The developer proposing a major new warehouse project on an industrial West Footscray site has moved the fight for approval to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

CostaFox Developments earlier this year lodged plans for a $26 million development of a currently disused site at 25-27 Indwe Street, comprising 177 warehouses, offices, a childcare centre, restricted retail premises and parking.

The plans for the 72,400-square-metre site were advertised in June, attracting more than 80 objections from neighbouring residents.

Residents are pushing for the site to be rezoned as residential rather than industrial, given it is bordered on two sides by residential properties and on a third side by Stony Creek.

Costafox Developments argues the proposal conforms with local and state planning policies, but neighbouring residents say it will clog residential streets, increase the number of trucks in the neighbourhood and destroy parklands.

Maribyrnong Council officers have been preparing a report for consideration by councillors later this month, however CostaFox Developments has pre-emptively taken the project to VCAT on the grounds of deemed refusal.

Maribyrnong Council director of infrastructure services Nigel Higgins said the permit applicant has lodged an appeal to VCAT as a decision was not provided within the 60 day timeframe.

“Council is expected to make a decision on this application at the September 19 City Development Special Committee meeting.”

That decision and the reasoning behind it would then be considered by VCAT, but the tribunal would hold the ultimate say on the proposal regardless of the council’s decision.

The Wefo Residents Group intends to challenge the proposal and fight for either a scaling back or complete rethink of the project.

A Facebook page has been set up to discuss the proposed development and a public meeting regarding the proposal will be held from 3.30pm Saturday, September 9 at North Footscray Football Club at Hansen Reserve.