VCAT setback for Lifestyle Communities partially offset by new site purchase

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Lifestyle Communities has reduced its portfolio by a net 53 homes after the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) knocked back its proposal for a community in Tyabb, Victoria, a decrease partially offset by the purchase of a new site in Mickleham.

The 240-home Tyabb community on the Mornington Peninsula was refused by Council, a decision upheld in VCAT and one which the land lease developer says it is not planning to appeal; the company has incurred costs of around $1 million relating to option fees on the land and legal and consulting fees to acquire a permit.

James Kelly, Managing Director (pictured), said it was “disappointing” that the Tyabb site would not be able to proceed.

“Our pipeline of new communities remains strong, supported by new acquisitions in Cowes, St Leonards, and the Merrifield acquisition.

“We will continue to look for great sites in fantastic locations such as these,” he said.

The Merrifield acquisition (top) is set within the master-planned Merrifield community in Melbourne’s suburb of Mickleham, and has capacity for around 187 homes; final settlement is expected in 18 months.

“This acquisition is an exciting opportunity for Lifestyle Communities to lock-in our future pipeline in one of the fastest growing urban areas in Australia.

“The Mickleham community will expand our brand presence in the North and we will commence construction at the completion of Lifestyle Wollert. This will ensure a continuation of the supply of affordable housing in this important growth corridor,” said Mr Kelly.

Lifestyle Communities’ total portfolio is now 5,041 homes across 24 communities, including those under contract, in development, in planning, and under management. The operator is targeting three new land lease communities per year in Victoria.