and teams. The main staff concerns were in line with those of the community, particularly around improving accessibility.

Critical Dates

·    The Local Government Act 2020 requires the Community Engagement Policy to be adopted by 1 March 2021.

·    First review of the adopted Community Engagement Policy completed no later than 30 June 2022.

Financial Implications

There are no direct financial costs to consider in adopting the Policy, however the Community Engagement Strategy and Implementation Plan will outline a required Budget for engagement in 2021-22.

Policy strategy and legislation

Council’s Community Engagement Policy complies with the Local Government Act 2020. The Policy also complies with the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Victorian Child Friendly Cities and Communities Charter. Council’s Community Engagement Policy is integrated with existing organisational priorities as documented in the following City of Whittlesea policies, strategies, plans and Charters:

Aboriginal Inclusion Charter

Multicultural Policy 2020

Anti-Racism Strategy

Positive Aging Strategy 2016-25

Communications Strategy 2019-22

Public Transparency Policy 2020

Community Building Policy 2019

Reconciliation Action Plan 2017-20

Community Building Strategy 2019

Reconciliation Policy 2015

Community Building Strategy Action Plan 2019-21

Thriving Children, Young People and Families Action Plan 2020-2022

Disability Action Plan 2017-2021

Thriving Children, Young People and Families Strategy 2020

Early Years Policy 2017

Whittlesea 2040: A Place for All

Equal and Safe Strategy 2019

Youth Plan 2030+

Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2021-2025

 

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Community and Stakeholder Engagement - Ineffective stakeholder engagement resulting in compromised community outcomes and/or non-achievement of Council's strategic direction

Council’s Community Engagement Policy provides a critical opportunity to rebuild community trust in local democracy and improve Council’s engagement performance. 

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

The Local Government Act 2020 requires Council to adopt its Community Engagement Policy by 1 March 2021.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Connected community

Key Direction                        A participating community

 

Development of a strategic and coordinated approach to community engagement is at the very core of ensuring a participatory community.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Council’s Community Engagement Policy is a commitment to our community about how the City of Whittlesea will enhance its engagement with community to drive better community outcomes. The policy will be supported by a four-year Strategy and Implementation Plan. The Policy will be reviewed in line with the adoption of this Strategy in June 2021 and then every 12 months to ensure it is meets the community’s changing needs and responds to Council’s legislative requirements.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Community Engagement Policy.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to:

1.         Adopt the Community Engagement Policy; and

2.       Conduct the first review of the Community Engagement Policy no later than 30 June 2022.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.1.3 For Decision: Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan - progress report and proposed integration 

Attachments:                        1        Health Plan Progress Update 2019/20

2        Health Plan 2017-2021 Summary of outstanding actions

3        Emerging Health and Wellbeing Directions 2021-2025   

Responsible Officer:           Director Community Wellbeing

Author:                                  Team Leader Health Planning   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

1.       Endorse the proposal to integrate the processes for community consultation and engagement, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan 2021-2025 into the processes for development of the Council Plan 2021-2025.

2.       Apply to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to seek an exemption to the requirement for a stand-alone Municipal Public Health Plan, submit the draft Council Plan and outline commitment to meet other requirements under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

3.       Note the 2019/20 progress report for the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021 (Attachment 1) and outstanding actions (Attachment 2) which relate to the entire period of the plan.

Brief overview

This report provides:

·    The rationale for the Council Plan 2021-2025 integrating pandemic recovery and health and wellbeing matters, and an overview of related legislative requirements.

·    A progress update on the third year of the HWPP 2017-2021 and an overview of priorities for 2020/21 (refer Attachment 1).

·    Proposed health and wellbeing directions (2021-2025) to respond to current and emerging challenges and opportunities and subject to ongoing consultation with partners and community (refer Attachment 3).

rationale for recommendatioN

An integrated planning approach will maximise community outcomes and avoid duplication of effort in consultation, monitoring and reporting.

There is a strong alignment between the Environments for Health approach which guides W2040 goals, municipal public health planning as well as disaster recovery planning. All W2040 goals contribute to community health outcomes.


 

Whittlesea 2040 goals

Environments for Health (DHHS)[1]

Disaster Recovery Environments (EMV)[2]

Connected community

Social

Social

Liveable neighbourhoods

Built

Built infrastructure

Strong local economy

Economic

Economic

Sustainable environment

Natural

Natural

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated key social and economic determinants of health, such as financial vulnerability, unemployment/underemployment, inequality and social isolation and will have a strong impact upon mental and physical wellbeing. Pandemic recovery will require an alignment with Whittlesea 2040 goals and a strengthened focus on the social and economic environment. The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of access to the natural environment and this presents an opportunity to strengthen access to local natural green open space. Strengthening integrated planning and maximising community outcomes is particularly relevant in the context of pandemic recovery planning with limited Council resources.

impacts of recommendation

Benefits

Strengthened

·    mandate and greater joined up work for community health and wellbeing outcomes across Council and partners

·    integrated planning

·    monitoring and reporting with minimised duplication

·    greater focus on key community projects and initiatives which tangibly improve health outcomes for the Whittlesea community.

Potential negative impacts

·    Inadequate alignment of the planning tasks

·    Losing line of site or focus on community health and wellbeing outcomes when initiatives are captured as part of a larger strategic Plan.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

An integrated approach to planning ensures pandemic recovery and health and wellbeing matters are considered through the Council Plan community consultation and engagement process scheduled to commence in the third quarter of the current financial year. Council will also engage with key external stakeholders to ensure relevant input and partnership opportunities are explored through the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan Governance Group.

Reflecting health and wellbeing priorities that arise from the planning process in the Council Plan will have the added benefits of strengthening accountability and integrated planning for health across Council departments. It will optimise efficient use of resources by ending the current duplication of monitoring and reporting processes, enabling a focus on implementation and delivering outcomes.

In addition to our external partnership consultation group (the Health & Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021 Steering Committee), an internal working group will be established with representation from key enabling Departments to guide priority setting and strategic health actions and coordinate integration into the new Council Plan and associated community engagement.

Report

Introduction

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 provides councils the option to include public health and wellbeing matters in a Council Plan rather than develop a stand-alone municipal public health and wellbeing plan (MPHWP). The Council Plan 2013-2017 had an integrated MPHWP. Planning processes and timelines for the Council Plan 2017-2021 period did not align and provide the opportunity to continue with an integrated approach. External and internal evaluation provides a strong rationale for integration for the 2021-2025 period. An integrated approach would enable Council to meet MPHWP legislation requirements, related to addressing climate change, the health impacts of climate change, gender equality and preventing family violence in Council and MPHW planning.

Background

Local government is required to undertake municipal public health and wellbeing planning under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the Act).

The Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan (MPHWP) is a strategic plan that sits alongside and integrates with the Council Plan and other local plans of community partners with an interest in community health and wellbeing. 

A MPHWP outlines action to enable people living in the municipality to achieve maximum health and wellbeing. In line with section 26 of the Act the MPHWP must:

·    include an examination of data about health status and health determinants in the municipal district,

·    identify goals and strategies based on evidence for creating a local community in which people can achieve maximum health,

·    provide for involvement of people in the local community in the development, implementation and evaluation of the public health plan

·    specify how the council will work in partnership with the Department of Health and other agencies undertaking public health initiatives, projects and programs to accomplish the goals identified in the public health plan

·    be consistent with the Council Plan prepared under section 125 of the Local Government Act 1989; and the municipal strategic statement prepared under section 12A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Source: Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, s.26

Councils are required to produce the MPHWP within 12 months of the election of a Council. However, s. 27 of the Act includes a provision for councils to be exempt from a stand-alone MPHWP if they choose to include public health and wellbeing matters in their Council Plan.  If a Council chooses to integrate their MPHWP with their Council Plan they must submit a draft to the Secretary of Health who will then either approve of the integration and grant an exemption from having a separate MPHWP or require a separate Plan.

Including public health and wellbeing matters in the Council Plan allows for an alternative way of considering and documenting the public health and wellbeing goals and strategies that arise from key planning processes.


 

The Act stipulates that in preparing a MPHWP Council must “have regard” to the state public health plan. Priorities of the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023 are:

·    Tackling climate change and its impact on health;

·    Reducing injury;

·    Preventing all forms of violence;

·    Increasing healthy eating;

·    Decreasing the risk of drug resistant infections in the community;

·    Increasing active living;

·    Improving mental wellbeing;

·    Improving sexual and reproductive health;

·    Reducing tobacco-related harm; and

·    Reducing harmful alcohol and drug use.

Whilst not specified as a Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023 priority, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will also continue to be a health priority of all levels of government.

The Victorian public health and wellbeing outcomes framework brings together a comprehensive set of indicators to assist in monitoring and reporting progress towards improvements in community health and wellbeing. The outcomes framework is closely aligned to the Whittlesea 2040 vision, and the environments for health approach reflect key domains which are within the remit and capacity of Local Government to influence.

 

Evidence: Council Plan integration vs stand-alone MPHWP

In 2013 the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with support from the MAV developed a resource to assist councils to systematically consider the benefits and risks of integration compared with stand-alone MPHWP[3]. The resource highlighted three key benefits to including public health and wellbeing matters in a Council Plan:

1.   Strengthening the mandate: A single, high-level plan that can drive a focus on health and wellbeing across council – this brings the potential to strengthen the mandate for health and wellbeing action;

2.   Strengthening integrated planning: A single planning process that can align and coordinate planning and budgeting tasks – this has the potential to strengthen integrated planning and optimise planning resources; and

3.   Strengthening monitoring and reporting: The health and wellbeing intentions of council are bound by the monitoring and reporting requirements of a council plan – this increases the likelihood of strengthening public accountability about council’s health and wellbeing activities.

The independent evaluation undertaken to inform the 2013 resource identified:

·    All Councils who had integrated had a strong commitment to continue for the next planning round; and

·    Integration created opportunities for a shift in health planner function, evolving from delivering health and wellbeing actions to influencing and advising departments delivering health and wellbeing outcomes through their core activities.

A Whittlesea evaluation completed in 2017 highlighted that the integrated approach for the 2013-2017 period had:

·    added to the breadth of the stakeholder and community consultation;

·    streamlined monitoring and reporting processes;

·    fostered an understanding of the social determinants of health more widely across departments and in broader planning approaches; and

·    noted that planning processes and timelines for the Council Plan 2017-2021 period did not provide the opportunity to continue with an integrated approach.

Priorities for the final year of the Health Plan

Key Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan priorities for the 2020/21 period have a strong alignment with action to address the impacts of the pandemic and support pandemic recovery including:

·    Financial Vulnerability

·    Gender equity and family violence prevention

·    Employment feasibility study

·    Integrating equity across Council planning and resource allocation processes

·    Responding to emerging health, social and economic needs of the community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public health and wellbeing planning process and timelines for 2021-25 period

Evidence to inform planning 2021-2025

An integrated approach to the Council Plan incorporating pandemic recovery planning and public health planning will be strengthened by the rigorous scan of data required in municipal public health and wellbeing planning.  The Health Planning team maintain and update a comprehensive evidence base to inform planning, including; quantitative and qualitative data about health status and health determinants in the municipality, reviews of literature and analysis of transferable practice models.  This evidence is currently being integrated into the update of the W2040: Background Paper by consultants SGS Economic and Planning, which will form the basis of a strategic, evidence informed planning process for the 2021-2025 period.

Community consultation and engagement 2021-2025

An integrated consultation and engagement process for the Council Plan, MPHWP and Pandemic Recovery Plan is scheduled and will commence in the third quarter of the current financial year (January - April 2021) in line with the endorsed Community Engagement Program 2021.

Planning and prioritisation 2021-2025

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act requires Council to work in partnership with the Department of Health and other agencies undertaking public health initiatives, projects and programs to accomplish the goals and strategies identified in the public health and wellbeing plan. The Health & Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021 Steering Committee, which includes senior management representation from key local health and human service organisations[4], provides an existing governance structure for consultation with subject matter experts and key partner organisations. An internal Health Working Group will also be established with representation from key departments.

Consultation

Prior to the pandemic an integrated Council/Health Plan approach was identified as the most efficient and effective approach. Extensive deliberations have since been undertaken internally with key departments and external partners, and there is a support for integrated planning for the 2021-2025 period that will maximise outcomes and avoids duplication. Extensive evidence of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on community and Council resources has reinforced the need for streamlined planning for the 2021-2025 period.

The 2021 Community Engagement Program, endorsed by Council recognises the outcomes from community engagement will inform Council’s Council Plan, Community Recovery Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.  These actions will be highly interdependent to achieve positive community outcomes. 

Critical Dates

Councils are required to produce the MPHWP within 12 months of the election of a Council election. The same timelines apply for Council where elections will not be required (October 2021). The integrated MPHWP and Council Plan 2021-2025 will align with the June 2021 timelines for the Council Plan.

 

Key Stages

Timelines

Social determinants of health data integrated into SGS Economics W2040 background report.

End January

Map key external partner organisation’s current and emerging preventive health priorities, planning processes and timelines to maximise collective impact.

End of January 

Establish internal Health Working Group with representation from key enabling departments

End of January 

Population health data update and analysis (health status and social determinants of health indicators).

Mid-February

Consultation with subject matter experts and key partner organisations through the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan (HWPP) Steering Committee[5] (to share evidence, refine priority setting criteria, explore alignment maximise collective impact).

Meetings

December 2020

March 2021

Integrated community engagement and consultation Council Plan, Community Recovery Plan and Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan in line with the endorsed 2021 Community Engagement Program.

January-April 2021

Consultation with Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan (HWPP) Steering Committee and internal Health Working Group to refine health and wellbeing goals and strategies and intended outcomes and indicators.

May 2021

Health and wellbeing goals and strategies integrated into 4-Year Council Plan

May 2021

4-Year Council Plan to Council briefing

7 June 2021

4-Year Council Plan presented to Council for endorsement

15 June 2021

Council apply to the Secretary of the Department of Health to seek an exemption to the requirement for a stand-alone Municipal Public Health Plan

16 June 2021

Proposed health and wellbeing directions (2021-2025)

Preliminary assessment has identified priority health and wellbeing directions which respond to current and emerging COVID-19 related challenges and opportunities:

·    Reducing discrimination and promoting social inclusion, particularly those exacerbated by the pandemic.

·    Promoting gender equity and preventing gender-based violence, including working with the Victorian Government on responses to recent Coroner Court findings (Whittlesea Suicide Prevention Project).

·    Support for rollout-of COVID-19 vaccination program.

·    To increase community members’ access to natural environments as well as Whittlesea’s agricultural assets and heritage (through initiatives such as green prescriptions, community farm and food collective projects, bush kindergarten programs, community led Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Traditional Owner health and wellbeing programs, etc).

·    Ensure our major community infrastructure investments maximises health and wellbeing benefits and outcomes; is available and accessible to the widest possible set of cohorts within our community (now and for future generations); and where feasible is proximate to sustainable transport infrastructure and within mixed use precincts and so that our residents increasingly have active transport choices in decades to come. This is part of our response to climate change, greater population health and building future sustainability, equity and choices into the fabric of our cities.  For example, we want it to be easy for young people, older people and other community members without access to a private vehicle to get to a pool and other leisure/community facilities on their own steam. This is more effectively realised by locating major community facilities within town centres and in immediate proximity to major public transport infrastructure.  Many of the City of Whittlesea’s major community facilities are currently car dependent.


 

·    Working locally: Reducing barriers to access to local and flexible employment and maximising employment pathways. This approach is underpinned by the evidence that unemployment contributes to poor mental health and social isolation (i.e. We don’t get well so we can go to work. We go to work to stay well).

·    Tackling climate change and its impact on health, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups and precincts.

·    Measures to reduce the number of hours Whittlesea residents spend commuting to work (currently between 2 and 3 hours), especially those which build on shifts and changes to working patterns and commutes from the pandemic.

Refer Attachment 2. Emerging health and wellbeing directions (2021-2025)

These health and wellbeing directions and emerging insights will be explored through the consultation and engagement and planning process. A rigorous priority setting criteria which considers; evidence, efficacy, feasibility, readiness, resources, organisational capacity partnership opportunities and policy alignment will be used to determine suitability for inclusion.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications of an integrated Council Plan/ MPHWP approach to planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting.

It is anticipated there will be positive financial and quality assurance implications in terms of reduced duplication of monitoring and reporting.

Policy strategy and legislation

Whittlesea 2040: A Place for all

The long-term vision for the City of Whittlesea which guides all of Council’s work and future partnerships with the community and others.

The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2019–2023

The overarching policy framework for improving public health and wellbeing in Victoria.

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

·    Section 26 (2) of the Act requires councils to specify (in their municipal public health and wellbeing plan) measures to prevent family violence and respond to the needs of victims of family violence in the local community State Health and Wellbeing

·    Section 26(3) of the Act requires councils to have regard to the State public health and wellbeing plan in developing their municipal public health and wellbeing plan.

Gender Equality Act 2020

·    Requires councils employing 50 or more staff to undertake a Gender Impact Assessment when developing or reviewing any policy, program or service that has a direct and significant impact on the public.

Climate Change Act 2017

·    Section 17 of the Act requires councils to have regard to climate change in preparation of their municipal public health and wellbeing plans

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

This integrated approach will ensure legislative compliance and there are legislated inclusions for a MPHWP in the Council plan under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Connected community

Key Direction                        A healthy and safe community

 

The development of the MPHWP provides a strategic evidence-based approach to ensuring Council maximises health and wellbeing outcomes in the local community.

The MPHWP is informed by an Environments for Health approach and has outcomes across all W2040 goals.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Council’s 2019/20 progress report (Attachment 1) for the HWPP 2017-2021 highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has informed Council’s public health responses over this period.

An integrated planning approach will maximise community outcomes and avoid duplication of effort in monitoring and reporting.

There is a strong alignment between the Environments for Health approach which guides municipal public health planning, and W2040 goals.

The pandemic has exacerbated key social and economic determinants of health. Pandemic recovery will require an alignment with Whittlesea 2040 goals and a focus on the social and economic determinants of community health and wellbeing. Disaster recovery environments links closely to W2040 and the Environment for Health’s framework.

Strengthening integrated planning and maximising community outcomes is particularly relevant in the context of pandemic recovery planning with limited Council resources.

 


 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Endorse the proposal to integrate the processes for community consultation and engagement, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan 2021-2025 into the processes for development of the Council Plan 2021-2025.

2.       Apply to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to seek an exemption to the requirement for a stand-alone Municipal Public Health Plan, and include in this correspondence the draft Council Plan and its’ associated Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 commitments.

3.       Note the 2019/20 progress report for the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Plan 2017-2021 (Attachment 1).

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.1.4 For Decision - Sport and Recreation Victoria Stimulus Grant Application - HR Uren Recreation Reserve   

Responsible Officer:           Director Community Wellbeing

Author:                                  Manager Leisure & Community Facilities   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council support the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program (Round Two) application for the HR Uren Recreation Reserve upgrade project; and write to local MP’s informing them of the funding application and project. 

Brief overview

·    The HR Uren Recreation Reserve facilities no longer meet Football Victoria’s minimum facility standards or the needs of the broader community.

·    Council has been invited by Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) to apply for the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program (Stimulus Program). The HR Uren Recreation Reserve upgrade project is Council’s only eligible project. The application would request $3,690,772 funding for the project.

·    The upgrade project proposes a separate multi-purpose social space to the existing sporting pavilion, which will be available for community use and provide recreational participation opportunities for residents. Additionally, a synthetic pitch upgrade will be completed which will provide for a higher level of participation and lower maintenance costs.

rationale for recommendation

Council’s Open Space Strategy 2016, and Sporting and Community Pavilion Guidelines 2020 provide a strategic vision for the upgrade and renewal of ageing Council assets with the established areas of the municipality. The upgrade of the HR Uren Recreation Reserve has been planned in collaboration with the local community and tenant sporting club. The invitation to resubmit an application for a significant stimulus grant presents an opportunity for Council to realise other projects within its long-term capital works program earlier than scheduled.

impacts of recommendation

Applying for the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program impacts the current project timelines, with the currently allocated $1,550,000 for the synthetic pitch redevelopment not being spent in 2020-21, and the budget allocation needing to be carried forward to 2021-22 (unless the funding application is successful). This means that regardless of the outcome of any application for stimulus funding, a planned construction commencement date of March 2021 will be delayed until the conclusion of the winter soccer season.

The impact of such a delay will affect the operations of the tenanted club at HR Uren (Lalor United Football Club) and contractors who have tendered for the synthetic pitch design and construction. This can be managed by Council officers. The positive impacts of the recommendation could result in a significant additional external funding opportunity for Council.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Further to the project delivery, reputational and financial impacts, the following social benefits have been identified and need to be considered as part of the recommended project.

·    Increased cohesion: The multipurpose pavilion will provide a platform to bring members of the community together, supported by the synthetic pitch surface encouraging increased community use.

·    Increased participation: This project will provide suitable facilities to encourage more participation, especially female membership. The synthetic pitch surface increases the community and soccer club’s usage of the reserve

 

Report

Background

HR Uren Recreation Reserve

HR Uren Recreation Reserve, 62 Carrington Boulevard, Thomastown, includes two soccer pitches, floodlighting, sporting pavilion and carpark. The pavilion, car park and pitches were built pre 2000, with the facilities having undergone some upgrades, including an extension to the pavilion in 2010. These facilities no longer meet Football Victoria’s minimum facility standards, Council’s Sporting and Community Pavilion Guidelines 2020 or the needs of the tenanted club, Lalor United Football Club. 

The ageing infrastructure, deteriorating surface condition of the natural turf and lack of a social room impact the club’s ability to grow participation, host back to back fixtures and restrict any multipurpose or broader community use of the existing infrastructure. The number of available carparking spaces (58) is not suitable for a club of this size (over 320 members) and is resulting in residential traffic issues during peak times.

Lalor United Football Club is one of the largest football clubs in the municipality and is the sole tenant of HR Uren Recreation Reserve. The Club has a total of 22 teams consisting of four senior men’s, three junior girl’s, four junior boys and 11 mini-roos teams. In recent years the club have received ongoing interest to expand and grow, particularly from junior females who live near the grounds; further growth is highly restricted within the current facilities.

Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program 

On 18 December 2020, Council received an invitation from SRV regarding Round Two of the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program. SRV informed Council that, following the overwhelming demand of SRV’s Round One, a further $110 million has been provided through the 2020-21 state budget to support a Round Two of the programs. All applications in Round Two are by invitation only, with SRV pre-selecting unsuccessful projects from Round One for further consideration. As the HR Uren upgrade project was originally submitted in Round One, it is eligible for submission in Round Two. Council is unable to submit any other projects from a resubmitted application and is precluded from applying for any increase in the funding amount originally sought i.e. $3,690,772.  

