Planning & Development

The City of Yarra website provides some information to assist objectors. See also and the kits provided through the National Trust.

The FRA Committee monitor major developments in Fitzroy. Contact us if you know of and are concerned about a development that will impact on you, your neighbours or the suburb.

The City of Yarra website also shows the current major developments under consideration.

Major developments currently before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) are also listed.

Statutory Planning Changes

A major change (through a revised Instrument of Delegation for Statutory Planning) was adopted by Yarra Council on 8 March 2022. It gives council officers more authority to make Yarra Council decisions about future statutory planning developments.

Councillors Jolly, O’Brien and Stone voted against the item as tabled, seeking community consultation. The changes reduce councillor decision-making as well as the community’s voice on new development proposals.

The FRA was one of many Yarra resident associations and groups to sign a letter (as part of a group of groups) seeking community input into the changes, and the FRA independently emailed Councillors before the 8 March 2022 changes seeking a deferment for consultation.

The changes were passed by the majority of councillors on 8 March and a rescission motion put forward at the council meeting on Tuesday 29 March was defeated despite further correspondence from a wide range of Yarra residents. The key changes are explained below.

The Statutory Planning Department officers and managers will now decide:

  1. Planning applications where there are less than 15 objections.

What does this mean? If you are not happy with a development, which may occur next door to you or anywhere else in City of Yarra, 15 separate objections from 15 different properties are needed before Councillors would consider the matter at Planning Development Committee. Before the change, 6 separate objections from 6 different properties were required.

  1. Planning applications for extension to properties or application for up to 3 dwellings on a property (inclusive of any permission required pursuant to the heritage overlay).

What does this mean? If your neighbour wants to add an extension to their dwelling or construct up to 3 dwellings on their property you will have to lobby not one but two local councillors to have the matter reviewed at a PDC meeting.

  1. All buildings and works in a Commercial zone up to the value of $1 million.
  2. All buildings and works in an industrial zone up to the value of $2 million.
  3. All signage applications.

What does this mean? The statutory planning department will be fully responsible for all signage applications, including heritage signage.

  1. Building heights that exceed the preferred maximum height by more than one storey (not including plant equipment and roof terraces) specified in a Design and
    Development Overlay.

What does this mean? Even if a Design and Development Overlay exists in your area and a preferred maximum height has been set, officers will determine any extra height.

  1. World heritage environs area and buffer area where the proposed works are taller than the highest point of the existing building, excluding all applications which qualify as a VicSmart application.

What does this mean? The staff will have power to make decisions in relation to World Heritage Buffer Zone matters without reference to Council.

  1. Matters requiring settlement at a compulsory conference or consent order with 15 or more parties in addition to Council and the Applicant, the Appeals Advocate, or

What does this mean? Where there are fewer than 15 parties at a Compulsory Conference any settlement matter will be signed off by the statutory planning department.

  1. Matters involving street setbacks to a heritage building that do not meet the preferred minimum setback requirements specified by a Design and Development Overlay.

What does this mean? Officers will make the decision which previously would be a matter for Councillors.

  1. Heritage Victoria referrals that have been called up by a Councillor.

What does this mean? Officers will have power to make decisions in relation to state heritage matters without reference to Councillors.

Note that now, two of the three Councillors in your Ward are required to support your request for a PDC review.

What does this mean? Before, one Councillor could bring forward a matter for review, now two of your three Ward Councillors need to support a request for review case.

Planning Applications

298 -300 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

The increasing number of hotels being given approval to use roof tops as an extension to their existing buildings for the consumption of alcohol is impacting on the diversity of our activity centres and the amenity of nearby residents.

The decision of the Planning Decisions Committee of Council to permit the Stone Hotel at 300 Brunswick Street to use its roof top without extensive building works, designed to ameliorate the impact of noise and light pollution on neighbouring residents is of concern to the FRA and nearby residents.

View the FRA objection here

84-104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Godzilla 1.0 No Permit granted 11 December, 2020

SMA No.17 Pty Ltd vs Yarra City Council (and the FRA).

VCAT Hearing 21 – 25 September, 2020 – read the FRA VCAT submission here 

The Fitzroy Residents’ Association is concerned about the proposed building at 84-104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy (opposite Coles Supermarket) and prepared an Objection which was submitted to the Yarra City Council.
Read the FRA objection here

223-229 Johnston & 369 Gore Streets, Fitzroy

Godzilla 2.0. No Permit granted.

