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Councillors Approve 58 Townhouses at Former Southern Rural Water Site in Werribee.

Water Tower Townhouses

Last night, at council’s planning committee meeting, the majority of councillors voted in favour of the proposal to build 58 townhouses at the former Southern Rural Water site in Tower Road, Werribee City Centre.

The almost 10,000m2 site is located near the edge of the city centre and is identified in the Werribee City Centre Structure Plan as an area for higher-density mixed-use development. The proposed development consists of two and three-storey buildings and would vary in heights between 8.7 metres and 10.4 metres.

Cr. Mia Shaw who did not support the application stated on social media, “I did not support this as is it not in line with local amenity or neighbourhood character, in my opinion. I also think this will have huge traffic impacts for this area, as we have seen on Wattle Ave.”

“Edwards/Duncans Road intersection will most definitely need to be addressed if developments like this keep getting approved in this area.”

The two-storey components are positioned nearer the existing adjoining residential properties, while the three-storey components are located along the northern (Princes Highway) and western boundaries and to the centre of the site.

Image: IN8 Architects Pty Ltd

The three-storey built form is considered appropriate in the context of the existing water tower and its heritage values.

When the application was advertised in October 2022 under the provisions of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, 8 objections were received raising concerns about traffic, density and amenity impacts.

An independent urban design review of the plans also raised a number of concerns, and the applicant was advised that the proposal was not suitable in its current form.

Image: IN8 Architects Pty Ltd

The application was appealed at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on the grounds of Council’s failure to determine the application within the prescribed time.

An Arborist report was also submitted with the application, which recommended limited below natural ground level works near the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) of the Peppercorn trees. Further information would be required in a Tree Management Plan.

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