On 23 December 2020, Council officers met with SRV officials to discuss the potential application for the HR Uren pavilion and synthetic pitch. Noting all grants need to align to the program guidelines and undergo a thorough procurement process by SRV. Initial feedback on Council potentially submitting the HR Uren upgrade project for consideration was positive, specifically:

·    Commencing construction works prior to any application outcome would see the project ineligible for funding.

·    A financial co-contribution from Council of at least 10 per cent of the project value is required for eligibility, in-kind contributions will not be considered.

·    Holistic applications incorporating multiple components (rather than just one or two elements) were seen to be preferable; with a pavilion social space, pitch upgrade, car parking and integrating these elements within the reserve, seen as a ‘strong application’.

·    A Council resolution confirming that the project is supported, ready to proceed to construction within 6 months of approval and that applicant funding is available within appropriate timeframes to deliver the project is required.

Proposal

HR Uren Recreation Reserve Upgrade Project

To best bring these ageing facilities in line with Council’s adopted Sporting and Community Pavilion Guidelines 2020, the proposed HR Uren Recreation Reserve Upgrade Project would include a redevelopment at HR Uren Recreation Reserve, encompassing a new community pavilion, car park and replacement of a turf pitch with synthetic. In addition:

·    The pavilion and carpark extension will provide a compliant, accessible and welcoming space that encourages community connection.

·    The multi-purpose social space will be available for community use and provide recreational participation opportunities for residents.

·    Conversion of the existing natural turf pitch to a synthetic pitch surface.

This proposed project will directly benefit parents, guardians, volunteers and all 325 existing members of Lalor United Football Club, of which 47 are female and 260 are juniors. The club has a diverse membership base and attracts participants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Thomastown and Lalor are established communities within the City of Whittlesea, and in 2020 have a combined population growth of 20 per cent since 2016. This growth is expected to continue with a further increase of over 11,000 residents by 2040. The pavilion extension and synthetic pitch surface will help to accommodate the growing need of community groups and tenanted soccer club in providing an accessible hireable space within Thomastown and Lalor. 

Local shared use community facilities such as Barry Road Community Centre and Lalor Library are at capacity during peak times. With effective governance measures, this sporting and community pavilion has the potential to provide community space for identified groups such as the Tamil/Hindu Community, seniors’ groups and gentle exercise.

As the project was originally submitted via Round One of the Stimulus Program, project costing is highly developed. The total anticipated project cost is $4,269,725.

Consultation

Throughout the last 18 months officers have worked closely with the tenanted club Lalor United Football Club (the Club) regarding the project and potential upgrade. The Club have been consulted throughout the project planning stages to-date and are very supportive. The Club have been informed that a funding application is being considered, which will see an inevitable delay in the commencement of the proposed capital works upgrade. Whilst unhappy about the delay, they are supportive of the decision.

Consultation undertaken throughout Council’s 2016 Open Space Strategy indicated strong community support for the renewal of ageing assets with the established areas of Thomastown and Lalor. Specifically, upgrades to parks, reserves, walking tracks, connecting path networks; the proposed work includes upgrades to connecting path networks on the reserve. Furthermore, the provision of a synthetic surface will double the carrying capacity of the reserve and allow for much greater casual or unstructured community usage.

Critical Dates

·    SRV’s Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program (Round Two) applications close, 2 March 2021.

·    Notification of successful/unsuccessful from May 2021 onwards.

·    Funding would be received once agreements are executed and milestone payments agreed upon. Construction needs to commence within 6 months i.e. end of 2021.

·    Council’s Project Management Framework anticipates completion in 2022-23.

·    Lalor United Football Club’s Football Victoria competition fixtures are from 21 March –
30 September 2021.

·    A tender process to appoint a contractor to design and construct the synthetic pitch upgrade has commenced but has been paused until March 2021.

Financial Implications

Tables 1 and 2 below describe financial scenarios if Council was successful/unsuccessful in receiving Stimulus Program (Round Two) funding.

Table 1 Scenario - Successful: Financial summary if Council receives SRV Stimulus Program (Round Two) funding.

Financial year ($ allocation)

Description

Comments

 

Year

CoW

SRV

2020/2021

$140,000

 

Pavilion and carpark extension design

This design work is already underway.

2021/2022

$438,953

$3,690,772

Synthetic pitch, Pavilion (including multi-purpose community/social space), carpark extension and external improvements

Co-contributions from SRV and Council

Table 2 Scenario - Unsuccessful: Financial summary if Council does not receive SRV Stimulus Program (Round Two) funding.

Financial year ($ allocation)

Description

Comments

 

Year

CoW

2020/2021

$140,000

Pavilion and carpark extension design

 

2021/2022

$2,238,655

 

Synthetic pitch delivery. Pavilion (including multi-purpose community/social space), carpark extension works and external improvements

Funds are allocated in Council’s 2020-21 budget; but funds carried forward to 2021/22. It is proposed the $1,550,000 is carried forward in the event that SRV funding is unsuccessful.

 

Financial year ($ allocation)

Description

Comments

 

Year

CoW

2022/2023

 

$1,891,070

 

Pavilion (including multi-purpose community/social space), carpark extension and external improvements

 

The total project cost of $4,269,725 is supported in Council’s long-term financial plan, with a budget allocation of $1,690,000 in 2020-21 for the construction of the synthetic pitch project component and carpark extension design. Funding for the community pavilion development and car park construction is subject to Council endorsement in 2021-22 and 2022-23 annual budgets, although they are forecasted for those years in the long-term financial plan.

The implications of first, considering and then submitting a funding application are that:

·    The 2020/21 budget allocation of $1,550,000 will not be spent in 2020-21, as commencing these works would make the project ineligible.

·    Contractors who have tendered for the synthetic pitch design and construction have been advised that the project has been put on hold, whilst Council undertakes additional scoping and external funding opportunities.

·    Council’s consideration of a submission of a Round Two Stimulus Program application will lead to a delay in the synthetic pitch upgrade from an April start date to October. It will mean that the community benefits of the synthetic pitch upgrade are not realised in Winter 2021 as originally planned.

·    If the Round Two Stimulus Program application is successful this would see Council secure $3,690,772 and reduce the rates-based expenditure on the HR Uren upgrade project by just over 86 per cent (86.4 per cent), as Council’s co-contribution to the project would be $578,953 (13.6 per cent).

·    A Council co-contribution of 13 per cent is expected to increase the applications merits against SRV funding criteria.

Policy strategy and legislation

The proposed project is aligned to:

·    Whittlesea 2040 – Goal 1: Connected Community through increased physical activity rates (Direction 1.2).

·    Active Whittlesea Strategy 2019 – Key Direction 3: Open Space / Infrastructure.

·    Open Space Strategy 2016.

·   Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022.

Specifically, the project is identified in the Council endorsed 2018 Soccer Strategy which identifies the following priorities:

·    Action 2.8 Extend pavilion as per agreed design and increase car parking at HR Uren Recreation Reserve.

·    Action 2.11 Undertake drainage and access works to pitch One at HR Uren Recreation Reserve.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Life Cycle Asset Management - Failure to effectively plan for the construction, on-going maintenance and renewal of Council’s assets

Effective asset management and renewal of sport and leisure infrastructure contributes towards Council’s commitment to building a healthy and safe communities through increasing participation in sport and physical activity.

Strategic Risk Financial Sustainability - Inability to meet current and future expenditure

Attraction of significant State and Federal grants are a valuable source or revenue for a growing Council with competing infrastructure demands.

Strategic Risk Community and Stakeholder Engagement - Ineffective stakeholder engagement resulting in compromised community outcomes and/or non-achievement of Council's strategic direction

Consultation with Lalor United Football Club has been based on delivery of the synthetic pitch upgrade prior to, or by June 2021. This is now delayed due to consideration of the funding application.

Strategic Risk Contractor Management - Failure to manage contractors to deliver agreed outcomes

Pausing the current tender process for design and construction of the synthetic pitch may lead to reputational damage.

Strategic Risk Climate Change - Failure to mitigate or adapt to the risks of climate change

The social pavilion will be designed and delivered in accordance with Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2012-2022 and will include a range of contemporary measures to reduce energy, water usage and reduce site environmental impact, including rainwater harvesting and rooftop solar panels.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Connected community

Key Direction                        A participating community

 

The proposal responds to several Whittlesea 2040 key directions including:

·    Key direction 1.2 ‘a healthy and safe community’ as it will lead to improved facility provision resulting in increase in physical activity opportunities.

·    Key direction 1.1 ‘a socially cohesive community’ and key direction 1.3 ‘a participating community’ through the growth of social networks and opportunities for residents to volunteer and participate within the local sporting context.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Providing fit for purpose sporting infrastructure plays a central role in creating improved community health outcomes, equitable sporting opportunities and enables sporting clubs to create opportunities for social connection, physical activity and community leadership.

The proposed redevelopment at HR Uren Reserve supports increased physical activity and social connectiveness for Thomastown and Lalor residents. It is noted the SRV application doesn’t guarantee any funding and creates a delay in commencing the proposed synthetic pitch project. However, the opportunity to obtain additional significant external funding potentially means these facilities will be available years earlier than programmed in our capital works schedule and relieves pressure on Council’s long-term financial plan.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Support an application to the Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program, Round Two for an upgrade of the HR Uren Recreation Reserve.

2.       Write to local MP’s advising them of the application and project.

3.       Continue engagement with community and other relevant project stakeholders regarding revised project timeframes.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

  

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

6.2       Liveable Neighbourhoods

ITEM 6.2.1 For Decision -  Planning Application 719338 - Construction of five dwellings at 30 Paddock Street Whittlesea 

Attachments:                        1        Locality Maps

2        Architectural Plans   

Responsible Officer:           Director Planning & Development

Officer Presenting:              Planning Officer   

APPLICANT:                        A.K. Architecture

COUNCIL POLICY:              16.01-1L     Housing Supply in Established Areas

ZONING:                               General Residential Zone (Schedule 1)

OVERLAY:                            No Overlays Applicable

REFERRAL:                          None

OBJECTIONS:                      5 & petition with 35 signatories received

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to refuse the Planning Application No. 719338 and issue a Notice of Refusal for the construction of five dwellings at 30 Paddock Street Whittlesea as the development is inappropriate for this site.

Brief overview

·        The application seeks approval for the construction of five double storey dwellings on a 1,677 square metre parcel of land.

·        Notification of the application was undertaken and 5 objections and a petition containing 35 signatories were received.

·        This is the first application for development in the (Eastern Hill) area since the implantation of the City of Whittlesea key housing policy Housing Diversity Strategy (2013-2033) in 2013.

·        The proposal does not adequately respond to the unique context of the Whittlesea Township nor achieve the preferred housing outcomes as outlined in the Housing Diversity Housing (2013-2033)


 

rationale for recommendation

The proposal is inconsistent with the form and intensity of change supported by the Whittlesea Planning Scheme in this context. In particular, the proposal does not adequately respond to Clause 55 and the Housing Diversity Housing (2013-2033) which seeks to ensure a balanced approach is taken to managing housing growth ensuring it happens in the right locations, makes efficient use of existing resources and infrastructure, meets current and future housing needs and enables the established suburbs, including the township, to remain as places where residents want to live and enjoy.

impacts of recommendation

The decision to refuse the application will establish a clear expectation for appropriate future decisions by ensuring only Planning Applications which represent the outcomes sought by Clause 55 and the Housing Diversity Housing (2013-2033) that would not undermine the ‘country’ neighbourhood character of the Township are supported.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

In light of the proposal recommendation for refusal, Council will be ensuring that development is appropriate and responsive to the unique context Whittlesea Township.

All parties to the application will retain review rights through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  Council will need to defend any decision made should the matter proceed to VCAT.

 

 

Report

SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

The subject site is a residential property located outside of Metropolitan Melbourne within Whittlesea Township. The site is an irregular allotment, widening towards the rear, with a frontage of 20.1 metres to Paddock Street, length of 70.91 metres and a total site area of 1,677 square metres (see Attachment 1 – Locality map). The site currently contains a single storey dwelling towards the front of the site, with a gravel driveway from Paddock Street providing access to the below ground garage. At the time of lodgement, there was significant vegetation along the side and rear boundaries of the property, including native vegetation. There is a significant slope to the site, falling 6 metres from the front to the rear. 

The site is situated in the outer most portion of the Township, with the end of the Paddock Street 80 metres to the east representing the conclusion of the ‘traditional’ residential standard areas of the Township to the significantly larger sized, lower-density lots (see Attachment 1 – Locality map).

The surrounding area is characterised by similar lots to that of the subject site, with large single storey or split-level dwellings, of varying finishes and styles. Front setbacks are generous, ranging from 7 to 15 metres, with side setbacks between dwellings typically between 4 to 15 metres. The pattern of surrounding lot sizes is mixed, with lots on the northern side of Paddock Street ranging from 1,330 to 2,737 square metres, and those to the further west characterised by more standard density of 600 square metres. With the exception of the medium density single storey development at No. 1 and 5 Ridge Road to the immediate north, surrounding lots contain single dwelling developments. Overall, the larger lot sizes, low scale built form and spacious layouts contributes to the strong rural character of the area of this portion of the Township. 

The proximity of the site in relation to the following sites, services and notable features is summarised below:

·    Whittlesea Football Ground – 1.1km west

·    Whittlesea Swim Centre – 1.4km west

·    Whittlesea Commercial precinct – 1.5km west

·    Whittlesea Secondary College - 2.1km west

·    Whittlesea Primary School – 2.2km west

·    Route 384 Kinglake to Whittlesea Bus – 350m north

restrictions and easements

The site is formally described as Lot No. 11 on LP030537. The Plan of Subdivision shows the site is affected by an easement on the northern boundary of the property. There are no restrictive covenants affecting the subject site which preclude Council from determining the application.

Proposal

The application seeks approval for the construction of five double-storey dwellings (see Attachment 2 – Architectural Plans).


 

Details of the proposed development are outlined in the following table:

 

Height/Scale

Number of Bedrooms

Setbacks

Private Open Space

Car Parking

Maximum Height

 Dwelling No. 1

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

9m front (south)

4m side (east)

6m side (west)

125.7m2 SPOS

Double garage

9.183m

Dwelling No. 2

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

4.5m side (east)

6.2m side (west)

68.8m2 SPOS

Double garage

7.65m

Dwelling No. 3

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

4.5m side (east)

7.1m side (west)

59.4m2 SPOS

Double garage

7.4m

Dwelling No. 4

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

1.2m side (east)

6.5m rear (north)

59.1m2 SPOS

Double garage

7.75m

Dwelling No. 5

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

1 m side (west)

6.5m rear (north)

48.5m2 SPOS

Double garage

6.58m

Public Notification

Advertising of the application has resulted in 5 objections being received.  The grounds of objection are listed as follows:

·        The proposal is not consistent with the established the ‘rural character’ of Eastern Hill;

·        Decrease in property values;

·        Increased traffic;

·        Loss of privacy and overlooking;

·        Loss of peace and quiet to noisy tenants;

·        Inadequate car parking;

·        Capacity for Paddock Street to accommodate increased traffic, with only one vehicle to safely enter and exit the street and one time due to width;

·        Few footpaths, pedestrians walk on roads instead, additional traffic will exacerbate;

·        Service capacity - Impacts on voltage (provided by Ausnet) & slowing of internet speeds;

·        Impacts of construction;

·        Security concerns and disputes between future occupants and other residents;

·        Consideration of alternative lower impact, such as only two dwellings;

·        Maintenance of landscaping;

·        No fire-fighting equipment of consideration of fire mitigation;

·        Waste management and number of bins on the street and no through round which impacts on ability for garage collection and turn around of large vehicles;

·        Shadowing diagrams are from Winter Solstice 22 June and are not representative; and

·        Existing issues with retaining walls of existing medium density developments and concern with a similar issue occurring with the proposal.

A response to the grounds of objection will be provided later in this report.

A petition with 35 signatories was also received, which requests the ‘rejection’ of the application and does not any include grounds of objection. The Petition was heard at the Council meeting held on 7 December 2020, at which Council resolved that the Petition be received and considered as part of this report.

The applicant was provided the opportunity to amend the proposal to address Council’s comments and objectors’ concerns. The design response was not amended at the conclusion of advertising and the recommendation is based on advertised plans.

HOUSING DIVERSITY STRATEGY

The Housing Diversity Strategy (HDS) was introduced into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme by Planning Scheme Amendment C181, gazetted on 22 October 2015.  The HDS provides a strategic framework for future residential development in the established areas of the municipality for the next 20 years.  It aims to guide the future location and diversity of housing stock and identifies areas of housing growth and change, including areas where future housing growth will not be supported.  In general, it aims to housing to ensure a balanced approach is taken to managing housing growth ensuring it happens in the right locations, makes efficient use of existing resources and infrastructure, meets current and future housing needs and enables the established suburbs, including the township, to remain as places where residents want to live and enjoy.

The site is within a Whittlesea Residential Area change area, which recognises areas greater than a fifteen minute plus walk to public transport and activity centres. 

The policy recognises that lower change areas, which includes the Whittlesea Residential Area, are less suitable for substantial housing change as they are poorly serviced in terms of access to the Principal Public Transport Network and services.  The policy identifies standard density as the preferred density, with the preferred housing types of detached dwellings, dual occupancies and duplexes. The unique rural township setting of the Whittlesea Township, and as a result sets out a number of key design principles, including;

·        Low building heights to reflect the Township scale and character;

·        Increased side and rear setbacks to provide building separation and landscaping;

·        Front setback to allow for significant landscaping, a large canopy tree and sense of openness to the street;

·        Standard site coverage to facilitate landscape opportunities;

·        An increased area of private open space to allow for significant landscaping;

·        Large canopy tree in the front setback; and

·        Extra-large canopy tree in the rear setback.

ASSESSMENT AGAINST CLAUSE 55 OF THE WHITTLESEA PLANNING SCHEME

The following table provides details on whether the proposal complies with the requirements of Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.  Under these provisions a development:

·    Must meet all of the objectives; and

·    Should meet all of the standards.

If Council is satisfied that an application for an alternative design solution meets the objective, the alternative design solution may be considered.

 

√- Compliance
X - Non compliance

Objectives

Standards

COMMENTS

B1

Neighbourhood
Character

X

X

The existing neighbourhood character is defined as semi-rural ‘country feel’, comprising larger lot sizes, wide open street frontages with generous front setbacks, and a sense of separation and openness between dwellings, with predominantly single storey built form.

The existing character is reflective of the unique context of the Whittlesea Township which is derived from the surrounding rural areas. As the last street within the Township itself, it is the role of the area as a buffer zone to transition from residential township areas to the surrounding rural landscape at the end of Paddock Street to the East.

The application proposes a departure to the existing neighbourhood character. The rural feel of the ‘Eastern Hill’ portion of the Township strongly draws from the surrounding context, with views to Mount Disappointment to the north as contributory factor to the character. Although the front setback provided (9m) is generous, the two-storey built form is a more dominant scale of built form than that of the established streetscape when coupled with the extent of built form along the length of the property. It is acknowledged that two-storey built form is permitted within a residential area, however combined with the slope, established sense of openness, and the change to the existing streetscape, the proposed built form would be at odds with the existing character.

The side setbacks and degree of separation between dwellings do not adequately respond to the established sense of separation between dwellings. Dwellings 1, 2 and 3 provide a 4m and 4.5m setback to the eastern boundary, which is consistent with the established pattern of development. However, Dwellings 4 and 5 are setback only 1m from the side boundaries. The Housing Diversity Strategy specifically recognises the need for increased side setbacks, which the 1m does not adequately afford. A setback consistent with that of Dwellings 1 – 3 would be more appropriate.  Similarly, the degree of separation of the dwellings at ground level is not responsive to the sense of separation between dwellings that is established and recognised by the Housing Diversity Strategy to ‘provide building separation’.

The separation of 1 metre between Dwellings 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 is inadequate to provide meaningful separation visible form abutting properties.

On balance, the proposal for the reasons outlined above does not adequately respond to the established or preferred neighbourhood character.

B2

Residential
Policy

X

X

 The site is located within a General Residential Zone and is within the Whittlesea Residential change area as identified in the Housing Diversity Strategy 2013-2033 (HDS). The policy identifies standard density as the preferred density, with the preferred housing types of detached dwellings, dual occupancies and duplexes. The unique rural township setting of the Whittlesea Township, and as a result sets out a number of key design principles, including;

·      Low building heights to reflect the Township scale and character;

·      Increased side and rear setbacks to provide building separation and landscaping;

·      Front setback to allow for significant landscaping, a large canopy tree and sense of openness to the street;

·      Standard site coverage to facilitate landscape opportunities;

·      An increased area of private open space to allow for significant landscaping;

·      Large canopy tree in the front setback;

·      Extra-large canopy tree in the rear setback.

The proposal is inconsistent with the preferred housing typology of the HDS, which encourages detached dwellings and dual occupancy duplex development. Given the opportunities presented by the size of the site, the development of more than two (dual occupancy) dwellings on this site would not be an unreasonable. However, the detached nature of the design, with lack of meaningful separation at ground floor is contrary to what policy seeks to achieve with detached dwellings.

 

 

The building height challenges the norm of the area and is not consistent with the strategy to achieve ‘low building heights to reflect the township scale and character’.

The proposal provides for increased private open space, and the provision of a large canopy tree in the front and rear setback. There is adequate space within the 9m front setback for significant landscaping.

On balance, the proposal has not adequately taken into consideration the key design principles of the HDS and the ultimate outcome which is sought to be achieved in the Whittlesea Township.

In addition to the HDS, both Local and State Policy seek to ensure that infill development is appropriately located to services with adequate infrastructure and is respectful of the established neighbourhood character. As outlined in the Site and Surrounds, the subject site is disconnected form the activity precinct (Church Street) of the Township and is not well situated to services. Therefore, while State Policy seeks to facilitate infill development in existing settlements, it is clear that it should be appropriately located. As the subject site is not located in close proximity to jobs, services, or a train station, to support infill at this location would be contrary to State and Local Policy and the purpose of the zone.

Incremental increases in density may be appropriate in this location given the generous allotment, however, the substantial changes proposed is not appropriate in this location.