VCAT Hearing 1-5 February & 12 February, 2021

PACE Development vs Yarra City Council (and the FRA)

Decision 9 March 2021 – view FRA’s VCAT submission here

“Mr Brennan’s submission on behalf of the Fitzroy Residents Association is that the building should be reduced in height by a minimum of two floors to ensure that the overall scale and form of the new development provides a suitable transition to what it describes as low scale residential areas. It also submits this will ensure there is no unreasonable loss of amenity through visual bulk, overlooking and overshadowing. The association supports removing mid-levels 5 and 6 as it would reduce the building height to Johnston Street in a way that retains the upper, more physically recessed levels, rather than these larger mid-levels that sit more prominently in the street”.

The FRA has objected to the proposed development that will be the subject of a  VCAT Hearing in February 2021. It is a 12 storey building with 113 apartments, 159 car park spaces with 2 commercial tenancies. Its height and bulk would overshadow both Johnston and Gore streets. The traffic generated by the 3 level car park would have a negative impact on the neighbourhood. The building fails to meet Environmental and Sustainable Development design objectives, passive living, energy and water efficiency standards.

Our grounds for objection are as follows –

  1. The proposed height, setbacks, massing and design of the building will dominate the surrounding streetscapes and will not positively respond to the surrounding context.
  2. The proposed height, setbacks, massing and design of the building would unreasonably impact the heritage character of the area and the heritage significance of the South Fitzroy heritage precinct.
  3. The proposal fails to respond to the off-site amenity of the surrounding properties and public realm, resulting in unreasonable visual bulk, noise, overlooking and overshadowing impacts.
  4. The proposal would result in an unacceptable internal amenity outcome, contrary to clause 15.01-2 (Urban design principles), clause 21.05-2 (Urban design), and clause 58 (Apartment Developments) of the Yarra Planning Scheme.
  5. The proposal has not adequately dealt with wind matters with regard to on-site and offsite amenity.

592 – 622 Smith Street & 2 – 12 Alexander Parade, Fitzroy
The FRA has objected to the proposed development on the grounds of height, bulk, heritage protection, overlooking, noise, privatisation of a laneway, excessive traffic and lack of affordable housing. 

26-56 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy
The FRA has objected to an amendment to a Planning Permit  approved by VCAT that  would have a detrimental impact on the neighbourhood character of North Fitzroy. The additional 50 apartments proposed would increase the density of the development and the internal residential amenity is lacking in sunlight at the lower levels. The proposed amendment is currently before VCAT with a Hearing scheduled for February 2021. 

14 Brunswick Street & 81 – 89 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy
The FRA has objected to this proposed development by the Australian Catholic University. The proposal is for a 12 storey building that is contrary to State Planning Policy, Yarra’s Heritage Overlay and would impact detrimentally on the iconic gateway to Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. The application was refused by the Yarra City Council.

View the FRA objection here

362 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
View the FRA objection here

131-143 Smith Street, Fitzroy
View the FRA objection here

45 Rose Street, Fitzroy
View the FRA objection here

270 Young Street, Fitzroy
View the FRA objection here

27-31 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy
The FRA submitted an objection to the Planning Panel prior to their VCAT hearing for this St Vincent’s Hospital proposed development. FRA’s concerns focused on Heritage and Environmental Sustainability Design.

View the FRA objection here

88 Kerr Street, 71 – 75 Argyle Street and 380 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy
View FRA’s VCAT objection here

PLN21/0670 223-229 Johnston & 368 Gore Street, Fitzroy

10 storey commercial and residential development and 3 levels of car parking 107 apartments and 146 car spaces. View the FRA objection here

PLN21/0807 371-375 Gore and 195-197 Argyle Street, Fitzroy

8 storey residential development and 2 levels of car parking
49 apartments and 72 car spaces. View the FRA objection here


PLN21/0625 84-104 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

9 storey commercial and residential development and 3 levels of car parking
65 apartments and 103 car spaces. View the FRA objection here

The FRA Committee welcomes and supports the role of individual members who along with their neighbours take on developments that impact on their residential amenity and more broadly Fitzroy’s liveability and sustainability.