Complex future lies with VCAT

A decision on building a three-storey office and apartment complex on a prominent Traralgon corner now rests with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Local developer Arthur Kangelaris wants to build on the corner of Breed and Henry streets, following an unsuccessful bid to construct a car wash there.

Latrobe City Council failed to make a decision on the office and apartment complex within the required timeframe, meaning the matter was appealed to VCAT.

Councillors have nevertheless given the project their endorsement, voting unanimously at last week’s meeting to advise VCAT that had the decision still rested with council, it would have granted the planning permit.

“Officers have gone to great lengths to speak with proponents and objectors to overcome some of the outstanding issues and I think that was reflected at council’s decision at the meeting,” mayor Kellie O’Callaghan said.

“Council has to try and find a balance between the reasonable development of the CBD and meeting the community’s expectations not only of the development, but our commitment to the heritage overlay existing in surrounding areas.”

The building would include three offices on the ground floor and twelve apartments split over the first and second floors.

The developer hopes to relocate two of the development site’s existing homes, while heritage home, 2 Henry Street, would be retained.

Council received 16 objections and 10 submissions of support for the project.

Nearby resident Bronwyn Kerr said while the proposed development had been reduced from four storeys to three, she still held concerns.

“Personally, I think three storeys just changes the whole ambience of Henry Street,” Ms Kerr told The Express.

She said she was also concerned the development would cause traffic congestion.