B3

Dwelling
Diversity

N/A

N/A

Only applicable to developments of ten or more dwellings

B4

Infrastructure

P

P

There is the ability to connect to reticulated services.

B5

Integration with
the street

P

P

 

B6

Street setback

P

P

A setback of 9m has been provided, which complies with the standard.

B7

Building height

P

P

 

B8

Site coverage

P

P

 

B9

Permeability

P

P

 

B10

Energy
efficiency

P

P

 

B11

Open space

N/A

N/A

Only applicable if public or communal open space is to be provided on site or adjacent to the development.

B12

Safety

P

P

Complies, entrances to dwellings are visible from internal access ways.

B13

Landscaping

X

X

This standard, among many standards, requires that: Development should provide for the replacement of any significant trees that have been removed in the 12 months prior to the application being made. During the course of the application, a significant amount of vegetation was removed from the property. One larger tree was retained to the rear of the property. The remainder of the vegetation was not significant in nature.

The landscape plan provides for the planting of trees within the secluded private open space of each dwelling, however insufficient space is provided for meaningful landscaping to assist in softening the built form of the proposed development.  This cannot be resolved without increasing landscaping opportunities, increasing setbacks and reducing density/building footprint.

B14

Access

P

P

The proposal utilises the existing access to the site.

B15

Parking location

P

P

Double garages provided to each dwelling.

B17

Side and rear
setbacks

P

P

 

B18

Walls on
boundaries

P

P

 

B19

Daylight to
existing
windows

P

P

 

B20

North-facing
windows

P

P

 

B21

Overshadowing
open space

P

P

Detailed shadow diagrams were provided for 22 September as required by the standard.

On this day, the required 40 square metres of existing secluded private open space was achieved for a minimum of five hours between 9am and 3pm.

The proposal therefore complies with the requirements of this standard.

B22

Overlooking

x

x

First floor windows from the Bedrooms facing west have not been screened, which have visibility within 9 metres to the lot to the west.

Habitable room windows, which excludes stairwells, hall ways and bathrooms, have been screened facing east.

The proposal does not comply with the overlooking standard due to the overlooking to the west.  This could be resolved through conditions on any permit issued, however may be to the detriment of future occupants of the dwellings creating poor internal amenity.

B23

Internal views

P

P

 

B24

Noise impacts

P

P

There are no sources of noise from within the development (i.e. mechanical plant) that may impact on existing dwellings.

There are no busy roads, railway lines or industry that is required to be taken into consideration with the design.

B25

Accessibility

X

X

All dwellings provide a bedroom and bathroom at the ground floor, which is positive, however on balance, the development is not accessible for people with limited mobility or suitable for those aging in place. With two of the three bedrooms upstairs, requiring the resident to  travel upstairs, this diminishes the accessibility  of the entire dwelling.

All dwellings include steps to the front entrance which is not accessible for people with limited mobility. It is acknowledged there would be constrains in achieving this with the slope of the site for all dwellings.

To better accommodate those with limited and reduced accessibility, single storey built from, with gradient entry and all bedrooms on a single level would assist in the development responding to the projected needs of the community.

 

B26

Dwelling entry

P

P

 

B27

Daylight to new
windows

P

P

 

B28

Private open
space

P

P

All dwellings have been provided with Secluded Private Open Space (SPOS) in excess of 35m2 which exceeds the standard and is responsive to the requirements of the HDS.

B29

Solar access to
open space

P

P

 

B30

Storage

P

P

Storage is indicated for all dwellings on the plans, however the total storage capacity has not been indicated. Given the floor area of each storage area, there is adequate scope for the proposal to comply with this standard.

B31

Design detail

X

X

As discussed earlier in this report, the lack of meaningful separation at the ground floor is non-responsive to the character of Paddock Street.

The proposal is not lacking in articulation, however, it does lack in a sense of openness and separation between dwellings which is considered important when considering the existing character of the area.

B32

Front fences

P

P

 

B33

Common
property

P

P

 

B34

Site services

P

P

 

CAR PARKING 

Clause 52.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme prescribes the rate and design standards for car parking spaces required on site.  Pursuant to this clause the following car spaces are required:

Dwelling No.

No. of bedrooms

Car spaces required

Car spaces provided

Complies

1

3

2

2

Yes

2

3

2

2

Yes

3

3

2

2

Yes

4

3

2

2

Yes

5

3

2

2

Yes

Garages should be at least 6.0m long and 3.5m wide for a single space and 5.5m wide for a double space (measured inside the garage or carport).  An open car space should be at least 4.9m long and 2.6m wide.  The proposal complies with these requirements.

The proposal complies with the requirement for a (1) visitors car space to be provided on the site and a passing bay.

Comments on Grounds of Objection

A response to the grounds of objection raised is provided below.

Neighbourhood character

·        The proposal is not consistent with the established the neighbourhood character of Eastern Hill.

In their objections, the community felt:

1.       That two storey development is out of character for the ‘Eastern Hill’;

2.       The development would result in the loss of country feel, particular in proximity to surrounding low density development on Parrot Drive Estate;

3.       The development is consistent with the Draft Whittlesea Township Strategic which intends to retain the ‘rural character of the township’; and

4.       Interruption to spectacular views of Mount Disappointment and ranges.

This report has provided an assessment of the proposal against the unique context of the Whittlesea Township, which determined the design response is not respectful of the established or preferred neighbourhood character.

·        Decrease in property values

VCAT have continually upheld that property values (including the perception of reduced values) is not a relevant planning consideration.


 

·        Increased traffic

The increase in traffic is still within the scope of what is reasonable for a residential area. However, the issue of traffic is closely related to the infrastructure and ability of the street itself to accommodate substantial rather than incremental increases in density. This is recognised by the Whittlesea Housing Diversity Strategy which does not support substantial change in this area.

·        Loss of privacy and overlooking

The windows on the western side of the proposal are not adequately screened and do not comply with ResCode Standard B22, however could be required as a condition on any permit issued.

·        Loss of peace and quiet to noisy tenants

The noise that may be generated by residents within a residential development is within the expectations of a residential zone.

·        Inadequate car parking

The proposal complies with the number of car parking spaces required by Clause 52.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, with each 3 bedroom dwelling provided with 2 car parking spaces.

·        Capacity for Paddock Street to accommodate increased traffic, with only one vehicle to safely enter and exit the street and one time due to width

The Whittlesea Housing Diversity Strategy recognises the area cannot accommodate substantial change which the proposal seeks to achieve.  The existing road would be designed to accommodate the extent of additional traffic generated by the proposal.

·        Few footpaths, pedestrians walk on roads instead, additional traffic will exacerbate

The Whittlesea Housing Diversity Strategy recognises the area cannot accommodate substantial change which the proposal seeks to achieve.  Footpath provision is a Council requirement based on demand and to be located within the road reserve.

·        Service capacity - Impacts on voltage (provided by Ausnet) & slowing of internet speeds

If a permit was to be issued and any subsequent subdivision permit, the site (subject to obtaining approval from relevant external service providers) could accommodate a medium density development.

·        Impacts of construction

Construction impacts are a short term matter than can be managed through permit conditions, under the Local Law and the Building Regulations.

·        Security concerns and disputes between future occupants and other residents

This is not a relevant planning consideration.

·        Consideration of alternative lower impact, such as only two dwellings

The Whittlesea Housing Diversity Strategy does not support the degree of change represented by the proposal. More incremental change with a reduced density may be more appropriate in this location.

·        Maintenance of landscaping

If a permit was to be issued, it would be a condition that the landscaping be maintained.


 

·        No fire-fighting equipment of consideration of fire mitigation

The property is not in an area of significant bushfire risk and is not required to provide for fire fighting equipment under the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.

·        Waste management and number of bins on the street and no through round which impacts on ability for garage collection and turn around of large vehicles

The Whittlesea Housing Diversity Strategy recognises the area cannot accommodate substantial change which the proposal seeks to achieve.  Appropriate waste management would be required for any development of the site whether by Council service or private contractor.

·        Shadowing diagrams are from Winter Solstice 22 June and are not representative

Detailed shadow diagrams were provided for 22 September as required by Standard B21 Overshadowing. On this day, the required 40 square metres of existing secluded private open space was achieved for a minimum of five hours between 9am and 3pm. The proposal therefore complies with the requirements of this standard.

·        Existing issues with retaining walls of existing medium density developments and concern with the a similar issue occurring with the proposal

Retaining walls are a matter addressed by the Building Regulations.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The application has been assessed against the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, and in particular the objectives and standards of Clause 55 and the State and Local Planning Policy Frameworks. The proposal demonstrates an unsatisfactory level of compliance. It is considered that the location is inappropriate for substantial increases in density, and the proposal will have a detrimental impact on the character of the neighbourhood and on existing surrounding residential properties. Accordingly, refusal of the application is recommended.

 


 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to Refuse Planning Application No. 719338 and issue a Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit for five double-storey dwellings on the following grounds:

1.       The proposal does not comply with the following Objective and Standard of Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme:

a)      B1 Neighbourhood character;

b)      B2 Residential policy;

c)      B13 Landscaping;

d)      B22 Overlooking;

e)      B25 Accessibility; and

f)       B31 Detailed Design.

2.       The proposal fails to appropriately respond to the Policy Framework of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme as follows:

a)      The scale, separation, and built form is inconsistent with the design principles outlined for Whittlesea Township Residential change area of the Housing Diversity Strategy;

b)      The substantial change in density does not provide for the sensitive transition in density sought to be achieved Housing Diversity Strategy for the semi-rural location within the Whittlesea Township; and

c)      The location of the proposal does not offer good access to jobs, services and transport, with inadequate infrastructure to accommodate substantial growth, and therefore substantial increases in density in this location would be contrary to Local and State housing policies.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Chairperson Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.2.2 FOR DECISION - COUNCIL RESOLVE TO ADOPT PLANNING SCHEME AMENDMENT C252WSEA TO APPLY PUBLIC ACQUISITION OVERLAY IN WOLLERT PSP 

Attachments:                        1        Attachment 1 - Aerial Photo

2        Attachment 2 - Amendment Documents

3        Attachment 3 - Bodycoats Road Precinct   

Responsible Officer:           Director Planning & Development

Author:                                  Planning Officer   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt Amendment C252wsea in the form of Attachment 2.

2.       Submit Amendment C252wsea to the Minister for Planning for approval.

3.       Notify the submitter of Council’s decision.

4.       Note that once the Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) has been applied that the acquisition process will commence in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this report is to demonstrate that State Government requirements have been satisfied and to consider submissions that have been received in relation to Amendment C252wsea to the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. The exhibition resulted in one (1) public submission being received which has been resolved without changes to the Amendment and therefore the report recommends that Council adopt the amendment and authorise submission of the amendment to the Minister for Planning for approval.

KEY FACTS / Or issues

·    The Wollert Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) identifies transport projects required to support the development of the precinct, including IN-09 (purchase of land for the intersection of Epping Road and Boundary Road) and RD06 (purchase of land to widen the Boundary Road reserve). The projects are funded by the Wollert Development Contributions Plan (DCP).

·    A number of developments in the northern part of the Wollert PSP area have had subdivision planning permits issued and are commencing development (Attachment 3). These subdivisions are accessed along Boundary Road from its intersection with Epping Road. This intersection also includes Bridge Inn Road.

·    The current intersection at Epping Road and Boundary Road/Bridge Inn Road does not have the capacity to safely cater for significant new growth in the northern part of the PSP. This intersection is critical both in terms of servicing the precinct but also to the transport network for the broader Northern Growth Corridor.

·    Council has addressed the issue by applying permit conditions that require the construction of intersection IN09 (Epping Road and Boundary Road) and RD06c (Boundary Road) prior to a Statement of Compliance that creates the 901st lot within the precinct (Attachment 3).

·    Both the land and construction component of the projects are funded by the Wollert DCP.

·    Council’s conditional requirements for subdivision are currently the subject of a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) review by one of the developers in the northern part of the PSP. One of the key issues discussed in the review relates to access to the land required for the delivery of the subject intersection and associated works. The review has been adjourned by agreement until 15 March 2021 and this adjournment was conditional upon the progression of this Amendment. 

·    An existing PAO applies to part of the Epping Road and Bridge Inn Road relating to the widening of Epping Road and the future E6 road reserve. Discussions are required with the Department of Transport to ensure that efforts to acquire the land are co-ordinated to ensure that the required works associated with the ultimate intersection layout can be undertaken in a timely manner.

·    At its meeting on 2 June 2020 Council resolved to prepare the Amendment to apply the PAO to land required.

·    Authorisation for the Amendment was received from the DELWP on 21 August 2020 and the Amendment was subsequently exhibited between 15 October 2020 and the 18 November 2020.

·    One (1) submission was received in response. This submission has been resolved and therefore it is recommended that the Amendment be adopted and submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval.

rationale for recommendation

The Amendment was exhibited between 15 October 2020 and the 18 November 2020. One submission was received, which has been resolved without any changes required to the Amendment. Therefore, as there are no outstanding issues with the Amendment and there is no need to appoint a Planning Panel to consider any unresolved submissions, it is recommended that the Amendment be adopted and submitted to the Minister for Planning for approval.

impacts of recommendation

The Council resolution will support the following:

·    The adoption of the Amendment will enable Council officers to submit the Amendment to the Minister for Planning for approval. 

·    Should the Amendment be approved and gazetted into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, the Amendment will provide Council with the statutory mechanism to acquire the land via a separate process under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

·    The acquisition of the land will facilitate the delivery of the upgrade to the intersection of Epping Road and Boundary Road/Bridge Inn Road which is critical both in terms of servicing the precinct but also the transport network for the broader Northern Growth Corridor.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The Amendment has been undertaken via the statutory processes established by the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and as such, no additional measures will be required to manage impacts.

Report

BACKGROUND

The Wollert PSP was approved as part of Amendment C187 to the Whittlesea Planning Scheme on 23 February 2017. 

Since then development has commenced and a number of developments have had planning permits issued. Due to lack of sequencing requirements development is not occurring in an orderly manner and a number of out-of-sequence developments have been proposed in area known as the Bodycoats Road (Wollert Northern) Precinct.

The projects are considered out-of-sequence because the applications were lodged prior to key infrastructure being constructed. This infrastructure is key to facilitating the development of the precinct. Rather than refusing applications, multiple Planning Permits have been issued requiring the implementation of key infrastructure projects, prior to the issuing of statement of compliance.

The planning permits include conditions that require the construction of intersection (IN-09 Epping Road and Boundary Road) prior to the lots obtaining a Statement of Compliance that creates the 901st lot within the Bodycoats Road Precinct.

It is noted that the condition requiring the upgrade of IN-09 (Epping Road and Boundary Road) is the subject of a VCAT case P1591/2019. This VCAT matter is yet to be resolved with one of the issues being access to the land required to deliver the intersection. Acquisition of the land will assist with enabling the delivery of the intersection and address some of the concerns relating to access to the land raised as part of VCAT proceedings.

The upgrade of the intersection of Boundary Road and Epping Road is therefore considered critical for the development of the precinct and for the transport network for the broader Northern Growth Corridor. The intersection at Boundary Road and Epping Road is already at capacity and will continue to be impacted as further development occurs.  As a result, the subject intersection will no longer be satisfactory to service community need.

The upgrades cannot be accommodated within the existing road reserve and additional land is required which has been identified in the Wollert DCP for Council as the Delivery Agency to acquire. Given the critical nature of the land in order to deliver the upgraded intersections, it is recommended that Council commence the process to acquire the land as a matter of priority.

The first step in this process is to identify that the land is proposed to be acquired for public purposes through the application of the Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) (refer to Attachment 2). Once the PAO has been applied, the land can be acquired either through negotiation or in accordance with the Wollert DCP and Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

It is noted that some of the land required for IN-09- Intersection of Boundary Road and Epping Road is already subject to a PAO relating to the widening of Epping Road and future E6 road reserve. Department of Transport is the designated acquiring agency. Council officers have been in discussions with Department of Transport in regard to the importance of them acquiring the land in a timely manner.


 

AMENDMENT C252

The Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) is the planning tool used to identify land which is proposed to be acquired for a public purpose. A Planning Scheme Amendment is required to apply the PAO. The proposed Amendment seeks to apply the PAO to parts of the lots noted above and mapped in Attachment 2. The application of this new PAO requires an amendment to the Schedule of the Public Acquisition Overlay to introduce the PAO15 (Attachment 2).

Once the PAO has been applied, the land can be acquired either through negotiation or in accordance with Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

LAND TO BE ACQUIRED

To deliver the upgraded intersection at Epping Road and Boundary Road / Bridge Inn Road, additional land is required which has been identified in the Wollert PSP and DCP.

The exhibited Amendment sought to acquire land from the following land parcels:

·    490 Epping Road, Wollert.

·    495 Epping Road, Wollert.

·    30 Boundary Road, Wollert.

The subject land is included in Attachment 2.

As part of preparing the Amendment and its maps, the land subject to the PAO was adjusted from the initial extent identified in the original Council report, in order to limit the PAO to only land deemed absolutely necessary to deliver the intersection project. This has limited the amount of landowners the PAO and subsequent acquisition process will impact. The remaining land will be acquired through standard subdivision processes over time.

STRATEGIC CONTEXT AND RELEVANT PLANNING CONTROLS

The overarching strategic direction for the land is set by the Wollert PSP which is incorporated into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme and Schedule 5 of the Urban Growth Zone. The subject land is affected by the following planning controls:

·    Urban Growth Zone – Schedule 5.

·    Rural Conservation Zone.

·    Development Contributions Plan Overlay – Schedule 16.

·    Incorporated Plan Overlay – Schedule 4.

·    Public Acquisition Overlay – Schedule 2 (490 Boundary Road, Wollert – Wollert).

·    Wollert Precinct Structure Plan (PSP).

·    Wollert Development Contributions Plan (DCP).

All infrastructure projects (land and construction) forming part of this proposal are required by the Wollert PSP.


 

DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTIONS

The Wollert DCP collects levies to fund both the land and construction of the projects identified in the plan. Under the DCP, Council is both the Collecting Agency responsible for the collecting the contributions and the Delivery Agency responsible for delivering the projects. This means it is important to facilitate the timely delivery of the projects to provide essential infrastructure to the developing community and reduce risks with project cost escalations.

CONSULTATION AND NOTIFICATION

The Amendment has been exhibited in accordance with S19 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Notification involved the following:

·    Notices sent by mail to the three (3) landowners (sent 14 October 2020). 

·    Notices sent by mail to the three (3) sites in case of different occupiers (sent 14 October 2020).  

·    Notices sent by mail to the Prescribed Ministers (sent 14 October 2020).  

·    Notices sent by mail to the Minister of Planning (sent 14 October 2020).   

·    Notice sent by mail to the Department of Transport (sent 14 October 2020). 

·    Notice published in The Age newspaper (published 14 October 2020).  

·    Notice published in the Government Gazette (published 15 October 2020). 

As a result of the exhibition period, one (1) submission was received on behalf the owners of 490 Epping Road, Wollert. The submission and officer response is summarised in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Submission Summary Table

Submission

Summary of Submission

Officer Response

1.    490 Epping Road, Wollert

The submission sought to confirm that the proposed PAO15 would be consistent with the Wollert PSP.

Upon being advised that the intersection design which was used to prepare the PAO15 was sourced from the Wollert PSP DCP, the submitter subsequently agreed that the form and content of the exhibited Amendment resolved the submission.

The submitter has agreed that the form and content of the exhibited Amendment resolves their submission. Therefore, the submission is considered resolved and there is no need to appoint an independent Planning Panel to consider the submission.

POST EXHIBITION FINAL REVIEW OF PLAN

Please refer to Attachment 2 for the final design. No changes are proposed from this Amendment. It is recommended that this Amendment is approved by Council in its current form.

Should any design changes be suggested, this matter will require a subsequent Council meeting.

CRITICAL DATES

Ministerial Direction No. 15 requires that Council make a decision to adopt an Amendment under Section 23 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 within 60 business days of the closing date of submissions. Given the time required to resolve the submission and the intervening Christmas period, officers sought an exemption to Ministerial Direction 15 on the basis that Council will make a decision by 9 April 2021.

The table below identifies the key dates of approval of the Planning Scheme controls and the subsequent planning permits issued, including VCAT details for projects in the Bodycoats (Wollert Northern) Precinct.

Date

Event

23 February 2017

The Wollert PSP and Wollert DCP were introduced into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme via Planning Scheme Amendment C187.

26 June 2019

Planning Permit 717154 issued – 71, 71a, 75 and 85 Bodycoats Road, Wollert.

26 July 2019

Planning Permit 717751 issued - 80 Bodycoats Road, Wollert.

5 August 2019

Planning Permit 717880 issued – 90 Boundary Road, Wollert.

23 August 2019

Lodging of VCAT hearing P1591/2019. This VCAT review concerns Planning Permit 717154.

28 August 2019

Planning Permit 717081 issued – 40 and 60a Bodycoats Road, Wollert.

2 June 2020

Council Report and authorisation received from Council

21 August 2020

Authorisation received from the Minister of Planning

14 October 2020

Exhibition Commencement

18 November 2020

Exhibition Completed

1 March 2021

Council Meeting

DISCUSSION

The upgrade to intersection IN-09 – Boundary Road and Epping Road - has been identified in the Wollert PSP and the Wollert DCP. The intersection is of regional significance and the upgrade is required to support the development of the precinct and the broader transport network. The intersection is at a key crossroad for north-south movements along Epping Road and east-west movements along Bridge Inn Road/ Boundary Road.

The intersection is already at capacity. Planning permits for developments in the area require the delivery of the necessary transport infrastructure at various milestones in the development of the precinct. This includes the delivery of IN-09.

One of the abovementioned planning permits is subject to a VCAT review where the validity of the condition for the delivery of infrastructure projects is in dispute. Notwithstanding the outcome of the VCAT hearing, access to the land will be required to deliver this critical infrastructure project. The application of a PAO and subsequent acquisition of the land are the necessary precursors in this provision of this necessary infrastructure.

Resolution of the “land” issue will reduce the risks associated with the future delivery/construction of these projects. It will also resolve a key element of the matters being considered in the VCAT review.

As such, there is strong strategic justification for the land acquisition facilitated by the Amendment.

NEXT STEPS

Subject to the adoption of the Amendment, the next steps are:

·    Lodge the Adopted Amendment with the Minister for Planning with a request to approve the Amendment.

·    Notify the submitter of Council’s decision. 

