Cityshire Planning


Cityshire Planning – the know…and the how

Cityshire Planning works with architects, designers, property developers, builders and homeowners to facilitate Planning Permits by providing considered advice, courageous representation and tenacious advocacy.

With a success rate at VCAT of 94% over the last three years, the outcomes speak for themselves.

Our determined approach has earned us a formidable reputation that helps us help you to break through the bureaucratic mire.  Our singular goal is to get you your Permit as effectively and efficiently as possible.

If you are an Architect or Designer, a mid-range developer, small builder or renovating homeowner who is disillusioned with the planning system and is experiencing illogical and agenda-driven decisions by local government, Cityshire Planning can help.

Contact us to discuss your next planning permit:

T:    9370 6251
M:    0418 331 337

About Us



Cityshire Planning is a town planning consultancy specialising in VCAT advocacy and development facilitation.  It is based in Melbourne’s north-west suburbs and has a proven track record of excellence extending over the past 16 years. With more than 500 VCAT Hearings under its belt and a proven record of success, Cityshire Planning has a superior knowledge of the statutory planning system and the appeals process. Cityshire’s Director, Russell Hocking, has lived in Melbourne’s north-west all his life and has a strong commitment to the continued growth and economic success of these suburbs. As part of this commitment Cityshire Planning works with architects, designers, developers, builders and homeowners to develop advocacy strategies that deliver permits.

Cityshire Planning’s offer includes personalised service, tenacious advocacy, considered advice and courageous representation.  Cityshire’s intolerance of bureaucracy and determined approach has earned it a hard earned yet formidable reputation within the planning industry.

Cityshire Planning’s philosophy centres on facilitating appropriate development outcomes that provide efficient residential developments, new homes and comfortable additions to existing dwellings.

Working across a range of residential and commercial developments ensures experience and expertise for your next project

Recent Decisions


Cityshire Planning is involved in a broad range of matters dealt with by the Planning and Environment List at VCAT – reflecting the diverse representation skills we provide.

A strong success rate in excess of 90 percent over the past three calendar years is testament to the skill and experience Cityshire Planning brings to the advocacy process on behalf of its clients.

Below is a summary of recent decisions and links to the full determinations.



Kavel v Banyule CC [2014] VCAT 61 

Our client sought a Permit for two double-storey dwellings in Rosanna with separate crossings and no Common Property.  Council opposed the two driveways and the size of the dwellings.  We successfully had the restricting Conditions removed at VCAT


Blueprint Pty Ltd v Kingston CC  [2013] VCAT 1712

An Application was made to Council for a second dwelling on a constrained, compact lot in Moorabbin.  After the Refusal, we lodged an Appeal at VCAT and argued in favour – with a Permit being granted.


Decis v Moonee Valley CC & Ors [2013] VCAT 947

In a hotly contested set of proceedings with many local Objections, we successfully argued at VCAT for a three-dwelling development for our client.


Rea v Boroondara CC [2012] VCAT 1806

This matter involved the interpretation of a Covenant in a prime residential location in Glen Iris. The Tribunal directed the grant of a Permit confirming the opportunity for our client to construct two new luxury townhouses on this corner lot opposite a pristing public open space.


Harvey Waters Architects Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC [2008] VCAT 1462

We acted for the Director of Housing in regard to a renovation and refurbishment of existing public housing in Caroline Street, Hawthorn East. Despite objections from local residents, we obtained a permit from VCAT for the works.


Cheung v Boroondara CC [2010] VCAT 1340

Our clients sought our assistance to coordinate Review proceedings at VCAT against three conditions on a permit for two luxury dwellings in a tree-lined street in Balwyn. We were successful in advocating for the removal of all three conditions at the tribunal.


Moutsos v Monash CC [2012] VCAT 1783

Our client received a Refusal from Monash City Council for a development comprising three double-storey townhouses. Based on our advocacy at the tribunal, that decision was overturned and Council was directed to issue a permit.


Kjar v Melbourne CC [2012] VCAT 1378

Our client sought permission for an eight dwelling development in a residentially zoned North Melbourne street with a Heritage Overlay. A neighbour appealed the Council decision and we advocated for a permit to be granted. The tribunal ruled fully in our favour.


O’Connor & Anor v Moreland CC [2012] VCAT 459

A permit was sought from Moreland Council for a three-storey apartment building and a neighbour appealed to VCAT. We advocated for the proposal and the tribunal directed Council to issue a permit.


Peter Brown Architects Pty Ltd v Knox CC [2012] VCAT 112

Our client sought a permit from Knox City Council for a 15-dwelling development over three levels. The Application was refused. We fought the refusal at VCAT on behalf of our client and the decision was overturned with a permit being issued.


Blueprint Pty Ltd v Knox CC [2009] VCAT 1236

The client sought a permit for three dwellings which was strongly opposed by local residents and Council. We argued the case at VCAT and were successful in having a permit issued.


Genovese v Maribyrnong CC [2011] VCAT 1839

Our client sought a Permit for six, two and three storey dwellings. Local residents opposed the development and lobbied hard for a refusal. We successfully argued the merits at VCAT and a permit was issued.


Useful Links


The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure is responsible for State Planning policy, such as Plan Melbourne, and for advising the Minister for Planning for decisions for which he is the Responsible Authority.  The HomePage provides links to Planning Schemes in Victoria and the Planning Toolkit amongst other things


On Review, Council decisions are dealt with at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Tribunal decisions

You can search for individual VCAT at Austlii

Land Channel

Information on land including locations and land titles are found at Land Channel

Planning Property Reports can also be obtained through the Search mechanism

Direct Planning Scheme Maps can be found at an allied site – search by address


Contact Us

Russell Hocking
Cityshire Planning
PO Box 151
Moonee Ponds  Vic  3039
P/F:  03 93706251
Mob:  0418 331 337