Thursday, October 14, 2010

hilton no more - part 2

report from the roundtable - 12 oct

There were two items up for consideration this week to do with the Hilton Hotel (the first covered under blog story part 1). The second matter was permission to change the original endorsed plans, rather than the original 4 storey hotel, the new proposal sought to construct 142 self contained villas on site.

In speaking against the proposed changes I talked about the complete transformation of the application. I found it outrageous to suggest that council would consent to the deletion of the 4 storey hotel and permit 142 individual villas.

The Yarra Valley is a spectacular region, any development must be sensitive to the signifcant agricultural sector, support townships and enhance the tourism experience.

The development looked more like a housing estate rather than a tourist destination. Yes we need tourism in the Shire and it is a key industry sector, but it must be sensitive to the region and it must work in with agriculture, an overdevelopment like this is far from keeping to the Yarra Ranges and Yarra Valley tourist experience.

The proposed changes failed the "westpoint test", which assesses how different the changes are from the original endorsed plans. On this occasion the application failed 3 of the 4 tests.

The proposal for the 142 villas is not consistent with the Regional Strategy Plan or the Green Wedge zone provisions. The applicant should have submitted a new proposal rather than try and change the existing plans, but they know that it is not possible because it is clear what is proposed is prohibited

I'm pleased to say the councillors voted unanimously to refuse any amendments to the endorsed plans.

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