·    Upon approval of the Amendment and application of the PAO on the land, Council can commence the process of acquiring the land in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

POLICY STRATEGY AND LEGISLATION

Since the Council commenced the Amendment, the Whittlesea Planning Scheme has undergone a significant format change as approved by Amendment C250. The Planning Policy Framework Translation is a policy neutral change to the Planning Scheme, involving. reorganisation and rationalisation of the clauses within the scheme. The changes do not include new content and consequently will not result in a change in interpretation of policy to justify this Amendment.

Accordingly, the Clause numbers and headings have been altered, but the assessment remains the same. The relevant clauses have been listed as follows.

Whittlesea 2040

Implements the following goals:

·    Goal 1: Connected community.

·    Goal 2: Liveable neighbourhoods.

·    Goal 3: Strong local economy.

The improved road network facilitated by this Amendment will in turn improve transportation in the immediate areas. However, the intersection is critical to north-south and east-west movement and is therefore critical to the wider transportation network. By improving this network, it is reasonable to state that the local and wider economy will benefit through increased efficiency. 

Strategies and Plans

·    Plan Melbourne 2017 – 2050.

·    Northern Growth Corridor Plan.

·    Wollert Precinct Structure Plan, June 2017.

·    Wollert Development Contributions Plan, June 2017.


 

Municipal Planning Strategy

·    Clauses 2.02 – Vision.

·    Clause 2.03-1 – Settlement.

·    Clause 2.03-8 – Transport.

·    Clause 2.03-9 – Infrastructure.

Clauses 2.02, 2.03-1, 2.03-8 and 2.03-9 have been considered in the development of the Wollert PSP and DCP. The Amendment facilitates strategic aims of the PSP and DCP. This includes the vision of the Municipality, which has been reflected in the design and layout of these plans. More specific to this Amendment is the provision of infrastructure, with the project facilitated by this Amendment 

Planning Policy Framework

·    Clause 11 – Settlement.

·    Clause 11.01-1S – Settlement.

·    Clause 11.02-2S - Structure planning.

·    Clause 11.02-3S Sequencing of Development.

·    Clause 11.03-1S Activity centres.

·    Clause 11.03-1R Activity centres - Metropolitan Melbourne.

·    Clause 18.01-1S Land use and transport planning.

·    Clause 18.01-1L - Land use and transport planning.

·    Clause 18.01-2S – Transport system.

Clause 11 is represented by the preparation and implementation of the Wollert PSP and DCP. The plan allocates land uses in and transportation in accordance with Clauses 11, 11.01-1S. 11.02-2S. 11.03-1S and 11.03-1R. Furthermore, the upgrade of the Epping Road / Boundary Road intersection is in accordance with Clauses 18.01-1S, 18.01-1L and 18.01-2S. Critical to this report are the requirements of Clause 11.02-2S, which requires the consideration of the sequencing of development. Due to the lack of sequencing requirements within the Wollert PSP and DCP, it is reasonable for Council to facilitate this process. Consequently, the amendment is consistent with the above Planning Policies. 

Ministerial Directions

The Amendment has been prepared having regard to the following Ministerial Directions:

·    Ministerial Direction – The Form and Content of Planning Schemes.

·    Direction No. 9 – Metropolitan Planning Strategy.

·    Direction No. 11 – Strategic Assessment of Amendments.

·    Direction No. 15 – The Planning Scheme Amendment Process.


 

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Service Delivery - Inability to plan for and provide critical community services and infrastructure impacting on community wellbeing

The Amendment enables the delivery of an important road infrastructure project. Failure to deliver the land for the project will place greater pressure on an intersection that is already at capacity. In turn, this will reduce the amenity of residents and have economic consequences through increased transport timeframes.

Strategic Risk Community and Stakeholder Engagement - Ineffective stakeholder engagement resulting in compromised community outcomes and/or non-achievement of Council's strategic direction

Notification was undertaken in accordance with the statutory process established by the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which included direct notice to owners and occupiers of the affected land. Notice of the amendment was also included in The Age newspaper and in the Government Gazette. Public exhibition of the amendment was for a period of one month in accordance with statutory time frames.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Liveable neighbourhoods

Key Direction                        Smart, connected transport network

 

The Amendment will enable the construction of an important piece of infrastructure.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Amendment C252 is to facilitate a project that has strong strategic justification within the Whittlesea Planning Scheme and will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support significant development in the Wollert PSP and across the Northern Growth Corridor Plan. Currently, there is insufficient land to facilitate the upgrade and a PAO is required to acquire the land strategically identified for this purpose in the Wollert PSP and DCP.

As a result of the exhibition of the Amendment, one (1) submission was received and was resolved without changes to the Amendment. Accordingly, it is recommended that Council adopt the Amendment and authorise officers to submit the Amendment to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Once the Amendment has been approved and the PAO has been applied to the relevant portion of land, it will be able to be acquired in accordance with the Wollert DCP in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt Amendment C252wsea in the form of Attachment 2.

2.       Submit Amendment C252wsea to the Minister for Planning for approval.

3.       Notify the submitter of Council’s decision.

4.       Note that once the Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) has been applied that the acquisition process will commence in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Adopt Amendment C252wsea in the form of Attachment 2.

2.       Submit Amendment C252wsea to the Minister for Planning for approval.

3.       Notify the submitter of Council’s decision.

4.       Note that once the Public Acquisition Overlay (PAO) has been applied that the acquisition process will commence in accordance with the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986.

5.       Write to Minister for Transport, the Department of Transport (DOT) and local State Members of Parliament for the timely acquisition, by the Department of Transport, of land required for the construction of the intersection of Boundary Road and Epping Road.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.2.3 FOR DECISION – PLANNING APPLICATION 719502 - CONSTRUCTION OF FOUR DWELLINGS AT 17 JUNIPER CRESCENT THOMATOWN  

Attachments:                        1        Locality Maps

2        Architectural Plans   

Responsible Officer:           Director Planning & Development

Officer Presenting:              Planning Officer   

APPLICANT:                        Mimar Design Pty Ltd

COUNCIL POLICY:              16.01-1L     Housing Supply in Established Areas

ZONING:                               General Residential Zone (Schedule 5)

OVERLAY:                            Development Contributions Plan Overlay (Schedule 3)

REFERRAL:                          None

OBJECTIONS:                      15

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to refuse the Planning Application No. 719502 and issue a Notice of Decision to refusal for the construction of four dwellings at 17 Juniper Crescent, Thomastown as the development is inappropriate for this site.

Brief overview

This proposal seeks approval for the construction of four dwellings at 17 Juniper Crescent, Thomastown. The dwellings proposed will be two-storey and three of the dwellings will comprise of three bedrooms and one will be four bedrooms.

Notification of the application was undertaken, and 15 objections have been received.

A previous application was submitted on this site for the construction of five dwellings which attracted 50 objections and was refused on by Council on 5 March 2019. This decision was upheld by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal on 24 February 2020.

rationale for recommendation

The proposal has not demonstrated a satisfactory response to the requirements of the General Residential Zone (Schedule 5) and does not achieve an acceptable level of compliance with Clause 55 (ResCode) of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. 

Impacts of recommendation

The refusal of the application will ensure the existing and preferred neighbourhood character of the immediate area is protected from an unacceptable medium density proposal.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

In light of the proposal recommendation for refusal, Council will be ensuring that development is appropriate and responsive to the existing and preferred neighbourhood character.

All parties to the application will retain review rights through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  Council will need to defend any decision made should the matter proceed to VCAT.

Report

SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

The site is a residential property located on the southern side of Juniper Crescent in Thomastown, 960m west of Thomastown train station and shopping precinct (see Attachment 1). The site contains a 16.6m frontage to Juniper Crescent, an average depth of 59.7m and a total site area of 1,136.5m².  The site is relatively flat. 

The site currently contains a single storey brick dwelling, with a pitched tiled roof, and a single car space brick garage.  Vehicle access to the dwelling is obtained from a crossover and access way along the western side boundary.  A low brick front fence encloses the site. Low level landscaping is located within the front setback, consisting of mainly low shrubs.  

The surrounding area is characterised by single and double storey dwellings, consistently finished in brick veneer, with pitched tiled roofs.  Secondary additions and detached outbuildings are present alongside and rear boundaries.  Front fences, if present, are consistently low in overall height, however, vary in transparency and construction materials.  Landscaping is present within front setbacks and more limited in rear secluded private open spaces.

Directly to the north of the site is Juniper Crescent and single dwelling developments.  Directly to the east of the site are single dwelling developments fronting Juniper Crescent and Teak Court.  Directly to the south of the site are single dwelling developments fronting Spring Street.  Finally, directly to the west of the site are two dwelling developments and single dwelling developments fronting Juniper Crescent and Hazel Avenue.  

Other examples of medium density within proximity to the site include 13 Lantana Avenue (developed with two dwellings) and 10 Lantana Avenue (developed with four dwellings) to the east of Juniper Crescent and 6 Hazel Avenue (developed with two dwellings) to the west of Juniper Crescent.

The site is located in proximity to the following sites, services and infrastructure:

·    Bus Route Nos. 554 and 557 – Thomastown via West Lalor (170m south);

·    Bus Route No. 357 – Wollert West to Thomastown Station via Epping Station (180m east);

·    Main Street Reserve and Thomastown Aquatic Centre (300m north);

·    Thomastown West Primary School and Secondary College (460m north);

·    St. Clare’s Catholic Primary School (800m north-west);

·    Thomastown Primary School (870m east); 

·    Thomastown Train Station and Shopping Precinct (960m east); and

·    M80 Ring Road (1.3km south).

restrictions and easements

The site is formally described as Lot 96 on Plan of Subdivision 072729.

The land is encumbered by Restrictive Covenant C929617. This Covenant requires that any dwelling or building erected on the land to be constructed of brick stone concrete or brick veneer. All four dwellings will be constructed from brick veneer (Hebel) and concrete, therefore the proposal does not breach Restrictive Covenant No. C929617.

A 2.4m wide drainage and sewerage easement runs along the southern rear boundary of the site.

Proposal

The application seeks approval for the construction of four dwellings (see Attachment 2)The existing dwelling and associated structures will be demolished. 

Further details of the proposal are outlined in the following table:

 

Height/Scale

Number of Bedrooms

Setbacks

Private Open Space

Car Parking

Maximum Height

 Dwelling No. 1

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

6.74m front (north)

Approx. 1.4m side (east)

Approx. 5.4m side (west)

55.1m2

Double garage

7.025m

Dwelling No. 2

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

Approx. 2.6m side (east)

Approx. 4.8m side (west)

75m2

Double garage

7.75m

Dwelling No. 3

Two-storey

Three Bedroom

Approx. 2.3m side (east)

Approx. 4.8m side (west)

54m2

Double garage

7.75m

Dwelling No. 4

Two-storey

Four Bedroom

5m rear (south)

Approx. 1.2m side (east)

Approx. 4.7m side (west)

80m2

Double garage

7.75m

Public Notification

Advertising of the application has resulted in 15 objections. The grounds of objection can be summarised as follows:

·    Visual bulk associated with 4 double storey dwellings and the associated continuous built form;

·    Proposal is an overdevelopment of the site;

·    Double storey-built form is inconsistent with existing neighbourhood character;

·    Proposal would result in a loss of privacy;

·    Increased noise in street associated with the development;

·    Development would result in an increased population;

·    Safety risk if all dwellings are occupied by renters;

·    Development will adversely impact property value of surrounding dwellings;

·    Two car spaces per dwelling is inadequate and no visitor parking is proposed;

·    Congestion of local streets and loss of on street car parking;

·    Development will impact accessibility of emergency vehicles to adjoining dwellings;

·    Inconsistent with relevant zoning provisions (General Residential Zone Schedule 5) and Housing Diversity Strategy;

·    Inadequate landscaping;

·    Development would set an undesirable precedent for medium density in the area; and,

·    Increase in new residents would disturb those currently ‘ageing in place’.

A response to the grounds of objection will be provided later in this report.

A community consultation meeting was organised on 20 January 2021 with the applicant, objectors and Council Officers. Objectors were notified of the meeting via letter, email and telephone. No RSVPs were received to this meeting and subsequently the meeting was cancelled.  Officers subsequently met with three objectors to better understand their concerns with the proposal.

HOUSING DIVERSITY STRATEGY

The Housing Diversity Strategy (HDS) was introduced into the Whittlesea Planning Scheme by Planning Scheme Amendment C181, gazetted on 22 October 2015.  The HDS provides a strategic framework for future residential development in the established areas of the municipality for the next 20 years.  It aims to guide the future location and diversity of housing stock and identifies areas of housing growth and change, including areas where future housing growth will not be supported.  In general, it aims to encourage higher residential densities and a diversity of housing types and sizes into areas within convenient walking distance to public transport and activity centres.

The HDS is a reference document in the Planning Scheme.

The site is within a Suburban Residential change area, which recognises areas typically a fifteen minute plus walk to public transport and activity centres.  The preferred housing types are noted as detached dwellings, dual occupancies and duplexes. The Suburban Residential change area has a number of Key Design Principles, including:-

·    Low building heights to reflect the existing suburban scale and character;

·    Front setback to allow for significant landscaping and large canopy trees to create a sense of openness to the street;

·    Increased side and rear setbacks to provide for building separation and landscaping;

·    Standard site coverage to facilitate landscaping opportunities;

·    An increased area of private open space to allow for significant landscaping;

·    Large canopy tree in the front setback; and

·    Extra-large canopy tree in the rear setback.

A response to Council’s Housing Diversity Strategy is provided in the table below.


 

ASSESSMENT AGAINST CLAUSE 55 OF THE WHITTLESEA PLANNING SCHEME

The following table provides details on whether the proposal complies with the requirements of Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.  Under these provisions a development:

·    Must meet all of the objectives

·    Should meet all of the standards

If Council is satisfied that an application for an alternative design solution meets the objective, the alternative design solution may be considered.

 

√- Compliance
X - Non compliance

Objectives

Standards

COMMENTS

B1

Neighbourhood
Character

x

x

The existing neighbourhood character contains predominately single storey dwellings with some double storey dwellings. The surrounding dwellings consistently include; double or triple fronted facades, pitched roofs, brick facades, concrete roof tiles and landscaping within front setbacks.

Within the immediate streetscape of Juniper Crescent, low scale development that provides a sense of openness forms the dominant character of the area. Many of the single dwellings in the area have generous secluded private open spaces.

In addition to consideration of the above context, Schedule 5 to the General Residential Zone contains the following neighbour character objectives:

·      To support a preferred neighbourhood character where landscaping is the prominent feature of development.

·      To maintain a sense of openness and separation between built form by providing generous setbacks and ensuring sensitive transitions in height from existing dwellings.

·      To encourage contemporary building designs with variation and breaks in building form to soften the visual bulk of development through elements such as eaves, hipped or gabled roof forms and setbacks at upper floors.

·      To improve landscape character by providing generous landscaping including canopy trees in front and rear setbacks to soften the visual impact of development.

 

 

 

·      To encourage functional secluded private open space at the rear of the dwelling through its orientation and design.

Each dwelling would incorporate elements of the surrounding housing stock including pitched tiled roof forms and ground floor brick facades, however, the proposal does not go far enough in responding to Standard B1- Neighbourhood Character.

Whilst the built form is separated at first floor level the double storey built form to all dwellings is a departure from predominantly single storey character of the area. The large first floor emphasises the two-storey built form.

A 1.2 metre separation is provided at ground floor between Dwellings 2 and 3, which is not considered adequate in providing a sense of openness and separation. 

Whilst two-storey built form is not prohibited within a residential area it is the expanse across the site which contributes to the visual bulk of the development.

Of particular concern is Dwelling 3 and 4 which are visually dominate when viewed from the secluded private open spaces of surrounding properties. The development and particularly these dwellings do not present as a sensitive transition when considering the existing and preferred neighbourhood character. It is considered that a more modest development which included single storey dwellings to the rear would result in a more appropriate transition.

Due to the continuous ground floor and tokenistic first floor separation there is limited landscaping opportunities to soften the built form. Visual bulk from the built form massing is the predominate feature of the site which is not consistent with the neighbourhood character objective which seeks for landscaping to be the predominate feature. This will be discussed further in Standard B13 - Landscaping. 

In summary, significant alterations to the proposal would be required to achieve an outcome that respects the existing and preferred neighbourhood character. 

B2

Residential
Policy

x

x

The site is located within a General Residential Zone (Schedule 5) and is within a Suburban Residential Change Area as identified in the Housing Diversity Strategy 2013-2033 (HDS).

The HDS sets out key design principles for residential development within Suburban Residential Change Areas.

The proposal is inconsistent with the preferred housing typology identified by the HDS, which encourages detached dwellings and dual occupancy/duplex development within the Suburban Residential Change Area. Whilst this is a larger subject site the Key Design Principles of the HDS seek to encourage developments within the Suburban Residential Change Area to have low built form to respect the character, have greater built form separation and large/ extra- large canopy trees. The proposal does not respect these principles nor the preferred housing typology.

There are examples of two storey dwellings which can be found at 8 Juniper Crescent and 13 Lantana Avenue, however, single storey with generous secluded private open spaces are the predominate feature of the immediate area.

Clause 16.01-1L (Housing Supply in Established Areas) applies to the development of two or more dwellings in the established areas of the municipality. This Clause contains strategies for achieving development that contributes positively to the neighbourhood character of the area whilst achieving a high level of amenity. Strategies for achieving this include to encourage development that:

·      Achieves generous setbacks where a sense of space and separation between dwellings is part of the preferred neighbourhood character;

·      Provides an articulated building form to avoid visual bulk;

·      Provides landscaping along driveways that is not impacted by vehicle manoeuvres;

 

 

·      Integrates overlooking screening (where required) with the building design to reduce visual bulk and to maximise access to daylight, natural ventilation and outlook for habitable rooms;

Whilst the development meets technical compliance with regard to its front and rear setbacks the extent of the built form across the site is of concern. The development does not achieve generous setbacks throughout the site and when viewed from the streetscape and adjoining properties secluded private open spaces it would present as an extensive amount of visual bulk. The first floor breaks are considered tokenistic and do little in providing breathing space between the built form.

Landscaping along the accessway has been provided, however, the turning circles provided from the garages demonstrate that vehicles would conflict with some of these areas, particularly along the western boundary. It is also unlikely any meaningful landscaping would establish in these areas. Providing canopy trees particularly in the accessway area would assist in softening the built form when viewed from Juniper Crescent and neighbouring properties.

Due to the amount of the built form and the amount of surrounding properties the first floor levels are required to be screened. This not only results in poor internal amenity for any future occupants due to the ‘milk bottle’ effect but it also presents as a poor design response. The incorporation of some single storey dwellings and first floor level habitable rooms screened with architecturally design screening would achieve a more acceptable design response. 

In addition to the housing character and amenity strategies identified above, Clause 16.01-1L (Housing Supply in Established Areas) also encourages:

·      Encourages a greater diversity of housing types and dwelling size including both smaller and larger dwellings; and,

 

·      Encourage accessible and adaptable housing that includes dwellings containing a kitchen, bedroom, shower, toilet and wash basin at ground level that is usable by everyone regardless of their age and abilities.

The proposed housing mix relies on four double storey dwellings. Three out of the four have all their bedrooms upstairs. Dwelling 4 offers one bedroom on the ground floor, however, this dwelling is to the rear of the site and approximately 50 metres from Juniper Crescent. It is likely a development which incorporated some smaller, single storey and more accessible dwellings would achieve a greater response to Clause 16.01-1L.

As discussed elsewhere, the proposal does not go far enough in responding to Standard B2 and in particular the Housing Diversity Strategy and Clause 16.01-1L of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.

B3

Dwelling
Diversity

N/A

N/A

Only applicable to developments of ten or more dwellings

B4

Infrastructure

P

P

 

B5

Integration with
the street

P

P

 

B6

Street setback

P

P

 

B7

Building height

P

P

 

B8

Site coverage

P

P

The proposal has a site coverage of 43.8% which is less than the standard which allows for a site coverage no greater than 60%.

B9

Permeability

P

P

Permeable area of 38.7% which is great than the standard which allows for 20% permeability.

B10

Energy
efficiency

P

P

 

B11

Open space

N/A

N/A

Only applicable if public or communal open space is to be provided on site or adjacent to the development.

B12

Safety

P

P

 

B13

Landscaping

x

x

Schedule 5 to the General Residential Zone contains additional landscaping requirements. The development must provide at least one canopy tree in both the front and rear setbacks. Each canopy tree must achieve a minimum six metres mature height and be accommodated in a pervious area of at least 5 metres by 5 metres, that does not contain driveways or car parking.

The site has a five metre rear setback, however, almost half of this area is constrained by a 2.4 metre easement. Therefore, it is likely this area would be compromised in its ability to sufficiently establish a six metre canopy tree.

Schedule 5 of the General Residential Zone also requires for development sites of 1,000 square metres or more, additional canopy trees at a ratio of one canopy tree for every two dwellings must be provided. The subject site exceeds 1000 square metres and therefore two additional canopy trees must be provided throughout the site. It is considered that the development would benefit from providing these additional areas particularly in between the dwellings which would assist in softening the built form and allow greater separation.

As discussed earlier in the report Schedule 5 to the General Residential Zone contains the following neighbour character objectives relating to landscaping:

·      To support a preferred neighbourhood character where landscaping is the prominent feature of development.

·      To improve landscape character by providing generous landscaping including canopy trees in front and rear setbacks to soften the visual impact of development.

 

 

Having landscaping as a prominent feature and it being generous is particularly important to a development that seeks to introduced an extensive amount of visual bulk into an area the is predominately surrounded by single storey dwellings and sensitive neighbouring secluded private open spaces.

The landscaping areas for this development are not considered sufficient to balance the scale of development being sought. 

B14

Access

P

P

 

B15

Parking location

P

P

 

B17

Side and rear
setbacks

P

P

All side and rear setbacks comply with Standard B17. A 5m rear setback has been provided in accordance with Schedule 5 to the General Residential Zone.

 

B18

Walls on
boundaries

P

P

No walls on boundary are proposed.

B19

Daylight to
existing
windows

P

P

 

B20

North-facing
windows

P

P

 

B21

Overshadowing
open space

P

P

 

B22

Overlooking

P

P

 

B23

Internal views

P

P

 

B24

Noise impacts

P

P

 

B25

Accessibility

P

P

 

B26

Dwelling entry

P

P

 

B27

Daylight to new
windows

P

P

 

B28

Private open
space

P

P

Schedule 5 to the General Residential Zone requires a minimum area of 40 square metres of secluded private open space is provided at the side or rear of the dwelling with a minimum dimension of 5 metres and convenient access from a living room.

