VCAT confirms its role is not to find a more suitable site.

In the recent case of Country Fire Authority v Hepburn SC [2014] VCAT 16 the Tribunal has considered a question that arises from time to time. Objectors propose that another site in their local community is more appropriate for the proposed development. In the present case objectors submitted to the Tribunal that other more appropriates existed in Hepburn for the construction of a new fire station. The Tribunal made the following comments in its reasons for decision to grant a permit;

Are there better locations for a new fire station in Hepburn?

  1. Mr Holmgren submitted that there are other more suitable locations for the proposed fire station in Hepburn capable of meeting the CFA’s servicing requirements. Whether or not that is so, my task is to assess the acceptability of this proposal at this particular site. As the Tribunal aptly commented in the case of The University of Melbourne v Minister for Planning:

[14] The Tribunal’s task is not to identify alternative sites or more appropriate sites. It must assess the particular permit application, which has been made for this particular site. We must decide if the proposal will produce acceptable outcomes in terms of the decision guidelines set out in clause 65 of the planning scheme.

  1. It is therefore unnecessary to say anything further about this submission.