Community Consultation in the Planning Process


When developers submit plans to council, the normal process after acceptance of the application by council, is that the proposal will be advertised and those effected will be given the opportunity to comment and object. Effectively, those comments/objections can be taken into account by decision makers.  This is normal democratic process which legitimises the decision process.  The worrying thing about plans being called in by the Minister is that the community loses its rights.  Unfortunately the decision to side step the normal process can happen quickly and definitively as has been shown to be the case elsewhere in Melbourne and VIctoria and in Williamstown on 26th March 2010!  For this reason it is important that our community is vigilant and does not lose its right to be involved in consultation.

When we are invited to make submissions, we need to be ready with valid arguments which set out what is acceptable to our community and how it affects us.  The strength of opinion seems to be that the community of Williamstown does not want 46.5 metre high rise  buildings.  The sheer scale of the proposed development is not in keeping with the town and will dominate the skyline.  Nor does the community want a precedent to be set whereby other sites in Williamstown can also be proposed for high rise building. 

We have recently surveyed the community to provide substance to our objections - the results of which will be announced on 26th July 2010.  Watch this space...

Also on 26th July 2010 we will be distributing a leaflet and invitation to attend a Workshop on Submission Writing which aims to help members of the community to make submissions to the minister’s advisory committee.

We also consulted with the community last year about alternative designs.

On 29th July 2009 we issued a press release asking for alternative visions....

Save Williamstown Campaign Seeks Alternative Ideas for Port Phillip Woollen Mills Site

The Save Williamstown campaign established a Planning Policy subcommittee to draft the campaign's official response to the C75 amendment application lodged by Nelson Place Village Pty Ltd.

This subcommittee sought alternative visions for the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site to include in the campaign's official response. These concepts for the site were to be consistent with Williamstown's unique local character and heritage. The ideas should not threaten ongoing work at the shipyards, and should aim to create new jobs.

One of the positive aspects of the Save Williamstown campaign has been the number of local residents who have vibrant and creative ideas about what to do with the Port Phillip Woollen Mills site. The range and quality of these initial ideas stands in stark contrast to the developer's tired and unimaginative concept drawings, which are a dated example of top-down development.

We tried to make sure that local voices were heard in the planning process. Through seeking suggestions from the community, the Save Willliamstown campaign aims to demonstrate the value of that local input which Nelson Place Village Pty Ltd has so blatantly ignored to date. 

The results of our consultation are on our Alternative Ideas are on this webpage Alternative Landuses

However the Minister failed to consider alternatives and rezoned the land “Residential” on the sole application of the developer Evolve. Neither Hobsons Bay City Council, industrial stakeholders nor the community were consulted in the minister’s decision.


Why do we need Community Consultation?