All dwellings have been provided with Secluded Private Open Space (SPOS) required by this Schedule.

B29

Solar access to
open space

P

P

 

B30

Storage

P

x

Dwelling Two has not been provided with 6m3 of externally accessible storage. If a permit was to be issued this could be addressed by way of condition.

B31

Design detail

x

x

As discussed earlier in this report, the continuous built form along the ground floor of the dwellings and the lack of meaningful separation along the first floors of the dwellings presents as visually bulky and is a non-responsive development to the existing and preferred character of Juniper Crescent.

Whilst four dwellings could be achieved on the site it is considered the proposal is ambitious in its bulky design with limited separation. The design has not responded to the existing low scale neighbourhood character nor has it satisfactorily responded to the preferred neighbourhood objectives stipulated in Schedule 5 of the General Residential Zone.

B32

Front fences

P

P

 

B33

Common
property

P

P

 

B34

Site services

P

P

 

CAR PARKING 

Clause 52.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme prescribes the rate and design standards for car parking spaces required on site.  Pursuant to this clause the following car spaces are required:

Dwelling No.

No. of bedrooms

Car spaces required

Car spaces provided

Complies

1

3

2

2

Yes

2

3

2

2

Yes

3

3

2

2

Yes

4

4

2

2

Yes

Garages should be at least 6.0m long and 3.5m wide for a single space and 5.5m wide for a double space (measured inside the garage or carport).  An open car space should be at least 4.9m long and 2.6m wide.  The proposal complies with these requirements.

DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTIONS PLAN OVERLAY (SCHEDULE 3)

The site is affected by the Development Contributions Plan Overlay.  Pursuant to Clause 45.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, the Development Contributions Plan Overlay enables the levying of contributions for the provision of works, services and facilities prior to development commencing.  Schedule 3 to the Overlay requires contributions for drainage infrastructure for medium density residential development at a current rate of $2.19 per square metre of the total site area.  This requirement must be included as a condition on any planning permit that is issued.

Relevant vcat decision

The following VCAT Decisions are relative to this proposal:

Fast Homes Pty Ltd v Whittlesea CC [2020] VCAT 218 (24 February 2020)

The permit applicant has previously applied for a planning permit for the construction of five dwellings at 17 Juniper Crescent, Thomastown. Council resolved to refuse this application on 5 March 2019. An appeal was subsequently lodged to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), who affirmed Council’s decision to refuse the planning permit application. 

Whilst the current proposal is for four dwellings it contains similarities to the previous five dwelling proposal. 

The key issues identified by the Tribunal in the previous decision are as follows:

·    The proposal did not provide adequate landscaping opportunities in accordance with the neighbourhood character and zoning requirements; and

·    The proposal did not provide sufficient front, side and rear setbacks and was therefore bulky and inconsistent with the pattern of development in Juniper Crescent.


 

Key comments from the Tribunal are below:

[36] ... The GRZ5 schedule now clearly articulates a design outcome where landscaping, not the built form, is the ‘prominent feature of development.’ This preferred landscape character is to be achieved by providing ‘generous landscaping including canopy trees in front and rear setbacks to soften the visual impact of development.’ The generous setbacks should also be used to ‘improve landscape character’ and ‘soften the visual impact of development.’ In addition, new development is to ‘maintain a sense of openness and separation between built form by providing generous setbacks and ensuring sensitive transitions in height from existing buildings.’…

[46] In essence, the GRZ5 Schedule and clause 22.16 (now Clause 16.01-1L) seeks a scenario that sees new residential development set within prominent landscaping that is a feature of the neighbourhood. This is to be highlighted by generous built form setbacks and high quality and contemporary building designs, separation and breaks between built form to help soften appearance and visual transition between older and new built form.…

It is considered that the current proposal has not appropriately responded to both Council and VCAT’s previous decision. This is indicated by the following:

·    The previous proposal was not considered to allow for ‘generous’ landscaping, and it had a total site coverage of 39.6%. The current proposal has increased its site coverage to 43.8%;

·    Whilst the total number of dwellings has been reduced to four (previously five) there are a greater number of bedrooms. There were previously 11 and the current proposal has 13. The increase of additional bedrooms (as well as study nooks, lounge areas and double garages) has added to the overall built form massing and visual bulk;

·    Whilst a 5 metre rear setback has been achieved it is still constrained by the 2.4 metre easement which as indicated by the previous Tribunal decision would impact the potential density and maturity of landscaping in this particular setback. The establishment of significant landscaping in the rear is considered fundamental to this development to assist in softening the visual bulk from the double storey development; and

·    Other than a tokenistic 1.2m setback between Dwelling 2 and Dwelling 3 the development has not provided for sufficient ground floor and first floor level separation.

In addition to the above it is also worth noting the Tribunal decision at 22 Juniper Crescent, Thomastown which is a 817.8 square metre site to the north of 17 Juniper Crescent, Thomastown. Sandhu v Whittlesea CC [2013] VCAT 2121 (17 December 2013) contemplated the construction of three double storey dwellings and one single storey dwelling at the rear. This decision also addressed similar issues such as a visually dominate and excessive first floor despite having one single storey dwelling to the rear.

Comments on Grounds of Objection

1.       The proposal is contrary to the existing and preferred neighbourhood character

As discussed earlier in the report, the proposal fails to accord with the existing and preferred neighbourhood character particularly due to the extent of built form and double storey nature and lack of meaningful landscaping opportunities.

2.       The proposal is an overdevelopment of the site

The Whittlesea Planning Scheme does not prescribe a particular density for this site, however, given the proposal constraints which achieving an acceptable response to Clause 55 - ResCode this is an indication of the proposal being an overdevelopment.

3.       The proposal is visually bulky

The proposal is considered to be visually bulky in its current form due to the amount of first floor area and lack of meaningful landscaping.

4.       Overlooking/Privacy

The proposal includes measures to address overlooking in accordance with Standard B22 – Overlooking of Clause 55 - ResCode of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.

5.       Noise Impacts on Street

The noise generated by this proposal is acceptable for a residential zoned area.

6.       Proposal would result in overpopulation of the area

Clause 16.01-1S- Housing Supply of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme seeks to identify opportunities for increased residential densities to consolidate urban development. Whilst this particular development is not supported it is considered suitable for a more modest medium density development.

7.       Safety risk if all dwellings are occupied by renters

This is not a relevant planning consideration.

8.       Inadequate car parking/ No visitor parking provided

As discussed elsewhere in this report, the car parking provided on site satisfies Clause 52.06 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. The development is for four dwellings and therefore a visitor car parking space is not required pursuant to Clause 52.06-5 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.

9.       Congestion of local streets and loss of on street car parking

The development does not propose any additional crossovers which could impact on the availability of on street car parking. Furthermore, the development has been provided with the required amount of onsite car parking spaces as discussed above.  The additional vehicles associated with the development will not unreasonably congest existing traffic volumes.

10.     Development will impact accessibility of emergency vehicles to adjoining        dwellings

The proposed accessway satisfies the requirements of Clause 52.06- Car Parking. This will allow for emergency vehicle access to the site.  The development does not obstruct emergency vehicle access to adjoining sites.

11.     Inadequate Landscaping

The proposal has not provided an outcome where landscaping is the predominate feature nor has it been generously provided across the subject site.

12.     Increase in new residents would disturb those currently ‘ageing in place’

Clause 16.01-1L- Housing Supply in Established Areas encourages the development of housing that accommodates residents with different needs and abilities. As discussed earlier in this report the proposal could achieve a greater housing mix that is more adaptable and accessible to a range of potential future occupants.

13.     The proposal will set a negative precedent for the area

Each application for medium density development is assessed on its merits and must comply with the Whittlesea Planning Scheme.  In this instance the proposal would likely have a detrimental impact on the area and set an undesirable precedent.


 

14.     Decreased property values.

VCAT has determined on many occasions that property values (including the perception of reduced property values) is not a relevant planning consideration.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The proposal does not appropriately response to the relevant Planning Policy Framework, including Clause 16.01-1L- Housing Supply of Established Areas and Clause 55 (ResCode). The proposed development does not demonstrate an acceptable level of compliance with the relative requirements of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme predominately due to its visual bulk, inability to achieve landscape as its predominate feature and lack of built form separation.

 

.

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to Refuse Planning Application No. 719502 and issue a Notice of Refusal to Grant a Planning Permit for Construction of Four Dwellings in accordance with the endorsed plans and subject to the following conditions:

1.       The proposal does not comply with the following Objectives and Standards of Clause 55 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme:

a)      B1 Neighbourhood character;

b)      B2 Residential policy;

c)      B13 Landscaping; and

d)      B31 Detailed Design.

2.       The proposal does not appropriately respond to the neighbourhood character objectives sought by Schedule 5 to Clause 32.08 – General Residential Zone;

3.       The proposal fails to appropriately respond to the Policy Framework of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme as follows:

a)      The development does not comply with the policy at Clause 16.01-1L – Housing supply in Established Areas;

b)      The scale, separation, built form and landscaping opportunities is inconsistent with the key design principles outlined for Suburban Residential change area of the Housing Diversity Strategy; and

c)      The amount of visual bulk and double storey across the site does not provide for the sensitive transition in density sought to be achieved by the Housing Diversity Strategy for a Suburban Residential change area.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.2.4 For Decision - Planning Application 719364 - Native Vegetation Removal at 105 Hunters Road, 105Y Hunters Road, 670 Bridge Inn Road, 80 McArthurs Road, 1215 Plenty Road, 55c McArthurs Road and 1W McArthurs Road, South Morang. 

Attachments:                        1        Locality Maps

2        Plans

3        Photographs   

Responsible Officer:           Director Planning & Development

Officer Presenting:              Planning Officer   

APPLICANT:                        Jacobs Group Pty Ltd on behalf of Yarra Valley Water

COUNCIL POLICY:              12.01-1L     River Redgum Protection Policy

ZONING:                               General Residential Zone Schedule 1

Rural Conservation Zone Schedule 1

Public Use Zone Schedule 1 and Schedule 4

OVERLAY:                            Development Plan Overlay

Heritage Overlay

Incorporated Plan Overlay

Public Acquisition Overlay

Significant Landscape Overlay

Rural Floodway Overlay

Vegetation Protection Overlay

Development Contributions Plan Overlay

REFERRAL:                          Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning,  Department of Transport

OBJECTIONS:                      Advertising exempt and not undertaken

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to approve Planning Permit Application No. 719364 for the removal of Native Vegetation at 105 Hunters Road, 105Y Hunters Road, 670 Bridge Inn Road, 80 McArthurs Road, 1215 Plenty Road, 55c McArthurs Road and 1W McArthurs Road, South Morang subject to conditions.

Brief overview

It is proposed to remove 1.334 Ha of native vegetation, which includes two significant deceased River Red Gum trees to facilitate the installation of a minor utility installation. Approximately 2 kilometres of pipeline is proposed to be constructed between the existing Melbourne Water M190 pipeline and the existing Mernda Reservoir. Whilst the instillation of the critical infrastructure does not require planning permission it has been designed to ensure that it avoids and minimises to the minimum extent its impact on vegetation and other ecological values within the landscape.

Notice of the application was not undertaken which is discussed later in the report.

rationale for recommendation

The removal of the vegetation is required to facilitate the provision of critical Yarra Valley Water infrastructure (Buttress Crescent Pump Station and Mernda Reservoir Inlet Main) and approval is recommended subject to conditions including appropriate protection of vegetation to be retained and the provision of compensatory offset planting.

impacts of recommendation

The proposal will deliver drinking water to the existing and future residential estates in Mernda, however, native vegetation is required to be removed to facilitate the infrastructure.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Appropriate tree protection measures, including the establishment of tree protection zones will be applied to all vegetation that is to be retained.  The vegetation proposed to be removed will be under the supervision of a council officer.

Where native vegetation is to be removed, the felled trees will be retained on council land for habitat purposes and compensatory offset planting will be required in accordance with relevant requirements.

 

 

Report

SITE AND SURROUNDING AREA

The vegetation proposed for removal covers several parcels of land, however, the primary area of the works is located at the corner of Plenty Road and McArthurs Road, South Morang. The works are also within proximity to the land associated with the Council adopted 80 McArthurs Lane and 25 Hunters Road, South Morang Development Plan. This development plan was adopted by Council on 6 August 2020 and covers 79.81 hectares in area, of which approximately half will be developed for residential purposes and the other half vested to Council for the future Quarry Hills Parkland.

Further details of the specific parcels of land where vegetation is proposed for removal are outlined below.

105Y Hunters Road, South Morang

105Y Hunters Road is a large rectilinear allotment located approximately 650m to the west of McArthurs Road. Access to the site is provided by way of a vehicle track which connects to Hunters Road to the north.

The subject site has a total area of 34390m2 and is currently occupied by utility installation (Mernda Reservoir) approved under planning permit 717083.

670 Bridge Inn Road, South Morang;

670 Bridge Inn Road identifies an existing pipe track that runs north/south through the municipality. The land is administered and owned by the Melbourne Water Corporation.

80 McArthurs Road, South Morang

80 McArthurs Road is located on the north side of McArthurs Road, to the east of 105Y Hunters Road. The subject site is rectilinear in shape, with a total site area of 303,700m2. The site is notable for the land that is not included in the allotment, which includes 120 McArthurs Road and the associated access track which is located internally within the site.

1215 Plenty Road, South Morang, Victoria

1215 Plenty Road is located on the west side of Plenty Road and the north side of McArthurs Road. The site is located to the immediate east of 80 McArthurs Road and is currently developed with a number of buildings that occupy the north-west corner of the site. The site has a frontage to Plenty Road of approximately 185.6m and an overall site area of approximately 84600m2.

1W McArthurs Road, South Morang,

1W McArthurs Road is located to the west of Plenty Road, adjacent to Buttress Crescent. The site comprises of an overall area of 6459.54m2 and is currently developed as a Council reserve and shared user path network.

55C McArthurs Road, South Morang

55c McArthurs Road is located to the west side of Plenty Road, adjacent to 1W McArthurs Road. The site is a small trapeze shaped parcel of land. The land is undeveloped and is notable for the remnant vegetation.


 

restrictions and easements

Section 173 Agreement AK129355J applies to Lot 1 on Title Plan 160050B (commonly known as 80 McArthurs Road, South Morang). This agreement relates to the provision of an open space contribution to be required as part of the future subdivision of the land and would not be impacted upon by the proposed works.

No other sites included in this proposal are encumbered by any agreements or restrictions that would preclude Council from determining this application.

Proposal

The planning application proposes to remove 1.334 hectares of native vegetation to facilitate the delivery of infrastructure to allow for drinking water. The infrastructure is needed to meet increased demands associated with developing residential subdivisions located in Mernda.

Minor Utility Installation

The removal of native vegetation requires planning permission; however, the Yarra Valley Water infrastructure is exempt.  The infrastructure works are defined as ‘minor utility installation’ under Clause 73.03 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. The use and development of land for a minor utility installation does not require a planning permit pursuant to Clause 62.01 and Clause 62.02-2 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, respectively. Notwithstanding this the proposed works associated with the vegetation removal are outlined as follows:

·        Construction of a pump station with a footprint of approximately 200m2, and a height of approximately 7m located on Yarra Valley Water owned land;

·        Approximately 2km of 502mm outside diameter mild steel pipeline to be constructed by open-trench and horizontal directional drilling (HDD). HDD is a construction technique used to avoid native vegetation and will be installed at depths greater than 600mm to avoid tree root zones; and

·        Access tracks and laydown areas.

This above infrastructure will connect into existing Yarra Valley and Melbourne Water facilities such as the Melbourne Water M190 pipeline and the Mernda Reservoir.

Vegetation Removal

There are seventy-three (73) native trees, the majority of which are located within the eastern area of works associated with 55C McArthurs Road and 670 Bridge Inn Road. Further details of the specific native trees are outlined in the below table:

ID

Number of Trees

Taxon, Common Name

Arboricultural Value

14

50

Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Acacia mearnsii, River Red Gum, Black Wattle

Low

15

1

Eucalyptus camaldulensis, River Red Gum

None

16

1

Eucalyptus camaldulensis, River Red Gum

None

18

1

Eucalyptus melliodora, Yellow Box

Low

19

1

Eucalyptus melliodora, Yellow Box

Low

20

1

Eucalyptus melliodora, Yellow Box

Low

21

6

Acacia implexa, Hickory Wattle

Low

22

1

Acacia implexa, Hickory Wattle

Low

23

1

Eucalyptus camaldulensis, River Red Gum

Low

24

8

Acacia implexa, Hickory Wattle

Low

32

1

Acacia mearnsii, Black Wattle

Low

33

1

Acacia mearnsii, Black Wattle

Low

The removal of the above native vegetation results in the removal of 0.078Ha of remnant Plains Grassy Woodland and 1.146Ha of remnant Granitic Hills Woodland vegetation.

In addition to the above the following Non-Native trees are to be removed to facilitate the works:

ID

Number of Trees

Taxon, Common Name

Arboricultural Value

25

1

Crataegus monogyna, English Hawthorn

None

34

1

Prunus x domestica, European Plum

None

Given that the permit trigger under the Vegetation Protection Overlay and Clause 52.17- Native Vegetation only applies to the removal of native trees (planted or remnant), the assessment is on the native trees only has a particular focus on the River Red Gums as consideration is required to be given under Clause 12.01-1L ‘River Redgum Protection Policy’.

The total area of existing vegetation within the area of works has not been identified. The area of works encompasses approximately 36.85ha, of which 1.33ha of native vegetation will be removed as a result of the works.

All the vegetation proposed for removal has been assessed in a report prepared by an external arborist which has been reviewed by Council officers in Land Management, Biodiversity Planning and Parks and the vegetation was determined to have either a low or no arboricultural value. However, there are two River Red Gums (ID 15 and ID 16) located between Buttress Crescent and Plenty Road worth noting due to the presence in the landscape (see Attachment 2). Both have been confirmed to be deceased and are considered habitat trees. ID 15 located at 55c McArthurs Road, has a diameter at breast height (DBH) of 200cm. ID 16 is located at 670 Bridge Inn Road and exhibits a DBH of 80cm.

Of the other 51 semi-mature River Red Gums proposed for removal, 50 are located within the northern portion of 55 McArthurs Road, adjacent to Plenty Road (identified as ID 14). One River Red Gum to be removed is located on the western side of the shared user path located at 670 Bridge Inn Road (identified as ID 23). The trees identified as ID 14 have a DBH of approximately 10cm, whereas ID 23 has a DBH of 14cm. All 51 of these trees have a DBH of less than 50cm measured at 1.3 meters above ground level and therefore they are not considered to be significant specimens.

Public Notification

The proposed native vegetation removal covers several parcels of land with separate planning controls. The various parcels apply a range of notice exemptions under Section 52(1)(c) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which are outlined below.


 

1W McArthurs Road and 55c McArthurs Road are council owned and therefore consideration must be given to Section 96 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which requires that a responsible authority must obtain a permit from the Minister before carrying out any use or development for which a permit is required under the planning scheme for which it is the responsible authority unless the planning scheme exempts the land, use or development. The application did not require a planning permit to be obtained from the Minister, due to the exemption outlined below.

Pursuant to Clause 67.03, In accordance with Section 52(1)(c) of the Act, notice of an application to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation under Clause 52.17 of this scheme must be given to the Secretary to the Department administering the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. This does not apply if the application is required to be referred to the Secretary under Section 55 of the Act. The application was referred to relevant secretary who in this instance is the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and therefore notice of the application was not required.

Notwithstanding Section 96 of the Act, consideration must also be given to the vegetation that is located within the Vegetation Protection Overlay. This overlay applies to the land to the west of Buttress Crescent and north of McArthurs Road. The removal of vegetation within this overlay would not result in material detriment to any person. The proposed vegetation removal within the overlay is not of a significant scale and would largely be undertaken internally within the subject sites, set back a considerable distance from McArthurs Road. There are two trees proposed for removal on the northern side of the McArthurs Road Reserve which is required to be widened in accordance with the Council adopted 80 McArthurs Lane and 25 Hunters Road, South Morang Development Plan. Any vegetation within this area proposed for removal is considered to be generally in accordance with this approved Development Plan and therefore notice under Section 52(1)(a), (b) and (d), the decision requirements of Section 64(1), (2). and (3) and the review rights of Section 82(1) of the Act was not considered necessary.

Notwithstanding the above, Yarra Valley Water and Jacobs Group Pty Ltd have undertaken preliminary consultation with the community in the design phase of the project. Letters were sent to residents within the surrounding area notifying them of Yarra Valley Water’s intention to construct a pump station. In addition, an acoustic study was carried out using a sound detector device installed in a nearby property. The data collected from this study was used to ensure that the pump station would comply satisfy State Environmental Protection Authority guidelines.

PLANNING ASSESSMENT

Planning Policy Framework

Clause 12.01-2S Native Vegetation Management

The objective of this Clause is to ensure that there is no net loss to biodiversity as a result of the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation. This clause seeks to ensure that decisions that involve, or will lead to, the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation, apply the three-step approach in accordance with the Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, 2017):

·    Avoid the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation.

·    Minimise impacts from the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation that cannot be avoided.

·    Provide an offset to compensate for the biodiversity impact from the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation.

The application was referred to DELWP, who were satisfied that adequate offsets could be secured for the removal of vegetation.

Clause 12.01-1L River Red Gum Protection

This clause carries the objective of retaining and providing for the long-term viability of River Red Gums. Strategies for achieving this include maximising the retention, protection and incorporation of mature River Red Gums and juvenile trees (to support regeneration) into the design of any development or subdivision and limiting removal of mature River Red Gum trees to only those that present a danger to people and property.

Zone and Overlay Decision Guidelines

The proposed area of works impacts multiple sites and planning zones which have been identified earlier in this report. The following Planning Zone and Overlay considered to be relevant to this proposal:

Clause 42.02 Vegetation Protection Overlay Schedule 1

Pursuant to Clause 42.02-2 of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop any vegetation specified in a schedule to this overlay. Schedule 1 of this overlay relates to the River Red Gum Grassy Woodland Region within which the area of works is located.

This overlay applies to the land located to the north of McArthurs Road and the west of Buttress Crescent.

An arboriculture report has been prepared identifying the health and condition of the trees which has been identified earlier in the report. 

