The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has ruled in a developer’s favour, approving an industrial project previously rejected by the local council.
Hallmarc Developments’ 184-warehouse project at Lots A and B, Akuna Drive, Williamstown North, were refused planning permission by the City of Hobsons Bay Council.
Council made the decision in July 2023 and told the media at the time that the application failed to; take safety into account, fit in with the Hobsons Bay planning scheme, comply with carparking standards, and adequately address the issue of managing flooding and stormwater drainage.
More than 100 residents made submissions to object to the plans for the 76,403sq m site, which was also intended to have cafe space and 778 carparking spaces with a car wash and vacuum facility.
Residents were concerned about the two-storey warehouse units backing on to residential property and the predictions that around 4400 vehicle movements were expected a day.
Plans also included a 350kW solar photovoltaic system and water tanks for rainwater.
Malcolm Elliott Architects designed the plans.
Hallmarc lodged their appeal with VCAT in August 2023 with the major case hearing held in November 2023.
Council records at the time of application in early 2023 showed an estimated cost of $40 million for the project’s construction
CoreLogic property records indicate that both lots were last sold in 1998 with Lot A going for $385,600 and Lot B for $344,400.
Council listed OR Australia Pty Ltd as the owner of the site and ASIC records show Hallmarc Limited as the ultimate holding company for OR Australia Pty Ltd, with Hallmarc Developments and Omnico Developments Pty Ltd as equal shareholders.
Marc Cini and Saul Walter Ryan are listed as the directors for OR Australia Pty Ltd.
Hallmarc has worked on similar projects in the past, including the Hallmarc Business Park at Southbank and the Ternary Richmond project.
The Williamstown site is in an industrial zone under the Hobsons Bay Planning Scheme, next to the Werribee railway line.
Williamstown is 15km south-west of the Melbourne CBD.
The site is north-east of the industrial precinct within Kororoit Creek Road and Maddox Road, and south-west of the North Williamson and Newport residential areas.
A reserve with high-pressure oil pipelines is next to the site.
The area has experienced high growth thanks to people moving to more affordable areas and commuting to Geelong or Melbourne—or work from home.