monbulk soccer gets zoning go ahead
report from the roundtable - 13 nov
This week's council meeting saw council deliberate on whether council would ask the Minister for Planning for approval to rezone the land mooted for the Monbulk Soccer Facility. It was terrific to see the Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club in the gallery with over 80 people in attendance.
I was pleased to be able to second the motion. In speaking to it I said that this rezoning in particular was about balancing the policy objectives and there was no doubt that this was challenging due to the fact this was agricultural land in the centre of our floriculture industry.
I outlined the exponential growth in soccer, 40 plus teams and 600 plus members, our current grounds simply cannot cope with the popularity of the sport which is currently outstripping Aussie Rules in terms of parents encouraging children to take up the sport.
I talked about the lack of change facilities, particularly for women and girls and how inadequate and inappropriate that was in 2012. I went on to talk about the lack of flat land in the Dandenongs and that this site was a good compromise due to it's proximity and lesser slope than land right in the midst of the Dandenongs.
The rezoning is consistent with our Regional Strategy Plan (RSP), with the planning panel finding that the rezoning is consistent with the public land policies of the RSP which could be applied in this case.
There is clearly strategic justification for the project and the planning panels additional recommendations had strengthened the project and addressed objectors concerns with additional controls covering off on design, amenity and vegetation management and landscaping.
It must be remembered that the planning panel are independent ofcouncil, the whole point of the panel is to give independent assessment of the amendment taking into account issues raised by submitters.
In a surprise move, Cr McAllister moved an amendment to the motion to defer the motion pending a report on the scope and cost estimate of the project. In speaking to her amendment Cr McAllister talked about duty, due diligence and use of community funds.
I couldn't support the amendment. This motion was quite clearly about a planning process, not a budget process. I urged councillors to not support the amendment motion, to do so would unnecessarily delay a key part of this process, to see the land rezoned to a Public Park Recreation Zone and provide council with the opportunity to gain external funding. The motion on the table was very clear, it was about asking the Planning Minister to approve the rezoning, it was not about Yarra Ranges budget process, which would come and be the appropriate place to raise budget issues
I'm pleased the amendment to the motion was not supported with only Cr's McAllister and Witlox supporting the amending motion.
The original motion was put and received majority support of council. It's a great day for soccer across the Dandenongs.
Those in favour:
Cr's Dunn, Callanan, Avery, Cox, Cliff, Witlox, McCarthy and Child.