Lyall Road verdict looms

By Jade Lawton
PLANS for a six-level supermarket, hotel and office development for the corner of Lyall Road may soon get the go-ahead.
VCAT will decide the fate of the controversial development on 15 March.
Casey councillors voted unanimously against the proposal, which attracted 337 objections, in August.
Council officers said the pro-posal was inconsistent with Berwick Village’s neighbour-hood character, did not deal with parking or traffic concerns, and could affected the amenity of the adjoining residential area.
But the developer, Paul Harmon of Harmon Group, said the complex would provide hundreds of long-term jobs for the area and boost Berwick’s retail industry.
Berwick Village Chamber of Commerce President Harry Hutchinson said the chamber had its fingers crossed for a positive outcome.
“We are looking forward to a satisfactory result on that – we are hoping that, with modifications, the development will be approved and up as soon as possible,” he said.
“At the moment that site is looking terrible.”
Mr Hutchinson said he understood the developers were making modifications to the original plans that were rejected by Casey Council last year.
Meanwhile, Annette Aldersea of the Residents, Ratepayers and Friends of Berwick Village Inc, said members of the group hoped to view the amended plans at least six weeks before the hearing.
“We cannot comment on these changes as what they are is unknown until the amended plans are available,” she said.
Mrs Aldersea said the council and VCAT had received about 60 statements of grounds so far.