Clause 43.04 Development Plan Overlay Schedule 5 and 27

The purpose of this of this overlay is to identify areas which require the form and conditions of future use and development to be shown on a development plan before a permit can be granted to use or develop the land and to exempt an application from notice and review if a development plan has been prepared to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

Schedule 5 to this overlay relates to the Mernda Development Plan,

Schedule 27 of this overlay relates to the Mernda West and South Morang Quarry Hills Precincts Development Plan (80 McArthurs Lane and 25 Hunters Road, South Morang Development Plan).

Each of these Development Plans foreshadow residential development within proximity to the area of works and therefore the removal of the native vegetation is considered generally in accordance with this plan.

Particular Provisions

Clause 52.17 Native Vegetation

Clause 52.17-1 (Permit requirement) states that a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop native vegetation, including dead native vegetation.

The proposal was required to demonstrate how it avoids and minimises the removal, destruction or lopping of vegetation. A Flora and fauna assessment was prepared by ecologists and reviewed by various Council officers in Land Management, Biodiversity Planning, Conversation Management and Parks. The assessments identified and mapped various ecological constraints such as the presence of large tree with significant habitat value, scattered trees/ patches of native vegetation and planted vegetation that provided some habitat for fauna. Steps have been demonstrated as to how the proposed work will avoid and minimise the impact of native vegetation at the design stage of the proposal. These steps include modified construction methods to bore under significant vegetation to avoid vegetation and minimise the extent of loss and the implementation of a Tree Protection Plan to avoid minimise the extent of vegetation to be removed.

The application includes proposed removal of remnant vegetation and therefore appropriate offsets must be secured via permit conditions. Council officers engaged with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in the preparation of conditions to address this matter. 

PLANNING COMMENTS

The importance of native vegetation is acknowledged, and in particular River Red Gum trees, as a visual and environmental feature within the municipality.

In this instance, the request to remove this native vegetation including the River Red Gums is necessary in order to allow for the provision of critical infrastructure to deliver drinking water to the developing residential estates in Mernda.  The alignment has been designed to suit both the need of the infrastructure and ensure vegetation loss is to the minimum extent necessary.

Appropriate offsets will be acquired to mitigate the loss of vegetation. It is also noted that the two deceased River Red Gums will be either retained onsite or relocated to another suitable site for habitat purposes which will be supervised by Council officers in the Parks and Urban Design Department. Other vegetation where possible will also be utilised in the future Quarry Hills Parkland. Both these matters can be addressed via conditions on the permit.

Vehicle access between the western and eastern construction zones will be restricted to established formed roads around the site. An existing crushed rock/gravel track provides access to existing Mernda Reservoir from Hunters Road, which is located approximately 820m north of McArthurs Lane. The southern section of the access track will be widened, and an existing open channel stormwater drain will be modified to accommodate the increased road width.  A plan indicating the proposed movement of machinery, and information regarding expected traffic volumes, and erosion mitigation measures, can be managed appropriately as a condition of the permit.

During the construction phase of the project, Jacobs Group Pty Ltd and Yarra Valley Water will implement the following measures to mitigate any impact on the surrounding residential area:

·    A Construction Site and Environmental Management Plan will be prepared that details how construction noise, dust, runoff and other impacts from the construction will be appropriately managed;

·    Yarra Valley Water will advise Council’s Infrastructure Protection and Parks and Urban Design teams when works are to occur to ensure that they are carried out with relevant endorsed plans.

·    A condition will be imposed on any permit issued requiring the submission of a Restoration Plan. The Restoration Plan will require the planting of native vegetation, including grass ground cover, within the area of works. The Restoration Plan will also require the provision of appropriate screen planting to the pump station to reduce the visual impact of the works. The Restoration Plan will be reviewed by Council officers in Parks and Urban Design and Biodiversity planning teams to ensure that appropriate species are selected. 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The proposal has been assessed against the relevant policies and provisions of the Whittlesea Planning Scheme, including Clauses 12.01-1L (River Red Gum Protection) and 52.17 (Native Vegetation Removal), as well as applicable Zone and Overlays. Accordingly, it is recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions.

 

 

Recommendation

THAT Council resolve to approve Planning Permit Application No. 719364 for the removal of Native Vegetation at 105 Hunters Road, 105Y Hunters Road, 670 Bridge Inn Road, 80 McArthurs Road, 1215 Plenty Road, 55c McArthurs Road and 1W McArthurs Road, South Morang in accordance with the endorsed plans and subject to the following conditions:

Plans Required

1.       Prior to the commencement of works, a standalone Native Vegetation Retention and Removal Plan (NVRRP) must be provided to and approved by the Responsible Authority. This plan must incorporate elements of both the ecologists native vegetation removal map book, the arborists tree location & fencing plans, and the final civil works drawings.

2.       Prior to the commencement of works a vehicle access plan must be submitted to and approved by the Responsible Authority. The vehicle access plan must show all proposed movement of machinery including information regarding expected traffic volumes, and erosion mitigation measures. Where practical, the plan must minimise heavy machinery accessing the reinstated driveway at 105 Hunters Road, South Morang.

3.       Prior to the commencement of works, a Restoration Plan must be submitted to and approved by the responsible authority. The restoration plan must be inclusive of a minimum 13 week maintenance period. The Restoration Plan must note the use of local native plant species, native grass ground cover restoration via direct seeding, remediation works, timing and maintenance activities. The Restoration Plan shall be bonded to 150% of the value of the works proposed and should include screen planting to the associated works where appropriate.

Tree Removal Conditions

4.       No native vegetation, other than that shown on the endorsed plan, shall be destroyed, felled, lopped, ring barked or uprooted, without the consent of the Responsible Authority.

5.       Prior to removal, the subject trees must be inspected by a suitably qualified and experienced zoologist to determine the presence of animals living or nesting in the tree. Should any native animals be detected, reasonable steps must be taken to capture and relocate such animals as recommended by the zoologist.

6.       The applicant must contact Council’s Parks and Urban Design Department to arrange for an appropriate officer to be present on site to supervise the removal of the trees

7.       Stumps and any surface roots are to be ground down below ground level. Ground and chipped material to a depth of 50mm is to be removed from site at the direction of the project manager. The project manager must supply and replace suitable topsoil and seed the area making certain that the reinstated ground surface is level, even and safe.

8.       All stumps not removed immediately after removal of the tree are to be paint marked with a suitable bright yellow reflective marking paint.

9.       Wherever possible and appropriate, native trees to be removed should be retained for use in Quarry Hills Parkland for habitat purposes to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.  All timber less than 300mm diameter and branch/leaf material should be shredded for reuse as mulch.

10.     All timber less than 300mm in diameter and branch/leaf material shall be shredded for re-use as mulch within the subject site.

11.     At the completion of the works, the applicant is to arrange for an appropriate Council officer to inspect the site to ensure compliance with the planning permit.

12.     No buildings or works, including loading and unloading, storage of materials, dumping of waste, vehicle access, parking and other construction activity is to occur within a tree protection zone without the written consent of and to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Conditions

13.     Before works start, the permit holder must advise all persons undertaking the vegetation removal or works on site of all relevant permit conditions and associated statutory requirements or approvals.

14.     The total area of native vegetation proposed to be removed totals 1.334 hectares, comprised of:

a.       3 patches of native vegetation with a total area of 1.224 hectares [containing 0 large trees];

b.      2 large scattered trees; and

c.       0 small scattered trees.

15.     To offset the permitted clearing in accordance with Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation (DELWP 2017), the permit holder must secure a general offset of 0.428 general habitat units:

a.       located within the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management boundary or Whittlesea City Council municipal area; and

b.      with a minimum strategic biodiversity score of at least 0.367.

          The offset(s) secured must also protect 2 large trees.

16.     Before any native vegetation is removed evidence that the required offset by this permit has been secured must be provided to the satisfaction of the responsible authority. This evidence must be one or both of the following:

a.       an established first party offset site including a security agreement signed by both parties, and a management plan detailing the 10-year management actions and ongoing management of the site; and/or

b.      credit extract(s) allocated to the permit from the Native Vegetation Credit Register.

17.     A copy of the offset evidence will be endorsed by the responsible authority and form part of this permit. Within 30 days of endorsement of the offset evidence, a copy of the endorsed offset evidence must be provided to Planning Approvals at the DELWP Port Phillip regional office.

 

 

 

18.     Where the offset includes a first party offset(s), the permit holder must provide an annual offset site report to the responsible authority by the anniversary date of the execution of the offset security agreement, for a period of 10 consecutive years. After the tenth year, the landowner must provide a report at the reasonable request of a statutory authority.

19.     Within 6 months of the conclusion of the permitted clearing of native vegetation under this permit, the offset requirements can be reconciled with the written agreement of the responsible authority and DELWP.

20.     That a Construction and Environment Management Plan (CEMP) is developed to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

Permit Expiry

21.     In accordance with the Planning and Environment Act 1987 a permit for the development expires if:

a.       The approved development does not start within two years of the date of this permit; or

b.      The approved development is not completed within four years of the date of this permit.

The responsible authority may extend the periods referred to above if a request is made in writing.  This request must be made before of within six months after the permit expiry date where the development has not yet started and within 12 months after the permit expiry date where the development allowed by the permit has lawfully started before the permit expires

DELWP Notes:

1.       Prior to the removal of the tree, the permit holder must notify all adjacent landholders that the tree is to be removed with Council consent.

Within the area of native vegetation to be retained and any tree protection zone associated with the permitted use and/or development, the following is prohibited:

a.       Any vehicle or pedestrian access, trenching or soil excavation, and

b.      Storage or dumping of any soils, materials, equipment, vehicles, machinery or waste products, and

c.       Entry or exit pits for underground services, and

d.      Any other actions or activities that may result in adverse impacts to retained native vegetation.

2.       Before any works on public land start, a permit to take protected flora under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act 1988 is required. To obtain an FFG permit or further information, please contact Research Permits Officer at the Port Phillip regional office of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning at vivian.amenta@delwp.vic.gov.au.

3.       A suitably qualified wildlife handler or zoologist is to be present when felling trees/removing native vegetation, to ensure affected wildlife is not harmed. If displaced wildlife that cannot be relocated on site to an appropriate location away from the construction footprint, or injured wildlife is captured, please contact DELWP on 136 186 for further advice.

 

 

 

4.       The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CaLP Act) prohibits the movement of noxious weeds (including any seeds and vegetative material) as contaminants in soil and on vehicles and equipment. Machinery, implements or other equipment (including a vehicle that is used or intended to be used to transport soil) must not be moved from the site on to a road without first taking reasonable precautions to ensure that the equipment is free from seeds or any other vegetative material that is capable of growing. A permit under the CaLP Act may be required if the proponent intends to transport any contaminated soil and equipment from the site.

5.       Any relevant conditions and offset arrangements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) must be applied.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Duncan

Seconded:               Chairperson Wilson

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


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6.3       Strong Local Economy

            Nil Reports


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6.4       Sustainable Environment

            Nil Reports


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6.5       High Performing Organisation

ITEM 6.5.1 For Decision - City of Whittlesea Integrated Planning Framework 

Attachments:                        1        Proposed transition plan for adopted Council policies, strategies and plans   

Responsible Officer:           Executive Manager Governance

Author:                                  Team Leader Corporate Planning & Improvement   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to endorse the proposal to consolidate the City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework.

Brief overview

The proposal seeks endorsement of an Integrated Planning Framework which would lead to consolidating 100+ adopted community-facing policies, strategies and plans within five major strategies (one for each of the four Whittlesea 2040 (“W2040”) goals, plus a “High-Performing Organisation Strategy”).

Limited exceptions will be made for legal, cultural or tactical reasons, e.g. a stand-alone Reconciliation Strategy may be culturally more appropriate, and a Long-Term Community Infrastructure Plan will work across multiple goals and strategies. Exceptions will need to be approved prior to development by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and by Council.

Figure 1 summarises the proposed strategy landscape:

Figure 1. Proposed strategy landscape

rationale for recommendation

The City of Whittlesea’s current strategic planning framework has become overly complex, cumbersome to deliver and siloed with its more than 100 documents (please refer to Attachment 1 for an outline of adopted Council policies, strategies and plans and the potential transition to the proposed high level strategies). A lean and well-structured framework with one strategy per goal will help remove duplications and obsolete items and resolve conflicting policy positions and strategies. It will focus the organisation on execution and outcome delivery for our community, while increasing transparency and accountability. Planning resources will be freed up for delivery.  It sets the organisation up for success to deliver on the goals in Council’s community vision: Whittlesea 2040: A Place for all.

impacts of recommendation

The proposed new framework focuses less on individual policy/strategy portfolio development but on realignment.

Documents expiring by 30 June 2022 will run its course and future content will then be developed within the new planning framework. Content from longer-term documents will be realigned and transitioned unless it is repetitive or has become obsolete or conflicting.

A transition statement will clearly outline how each substantial component of a given legacy document is transitioned, i.e. whether it is transitioned in full, altered partially or not transitioned at all, why this course of action is proposed and where in the new framework it can now be found.

The community and interested stakeholder groups will be engaged throughout the process, whether it be via Council’s integrated engagement platform, subject-specific forums such as the Disability Network or the Reconciliation Group, or other relevant engagement channels and means. Council will adopt the draft Whittlesea 2040 strategies including the transition statements with a view to solicit community feedback against the emerging proposal.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Change management will need to be applied to ensure the successful implementation of this new approach, including:

·    Governance structure inclusive of key policy and strategy staff, leadership and champions and high-level of involvement/sponsorship by the Executive.

·    Council briefing and endorsement

·    Relevant community stakeholder participation and engagement

 

Report

Background

The City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework currently comprises 100+ community-facing policies, strategies and plans. A further 100+ policies, strategies and plans enable the delivery of Council’s program of work internally.

Council’s overarching vision and core strategy is defined in the community vision Whittlesea 2040 A place for all (“W2040”) as well as the Council Plan 2017-2021 (Update 2020) (“Council Plan”). W2040 and Council Plan establish five foundational goals for the framework: (1) Connected Community, (2) Liveable Neighbourhoods, (3) Strong Local Economy, (4) Sustainable Environment, and (5) High-Performing Organisation. Each of the goals features three key directions.

Figure 2. City of Whittlesea Goals and Key Directions

Proposal

That Council resolve to endorse the proposal to consolidate the City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework.

The purpose of this proposal is to fundamentally simplify the City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework. This will be achieved by consolidating all desired outcomes, strategies, key actions and commitments under one strategy for each of the goals respectively, unless legal, cultural, tactical or other prevailing considerations suggest otherwise.


 

A lean and well-structured framework with one strategy per goal will help remove duplications and obsolete items and resolve conflicting policy positions and strategies. It will focus the organisation on execution rather than planning, while increasing transparency and accountability. Planning resources will be freed up for delivery.

As a result, Council will have a more effective, efficient and externally focused framework guiding its program of work, geared towards delivering desired community outcomes and service excellence.

Reviewing the W2040 Strategies annually via our annual planning processes provides an opportunity to respond to emerging issues, minor adjustments and measure progress.

Proposed integrated planning framework

Key elements of the integrated planning framework under the Local Government Act 2020 are captured in figure 3:

Figure 3. Proposed Strategic Planning Framework

With a view to integrate Whittlesea 2040 with the Community Plan and other key planning processes, it is proposed to develop one consolidated strategy for each of the five strategic goals. Each of the W2040 strategies will be accompanied by a Background Paper which will provide relevant evidence informing the respective strategy. An outcomes framework will clearly articulate the desired community outcomes Council is working towards, and how progress is being measured and reported.

Figure 4. Integrating Whittlesea 2040 with the Community Plan

Implications for existing, Council-adopted policies, strategies and plans

Existing, Council-adopted policies, strategies and plans contain commitments to our community, whether these be in the form of policy positions, strategies, actions, service levels, targets or similar. It needs to be clear to our residents how Council will follow up and implement these commitments under a new framework.

The proposal is for documents with a due date before 30 June 2022 to run their course until the end of their lifespan and then develop the future content previously captured in these documents within the proposed new framework.

For documents with a later due date, it is intended to incorporate the content from these documents into the consolidated framework. Outcome statements, strategic approaches, actions, service levels, measures and similar commitments will be transitioned unless they are duplicates or have become obsolete, and any conflicting positions will need to be resolved. The body of evidence included in the legacy documents will be transitioned into the respective Background Papers supporting each Whittlesea 2040 strategy.

As part of the transition of longer-term documents, it is anticipated a few commitments will be changed or withdrawn. In line with the Local Government Act 2020, especially in compliance with the governance, transparency and engagement principles there will be clarity provided on what has been incorporated and what is proposed to be withdrawn from each existing strategy, policy or action plan.


 

A transition statement will be presented to Council for each of the adopted Council policies, strategies and plans. It will clearly outline how each substantial component of a given legacy document is transitioned, i.e. whether it is transitioned in full, altered partially or not transitioned at all. The statement will outline why the course of action was taken (if there was no full transition) and where in the new Whittlesea 2040 strategies it can now be found.

The community and interested stakeholder groups will be engaged throughout the process, whether it be via Council’s integrated engagement platform, subject-specific forums such as the Disability Network or the Reconciliation Group, or other relevant engagement channels and means. Council will adopt the draft Whittlesea 2040 strategies with a view to solicit community feedback on the emerging proposal.

This approach is consistent with the governance principles (Section 9 Local Government Act 2020). It also satisfies a request by the Audit & Risk Committee to develop an approach on how to ensure compliance with governance and transparency principles under the new Act is ensured.

Please refer to Attachment 1 for an outline of adopted Council policies, strategies and plans which are proposed to be consolidated under the main W2040 Strategies. The alignment under a proposed Whittlesea 2040 strategy is reflective of the predominant alignment only; the nature of most documents is their content relates to multiple goals and key directions within Whittlesea’s strategic framework as outlined in figure 2. For example, the Disability Action Plan contains items relating to asset design, community cohesion and economic opportunities for all abilities.

Governance

The Executive Leadership Team will oversee the project as the Project Board, with the Executive Manager Governance sponsoring it. A Director will sponsor each of the five goal strategies. Existing staff in policy and strategy roles will work to support the project with coordination through a project manager.

implementation

Implementation for each goal strategy will include:

·    Realigning the content of existing policy and strategy documents for inclusion into the Whittlesea 2040 strategy;

·    Develop the consolidated strategy for each goal;

·    Consult with key stakeholders; and

·    Draft the transition statements for each legacy document.

Draft W2040 strategies would be taken to Council for public participation and engagement, before adopting the final strategies and incorporating legacy policies, strategies and plans.

Timeline for implementation

The project is anticipated to take until June 2022 based on the required review and incorporation of the significant number of existing documents and required consultation.

The remainder of the 2020/2021 financial year will focus on project planning, resourcing, developing the framework and commencing/fast-tracking one of the five Whittlesea 2040 strategies (either the Strong Local Economy Strategy or the Sustainable Environment Strategy).


 

The other Whittlesea 2040 strategies will be developed in parallel throughout the 2021/2022 financial year, with the level of available and allocated resourcing driving timelines.

As each strategy is prepared it will be presented to Council for endorsement.

sample whittlesea 2040 strategy structure

In order to plan and implement the strategies for community impact, it is essential they are developed to a level of granularity specific and relevant to our community. As such, it is proposed to implement place-based and segment-specific planning and monitoring approaches in the Whittlesea 2040 strategies.

Therefore, a sample structure for a W2040 strategy would feature:

•     a municipal-wide section for content relevant to all community members;

•     a place-based section highlighting content relevant to the different localities in the municipality; and

•     a demographic section which will outline content relevant to specific groups within the municipality.

Each action featuring in the new strategies will map against timing, cost, Council’s role, geography and demography.

The Whittlesea 2040 strategies will draw a clear narrative to link community issues experienced to the community outcomes sought, actions taken to achieve these outcomes and the aspects measured to assess whether progress is made. The strategies will include linkages to legislation and plans implemented by other levels of government to outline holistically what community can expect, while being clear about what Council will contribute.

community plan 2021-2025

The Community Plan is Council’s legislated Council Plan under section 90 Local Government Act 2020. The Community Plan will follow the same structure as the Whittlesea 2040 strategies but will only capture priority items arising from the more detailed Whittlesea 2040 strategies within the respective Council term, i.e. the next four years.

Given the five Whittlesea 2040 strategies will not yet be developed by the time the Community Plan 2021-2025 needs to be adopted, Council will follow existing planning and engagement processes to arrive at the content for that Plan. As the Whittlesea 2040 strategies become fully operational, the Community Plan will successively be updated to build on this content.

Consultation

Feedback from community through the upcoming Community Plan consultations and other engagement processes over the next six to twelve months will be used to inform the development of the strategies. Community participation and engagement will occur upon presentation of draft Whittlesea 2040 strategies alongside with the transition statements of legacy policies, strategies and plans. 

The Executive Leadership Team has considered the City of Whittlesea’s strategic framework defined in Whittlesea 2040 and the Council Plan, as well as its portfolio of 100+ community-facing policies and strategies. Relevant projects such as the integrated community engagement proposal, the Community Plan development 2021-2025, the policy and strategy framework consolidation project, the implementation of Council’s integrated planning, reporting and project management platform, the data collection alignment initiative and Insights 2040 (Greater Whittlesea Planning/Design Framework) have also been considered.

Staff will be involved in reviewing existing strategies and plans to inform the draft Whittlesea 2040 strategies considering previous consultation with relevant stakeholder groups and community.

Critical Dates

The proposal closely aligns with the development of the Community Plan 2021-2025, which is targeted for endorsement by 30 June 2021.  It is anticipated that all five core W2040 Strategies and Action Plans will be completed by 30 June 2022.

Financial Implications

The proposal requires resourcing for the next 18 months to consolidate Council’s policies, strategies and plans into one major strategy for each of the five goals in Whittlesea 2040 and the Community Plan. Existing staff resources will be used to implement the project through reprioritising policy and planning work to reflect the new framework.

