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Herbert Smith Freehills has acted for the Brotherhood of St Laurence in its successful appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a planning approval to redevelop Sambell Lodge, a residential aged care facility run by the community organisation for low income and disadvantaged people.

Located in Melbourne’s inner north eastern suburb of Clifton Hill, Sambell Lodge is the only aged care facility of its kind in the local government area and currently houses 43 residents, all of whom have experienced some form of physical or mental disability, with most previously homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The application to redevelop Sambell Lodge was made so a new and larger facility could help meet increasing community demand for these services, offer improved facilities to the residents and provide the opportunity to accommodate more than 70 additional residents.

In handing down its decision, VCAT identified the proposal as providing a significant community benefit, which was highly influential in the decision to grant the permit.

The Herbert Smith Freehills team was led by special counsel Michelle Keen, who was supported by solicitor Tom Mouritz and graduate Cyril Cotterall-Debay.

Michelle said the firm was delighted to work with the not-for-profit organisation on a pro bono basis. “A great social planning outcome has been achieved with this successful appeal to VCAT,” Michelle said.

“We are very proud to have assisted the Brotherhood of St Laurence obtain planning approval for a development that will provide much needed accommodation for a growing number of elderly homeless and disadvantaged people in the inner Melbourne community.”

The consultant team supporting the design of the Sambell Lodge redevelopment and contributing evidence at VCAT included Baumgart Clark architects, Hollerich Town Planning, Message Consultants, Lovell Chen Architects & Heritage Consultants and Xurban Landscape Architecture. Barrister Jane Sharp was briefed to appear for BSL at the seven day VCAT hearing. 


About Herbert Smith Freehills

Operating from over 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure and financial services.

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