City bypasses St Albans covenant

August 5, 2022 BY

Pictured is the "Phar Lap tree" that forms part of community opposition to ongoing St Albans Park subdivision plans.

THE City of Greater Geelong has overruled a restrictive covenant applying to St Albans Park properties and approved a two-lot subdivision.

A Decision Making Committee met last week and approved the plan at 31-33 Woods Road to slice the 3,200sqm block.

The property’s rear boundary is about 50 metres from the suburb’s “Phar Lap tree”, which recently won heritage protection following a lengthy community campaign against an ongoing subdivision plan for its property.

Objectors feared that a subdivision could open the floodgates to further higher-density development in the area where land titles have been protected with a covenant that suggests maintaining lifestyle properties.

But the council has recently received legal advice that the covenant is not binding, and supported the subdivision at its behind-closed-doors meeting last week.

“The proposal was considered to be appropriate in the context of the Planning Scheme and a Notice of Decision to grant a Planning Permit, subject to conditions, was issued,” city planning and economy director Gareth Smith said.

“The planning process provides that objectors/submitters to the application can appeal the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal if they wish to do so.”

Objectors to the Woods Road proposal had called for a public meeting to consider the matter in front of the community.