50 Rowell Avenue Camberwell
50 Rowell Avenue is located on the western side of Rowell Avenue, on the northern corner of Cochran Avenue (i.e. it is a corner site) in Camberwell.
The subject land is rectangular in shape and has an overall area of 648 square metres. It was occupied by a single storey brick dwelling with a garage, circa 1970’s accessed from Cochran Avenue. The built form character of the local area is dominated by detached houses, but with a variation of building styles and character, including a substantial number of double storey dwellings.
The applicant proposed to build 2×2 storey dwellings on site. Each dwelling was 239-256m2 in area with the first floor being approximately 50% of the ground floor. Approximately 90m2 of open space for each dwelling was provided.
Boroondara City Council refused the application and a review of this decision was considered by VCAT. The Tribunal concluded that:
- I consider that the site has a number of important characteristics that make it highly suitable for this type of dual occupancy proposal and that the design has various positive features, as follows:
- The appeal site is a corner site, which inherently provides it with greater flexibility for two new dwellings;
- There are no overlay controls such as a Heritage Overlay;
- the proposed courtyard areas will both have good access to the north, in terms of solar orientation;
- Being a corner location, two of the four boundaries of the appeal site face onto a road, with the result there are only two direct residential interfaces with two other neighbouring properties. In addition, the western boundary of the appeal site lines up with the less sensitive front yard area of the dwelling located further west. Hence it is clear to me (with the benefit of a site inspection) that the proposal has no unreasonable external amenity impacts vis-à-vis the abutting properties to the west and north;
- From a neighbourhood character perspective, and with the benefit of a site inspection, I agree with Mr Ludeman that the built form character of this locality is varied and evolving. That is, I agree that it is important to recognise that there are many large, double storey and prominent dwellings in the immediate area. For example, there are large and imposing double storey dwellings nearby at No. 36, 38 and 39 Cochran Avenue and No. 45, 55 and 65 Rowell Street. Whilst it is true that this will be one of the first dual occupancy developments in this particular locality, I think this misses the point that the evolving built form character of the area still creates in my view a streetscape where this type of double storey development can sit comfortably in its context;
- The proposal has the advantage that the design is of a good standard, includes good articulation and in particular it is a plus that the upper level floor area only represents about 50% of the ground level floor area.
In all circumstances then, I am satisfied that the proposal has strong planning merits and justifies the granting of a permit.