Objectors to a McDonald’s restaurant in Tecoma will now look to the Supreme Court to try to stop the golden arches from lighting up.
However, legal professionals have estimated that an appeal against McDonald's could cost as much as $100,000 and any appellants may be liable for further costs should they loose the case.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week handed down a judgment that overturned Yarra Ranges shire council’s decision refusing McDonalds permission to build on a vacant Burwood Highway block.
Appeals against VCAT rulings can only be heard on perceived errors of law, not on errors of fact that may have been raised during the VCAT hearings. Only a handful of cases are successfully overturned each year.
Cr Samantha Dunn has asked council to review last week’s VCAT decision to grant a permit to the fast food chain but said no decision had been made on whether Council would appeal.
‘‘At this stage, in terms of a councillor’s role, the planning process has finished,’’ she said.
Legal experts have told the Weekly that an appeal to the Victorian Supreme Court must be made within 28 days of VCAT’s decision. Cr Dunn said she was ‘‘abundantly aware’’ of the timeline.
Principal lawyer for the Environment Defenders Office Felicity Millner said if the Supreme Court were to find an error of law, all evidence would need to be heard again by VCAT.
‘‘The Supreme Court often will submit it back to VCAT to make the decision again,’’ she said.