Permit a step closer for Shepparton’s The Cottage

By Thomas Moir

Failing a challenge being lodged to a recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decision, Greater Shepparton City Council officers look set to issue a permit for The Cottage.

But the permit for the St Andrews Rd facility will come with a raft of conditions attached.

Council this week released an update on what was next for the residential rehabilitation facility following a VCAT decision.

Council statutory planning manager Braydon Aitken said the council would now ultimately issue a planning permit, subject to no challenges being made.

Mr Aitken said at this stage, there was no indication such a challenge would happen.

Last month, the drug and alcohol recovery facility heard it could continue to operate under strict conditions following a ruling by VCAT.

The Cottage’s planning permit was last month set to be approved with the raft of conditions, including 24-hour staffing.

Mr Aitken said following the February 19 council meeting, should no motion be put to challenge that decision, a planning permit would be issued.

‘‘There’s some conditions on the permit that require things like plans,’’ he said.

‘‘Management plans to be submitted within one month of the date of the permit.

‘‘Ultimately, it’s the council officers’ role to make sure they’re submitted and approved in accordance with the conditions of the permit.’’

Council planning and building manager Colin Kalms said from the council’s point of view, unless officers heard otherwise, ‘‘we’ve been directed by VCAT to issue a permit, which we can do under delegation’’.

‘‘That doesn’t need to go back to council through a council meeting.’’

Mr Aitken said the conditions placed on the permit for the facility had not significantly altered following the VCAT resolution.

Mr Kalms said the conditions on the permit required certain actions to be undertaken within one month of the permit’s issue.

‘‘So that’s the submission to us of the management plan ... And also the requirement as part of that management plan to have 24-hour staff,’’ he said.

‘‘Once the permit is issued, it’s one month from that time, they need to issue those documents for approval.

‘‘Those documents then get endorsed as part of the permit and then that’s what are the conditions that apply to its ongoing operation.’’