Policy strategy and legislation

Under the Local Government Act 2020, Council must maintain a framework to plan for and monitor its program of work in compliance with good governance principles.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

Besides the community vision Whittlesea 2040 A place for all, the City of Whittlesea currently maintains a portfolio of 100+ community-facing policies and strategies guiding its program of work. The proposal seeks to significantly simplify and streamline Council’s approach in this space, thus increasing transparency and efficiency.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       Connected community

Key Direction                        A participating community

 

 The proposal seeks to consolidate Council’s program of work under the Whittlesea 2040 strategic framework. By introducing one core strategy for each of the five goals (connected community, liveable neighbourhoods, strong local economy, sustainable environment and high-performing organisation), Council’s program of work will become more transparent and aligned. It will enable decision makers to consider issues more holistically for more informed, high quality decisions.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Consolidating 100+ planning documents into a handful of key strategies aligned with the five strategic goals will free up planning resources to become more involved in delivery. The community will benefit greatly from a more streamlined integrated planning framework which is geared towards transparency, accountability and greater community impact.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to endorse the proposal to consolidate the City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Billson

 

THAT Council resolve to endorse the proposal to consolidate the City of Whittlesea’s strategic planning framework in accordance with the Whittlesea 2040 goals namely:

·         Connected Community;

·         Liveable Neighbourhoods;

·         Strong Local Economy; and

·         Sustainable Environment and High Performing Organisation.

 

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


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ITEM 6.5.2 For Decision - 2020-21 New Works Program - Second Quarter Report 

Attachments:                        1        Financial Summary

2        Project Progress Report

3        Grant Status Report

4        Project Adjustments

5        Land acquisitions and developer led projects   

Responsible Officer:           Director Infrastructure & Environment

Author:                                  Team Leader Business Support   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

For the Council to:

1.       Note the 2020-21 New Works Program – Second Quarter Report to 31 December 2020.

2.       Note the status of the infrastructure grants as at the end of December 2020.

3.       Approve the proposed budget adjustments.

Brief overview

To report progress for the second quarter of the 2020-21 financial year (October–December 2020) on the delivery of the capital works program and the current financial performance against the adopted budget.

rationale for recommendation

The recommendation is in accordance with the requirement of Section 97 of the Local Government Act 2020 that as soon as practicable after the end of each quarter of the financial year, the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that a quarterly financial report is presented to the Council at a Council meeting which is open to the public.

impacts of recommendation

Council has been presented with a quarterly financial report in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020 that shows that Council’s financial performance for the capital works program against the Adopted Budget 2020-21.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Financial performance against project budgets is monitored closely and presented to the Executive Leadership Team and Council on a regular basis. 

 

 

Report

Introduction

This report provides an overview of the financial performance and status of the New Works Program at the end of the 2020-21 financial year second quarter.  This report includes:

·    A financial summary of the 2020-21 New Works Program to the end of December 2020 (Attachment 1).

·    A detailed progress report on individual projects within the New Works Program (Attachment 2).

·    Status report on Infrastructure Grant Applications (Attachment 3).

·    Proposed project budget adjustments (Attachment 4).

The adopted 2020-21 New Works Program budget is approximately $89.98 million (including carry forwards of $15.5 million), which was revised to $94.13 million at the end of the first quarter due to additional grantsThe value of work completed is $21.1 million as at 31 December 2020 with a further $36.4M of commitments.  A Financial Summary Graph is attached for information (refer Attachment 1). 

A traffic light report outlining the status of individual projects has been included in Attachment 2.  Expenditure to date is $5.9 million behind the planned year to date budget, which is an indication of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

In addition, there are contract and purchase orders committing another $36.4 which indicates a good level of delivery preparedness for this period of time.  In total, approximately $57.5M of the $89.98 New Works Program has been expended or committed.

KEY FACTS AND / OR ISSUES 

The report provides an overview of the performance and progressive status of the 2020-21 New Works Program as at the end of December 2020.  The key points are: 

·    The 2020-21 New Works Program adopted budget (including carry forwards of $15.46 million) is $89.98 million, which was revised to $94.13 million at the end of the first quarter due to additional grants.

·    The 2020-21 New Works Program year-to-date expenditure as at 31 December 2020 is $21.10 million which is $5.9 million behind the planned year to date budget.  A further $36.4M of commitments has been incurred.

·    The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted some projects as a result of general work disruptions in the normal planning, tendering and construction activities.  The estimated impact at this time is $2.67 million of delayed expenditure.

·    The New Works Program includes $20.3M of projects comprising of land acquisition and roadworks that are highly dependent on the development market and initiated by developers, with minimal control by Council.  There has been little progress on these projects due to current state of the development market that has been impacted by COVID-19.

·    Council has received significant infrastructure grants, many of which are economic stimulus programs from State and Federal Government.

Background

Council adopted the 2020-21 New Works Program on 7 July 2020 with a budget of $74,523,973 plus $15,458,331 carry forward, providing a total budget of $89,982,304. 

The financial expenditure performance of the New Works Program to 31 December 2020 is detailed below.

YTD
Actual
$'000

YTD
Budget
$'000

YTD
Variance
$'000

Annual Budget
$'000

Mid-year

Budget
$'000

Property

4,842

4,898

56

24,896

16,225

Plant and equipment

721

880

159

1,900

1,839

Infrastructure

15,540

21,224

5,684

63,186

46,020

Total Capital works

21,103

27,001

5,899

89,982

64,084

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

Stage 4 restriction of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on some projects as a result of general work disruptions in the normal planning, tendering and construction activities.  At this stage, 13 projects have been directly impacted (10% of total projects with a total budget of approximately $23.14M).  Delays to these identified projects is resulting in an actual delayed expenditure of approximately $2.67M, which is appearing in the December results.  The mid-year review has identified that this impact will continue until year end and is likely to increase due to the continued impact of COVID restrictions. 

Key Project Updates

Implement Sportsfield Strategy / Sportsfield Upgrades (PID 0002)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $2,000,000

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $562,068

·    Hillsview Recreation Reserve (east pitch) – works have commenced with completion by April 2021.

·    HR Uren Recreation Reserve (installation of synthetic pitch) – works are proposed to be deferred to 2021/22 to enable grant application to be made.  If the grant is successful, this will delay expenditure to 2021/22 and offset approximately $1.8M of Council funds in future years.

Construct Findon Road Extension, Williamsons Road to Danaher drive, South Morang (PID 1218)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $6,179,087.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $1,535,257.

·    Additional requirement from Melbourne Water to relocate 1350mm diameter water main at Council’s cost.

·    Additional requirement from Public Transport Victoria to signalise the Findon Road / Williamsons Road intersection for buses.

·    Total budget will not be fully expended as works will continue into 2021/22.


 

Mernda Aquatic & Indoor Sports Centre, Mernda Sports Hub (PID 1382)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $692,184.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $7,224.

·    Feasibility study and business case is currently being reviewed with the design phase proposed in 2021/22.

Construct Wollert East Community Centre (PID 1426)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $4,895,048.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $1,169,854.

·    State Government is currently constructing community centre for Council on the new school site.  Works expected to be completed in late 2021, with a portion of the budget to be carried forward to 2021-22.

Redevelop Mill Park Leisure Centre (PID 1589 & PID 2190)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $4,263,907.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $2,459,761.

·    Works are proposed to be complete in 2020/21 with full budget expenditure by June 2021.

Planned Renewal (Minor Works Program) (PID 1923)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $1,300,000.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $20,359.

·    Program of work is currently being finalised as part of a condition assessment of all buildings.  As works are mostly scheduled from February to June, the budget is not expected to be fully expended.

Streetscape Improvement Program – Lalor Shopping Centre (PID 2072)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $2,210,049 (including additional grant).

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $878,279.

·    Contract awarded for final stage and works underway.  Works funded by additional grants are expected to be completed in August 2020 with some carry forward expenditure.

McLeans Road Kindergarten Redevelopment (PID 2073)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $2,562,996.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $444,141.

·    Construction commenced in October 2020 and works are ahead of schedule with completion expected in August 2021.

Streetscape Improvement Program – Thomastown Shopping Centre (PID 2077)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $2,307,713 (including additional grant).

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $986,095.

·    Contract awarded for final stage and works underway.  Works funded by additional grants are expected to be completed in August 2020 with some carry forward expected.


 

Streetlight Bulk Replacement with Energy Efficient LED Lights (PID 2119)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $1,000,000.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $20,949.

·    Contracts awarded for supply and installation of LED lights and works are scheduled from January to June.

Thomastown Primary School (Spring Street) Kindergarten – (PID 2188)

·    Budget for 2020-21 is $2,000,000.

·    YTD expenditure at mid-year is $1,075,497.

·    Works have been completed.  Budget underspend is to offset 2019-20 costs as project was ahead of schedule. 

Budget Adjustments

The New Works Program includes $6.1M for land acquisition projects, comprised of the purchase of 5 properties as part of Council’s development planning process. These land parcels are identified in strategic development plans approved by Council for the purpose of catering for future community infrastructure such as roads and community facilities.  The last 12 months has seen a significant softening in the commercial development market with many landowners deferring their immediate development plans.  As such, the land acquisition projects have not progressed as originally anticipated.  As Council does not have direct control in the timing of the land purchases, these projects are proposed to be removed from the New Works Program in future years and reported separately as part of Council’s overall budget report. 

In addition, there are six developer led road projects (totalling $14.2M) where negotiated developer agreements have not progressed as expected.  These project timelines are highly dependent on the development industry with minimal control by Council.  As such, these projects are proposed to be removed from the New Works Program in future years and reported separately as part of Council’s overall budget report. 

Refer to Attachment 5 for a list of land acquisition and developer led road projects.

Infrastructure Grants Update:

A summary of recent infrastructure grant outcomes is included in Attachment 3.  Over 50% of project submissions have been successful, enabling many projects to be brought forward in the New Works Program which impact both the current year budget and future years.  

Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (LR&CI) – Federal Government

Council has recently been informed of a $6,997,167 grant allocation from the second round of the Federal Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LR&CI) Economic Stimulus Funding.  A cross organisation Working Group has identified projects in the 4 Year New Works Program, which comply with the guidelines criteria for the Grant allocation, in particular the specific criteria that the projects must be completed by 31 December 2021.  A shortlist of recommended projects is listed below. 

There is no requirement for a co-contribution from Council for this grant program.

A successful grant announcement will result in offsetting $6,997,167 of Council Capital funds from the proposed 2021-22 budget.


 

 

Project ID

Project Title

Grant Funding Amount

P-100002

Local Roads Resurfacing Works

$1,532,167

P-100051

Bicycle Facilities (on and off road)

$115,000

P-100196

Signalise Intersection – Sackville St & Bridge Inn Rd

$1,000,000

P-100228

Missing Links Footpath Program

$250,000

P-100334

Mill Park Library–Stage 3, Outdoor Area Improvement

$200,000

P-100572

Epping Memorial Hall Repairs

$500,000

P-100385

Reconstruction of Arthurs Creek Road

$2,000,000

P-100692

Intersection Signalisation-Rockfield St & Edgars Rd

$675,000

P-101046

Mill Park Library – Stage 4, Car Park Upgrade

$725,000

 

Total Grant Funding

$6,997,167

Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program 2020 - Round 2 (State Government)

An application to the first round for the HR Uren Pavilion, Car Park & Pitch Upgrade project (P-100136) was not successful.  However, the State Government’s announcement of the second round of funding for this program was limited to projects that were not successful in the first round. 

Resubmission of this project application will require the works to proceed only once a successful funding announcement is made.  This will delay the project delivery until mid-2021 with a corresponding budget carry forward into 2021/22.  A successful grant announcement will result in offsetting $3.69M of Council Capital and only a co-contribution of $578,953 is required.

A Council report is scheduled for the 1 March 2021 Council Meeting seeking endorsement of this project application. 

Project ID

Project Title

Grant Funding Amount

P-100136

HR Uren Pavilion, Car Park & Pitch Upgrade

$3,690,772

 

Total Grant Funding

$3,690,772

Community Cricket Program 2020-21 - Round 2 (State Government)

Project ID

Project Title

Grant Funding Amount

P-100798

Laurimar Reserve West Oval Upgrade

$100,000

P-100354

Olivine Sports Reserve Cricket Nets

$100,000

 

Total Grant Funding

$200,000

 


 

Other Grant Programs

Other grant funding programs currently being reviewed for suitable project applications are:

·    Growing Suburbs Fund 2020-21, Round 2 (State Government).

·    World Facilities Fund 2020-21 (State Government).

·    Building Safer Communities 2020-21 (State Government).

·    Building Better Regions Fund (Federal Government).

Many economic stimulus funding programs have been announced to date by both the Federal and State Governments to stimulate the economy and create jobs to offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  These grants are in addition to the annual grant opportunities that are available to local government and come with additional requirements to use Working for Victoria candidates should additional jobs be created in the delivery of these projects.  These infrastructure grants provide an opportunity to bring forward projects for delivery.    

Refer to Attachment 3 for a listing of successful applications, those applications pending announcements or applications that have been unsuccessful.

FORECAST BUDGET

A mid-year budget review has been undertaken with the respective project managers to ascertain the project status of the 2020-21 New Works Program as at the end of December 2020 and to forecast the delivery of projects to the end of the financial year.  The table below shows the revised New Works Budget as a result of additional income from grants.

 

Original Approved Budget

Q1 Adjustments – Revised Budget

Q2 Adjustments – Revised Budget

2020/21 NWP Budget

$89,982,304

$94,129,959

Net increase due to successful grants

 

$94,019,959

Net reduction due to project saving

Attachment 4 provides a list of project budget adjustments for Q2, totalling approximately $110,000.

As stated above, the land acquisition projects and the developer led project budgets totalling $20.3m will not be expended in 2020/21.  If these projects are set aside from the 2020/21 New Works Program (and reported separately), the revised total program budget is $73.6M.  

The projected New Works Program spend to the 30th June 2021 is anticipated to be approximately $64M with a forecast carry forward of approximately $8.0M.  The impact of COVID-19 will be a major contributor to the forecast carry over figure.

Consultation

The New Works Program is a component of the Council budget which undergoes statutory community engagement as part of the annual budget cycle.  Additionally, specific external and internal stakeholder consultation is undertaken for individual projects and programs.

Performance information has been sourced from relevant Council systems. It has been reviewed and analysed in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team and department managers for the preparation of this report.

A review of Council’s financial performance for the period ended 31 December 2020 and the mid-year budget review has been undertaken in consultation with the relevant department managers for the preparation of this report.

Critical Dates

Select information from this report will be presented to:

·    Council at the Briefing on 15 February 2021 and Meeting on 1 March 2021.

Financial Implications

All matters raised in this report which have a financial implication have been reflected in the Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020 (Attachment 1).

Policy strategy and legislation

Section 97 of the Local Government Act 2020 provides that as soon as practicable after the end of each quarter of the financial year, the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that a quarterly budget report is presented to the Council at a Council meeting which is open to the public. The quarterly budget report must include a comparison of the actual and budgeted results to date and an explanation of any material variations.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

The report provides oversight to the Council of its key performance parameters. It enables timely interventions as required and supports good governance of Council’s operations.

Strategic Risk Financial Sustainability - Inability to meet current and future expenditure

This report provides Council with an oversight of the City of Whittlesea’s key financial information and performance obligations to enable monitoring and to ensure City of Whittlesea’s financial position is sustainable

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       High-performing organisation

Key Direction                        More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

 

 This report provides information to oversee key performance areas of Council. It enables regular monitoring and ensures that Council remains aligned to its strategic direction, cost-effectiveness and efficient delivery of services.


 

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The quarterly New Works Program report for December 2020 details Council’s year to date financial performance as at 31 December 2020, assists in the monitoring of Council’s financial performance against budget.

The preparation of this report communicates information about the financial position of individual projects and the capital works result for Council, so that informed decisions and long-term planning can be undertaken and completed.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the 2020-21 New Works Program – Second Quarter Report to 31 December 2020;

2.       Note the status of the infrastructure grants as at the end of December 2020; and

3.       Approve the proposed budget adjustments as listed in Attachment 4.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

CarrieD UNANIMOUSLY

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.5.3 For Noting - Council Action Plan 2020-2021 Quarter 2 Progress Report 

Attachments:                        1        2020/21 Council Action Plan - Quarter 2 Performance   

Responsible Officer:           Executive Manager Governance

Author:                                  Corporate Planner Business Partner   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to:

·    Note the report;

·    Note that 28 major initiatives in the Council Action Plan 2020-21 are on track to be achieved by 30 June 2021;

·    Note the major initiative to extend Findon Road will not be completed within this financial year to accommodate for improved bus signalisation at the intersection.

Brief overview

·    The Council Action Plan 2020-21 includes 31 major initiatives to be delivered in 2020-21

·    Two major initiatives are at risk of not being achieved by 30 June 2021

·    One major initiative (Findon Road extension) will not be achieved by 30 June 2021 and is now scheduled for completion in September 2021.

rationale for recommendation

It is not proposed to change the Council Action Plan 2020-2021 at this point; hence the recommendation is for Council to note the progress.

impacts of recommendation

Council Action Plan major initiatives will continue to progress and be reported on quarterly. Short-term pandemic recovery planning is progressing and will be reported as part of the COVID-19 Pandemic Relief and Recovery Plan initiative.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

The organisation is closely monitoring progress against the major initiatives as well as data identifying emerging community needs particularly as a result of the pandemic. This ensures Council is responsive to the changing environment in a timely manner and can adjust the program of work as required.

 

Report

Background

Council adopted the Council Plan 2017-21 (Update 2020) including the Council Action Plan 2020-21 at a Special Council Meeting on 25 June 2020 (adjourned to 7 July 2020). The Council Plan is the key strategic document providing direction over the Council term. The Council Action Plan is developed annually as an accompaniment to the Council Plan and includes the major initiatives that are to be achieved each year.

Proposal

That Council resolve to:

1.   Note the report;

2.   Note that 28 major initiatives in the Council Action Plan 2020-21 are on track to be achieved by 30 June 2021;

3.   Note the major initiative to extend Findon Road will not be completed within this financial year to accommodate for improved bus signalisation at the intersection.

COUNCIL ACTION PLAN 2020-2021

As at 31 December 2020, the Council Action Plan is projecting a 90% achievement rate across 31 major initiatives by 30 June 2021.

There are three initiatives reported as ‘Off track’ this quarter:

Major initiative

Annual measure

Quarter 2 comment

Findon Road extension - Improving trac flow in South Morang along Findon Road, Williamsons Road and Danaher Drive to Plenty Road

Findon Road extension is completed

Awaiting Melbourne Water approval for the design of protection measures for its assets.  Anticipated approval date is end of January 2021. There has also been a significant change in scope at the intersection of Findon Road and Williamsons Road in that Public Transport Victoria has requested a signalised intersection for bus movements at this intersection (previously unsignalised). These delays have impacted the project delivery date with a likely completion date of September 2021.

Aboriginal Heritage Study -

Partnering with the Aboriginal community to improve identification and protection of tangible and intangible Aboriginal cultural heritage (phase 1)

Delivery of Phase 1 consultation report and agreement by City of Whittlesea, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC) and Aboriginal Victoria on the framework for Phase 2

Progress made on partnership with two Registered Aboriginal Parties, Wurundjeri and Taungurung, for the Scope for Phase 1 of the Study.  Wurundjeri Elders approved language for the consultant brief to develop the Scope.

Meeting scheduled with Taungurung early next quarter to review the brief and seek their endorsement.

Biodiversity asset mapping - Updating our data on local flora and fauna to enable strong biodiversity decisions in a changing ecological environment (year 1)

Biodiversity mapping and ecologist report completed

Internal consultation is complete. External agency consultation has been extended due to the delay of the public consultation for Department of Environmental Land and Water Planning’s (DELWP) Green Wedge and Agriculture Land Review project due to COVID-19 restrictions. Detailed scoping indicates that the timing will allow surveying to commence in autumn to ensure future milestones are met. Work has started on the contract specifications and project brief.

Please refer to Attachment 1 – 2020/21 Council Action Plan - Quarter 2 Performance.

Consultation

Reporting is sourced from line management and project managers across the organisation. Directors and the Executive Leadership Team have reviewed the information.

Critical Dates

Council Action Plan initiatives need to be achieved by 30 June in order to be reported accordingly in the 2020-2021 Annual Report.

Financial Implications

This report has no direct financial implications. Delayed Council Action Plan items may incur additional costs which will be considered within the respective project context.

Policy strategy and legislation

Periodic progress reporting against the Council Action Plan increases transparency and contributes to discharging Council’s reporting duties.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

Performance reporting is an effective existing treatment enhancing governance of Council’s operations.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       High-performing organisation

Key Direction                        More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

The quarterly Council Action Plan performance report seeks to increase transparency of the organisation’s performance for management to monitor and evaluate operations and continuously improve performance.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

Of the 31 major initiatives in the Council Action Plan 2020-2021, 28 major initiatives are on track to be achieved by 30 June 2021. The Findon Road extension will not be completed in the 2020/2021 financial year with an expected revised completion date of September 2021. Council is closely monitoring progress and investigating mitigating actions to ensure timely delivery of the Plan.

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to:

1.       Note the report;

2.       Note that 28 major initiatives in the Council Action Plan 2020-21 are on track to be achieved by 30 June 2021;

3.       Note the major initiative to extend Findon Road will not be completed within this financial year to accommodate for improved bus signalisation at the intersection.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                             Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.5.4 For Noting - Financial Performance Report 2020-21 - Quarter ended 31 December 2020 and 2020-21 Mid-Year Budget Review 

Attachments:                        1        Quarterly Financial Report December 2020

2        2020-21 Mid-year Budget Review   

Responsible Officer:           Director Corporate Services & Performance

Officer Presenting:              Chief Financial Officer

Author:                                  Coordinator Management Accounting   

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

·    Note the Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020;

·    Note the outcome of the 2020-21 Mid-year Review (operating budget);

·    Note that as required under Section 97 (3) of the Local Government Act 2020, the Chief Executive Officer advises that a revised budget is not required.

Brief overview

·        For the six months ended 31 December 2020, Council has recorded an operating surplus, which is $3.39 million ahead of the year to date budget. The main contributing factors to this favourable variance are greater income than budgeted from operating grants and below budgeted expenditure on materials and services and borrowing costs. This is partially offset by below budgeted income from capital grants and greater expenditure from employee benefits.

·        For the six months ended 31 December 2020 Council incurred direct COVID-19 related expenditure of $1.18 million. In addition, Council incurred reduced income of $2.98 million largely due to forced facility closures during the State Government imposed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. The combined impact of additional expenditure and revenue losses totalled $4.16 million for the six-month period. The full year combined impact is anticipated to be a $4.95 million cost to Council.

·        The outcome of the Mid-year Budget Review is that Council is anticipating a full year operating surplus that will be $7.52 million favourable to the Adopted Budget.

The favourable variance is explained by expected increases in operational grant income of $7 million, $4.58 million of which relates to Working for Victoria which is anticipated to be fully spent in this financial year. Additionally, there is an expected increase in monetary contributions of $4.91 million based on a review undertaken of developer contributions. These favourable variances are offset in part by the impact of the State Government’s COVID-19 restrictions on income associated with leisure and community facilities, expected to be $2.1 million less than budget.

