Thursday, August 26, 2010

a shed, a factory or the modern face of floriculture?

report from the roundtable – 24 aug

At this week's council meeting we had to consider an application in Monbulk for igloos and a shed, a fair size shed at that, it measured 25mt wide x 75.5mt long and would stand at a height of 10.12mts from natural ground level.

Surrounding residents were very concerned about the amenity impacts of the shed, its size, noise and location being the key issues of concern.

There were a number of issues to take into account when considering the matter. I moved a motion to relocate the shed to a different site on the lot.

The application is yet another application that highlights the tensions that come about when agriculture and residential areas share the same space. In speaking to the motion I talked about the scale and size of the shed, it was enormous and I had no doubt it would impact on the amenity of surrounding residents.

The site has a Significant Landscape Overlay, which means it is in an area that has important amenity values and any built form must be sensitively located and must not dominate the area or sightlines, the view lines in Yarra Ranges are an important feature of our shire and must be preserved.

It would be tempting to consider refusing the application, but farming (in this case cut flowers) is an as of right use, so it was better to contemplate a compromise rather than an outright refusal. The cut flower industry (floriculture) is a key economic driver in the Yarra Ranges economy with the floriculture region of the Monbulk/Silvan area the largest in the country.

I had concerns about the process, I was surprised to learn that a planning application notice wasn't displayed on site as our planners hadn't thought it necessary, in an application like this I think it would be highly appropriate. I was also concerned that objectors letters were not forwarded to councillors and questioned the process to ensure that in future councillors would receive objection letters marked to their attention.

It is important that we preserve the amenity of the residents but at the same time encourage ongoing expansion of our agricultural industries. The relocation of the shed was a reasonable compromise which allowed a key industry to pursue its development whilst addressing the amenity concerns of the residents.

Councillors voted unanimously to relocate the shed to a more appropriate location.

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At 8:36 PM, Blogger Rob said...

If a factory is being built on a hilltop adjoining residential properties then it is a matter of justice for the residents to have a say on the matter. The applicant had the factory positioned at the south end to prevent shading on the igloos. By doing so the shading was forced on residents, along with the massive height of the factory formulating an immediate tin wall of vision for residents from their gardens and houses.
Totally inconsiderate and unjust.


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