The decision to grant a permit for the development at 2 Pigeon Bank Road was made at a council sub committee meeting on 14 March 2017.

The Senior Planning Officer’s report and recommendations to Council read as follows:

That the Committee (acting under delegation from Council) issue a Notice of Decision to Refuse to Grant a Permit to the land at 2 Pigeon Bank Road, North Warrandyte, for the use and development of the land for a dwelling, construction of an outbuilding, native vegetation removal and driveway works, on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed use of the land for a dwelling on a substandard sized lot is not consistent with the intended purpose and decision guidelines of the Rural Conservation Zone and the proposal does not seek to use the land to protect and enhance the environmental and landscape value of the site as found at Clause 35.06 of the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.
  2. The proposed use of the land for a dwelling on a substandard sized lot is not consistent with Clause 11.06-4 (Green Wedges), Clause 21.04 (Vision Strategic Framework), Clause 21.05-1 (Settlement and Housing) and Clause 21.05-2 (Rural Land Use).
  3. The proposal does not respond to the decision guidelines of the Rural Conservation Zone (Schedule 3) and Clause 22.04 (Siting and Design Policy for Buildings and Works in Non-Urban Areas) due to the level of site disturbance required for the construction of the dwelling, and the associated conservation and environmental impacts.
  4. The proposal has not adequately responded to the objectives and decision guidelines of the Bushfire Management Overlay and Clause 22.13 (Wildfire Management Policy) as the development of the land for a dwelling will pose a threat to life and property, is inappropriately sited, requires an impractical level of maintenance in light of the site’s topographical features, and is deemed unsafe.
  5. The proposed development is not responsive to the objectives and decision guidelines of Clause 52.17 (Native Vegetation) in that the proposal has not adequately consider the role of native vegetation as both habitat, and playing a crucial role in minimising land degradation.
  6. The proposal has not adequately responded to the objectives and decision guidelines of the Environmental Significance Overlay (Schedule 1) in terms of the potential to detrimentally impact on the environmental values of the land due to the proposed vegetation removal.
  7. The proposal will not result in an acceptable planning outcome as outlined in the decision guidelines of Clause 65 (Decision Guidelines), having regard to the orderly planning of the area, the degree of fire hazard for the proposed development, the extent of vegetation proposed to be removed, and the potential land degradation and erosion.

The Council ( at its sub committee, the Future Nillumbik Committee ) on the motion of councilors Ashton and Egan, resolved that the permit be granted “ on the following grounds…”.

However, remarkably, there are no grounds set out in the resolution. The resolution continues with eight pages of conditions to be attached to the permit, but none of the Officer’s grounds for recommending against the permit were addressed or rebutted, and not one ground for granting the permit was given.

The minutes and the full list of conditions can be found on the Council website.