·        This surplus is reported based on the Australian Accounting Standards and includes all revenue recognised in the financial period, including gifted subdivisional assets (non-monetary), developer contributions and grants towards capital works projects. It is important to note that the operating surplus is not a cash surplus; therefore it does not convert to immediately available cash for Council. Significant amounts of the surplus are restricted by legislation and must be used for future infrastructure investment.

·        As at 31 December 2020, year to date Capital Works expenditure of $21.42 million is $5.59 million less than budget. The Mid-year Budget for the year ending 30 June 2021 is expected to be $73.66 million, which is $16.32 million less than the capital budget.

rationale for recommendation

The recommendation is in accordance with the requirement of Section 97 of the Local Government Act 2020 that as soon as practicable after the end of each quarter of the financial year, the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that a quarterly financial report is presented to the Council at a Council meeting which is open to the public.

impacts of recommendation

Council has been presented with a quarterly financial report in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020 that shows that Council’s financial performance against the Annual Budget 2020-21.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Financial performance against budget is monitored closely and presented to the Executive Leadership Team and Council on a regular basis. 

 

Report

Introduction

Council is required by the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act) to prepare a Council Plan containing the strategic objectives of Council, strategies for achieving those objectives, and indicators to monitor the achievement of those objectives.

The attached report provides a comprehensive summary of Council’s financial performance to 31 December 2020.

To comply with the Act, the report includes the following comparisons for the six months ended 31 December 2020:

·    Actual and budgeted operating revenues and expenses

·    Actual and budgeted capital revenues and expenses

·    Actual movements in the balance sheet

·    Actual movements in the cash flow statement.

It is noted that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Council’s services and financial circumstances will continue and this has been the subject of a number of previous Council reports.

Background

Financial Performance Report (Attachment 1)

The Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020 includes the following financial statements:

·    Comprehensive Income Statement

·    Balance Sheet

·    Statement of Cash Flows

·    Statement of Capital Works

·    Summary of Reserves

Operating performance

 

YTD
Actual
$'000

YTD
Budget
$'000

YTD
Variance
$'000

Adopted

Budget
$'000

Mid-year Budget
$'000

Operating

 

 

 

 

 

Income

206,267

204,995

1,272

346,586

  355,380

Expenditure

101,098

103,217

2,119

214,809

216,084

Surplus (deficit)

105,169

101,778

3,391

131,777

139,296

Capital and other revenue

 

 

 

 

 

Capital non-recurrent grants

162

(1,915)

2,077

(2,815)

(3,589)

Developer contributions

(7,172)

(6,269)

(903)

(114,026)

(118,931)

Adjusted underlying surplus

98,159

93,594

4,565

14,936

16,776


 

For the quarter ended 31 December 2020, Council has achieved an operating surplus of $105.17 million, which is currently a $3.39 million favourable position to budget.

This surplus is reported based on the Australian Accounting Standards and includes all revenue recognised in the financial period, including gifted subdivisional assets (non-monetary), developer contributions and grants towards capital works projects. It is important to note that the operating surplus is not a cash surplus; therefore it does not convert to immediately available cash for Council. Significant amounts of the surplus are restricted by legislation and must be used for future infrastructure investment.

The operating result is a key figure to assess Council’s financial performance. Although Council is a not-for-profit organisation, it should still generate a surplus to ensure future financial sustainability.

Capital performance

 

YTD
Actual
$'000

YTD
Budget
$'000

YTD
Variance
$'000

Adopted Budget
$'000

Adjusted Adopted Budget
$'000

Mid-year

Budget
$'000

Property

5,142

4,898

(244)

22,580

24,896

19,427

Plant and equipment

721

880

159

1,800

1,900

1,839

Infrastructure

15,552

21,224

5,672

59,839

63,186

52,393

Total Capital works

21,415

27,001

5,587

84,219

89,982

73,659

The 2020-21 Capital Works adjusted adopted budget is $89.98 million, comprising of $74.52 million of new Capital Works projects and $15.46 million carried forward from the 2019-20 financial year.

Year to date Capital Works expenditure of $21.42 million is $5.59 million less than budget, with full year expenditure is expected to be $73.66 million. 

Financial position

 

YTD
Actual
$'000

Annual Budget
$'000

Audited 2020
$'000

Cash and investments

187,345

201,747

204,289

Net current assets

275,629

161,091

169,836

Net assets and total equity

4,028,221

4,145,583

3,944,937

The financial position as at 31 December 2020 shows a cash and investment balance of $187.35 million compared with $204.29 million as at 30 June 2020.

The cash and investment balance is sufficient to meet restricted cash and intended allocations of $185.24 million at the end of December.

Restricted cash is the amount of cash holdings Council requires to meet external restrictions such as trust funds and statutory reserves. Cash for intended allocations includes cash held to fund future capital works and project works.

COVID-19 IMPACT ANALYSIS

A comprehensive review of Council’s budgeted revenue and expenditure for the remainder of the financial year has been undertaken to quantify the impacts of the pandemic on service delivery and financial performance.


 

As at the end of December, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to date is as follows:

·    Direct COVID-19 expenditure to the end of December is $6.33 million which includes Working for Victoria expenditure of $5.15 million

·    Income impact of ($2.98 million), which relates to community and leisure facilities ($2.01 million), rates interest not charged ($435,000) and plan checking fees ($103,000). Further analysis on the impact of COVID-19 on this income will be undertaken.

As at the end of December, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the 2020-21 financial year is expected to be ($4.95 million). This financial impact can be categorised as follows:

·    Direct COVID-19 expenditure ($5.82 million) including Working for Victoria expenditure ($5.34 million) offset by forecast savings for services not able to be delivered due to COVID-19 restrictions mainly relating to Leisure and Community Facilities

·    Reduction of income attributable to COVID-19 of ($3.7 million), primarily in Leisure and Community Facilities as a result of facility closures in response to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and rates interest being waived in line with Council’s COVID-19 hardship policy, to financially help ease the pressure on the community. This is offset by State Government Working for Victoria grant income of $4.58 million, expected to be received this financial year.

It is anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and associated State Government restrictions will adversely affect the cash position and the net current asset due to reduced revenue and a decreased return on investments.

Mid-year Budget Review (Attachment 2)

In July 2020, Council adopted the Annual Budget 2020-21, which projected a total operating surplus $131.78 million as per the Budgeted Comprehensive Income Statement.

Officers have completed a Mid-year Budget Review for 2020-21 to identify major changes that have occurred since budget adoption. The review was completed to check that the financial result will be delivered in line with the adopted budget at year end and to address significant budget impacts that have occurred since the original budget was set.

Proposal

That Council notes the Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020 (Attachment 1), which is presented for consideration by Council in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020.

Consultation

A review of Council’s financial performance for the period ended 31 December 2020 has been undertaken in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team and department managers for the preparation of this report.

Critical Dates

Select information from this report will be presented to the:

·    Audit and Risk Committee on 25 February 2021; and

·    Council meeting on 1 March 2021.

Financial Implications

All matters raised in this report which have a financial implication have been reflected in the Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020 (Attachment 1) and the 2020-21 Mid-year Budget Review (Attachment 2).

Policy strategy and legislation

Section 97 of the Local Government Act 2020 provides that as soon as practicable after the end of each quarter of the financial year, the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that a quarterly budget report is presented to the Council at a Council meeting which is open to the public. The quarterly budget report must include a comparison of the actual and budgeted results to date and an explanation of any material variations.

In addition, the second quarterly report of a financial year must include a statement by the Chief Executive Officer as to whether a revised budget is, or may be, required.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Financial Sustainability - Inability to meet current and future expenditure

This report provides Council with an oversight of the City of Whittlesea’s key financial information and performance obligations to enable monitoring and to ensure City of Whittlesea’s financial position is sustainable.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       High-performing organisation

Key Direction                        More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

This report provides Council with oversight of Council’s key financial information to enable regular monitoring and to ensure that Council aligned to its strategic direction, cost-effectiveness and efficient delivery of services.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

For the quarter ended 31 December 2020, Council’s operating surplus showed a favourable year to date variance of $3.39 million against budget. The Mid-year Budget review anticipates that Council’s full year forecasted operating surplus will be $7.52 million favourable to budget.


 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolves to:

1.       Note the Financial Performance Report for the period ended 31 December 2020;

2.       Note the outcome of the 2020-21 Mid-year Review (operating budget); and

3.       Note that as required under Section 97 (3) of the Local Government Act 2020, the Chief Executive Officer advises that a revised budget is not required.

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Administrator Billson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                                Monday 1 March 2021

 

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Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

ITEM 6.5.5 For Noting - Confirmation of minutes and associated actions of CEMAC meeting held 8 February 2021 

Attachments:                        1        8 February 2021 CEMAC Meeting Minutes - Unconfirmed - Confidential

This Attachment has been designated as confidential information under section 66(5) of the Local Government Act 2020 on the grounds that it contains details relating to personal information, being information which if released would result in the unreasonable disclosure of information about any person or their personal affairs. In particular the report/attachment contains information regarding details relating to the employment and performance of the CEO.    

Responsible Officer:           Executive Manager Governance

Author:                                  Executive Manager Governance    

 

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

That Council resolve to note the Minutes of the CEO Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEMAC) meeting held on 8 February 2021 (attachment 1).

Brief overview

The CEMAC meeting was held on 8 February 2021. The main item in discussion at the meeting was the report from the CEO following his first 90 days in the position.

rationale for recommendation

The CEMAC is a formally appointed Advisory Committee of the City of Whittlesea for the purpose of the Local Government Act 1989. 

CEMAC’s role is to report to Council and provide recommendations, appropriate advice and information on matters relevant to the CEMAC terms of reference.

The CEO Key performance indicators are required as part of the CEO’s contract of employment and to be considered and monitored by the CEMAC.

impacts of recommendation

The recommendation confirms Council’s awareness of the CEMAC discussions and outcomes of the meeting.

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

Regular CEMAC meetings have been scheduled to monitor performance and conduct an annual review as required under the CEMAC Terms of Reference and CEO Employment Contract.

 

Report

Background

The CEMAC is a formally appointed Advisory Committee of the City of Whittlesea for the purpose of the Local Government Act 1989. CEMAC’s role is to report to Council and provide recommendations, appropriate advice and information on matters relevant to the CEMAC terms of reference.

Ms Margaret Devlin was appointed as independent member of CEMAC for a two-year term from 7 July 2020 until 6 July 2022 following an expression of interest and interview process. 

Mr Craig Lloyd was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) commencing 12 October 2020 for a five-year term following an extensive recruitment process.

Proposal

The Minutes of the CEMAC meeting held on 8 February 2021 are presented to Council for consideration (refer attachment 1).

The main item in discussion at the meeting was the report from the CEO following his first 90 days in the position.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications for this report.

Policy strategy and legislation

Sections 94 and 94A of the Local Government Act 1989 contain specific provisions regarding het appointment and functions of the CEO.  Sections 44 and 46 of the Local Government Act 2020 contain similar provisions.

link to strategic risks

Strategic Risk Governance - Ineffective governance of Council’s operations and activities resulting in either a legislative or policy breach

The CEMAC makes recommendations to Council to support good governance in relation to CEO contractual and performance matters.

Links to whittlesea 2040 and the CoUNCIL Plan

Goal                                       High-performing organisation

Key Direction                        More informed Council decisions based on strong advice and community consultation and engagement

The CEMAC supports effective decision making in relation to CEO contractual and performance matters.

Declarations of Conflicts of Interest

Under Section 130 of the Local Government Act 2020 and Chapter 5.7 of the Governance Rules 2020, officers providing advice to Council are required to disclose any conflict of interest they have in a matter and explain the nature of the conflict.

The Responsible Officer reviewing this report, having made enquiries with relevant members of staff, reports that no disclosable interests have been raised in relation to this report.

Conclusion

The CEMAC meeting was held on 8 February 2021 and minutes are presented to Council for noting.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

THAT Council resolve to note the Minutes of the CEO Employment Matters Advisory Committee (CEMAC) meeting held on 8 February 2021 (attachment 1).

 

Council Resolution

Moved:                       Chairperson Wilson

Seconded:               Administrator Duncan

 

THAT Council resolve to adopt the Recommendation.

Carried

 


UNCONFIRMEDScheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                               Monday 1 March 2021

7.         Notices of Motion

Nil Reports 

8.         Questions to Officers

NIL 

9.         Urgent Business

NIL 


Scheduled Council Meeting Minutes                                                   Monday 1 March 2021

 

10.       Reports from Delegates Appointed by Council to Other Bodies

ITEM 10.1  For Noting - Informal Meetings of Administrators and Delegate Meetings - 1 March 2021   

Responsible Officer:           Executive Manager Governance

Author:                                  Governance Officer   

 

recommendation summary

That Council note the record of Informal Meetings of Administrators and Delegate Meetings for the period 15 January 2021 to 19 February 2021 as set out in the table in the report.

BRIEF OVERVIEW

The Council is required to note at a Council Meeting that meetings involving Administrators have taken place and topics discussed.  This report provides details involving the Panel of Administrators within the last month.

rationale for recommendation

It is a requirement of Chapter 6 of the Governance Rules for Informal Meetings of Administrators to be reported to Council.  Whereas delegate reports may be reported to the Council meeting at the Administrator’s discretion.

impacts of recommendation

This report will be presented to each monthly scheduled Council Meeting. 

what measures will be put in place to manage impacts

No impacts are expected.  On rare occasions an item considered at a meeting receives a media enquiry.  If requests for more information are received, these will be managed by our communications team in consultation with the Chair of Administrators.


 

Report

Background

It is a requirement of Chapter 6 of the Governance Rules for Informal Meetings of Administrators records to be reported to Council.  Whereas delegate reports may be reported to the Council meeting at the Administrator’s discretion.

The Local Government (Whittlesea City Council) Act 2020 dismissed all Councillors from the City of Whittlesea effective Saturday 21 March 2020.  Ms Lydia Wilson was appointed Interim Administrator for a three-month period commencing on 21 March 2020.

On 19 June 2020, the Panel of Administrators for the City of Whittlesea were appointed.  The Panel of Administrators comprises of Chair Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan.

Ms Lydia Wilson, the Hon Bruce Billson and Ms Peita Duncan will carry out the role, responsibilities and functions of a Councillor as set out in Section 231(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020 until their appointment ends following the October 2024 Local Government Elections.

In accordance with Rule 1 (Chapter 6) of the Governance Rules 2020 an Informal Meeting of Administrators is a meeting of at least one Administrator that is:

·    scheduled or planned for the purpose of discussing the business of Council or briefing Administrators;

·    attended by at least one Officer; and

·    not a Council Meeting, Delegated Committee Meeting or Community Asset Committee Meeting.

The Chief Executive Officer must ensure that a summary of the matters discussed at the meeting are tabled at the next Council Meeting and recorded in the minutes of that Meeting.

Proposal

Informal Meetings of Administrators records not previously reported to Council are detailed in the following table:

Informal Meetings

Administrator attendees

Officer attendees

Matters discussed

Internal: Meeting

18 January 2021

Lydia Wilson (Chair)

DCIE

DCPD

1.    Next 10 Year Flood Strategy.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Council Briefing

25 January 2021

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

 

AEMG

AMCDT

ATLTT

AUMPCF

CEO

DCCW

DCIE

DCPD

DCSP

EMCA

MCW

MPUD

TLHP

 

1.    Council Meeting Forward Plan.

2.    Community Council Meetings.

3.    Informal Meetings of Administrators – 2 February 2021.

4.    Public Submissions Committee Recommendations Report – Request for Boundary Change of a Locality – 182 Greenhills Road, Thomastown.

5.    Road Safety and Traffic Management – Harvest Home Road, Epping North.

6.    Petition Response – Remove Existing Nature Strip Trees in Samuel Court, Bundoora.

7.    Municipal Public Health & Wellbeing Plan – Progress Road and Proposed Integration.

8.    General Business:

a.   COVID-19 Update.

b.   Council Meeting Agenda – 2 February COVID-19 Update.

 

·    Whittlesea Youth Advisory Committee Evaluation and Review.

·    Green Wedge and Agricultural Land Review Submission.

·    Kelynack Recreation Reserve Master Plan.

·    Administrator/Councillor Gift and Benefits Policy.

·    Contract No. 2017-137 – Supply of Bulk Fuel, Fuel Cards and Lubricants (MAV C031-17) – Contract Extension Report.

·    Unconfirmed Minutes of Audit & Risk Committee Meeting and Annual Committee Performance Assessment.

c.   Investment Attraction.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Meeting

28 January 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

EMG

1.    Upcoming Council Meeting.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Meeting

28 January 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

DCCW

1.    Yarra Plenty Regional Library.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Council Briefing

2 February 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

DCCW

DCIE

DCPD

DCSP

EMCA

EMG

PMPT

1.    Site visit to the Epping Depot

2.    Community Engagement Program.

3.    High Level Organisation Structure Realignment Overview.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Scheduled Council Meeting

2 February 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

DCCW

DCIE

DCPD

DCSP

EMCA

EMG

1.    Various matters included on Scheduled Council Meeting Agenda.

Nil disclosures

Internal: CEO Employment Matters Advisory Committee

8 February 2021

Lydia Wilson (Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

EMG

1.    Confidential matters relating to the Chief Executive Officer employment.

Nil disclosures

 

Internal: Council Briefing

8 February 2021

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

CFO

DCCW

DCIE

DCPD

DCSP

EMCA

EMG

MLCF

MPUD

PMPT

SUD

TLRS

TLSR

TLUD

UD

1.    Council Meeting Forward Plan.

2.    Proposed Administrator Workshop – High Street Corridor & Urban Design Frameworks.

3.    Debt Recovery Plan.

4.    Sport and Recreation Victoria Stimulus Grant Application – HR Uren Recreation Reserve.

5.    General Business:

a.   COVID-19 Update.

b.   Organisational Structure Realignment.

c.   Administrator Training.

Nil disclosures

 

External: Whittlesea Disability Network

9 February 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

MCW

1.    NDIS Service Gaps report.

2.    Whittlesea Disability Network Code of Conduct.

Nil disclosures

External: Victorian Planning Authority (VPA)

11 February 2021

Lydia Wilson (Chair)

CEO

DCPD

1.    Stakeholder event to discuss VPA priorities for 2021.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Council Briefing

15 February 2021

Lydia Wilson

(Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

 

CEO

CFO

CPBP

CSPEC

DCCW

DCIE

DCPD

DCSP

EMCA

EMG

MBP

MMP

MSPED

PEA

PO

TLBS

TLCPI

TLFS

TLGA

TLSP

 

1.    Adoption of Community Engagement Policy.

2.    Financial Performance Report 2020-21 – Quarter ended 31 December 2020 and 2020-21 Mid-Year Budget Review.

3.    2020-21 New Works Program – Second Quarter.

4.    City of Whittlesea Integrated Planning Framework.

5.    VLGA Presentation to Council.

        Externals in attendance for this item:

        Kathryn Arndt, Chief Executive Officer; and

        Steve Cooper, Chief of Staff

6.    Appointment of Council Representation on Organisations and Committees.

7.    Planning Scheme Amendment C252WSEA – Application of the Public Acquisition Overlay at the Intersection of Epping and Boundary Roads Wollert – Adoption of Amendment.

8.    Council Action Plan 2020-2021 – Q2 Progress Report.

9.    Planning Application 719502 – Construction of Four Dwellings at 17 Juniper Crescent Thomastown.

10.  Planning Application 719338 – Construction of Five Dwellings at 30 Paddock Street Whittlesea.

11.  Planning Application 719364 – Native Vegetation Removal at 105 Hunters Road, 105Y Hunters Road, 670 Bridge Inn Road, 80 McArthurs Road, 1215 Plenty Road, 55C McArthurs Road and 1W McArthurs Road South Morang.

12.  General Business:

a.   COVID-19 Update.

b.   Subdivision Act – Landscape Plan Fees.

c.   Governance Rules.

d.   Community Engagement.

Nil disclosures

External: Urbis

18 February 2021

The Hon Bruce Billson

CEO

CSPED

MSPED

PMIA

TLED

 

1.    Initial briefing on the Investment Attraction Strategy and Action Plan Project.

2.    Introduction of project team, project scope and program.

3.    Overview of preliminary macro and micro economic data findings.

4.    Summary of planned targeted consultation with key stakeholders.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Media Interview: Plenty Valley FM

18 February 2021

Lydia Wilson (Chair)

CEO

1.    Council Plan Engagement Program.

Nil disclosures

Internal: Online Launch Webinar – Council Plan Engagement Program

18 February 2021

Lydia Wilson (Chair)

The Hon Bruce Billson

Peita Duncan

CEO

1.    Council Plan Engagement Program.

Nil disclosures


 

The table below represents an Index of Officer titles:

Initials

Title of Officer

Initials

Title of Officer

AEMG

Acting Executive Manager Governance – Angelo Mamatis

MPUD

Manager Parks & Urban Design – Susan Hecker

AMCDT

Acting Manager City Design & Transport – Arashdeep Singh

MSPED

Manager Strategic Planning & Economic Development – George Saisanas

ATLTT

Acting Team Leader Traffic & Transport – Justin Ridgeway

PEA

Participation & Engagement Advisor – Luke Hambly

AUMPCF

Acting Unit Manager Parks & City Forest – Tim Connell

PMIA

Project Manager Investment Attraction – Kate Weatherley

CEO

Chief Executive Officer – Craig Lloyd

PMPT

Project Manager Pandemic Team – Caralene Moloney

CFO

Chief Financial Officer – Mark Montague

PO

Planning Officer – Justin Fox & Emily Thompson

CPBS

Corporate Planner Business Partner – Dee Peterson

SUD

Senior Urban Designer – Scott Spargo & Adam Berkley

CSPED

Coordinator Strategic Planning & Economic Development – Liam Wilkinson

TLBS

Team Leader Business Support – Rod Cann

DCCW

Director Community Wellbeing – Kate McCaughey

TLCPI

Team Leader Corporate Planning & Improvement – Robert Kisgen

DCIE

Director Infrastructure & Environment – Debbie Wood

TLED

Team Leader Economic Development – Sarah Rowe

DCPD

Director Planning & Development – Justin O’Meara

TLFS

Team Leader Financial Services – Allan Cochrane

DCSP

Director Corporate Services & Performance – Amy Montalti

TLGA

Team Leader Governance Administration – Amanda Marijanovic