Worried about VCAT appeal: councillor’s fear over basketball legend’s mansion plans

An artist's impression of the proposed development in Beaumaris
Bayside Council has rejected plans by basketball legend Andrew Bogut to build a mansion in Beaumaris, but local Cr Clarke Martin is now worried about what VCAT will do in a planned hearing. Lachlan Palfrey reports.

Bayside Cr Clarke Martin says he’s “happy” with the council’s decision to reject Australian basketball legend Andrew Bogut’s plans to build a mansion spanning two properties in Beaumaris.

However, he said he was concerned about a VCAT hearing on the issue, listed for August 3.

“This application, if approved by VCAT, would deliver a very harmful and significant precedent that would require Bayside to consider strengthening further the planning overlays,” he said.

Mr Bogut, a former Olympian and NBA champion, had submitted plans to build a three-storey, four-bedroom home. There were a number of community objections, though council officers supported the plans.

Worried about VCAT appeal: councillor's fear over basketball legend's mansion plans
Clarke Martin has been vocal in his protests against the plans. Credit: Clarkemartin.com.au

Councillors said their primary concern was Vegetation Protection Overlays and Significant Landscape Protection Overlays. The garden was designed by artist Joan McCrae, who once lived in the house, and the construction would remove 23 trees.

Cr Martin said he shared the public’s disapproval of the project.

[The application was] too big for the site, removed trees and upset the very community that had made the site the beautiful and valuable place that it is.

“The objectors, including the organised community groups, were obviously very happy with the [council’s] decision,” Cr Martin said.

Worried about VCAT appeal: councillor's fear over basketball legend's mansion plans
Andrew Bogut. Source: his FIBA profile.

“From experience, I think the vast majority of the community would have thought the application was too big in this particular part of Beaumaris.”

A local resident and neighbour of Mr Bogut, Tahnee Streatfield, said she was relieved the proposal has been denied.

“He is trying to knock down two homes and a heap of trees. It is all a bit crazy to me,” she said.

Ms Streatfield said she was “hopeful” of a favourable decision at the VCAT hearing, but was “very worried” the council’s decision could be reversed.

However, another of Mr Bogut’s neighbours, Matthew Hennig, said he supported the proposal and was “sort of against the [council’s] decision”.

Cr Martin said he was proud to be involved in “protecting the most beautiful parts of a suburb”.

 “Bayside and Beaumaris are very fortunate to have some of the strongest planning overlays in Victoria,” he said.

“During my time, I am constantly looking for applicants to produce developments that keep our community connected, and the end result enhances an area and does not make things worse,” he said.